FAMILY CELEBRATIONS

Tribute to Rosa Ubaldo Ortega

            There is a picture of a crucifix and a flock of birds in V-formation flying away from the crucifix, but noticeable was one of the birds leaving the V-formation as if turning back to the crucifix with the words COMING HOME!

            Yes, death is a “homecoming”.  We are only pilgrims on this earth. Death is merely a gateway leading from this life into the much fuller life of the resurrection. Death brings the Christian home

            Making funeral arrangement has a lot in common with preparing for a baptism, wedding or significant anniversary. Like these other milestones, a person’s passing away is a major event in the lives of loved one. It brings family and relative together from near and far.

            The funeral not only says: “Good-bye,” it also says: “thank you for having lived,” and Your life has left this effect upon your relatives and friends.

            At home where her body was laid since Tuesday morning, different groups rendered Bible Services and prayers and share with us things about mama _ just little things and anecdotes about her that we didn’t even know.

            Today, we will have a continuation. Let us not mourn Mama Rose’s death, but to celebrate her life. St. Bernard says that death is not only the end of labors; it is also the gate of life. He who wishes to see God must necessarily pass through this gate.

            Death is the most wonderful, joyous, sensitive journey home to God _ and no greater hand can guide our “coming home” than the finger and hand of God.

            Mama Rose was happy to belong to the Ortega clan. I remember mama telling us before that when she told her parents (lolo Ricardo and lola Emilia) that she is getting married, they were at first hesitant! And she said, Ania pay iti kayat da? I am marrying someone who comes from a good family, highly appreciated for the good public service they render to the community? And he is very pogi! (handsome).

            Mama Rose had 3 sisters. Tita Lou, Tita Connie had gone home to the Lord in heaven. A few weeks ago I dreamt of them and so in my mind I was asking, “Are you coming to get mama?” Of the four sisters, the eldest Tita Pep, married to the late Filoteo Villanueva is still strong at 90+ (6 months).

            Mama was a teacher and so Luz and I are also hooked in the field of education with the Sea and Sky College at San Fernando, La Union and Pater Noster Learning Center at Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

            Mama belongs to around 12 organizations. Mama spent a lot of her time in church and working for the church after the demise of papa in 1973 had earned so many points to enter heaven.

            I would like to share with you a portion of the letter of Executive Judge Artemio Macalino to our mama Rose on January 28, 1975.

He was one of the best District Judges that we, the Court of Agrarian Relations have been privileged to have. Since his appointment as District Judge of our Ozamiz Branch in 1968 up to his demise last year, he was consistently been one of the ten top District Judges of the Court with the most number of cases disposed. No doubt dedication to duty, hard work, unqualified competence and personal sacrifice contributed to his achievements. For all these, may I, although belatedly and posthumously, commend our late District Judge, the Honorable Evaristo Ortega, for a job indeed well done.

No less deserving of this commendation are you, your children and the others whom he left behind who inspired him into dedicating himself, the service of his people and country.

 

It is very supportive for us to know that other people appreciated our papa and mama as much as we do. Indeed, ‘A life lived for God leaves a lasting legacy.’ Their legacy will forever be etched in our hearts that even death will not be able to kill them

 
     

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