Dearest Tito Bong

I’ve been biding my time from writing about you. Just looking at the photos we all had together in the family and remembering the memories we have with you makes me cry. I guess it’s really just been difficult to lose you without even saying goodbye.

I’ve been reading what our relatives, your friends, and colleagues have been writing about you, Tito Bong. All of them are shocked and saddened by your passing. We all are. A lot of them are going to miss you. We are going to miss you, so much.

I wish we could have been there to support you in such a difficult time.

I have so much regret not pushing through with our visit there November last year. We could have gone together in Baguio and spent some time there.

There’s one story about you that Mama shared before that stuck with me. I think it was when you were in college pa. I think Mama was supporting your studies then if I remember it correctly, and then you requested to buy new shoes. She was unable or didn’t want to buy you one, and so nag tampo ka daw. And then when you graduated and became a professional, one of the many things that you bought for yourself a lot were shoes.

I look back at it fondly because I am reminded by how much you’ve worked so hard to get to where you are. And that’s one of the things that you’ve been really proud of. You were always a hard worker, you were very thorough and detailed, close to being a perfectionist. Sometimes we poke fun at how meticulous you are with things, and especially with cleaning, but we always appreciated it.

Tito Bong, thank you so much for your kindness, your love, and generosity to all of us, especially your nieces and nephews. Most of my favorite memories with our family and relatives were always with you. Actually, when I think about it, our family gatherings always involved your visit to Mindanao, be it in CDO or in Pigcawayan. It was always fun and full of life. That’s who you were, too. You were full of life and full of fun.

And then when you go back to Manila, you never forget to check on us every now and then.

That was one of the many things that I also read from your friends’ and colleagues’ messages. Ikaw daw yung hindi nakakalimot.

I wish I could have gotten to know who you were as well outside of being our Tito. I wish I could hear more stories about how you were like to your friends and colleagues. I want to keep those memories with me. I want to keep them alive.

It’s still hard to accept that you’re gone, especially when I think that you could have been handled better by the hospitals there. I am angry and frustrated hearing about what you went through.

At least, you are not suffering anymore. 😦

But it still hurts a lot. For many of us.

But we continue to pray for comfort for the whole family.

We love you so much, Tito Bong. We will miss you in every family gathering. We will miss your non-stop karaoke-ing. Hehe.

Rest well in God’s loving embrace.

Love,
Mika

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