Hello po. Welcome to Labandera Chronicles.
Wednesday last week gave your labandera the privilege of seeing Gina Lopez in repose, at ABS-CBN’s Studio 10.
It was a rainy day, but the weather didn't stop people from wanting to honor the woman who had given all of herself to her advocacies, sukdulan pang ihuli ang sarili sa kanyang mga priorities.
Pinanghinayangan naming mga naroon ang maaga niyang pagpanaw sa edad na 65. Pero hindi namin magawang malungkot dahil sa kanyang pagkakasakit, as she looked so much at peace, so clearly in a state of grace, na para bang kahit alam na niyang parating na si Kamatayan ay taas-noo pa rin niya itong kinatagpo at tinitigan nang mata sa mata.
Hindi siya pulitiko, hindi siya artista, pero wow. Ang papuri't pagkilala sa ningning ng kanyang pagkatao ay gano'n na lang.
Mula sa pinsan niya at ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez: "At an age when people are just figuring out what they want to do in life, she already knew her purpose. She left a comfortable life to devote her time and energy to help uplift other people’s lives...When she returned to join ABS-CBN, she instilled in her people the same drive to help. For her, nothing cannot be done, no effort is too small, anybody can—and should—do their part in making the world a better place."
E, ano, kung sa Lopez din galing ang papuri para sa isang Lopez? Gano'n din halos ang maririnig mula sa marami pang iba na labis din ang paghanga sa sa kanya.
Doris Nuval, board member of ICanServe Foundation: "I was at Gina's wake yesterday and came away in a stupor. People from ALL walks of life were there, from the most powerful to those bereft of power, from the safron-robed gurus to veiled nuns, from fashionistas to those in rags...from leftists to ultra rightists...the common denominator being their love for and/or awe of her. I am so humbled. She belonged to a class all her own."
Edre Olalia, ng National Union of People’s Lawyers: "Gina Lopez: a good person, a humane, and passionate warrior of worthy causes. It is a tragedy that sometimes those who give all do not outlive those who get all."
Mula sa Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, kung saan siya naupo bilang Chairman mula 2009 hanggang 2016: "She was a great leader, an inspiring mentor, a loving friend, and a colleague full of character. She will always be the champion of the Filipino communities and will forever be remembered as the unwavering advocate and muse of the Pasig River."
Ano ang keyword doon sa huli? "Always." Palagi. Sa kaisipan ng kanyang mga tinulungan at ipinagpunyagi, “Forever.”
Ani pa ni Tonyo Cruz, blogger at columnist ng Manila Bulletin: "Her legacy of fighting for our environment so that it would directly benefit our people outlives Gina Lopez. She is now in our pantheon of courageous and visionary Filipino leaders worthy of emulation."
Ay, huwag nang pagtakhan ang pinanghugutan niya ng kabutihan. Sa huli niyang pakikipag-usap kay Tina Monzon-Palma nito lang July 12, 2019, sabi niya: "God exists, He does, whether you believe it or not. He does. He does exist. And if you can go into the quiet of your heart, you will feel that love is with you every single micro-second of the day, like every single micro-second of your existence. That love is there for you and it’s there for you unconditionally. And may it continue to hold us, and may it continue to nurture us and propel us to creating a piece of heaven in this country."
Sabi sa Bible, I Corinthian 15:55: "Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?" At tutoo ka.
Si Gina Lopez ang nanalo. Siya ang nagwagi.
We cannot thank her enough. ###