Monday, July 26, 2010


Make My Day – Hilarion Henares, Jr.

The Philippine Post – August 12, 1999

The Greeks called it arete, the ideal which the Jesuits try to instill in their students – an all-around wholeness in one’s intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development. In these days of specialization and unisex, the Atenean takes pride in his liberal education in humanities, and acquires the graces of a cultured life, eloquence in the forum and with the pen, appreciation for poetry, literature and the arts, courage in combat, gentle manliness and heterosexuality, and superiority in athletics. No Atenean ever prides himself to be a power-mand faggot, a coward, a traitor, and an uncultured babbit.

The American Jesuits who taught our present leaders, were of third generation Irish stock driven to the USA by the potato famine, and in may ways the lower class in American society during the Depression years. These Irish American priests undertook to educate the sons of the aristocratic ruling class of Filipinos – and succeeded in giving most of them a schizophrenic split personality, combining belief in Social Justice, American acquisitiveness, Filipino patriotism, and a belief in the superiority of the White Man. Ultimately this is a tragedy of the Atenean – an aristocrat with the heart of a peasant, a patriot with a colonial mentality, a religious Dr. Jekyll and materialistic Mr. Hyde, Raul Manglapus was an exception and exemplar.

Passionate yet never fanatic, coldly analytical while being provocative, traditional without being conservative, Raul Manglapus was imbued with a sense of dedication to a cause. He really believed what the Jesuits taught him, that Man is imperfect and must be made perfect, that the world is imperfect and must be changed for a better. And that is the reason Raul was the best revolutionary of his day, the most articulate vanguard of revolutionary reform.

We in this world are often appalled at so much injustice and evil around us. But those of us whose lives have been touched by Raul Manglapus, so beloved of God, marvel as well at the existence of so much good in this world.

With his infectious smile, his generosity and kindness, his unfailing goodness, his towering intellect, his involvement in all facets of our lives, as an orator, composer, pianist-drummer, senator, foreign secretary, above all as an idealist, Raul Manglapus has put all of us in his debt – so unrepayable that we must perforce pay it to others in need.

To us Raul Manglapus is not dead, he will always be there, wherever and whenever truth, beauty, and goodness touch our hearts.

When we comfort the afflicted ,the poor and the hungry among us, the friendless, the cheated and the beaten – Raul will be there.

When we raise our voices against injustice, corruption, hatred, cruelty, bigotry and intolerance – Raul will be there.

When we take arms against the redoubts of drug addiction, low-intensity conflict, rape, murder, treason, and so on into the long and lamentable catalogue of human crimes – Raul will be there.

When we say a prayer, compose a poem, sing a song, kiss our wives without being asked; when we make love with God’s blessing, give birth to a child, and prepare him for life here and hereafter – Raul Manglapus will be there, saying:

Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep

I am the million starts that glow, I am the thousand winds that blow

I am the gentle drops of rain, I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft hush of restful night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there, I did not die.

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