Pacete: Farewell, Ian de Ramos

THE death of our friend, Ian de Ramos, reminds me of what Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said, “The riders in a race do not stop when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear kind voices of friends and say to oneself… the work is done.”

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said the untimely demise of Ian saddened his fellow employees at the Capitol. The governor praised the late Ian by describing him as a “workhorse”. The governor is correct… all government workers should be “workhorses,” not wolves, not pigs, not even crocodiles. Ian is worthy of emulation.

He is still young (45 years old only). He was the head of the Special Project and Concerns Division. He took charge of the Panaad sa Negros Festival major events like Lin-ay sang Negros Pageant. His best effort contributed to the harvests of excellence attained by the province in the Pearl Awards sponsored by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines and the Department of Tourism.

The Provincial Board passed a resolution extending condolences to the De Ramos family. In national tourism events, Ian was always with us. We are a family with Tintin Mansinares, Jenny Cordero, Nancy Pestaño, Butch Gerasmo, and Marlin Sanogal. He used to be my hotel roommate in several occasions.

Our first joint activity started when both of us enrolled in “Basic Acting” and “Teaching Acting” in the summer class on theater and films under Director Peque Gallaga. I was already a secondary school teacher at Doña Montserrat Lopez Memorial High School (sponsored to attend the class by then Mayor Ramon “Titot” Jison of Silay). Ian was a graduating college student at Colegio de San Agustin, a member of the theater guild under Rudy Reveche.

In 1994, I transferred at Silay City Government. I was taken in by Mayor Edwin “Bigot” Velez as tourism officer of the city (Supervising Tourism Operations Officer IV). I met Ian de Ramos as Capitol employee working at the office of Governor Lito Cosculluela. Mayor Bigot, Engr. Eladio Mondragon, and I were preparing plans for the construction of the airport in Silay. Ian was just there facilitating the papers we need.

The construction of the airport was completed (domestic airport of international standards). I was told later that Ian was promoted as Recreation and Welfare Services Officer V to handle Panaad Park. That was another start of a unity effort between Ian and me. He was consulted in our efforts to improve our Silay Heritage Booth and the landscaping of the front lawn.

He was a great help to all tourism officers because it was his task to give emergency assistance when there is power interruption, to receive complaints when there is uncollected garbage, to give immediate response when there are “vendor violators,” and even to find a comfortable place for our VIPs.

There was a time in the recent past that some Lin-ay pageant candidate handlers were complaining about the status of Silay candidate because she won already in a national competition sponsored by her college. Ian and I did not have the same interpretation of the guidelines. Both of us produced supporting evidences and with somebody up there intervening, both of us came up with a “win-win” compromise.

I liked Ian’s managerial style. He was output-oriented and knew how to select people who can work with him with the patience and speed of a horse. In several instances, we would be together at the airport as protocol officers for our LGUs in meeting and greeting the heads of offices or their representatives. He worked for the governor while I performed for the mayor of Silay.

His kind of work, lifestyle, and social obligations with visitors (all related to his designation) caught up with him and provided a finish line. For someone, death is the end but for Ian it could be just the beginning. He accepted his own death so that he could be free to live again in a wonderful place where he cannot experience pain anymore.

Ian valued his Panaad Festival so much. I am sure that there will be more “workhorses” that will continue working from where he left his “horseshoe.” These horses will prove that they are all “stallions.” Ian is just ahead, some will follow in their own time.

We are not afraid to die. We just don’t want to be there when it happens. No one wants to walk with others in his own funeral rite. That could be obvious!


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