Monday, January 21, 2008

Remembering Tito Tony

I know it's been a week since I made my last post. Aside from being uber busy, I was just "not available". My favorite uncle passed away last Monday night (January 14) and I guess I was just tulala the whole week. I managed to write this piece about him though and I'm sharing it here mainly for the perusal of my clan.

My Tito Tony

Tito Tony is my Mom’s brother, Dad of my buddy-cousin Tina, Ate Joanne, Ate Joline and Kuya Jeffrey, “Koko” (Lolo) to 9 grandchildren and husband of Tita Josie, but to me, he is Tito Tony, my favorite Tito (shhh! My Mom has 3 other brothers… well they don’t read my blog anyway). My favorite Tito passed away last Monday and the last time I saw him was on New Year’s day during our family reunion. He was very jolly on that day.

I cherish a lot of happy memories with my Tito and these are also the reasons why he is my favorite.

1. Malambing – Tito Tony is my most affectionate uncle. I remember when I was a kid they had to move in our house because their home in Manila burned down and they lived with us for a couple of months. I’d pinch him a lot coz he had a huge tummy and he didn’t mind. He’d usually grab me and tickle me. Maharot some would say, but I loved it since he was generous with hugs.

2. Makulit and Kalog – I know where my cousin Tina got her kakulitan. If you’re my friend and you think I’m makulit, my cousin’s ten times more makulit than I am. She’d probably be a successful stand-up comedienne if she wanted to. Tito Tony’s exactly like that. He’s loud, funny, boisterous and an action-guy.

3. Big Heart – When I had to be exiled from home back when I was 18, I lived at Tito Tony’s home and I never felt I was exiled! I actually enjoyed myself so much because living in Manila is totally different from living in Paranaque. Tito Tony never asked about my condition and just took me under his wing. Of course, my cousins always brought me out to gimmick with other cousins. We were caught, so I was forced to go back home.

4. Jolly – I never saw Tito Tony frown although my cousins said that he’d roar as loud as a lion when he’s mad (I guess I’m lucky I’m just a niece!), but Tito Tony was always a happy guy. His leg was amputated last year due to diabetes, but he never changed, matigas lang ang ulo kasi panay pa rin inom ng Coke.

5. Secretive – We have our share of secrets and it’s unbloggable. Let’s just say that my lips are sealed because my Tito and I have a pact. I don’t want him pulling my leg in the middle of the night if I say anything about what it was (I wouldn’t be surprised if he did anyway just for kicks).

I was heartbroken when I heard the news since I was planning to see him at the hospital. I even had my cousin tell him that he has to wait for his bunso to settle down, but I guess he really wanted to rest already. Seeing a smile on his lips like he’s just sleeping made me realize that his mission in this world is probably done and that it’s time for him to rest and be reunited with Our Creator.

I love you Tito Tony, please watch over us as our angel. Say hi to Mama Lola and Papa Lolo for me.

Tito Ben's Eulogy

We are gathered here before Tony's final journey. Tony as I remember was a member of the Sodality of Mary and devotee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus during his high school days at the Ateneo de Naga. Tony had completed his first nine First Fridays devotion. And with the promise of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, certainly, he met his Creator without traffic, so to speak.

Tony was the fourth child by our parents, Francisco and Merced Enrile. I learned from our relatives and old friends that Tony was a still born baby. With the aide of the doctor and prayers God gave him life. Tony for short was friendly, talkative like a salesman, stubborn but independent. That is Tony, my brother.

During his high school years at the Ateneo de Naga, he was a member of Sanctuary Society, Sodality of Mary, a night league player. During his high school years, he was under the eagle eys of the Jesuit fathers. I remember that the Father Principal of the Ateneo had to write a letter of permission to my mother for a whipping session for her son, Tony. My mother did not object to the punishment.

Finally in 1954 he graduated from the Ateneo de Naga. He was allowed to join the commencement exercise on the condition that he had to complete 50 hours posts/punishment before he can get his high school diploma, again that is my brother Tony.

Soon after graduation he enrolled in the University of the Philippines in Los Banos to take up agriculture. He stayed at UP Los Banos to take up agriculture for 2 years until my father was called by the UP authorities for Tony's dismissal for disciplinary matters. But he did not stop there, I learned that he found a job with the ESSO Corporation, he was eventually employed by many other companies.

In his latter years I could not monitor him for I was tied up with my military career but I know my brother has found the peace he has been longing for and he now joins our Creator and our parents.

Goodbye Tony, please watch over us .