I DO not know any year where we lost many compañeros than this year.

We will no longer hear the jokes of Vicente Macalino. He is a story teller. He evokes laughter even if his jokes are repeated all over again. He was a prosecutor, a provincial attorney and a Mayor of San Fernando. He was a long time officer of the Integrated Bar, Pampanga Chapter for which he was an awardee. We will miss him.

He was the Niño Bonito of Angeles Bar. Ner Biag was one of a kind. He’s the only person who can attend parties in shorts. While he became prosperous in real estate, his real happiness is to be with lawyers. Despite his wealth, he “volunteered” to be a mediator, a peace maker in cases that reach the courts. We will miss him.

I consider Adelaido Rivera one of the best trial lawyers of Pampanga. He was a quick thinker and an excellent cross-examiner. More than this, he had rapport with the fiscals, judges and fellow lawyers. He was a loyal friend of the legend, Estelito Mendoza. We will miss him.

When I passed the bar in 1978, the lawyer who dominated the practice of law in San Fernando was this lawyer from Guagua. He handled banks, especially in foreclosures and replevins. He changed cars as fast as he changed his “Amerikana.” He was always in coat and tie. Eduardo Ocampo survived cancer but Covid was a deadlier foe. We will miss him.

When we mention Senator Lito Lapid, the name of Filmer Abrajano would surely come up. He was the “brain” behind the political success of the Vice Governor, Gvernor and eventually the Senator from Pampanga. Young and intelligent, he taught at the University of the Philippines, Clark where his students talked highly of his prowess. We will miss him.

His calling card reads “I may be hard to reach but it’s worth it.” The message belonged to Norbin Dimalanta. He graduated from the local college in Pampanga where he was my classmate. At one time, he was the busiest lawyer in Guagua that he makes “lagare” in courts. We will miss him.

He had good command in English. He could compare with the best in the legal profession. He came from Manila to attend cases in his home province (Pampanga). Dante David was brilliant. At one time, he served as legal consultant to Levy P. Laus (LPL). This speaks volumes since LPL is synonymous to excellence. He is the brother of outstanding Pampangueños -- Randy and Fr. Ambo. We will miss him.

In two weeks, the year 2021 would be part of history. It’s the year when we lost Vic Macalino, Ner Biag, Adelaido Rivera, Dodo Ocampo, Filmer Abrajano, Norbin Dimalanta, Dante David and a score of others.