Archive for February, 2008

When A Hero Comes Along

February 20, 2008

    This is an open letter to my ninong, the former Senator Rene AV Saguisag and how much he means to me.

Dearest Ninong,

    I don’t know how how to begin this letter. But let me tell you how grief-stricken I am from the recent events in your life that I cannot even describe what happened to you. I still have unresolved issues with my faith because until now, I cannot accept why is it possible that bad things happen to good people like you.I am at a lost of the right words to tell you because I am heartbroken and sad. But let me attempt at least to express how I feel. I hope I will able to say it well through this letter.

    I don’t even want to talk about it. In my alone times I can only cope and take refuge from all the happy memories you gave me. It all started when you responded to my fan letter way back in 1987. How you even take the time to write to me on your busy senatorial campaign is really a big deal to me. Thank you!

    Would you believe our “pen-pal days” lasted for more than a decade? Whenever I wrote to you, I always earnestly waiting for a respond. My heart skips a beat whenever a postman  came and I saw this long, white envelope from you. I feel the envelope, hoping it’s a thick one so I can read more of you. I remember the thickest was a copy of the speech you gave in the senate regarding the historical ouster of the US bases in 1992. Now that was a good read!

    But one of my favorite letters was when I never wrote to you first but you wrote first just to tell me that you read my comments in the Inquirer that was published Feb 1992 and May 1992. You said  you like what I have written and I was a good writer. I have always been the one praising your write-ups but for you to even noticed my articles and praising it is really unimaginable. Thank you. One time, in 1995, I was having a problem with the college yearbook and you lent one of your lawyers to draft a demand letter. But one of my favorite quotes from you when you wrote me, “Marites, never cease to dream.”…You helped and guided me..Oh, ninong I missed our friendship letters.

    The funny thing I guessed is that all those years of letter-writing, we only met two or three times? The first time I remember was in 1998. I remember I met you in one of the villas in Clark and your wife, ninang Dulce quipped, “At last, the two of you finally met!” Did you know, I even have my hair and make-up done? Looking back, what was I thinking? Funny, isn’t it? But of course the most unforgettabble was the day of my wedding because you and ninang were my sponsors. Remember, there was even a typhoon on my wedding day? But the bad weather never dampen my spirits because you were there on the most important day of my life. I wanted so much to hug you ninong before you left but I was just too shy. Who would have thought that a simple girl like me have a ninong like you. But that was the last time I saw you…

    I have never told you this because you might think I am crazy but I will tell you this anyway. Back in 1987, one night when I saw you for the first time in television, you were having a debate with the other candidates for senator. You were just speaking so intelligently. So right there and then, I was your instant  fan. The next day, now this is funny, I cut out a picture of yours in the newspaper, a small one and put it in a small picture frame. At times when I have problems, I would hold this picture frame and tell you how bad I was feeling with matching tears. Funny, huh? One Sunday, after hearing mass, I saw few of your leaflets scattered in the streets. It was on that day, that I thought of writing you and I told you if I can help you in the campaign. At 15 years old, what was I thinking? I was not even eligible to vote. But you wrote back and thank me and “you thought my letter was touching.” That was the start of our letter-writing each other and as they say, the rest was history. I was 15 then. Look at me now, I am 35 years of age. Time flies indeed… 

    I loved my dad even though we were not close. My only regret was when he passed away in 1993, I never told him that I loved him. So, right now, let me tell you ninong this, “I love you”.Just the thought of you, warms my heart. Remember when you sent me a MABINI  shirt? You wrote with it, “gratis et amor”. With gratitude and love…

    By the way ninong, your son Rebo is amazing. You should be proud what a fine man he has become. I saw him for the first time in television and he is sort of a spokesperson for your family. He is like former New York mayor Guiliani after  9/11. In spite of the crises, Rebo is very strong, calm, collected, brave, articulate and held it all together for your family. Like father, like son!

    I am praying that you have speedy recovery. Please rest in the love of your children because I know how they love you and ninang very much. I am so proud of your children. At this thought, I hope you still find strength and happiness in your heart for your loved ones. They are all blessings and that is worth waking up in the morning.

    Like every letter we have in the past, will I earnestly wait for your reply? It is a wishful thinking though. You told me…”never cease to dream”…

                                                  Your number #1 fan forever,

                                                  Marites Tan Gerona