Thursday, September 3, 2009

No Eulogy for Ka Erdy

When a respected and influential man dies, a eulogy is often given at the person's wake. To utter a eulogy is to pay tribute to what that person has done in life, words that laud, praise and commend are expected in eulogies.

A eulogy too is about the love of many to the one who passed away. A eulogy could contain anecdotes and personal experiences shared with the one who died. A eulogy could make people cry more and dwell in deeper grief brought about by the death of a loved one, a eulogy too can make people laugh or sigh or think or in some instances, a eulogy could move people to act, to decide on something that affects their lives and the future.

When Brother Erano "Ka Erdy" Manlo,Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo died, some colleagues in the media asked me when is the schedule of the eulogy?

As a journalist who is a member of the church, I feel the need to write something about this one. But first things first, so to speak.

To begin with, to answer the question, when will the eulogy take place, the response is, No eulogy will take place.

In as much as every member of the church would want to say their piece on how each and everyone of us love and respect Ka Erdy and how he has influenced and guided the INC flock in our spiritual life primarily and most especially---no act of eulogy would give anyone of us the venue to praise the man and the life that he lived in service to the Church.

Modern technology however provided an alternative means for individual members to express their grief, loss and unwavering love to the memory of Ka Erdy as Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo for more than four decades. This blog is one electronic venue and so are the rests of the personal blogs of brethren worldwide everyone wanted to write something, a way of expressing their grief, about one man who labored all his life to teach the words of God and the way to Salvation.

If there's a eulogy, many would volunteer to share one. I would!

But even if we collectively placed all our writings to praise Ka Erdy, even if we erect a wall to write about our love for him and his love for us, it would not be enough.

Since Tuesday afternoon after the official announcement of the death of Ka Erdy last August 31, a Monday in his home at passed 3 in the afternoon due to cardio-pulmonary arrest, the queue or line of brothers and sisters in the Church, tens of thousands, coming from different parts of the country, continue to amaze non-members. One colleague in media asked a member with a physical handicapped why despite his obvious physical disability, he endured the long line of people just to have his few seconds moment glimpse to the mortal remains of Ka Erdy. His response was short but represented every reason in the hearts of individual members of the Church: "It's all about faith," he said in Filipino, "Ito'y ayon sa aming pananampalataya."

The next logical question would be: Why is there no eulogy for someone so loved like Ka Erdy?

I became a member of the Church some 10 years ago, a dwarf 10 years of that gigantic 95 glorious years of the Church since it has reemerged in the Philippines, a country in the Far East and one of the teachings that I learned, one that humbled me in many ways is that in everything that we do in this life, no matter how extraordinary or exemplary your act or your work may appear, it's not about one's personal glory. "WALANG SARILING KAPURIHAN."

I found true honor, comfort and joy to be called "servant".

Until the very end---this was what Ka Erdy lived for, for everyone of us to emulate---that everything we have in life comes from GOD beginning from the air we breath, the next sunrise, the next sunset---the very life we have.


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