Condolence, Philippines

Today marks an important day for you, Philippines. Today, you found a great leader. Unfortunately, you found him lifeless.

It was Saturday afternoon when news broke out that a plane ridden by Secretary Jesse Robredo, the country’s Interior and Local Government Secretary, alerted aviation officials in Masbate for an emergency landing. Soon enough, the plane went missing.

Search and rescue teams were immediately deployed — albeit with no avail. Four days later, you found him dead.

I did not know the Secretary personally. I never met the man, as I’m not really into politics. Yet his story was an inspiration. His life, though short, was dedicated to public service. He was a simple man, whose objective was to make this country a better one.

My condolences go out to the Secretary’s family. I cannot imagine the pain that you must be going through right now. Know, however, that Filipinos dreaming of a better Philippines are praying for you. I hope by now you feel the outpouring of love for your family. It will never be enough for your loss, but somehow I pray that it will at least ease a little portion of your pain.

I am sorry for your loss too, Philippines. Hardly does a selfless leader come by, yet he was taken away. You’re now down by one great public servant.

The declaration of mourning starting today is just proper. This nation lost a great man.

Ironically, it was also today, 29 years ago, when Ninoy Aquino, another great Filipino leader, was killed.

Allow me to end this post by sharing an essay of Robredo’s daughter, who won the Ramon Magsaysay Student Essay Competition in 2003. Please click here for the piece.