Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center Incorporated Executive Director Ronnie Garcia (FILE PHOTO /

Day by day you trod on narrow footways

In rarely visited countryside places,
Where your footsteps were lighted
By shadows of threats and risks,
While your eyes unblinkingly gazed
At the far far gleaming horizon.
Moist the air that you breathed
At each fraction of the moment
That the world began to be engulfed
By deepening darkness.

Never did you mind the beads of sweat,
Tears and blood scattered on the spread
Of brown earth you walked upon,
Nor bothered by the powdery itch
Of fright and cares that constantly rubbed
On the delicate skin of your thoughts.
Sportingly you scorned the thorns
And sharp edges of rocks
That dared pierce your soles!

And the pinpricks of raindrops play
Tunes that teased the vagaries
Of climate change, and to your ardent
Soul are like gleeful giggles of kids
Waiting for your ‘pasalubong’ of new
Lessons and fresh learnings—unmistakable
Gestures of warm fatherly love.

Not the whiplashing storm nor the burning
Sun could restrain your footsteps to tread
The rhyme and rhythm of your hourly tasks!
The narrow footpaths in the farmlands,
The winding trails on the mountainsides,
The pools, waterfalls, streams and rivulets–
They’re a many-splendored sight that adorned
Your lofty dreams for the Lumad youth.

The indelible prints of your soles
On the rarely-trodden spaces
In the countryside are prized gems
Glittering heirlooms of your untiring
Zeal and enthusiasm — immeasurable
Treasures you have dearly bequeathed
To your successors and the youth.

On the day of your passing, scent of flowers
By the wayside suffused the Kalumaran air
And the entire lifeworld of the underprivileged.
The treeleaves exuded their share of fragrance, as
The boughs heavy with emotion bowed in salute
To your noble and exemplary deeds. And the birds
Resound the sweet refrain of your dreamt tomorrow:
“The sun will burst into showering gold rays,
The dawn will break into a new morning,
A new tomorrow as promised shall come.”

Mabuhay ka, Kasamang Ronnie!
We cherish the message
Of your life and death!


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