Monday, July 26, 2010


Political Tidbits By Belinda Olivares-Cunanan

Raul Manglappus was sent off to the great beyond by his relatives beyond by his relatives and friends last Saturday afternoon in the style he would have approved of. The funeral Mass at the Cathedral of St. James at Ayala Alabang was celebrated mainly by Jesuit Bishop Federico Escaler, and concelebrated by Ateneo president Fr. Ben Nebres, Bishop Jesse Mercado and parish priest Msgr. Gerry Santos. Former President Cory Aquino delivered the main eulogy, recalling Manglapus’ statesmanship at the Department of Foreign Affairs and his equanimity as a member of her cabinet. As Cory walked back to her seat she was met with thunderous and prolonged applause by the capacity crowd at the huge cathedral. I read this ardor as indication of support for the causes that Ninoy’s widow has lately been espousing, for which she and Cardinal Sin will lead a march on Aug. 20 at Ayala Avenue in Makati.

The Ateneo Glee Club beautifully rendered all the Mass hymns, and at the end, as the guests conveyed

Their sympathies to the Manglapus family, the member of the Executive Combo Band with which Raul spent many hours in his lifetime pursuing one of the real loves of his life, music, began to play their signature song. "When the Saints Go Marching In." Band "old timer" Bert del Rosario, an orig with Raul, led the band at the piano, with Steve la Torre, Hector Sanvictores and others joining. At first their rendition was somber as befitting the mood of the of the funeral Mass, but as the music got underway it swang into a subdued Dixieland beat much as Raul would have liked it—without the drums, of course, which normally he played; it was more of the wind instruments. No song could be more appropriate, for at that time the saints must have been truly marching in to take Raul’s soul to paradise.

Then during the three-hour cremation of his earthly remains at the Manila Memorial Park after the Mass, the Executive Combo Band began playing again, this time great Dixieland favorites that Raul loved, like "Take the A-Train" and "Sweet Georgia Brown." "We had no rehearsal for this," Trebel prexie Bert del Rosario told this columnist, "We just wanted to accompany Raul on his last journey from earth." There was hardly a dry eye as the band played, but their spirits lifted, for they knew that Raul couldn’t have been more pleased at this music-filled send-off.

I made it a point to attend the necrological services for Manglapus at the Senate and the DFA, the Lakas-NUCD memorial service and the funeral Mass. Reading the eulogies by many of the biggest names today, I realized that they revealed so many facets of our history, which few now remember. Manglapus’ six decades of a public service career touched on so many aspects of our history. For instance, Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recalled how he led the long battle for the passage of the land reform law that he authored; in fact it required eight special sessions of Congress during Cong. Dadong’s administration! Former Vice President Manny Pelaez recalled their days together in the Magsaysay administration, Progressive Party of the Philippines and the grand Alliance. Nene Pimentel recalled the struggle against the dictatorship led by Raul while in exile in the United States, while Lakas president Joe de Venecia spoke of Raul’s key role in the christian Democratic movement.

I shall be collating these various glimpses of history from the eulogies and will feature them in this column soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment