First Borns

May 6, 2008

I remember writing about the difficult road that first-borns have to face all their lives. The ruthless scrutiny that we must brave often forces us to live a lonely life of either forever pleasing the world or of withdrawing from it.

At an age when I should be past bearing my own first-born, I have lost one of the members of the pioneer batch of the UNP College of Law. I have always considered them my very own first-borns – although many of them are older than I am. Manong Isidro Paredes – headed the region’s NBI, led his class and the student government as its president. Beyond these, he was a devoted family man and husband to Ma’am Brenda. Along with my father, he has set the bar high when it comes to finding that one man we could spend the rest of our lives with.

Manong Sid is (sorry, no past tenses please) one of the most diligent students in the College. Despite being the most senior in class, he is among the handful who had complete notes, digests and always ready to share them to anyone who asked.

I am sorry, manong. I wasn’t around during your wake and funeral. I refuse to see you that way. I still could not believe that the next time I endure the drive home, you would no longer be on your terrace studying. I wanted to remember my Manong as the only man in the College my father would trust to drive me home.

I must confess, manong, for a few days after Manang Arlyne broke the news, I asked Him why He didn’t give you what you deserved. Uray dediay lang koma iti inted nan. He knows how you gave your all during law school and review. This and Ma’am Brenda’s illness remind me of Job and how an author once wrote that in Job’s case, God overdid it. I still insist that this time, God made a mistake and unnecessarily tested your faith. You gave the world nothing but kindness. God should’ve known you deserved so much more.

Aginnana kan, manong ko. Agkikita tay to manen ha.


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