For A Man Named Raul
Secretary RAUL S. ROCO
A Tribute to Senator Raul S. Roco (Former Secretary of the Department of Education)
Today, I hold with fondness an admiration for a very few Bicolanos who caught the limelight of public service in the history of the Philippines. His demise in August 2005 had left a an inspiration for all Bicolanos, and probably all Filipinos, to cling dearly to the principles of good governance that he believed he delivered during his turn and term in government.
Life, as I always say, is short, and death is always sure to come. But what we do with the borrowed life is to offer it as a gift for the welfare of the many. He did it. He still continues to do it. His inspiration lives on.
And yes, today, I dedicate this poem to the good Senator and former Secretary of Education of the Republic of the Philippines who had won my heart in his pursuit of building a better country, a better Philippines. This piece was crafted the day, August 11, 2011, when he was plying the streets of Naga City on his way to his last destination after his death due to prostate cancer on August 5, 2005. Goodbye, my dear Congressman, Senator, Secretary, and idol.
For truly, you made your mark in the hearts of the Bicolanos and Filipinos.
‘When I was 20, I wanted to change the world;
At 30, I wanted to change my country;
At 60, I realized I wanted only to change myself.’
Rivers of shining faces teem with bright future
Arduously undercoming the deeper mantle
Of an unending quest to cultivate a dignified stance of life
Nurtured in the jungles of brains and brawns.
Rising hope billowingly tramples the darkness under
Arching rainbows that calibrate a monstrous urgency
To spell difference and dispel indifference,
Leisurely offering life’s open gift of liberty.
Right are the heart of mankind, the morning sun
Always breaks but touches with passion and compassion
Untangled by the truth that rules, scented by
The love that lasts, and sealed with a life that grows.
Thank you for the inspiration, a life well-lived, a life well-loved.