Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Remembering Mang Ric

Mang Ric (right) and wife T'yang Rosing in a picture taken last year at home. - Photo from family Facebook

Michigan, USA

IT WAS not until we became friends that I really came to know him well.

Working in Jeddah during the early 80s, I met Mang Ric, also an OFW, and forged a close friendship him.

He was T'yang Rosing Evangilista-Romualdo's deceased husband (of Baranggay South Poblacion, JPanganiban) and a good father to his five daughters and a son..

As OFWs, Mang Ric worked for SAPTCO (Saudi Arabian Public transportation Company) as senior technician and mechanic and I, as an employee of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) at International Procurement office.

Meanwhile, T'yang Rosing was in the Philippines with her children.

Those days, while in Jeddah, I lived with a family where I rented a room in their house. I knew that the man in the family, who was employed with Saudi Arabia Airlines, did not earn much and that his income was not enough to support his wife and two children. This prompted his wife to venture into baking “pandesal” to make some extra.

Selling was something I was very familiar with, so I personally offered my time to help them as sales representative.

With that, my landlord and I started supplying various Filipino worker's camps around Jeddah, including that of Mang Ric's. 

He and I had so much fun selling our own brand of freshly baked "pandesal" at their company's compound – the bread sold out in matters of a few minutes.

Payment was made in cash and our little business was doing fine.

As demand soared, I found myself making a twice-a-day delivery, and this lasted for more than two year.

I could still remember Mang Ric telling me: "Putragis, Percy, sa susunod dagdagan mo pa ang kuha ng order, pati 'yong mga  Pakistanis, Indian, Africans,Yemenis at Egyptians gustong-gusto ng 'pandesal "natin (my gosh, Percy next time get more orders … even the Pakistanis, Indians, Africans, Yemenis and Egyptians like our pandesal very much). 

I couldn’t help but smile every time I would remember Mang Ric’s request.

Quite a reserve person, Mang Ric’s smiles and personal stories, including his Japanese war exploits as young Philippine Air Force commissioned officer (2nd Lieutenant), were simply colorful and amazing.

They were indeed unforgettable.

Mang Ric passed away on December 29, 2011.

Wherever you are Mang Ric, here's my salute and God Bless your soul, rest in peace.

He was given full military honors by Philippine Air Force, 1st Air Division, Headquarters Tactical Operations Group 5, Legaspi Airport, Legaspi City.

A Philippine flag was presented to Mang Ric’s surviving wife, Mrs Rosenda (T'yang Rosing) E Romualdo as a token of appreciation for his honorable services to the nation.

Mang Ric, who was Sir Knight of Knight Of Columbus, Jomapa Council No 6995, was posthumously offered a resolution of condolence by the KC, attested to by SK Libertado D Igana, GK Bro Ely C Landagan, DGK and SK Claudio E Quijano, Jr (PGK, PFN, FDD).

As my personal tribute to Mang Ric, I am reproducing below a Father's Day poem by one of his daughters:

Ever  Dearest Tatay,
with love from Chel

Words are not enough to describe
How grateful we are for having you by our side
In good times and tough you'd had;
How wonderful are your ways, dearest Dad!

Your coming home from work, had always been like a big moment
Your motorcycle from afar, that sound we had always awaited
to hug you; everyone would rush, to kiss you … we would race;
Your jokes would fill the air and your stories would be much anticipated.

The tiny, delicate bums you had cleaned, the little nostrils you had sucked
The scout uniforms you had washed, the tents you had helped built
The motor rides as we rushed for exams …
They all tell unique stories about you.

The ever-loving kindness you had always shown
When we could not stand yet on our own
Even now that we already have grown
Yours is the unforgettable love we always have known.

Now that you've gone to be with the Lord, and you're now in peace with HIM
We are told
Though our knees tremble in weakness, we thank Him, for HIS saving GRACE to you
And forgiveness
Yes, you are absent in body yet present with HIM, for in His Son you have trusted and believed
Though we are grieving and sorrowful, to Him we are exceedingly grateful.

(The first four stanzas were written and sent to Tatay for Father's Day
a few years ago, and the last one written today, January 5, 2012.)

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