Dear Sabine, hanggang ngayon, ang iyong laging bukang bibig ay "Sabine is going to school now".
Well, last week we went to Tagkawayan, your Lola Letty's and Mom's hometown and visited the High school where your Mommy graduated from: Our Lady of Lourdes Academy (OLLA). We went there to pay our respects to Ninong Ed Villaseñor. To your Mom and I he was "Ninong Ed" because he stood as one of the sponsors of our wedding. But to several generations of OLLA students he mentored, he was known by his knightly title of "Sir Ed".
At the most important juncture of her life, Sir Ed was one of those who inspired your Mom to continue her pursuit to earn a medical degree. This despite of the daunting odds and the personal loss she and your Lola suffered that year. They lost your Tita Adhey and Lolo Lony in a span of 40 days.
It was such an impossible dream at that time. But with God's help and with the help of inspiring mentors like Ninong Ed, she moved on to fulfill her dreams.
Sir Ed passed away unexpectedly. The whole town mourned his passing.
He was an institution. He was larger than life. In the end he was buried in the same school that saw him share the best years of his life with the youth that he mentored to adulthood. I think it was a fitting tribute to the man who lead a heroic life.
Because a school is a battleground for the hearts and minds of the young. And Sir Ed was one of its most gallant warriors. It was only right that his mortal remains be buried in the ground made hallow by his struggle to mold the minds of many generations with the Promethean fire.
There is a battleground in Greece called "Thermophyle" where a band of noble warriors were buried on the same ground where they made a stand against the forces of superstition, tyranny and ignorance. In doing so, they were able to preserve the most precious legacy of that ancient civilization: Freedom of Thought.
Their epitaph reads:
"Tell the Spartans, passerby...
That here, by Spartan Law, we lie."