Essay

If I die today, how would you remember me?

A friend’s funeral is always a time to reflect on one’s life. I was personally introduced to the late Ms. Portia Doroy Dacalos only in November 2014, when I was invited to a monthly meeting of the volunteer lawyers of the Legal Alternatives for Women (LAW), Inc., although I had already known her way back when I was studying for a master’s degree at the University of the Philippines – Cebu. She was LAW Inc’s president from 2010 to 2013, a position befitting one who is a giant in the area of women’s rights and gender equality. She was a guidance counselor by profession, and used to head the Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment (OASH) of UP Cebu. She also sat as a commissioner of the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission. Truly, with her death due to a vehicular accident in Brazil last December 16, Cebu lost an institution in the field of women empowerment.
Today was her burial. I sat through the 1 1/2-hour mass which started at 1 P.M. and I went with the motorcade to Cempark. I only left at around 3:45 P.M., when the snacks were distributed, because I still had to go to DYHP for my 4:00-5:00 P.M. program.
If I die today, how would you remember me? Ma’am Portia was remembered as a great friend and a champion of women’s rights. I know that there will be more people who will remember me as a vindictive enemy than those who will remember me as a great friend – in fact, I don’t think that other than my closest of friends (those I always invite to my drinking sprees) there will be those who consider me as “great friend”: perhaps a friend, but not a “great” friend. I know that I will never reach Ma’am Portia’s stature in feminist advocacy.
If I die, how would I like to be remembered? This: a faithful husband, a loving father, a considerate brother, a generous son. In that order. I think my family of orientation would agree with the last two, but the first two are currently an impossibility because my family of procreation only exists in my imagination.
If I die today, how would you remember me?

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