"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Ka Edong was a happy warrior

He always had a smile on his face
and he faced life with the characteristic fate based elan typical of the Filipino Soul.

I had worked with him in building the OFW community of lists.
He was a prolific contributor and participated vigorously in efforts to build
financial infrastructures to facilitate OFW help for our homeland.

To say that he would be missed is quite an understatement.

Somehow we will go on
but his sunny smile would be difficult to replace.

Be at peace my happy warrior friend
say hello to Alfred Ganapin and ka Tonyang.
Tell them that those of us that remain
will man the ramparts as joyfully a you did
and we will try to mock up a poor copy of your patented smile.
till we meet again!

Gil R. Ramos
Eric Lachica's account of Edong's last momnets before the stroke.

Ernie & Internet friends:-(

Last Sunday, I had a 830 breakfast with Dr. Eduardo "Ka Edong" Del Rosario of Guam and Dr. Rachelle "Chee" Garcia, a prominent community-based health advocate in Manila, who arranged our kuwentuhan at the Rockwell's Pancake House in Makati.

Ka Edong wanted to know the progress of our campaign of extending US Medicare coverage to the Philippines for balikbayans retirees and the recent victories of our Filipino veterans. I first met him at the 2001 NaFFAA regional conference Virginia Beach where he persuasively spoke on Medicare in the Philippines bill. He also joined the vets equity campaign.

He was our Guam coalition leader and a OF advocate who tirelessly worked with Delegate Madeleine Bordallo in pushing our bills. Guam residents now can fly to RP for medical treatment paid by Medicare since they are closer to the first class hospital there than those in Hawaii - thus saving Uncle Sam greatly in expenses.

We had a great bangus egg coffee rice sinagag combo.

He and I were diabetic, I commented that meals in most Manila restaurants and malls were not very healthy. No full-grain cereals, breads and vegetables etc. Most adult Filipinos now face diabetes, strokes and heart attacks. I commented that Filipinos should switch from white rice to brown rice like I did to lose weight. I try to regularly exercise by biking, kayaking and regularly walking in evening in Maryland.

Ka Edong who sat beside me joked not to worry because all of us carry our prescription drugs like metaformin. We then got into a highly animated discussion about the challenges facing medical tourism and future retirees from the USA.

We were about to leave for the Sofitel Plaza hotel where the delegates (100+) of the US Pinoys for Good Governance were billeted to discuss our ideas.

Dr. Garcia who sat across from me suddenly told me to leave right away since Ka Edong was having a stroke. I turned and saw Edong trying to speak but couldn't.

Dr. Garcia quickly summoned for an ambulance with help of black clad security men. She and I asked the Pancake House staff to carry Ka Edong to the curbside.

While waiting for 15-too-long minutes for the Makati ambulance to arrive (couldn't find the driver a few blocks away). Ka Edong despite his half paralyzed condition, grabbed his mini digital camera from his pants pocket with his good hand and handed it to me.

With his well-known humor, I guess Ka Edong wanted me to take pictures of his predicament to later share with you. Or possibly not lose the camera in the ER.

He died Tuesday at 7 A.M. at Makati Med. Cause of death: massive brain bleeding. Edong was 69.

Tonight, his wife Maribel and his 2 US-based daughter will lead Ka Edong's 7 PM memorial service at the Don Bosco Chapel of Hope on Pasay Road, Makati. His ashes will be immediately flown to Guam for internment.

I am pretty sure Ka Edong would be pleased for me share his last breakfast story.

I will seek the Maribel's permission to post his photos.

Eric Lachica,
executive director (volunteer)
American Coalition for Filipino Veterans
Gil R. Ramos Ph.d. finished his Doctorate in Monetary Economics and Masters in Population Economics at the University of Hawaii. He did his AB Economics and also a Masters in Urban Regional Planning both at the University of the Philippines. He currently teaches MBA students at the (New Jersey City University) NJCU in Managerial Economics, Corporate Financial Management, and Managerial Information Systems. He runs his own consulting firm GRR Analytics based in the New York / New Jersey area.

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