(for Claudio Estante)
By Apolinario Villalobos
Just when others quiver at the sight of a coming storm
Tremble at the sound of a deafening thunder
Give way to the gusty wind of a swirling typhoon
This man stayed put with eyes never blinking –
With courage, he stayed amidst life’s turmoil;
All the way, this man stood tall.
He worked without expecting so much to gain
But trusting and loyal friends surrounded him till end
For how can one be not drawn to his radiant smile
And teasing twinkle of eyes that mirrored his soul ?
This man, indeed, friends will never forget
As even in a milling throng, he stood out tall.
The few miles of his life, he took with careful stride
Knowing that someday come what may, he’ll call it quits
He’ll face the day and reckoning will be made
Hence, just when the light of his life started to flicker
He prepared for the day he’s been waiting;
So even in silence his innocent smile did not leave his lips
For at the pearly gate as he shall wave to all –
He shall do it proudly while standing tall.
(Claudio Estante initiated the operation of the Department of Social Welfare in Tacurong in the mid-70’s during which the encounters between the Christian Ilagas and Muslim Black Shirts were at their worst. He spearheaded the distribution of relief goods throughout the province with Tacurong as the base. Tacurong which was then a struggling municipality during that time was under the mayorship of Jose Escribano. When he retired, Mr. Estante organized the senior citizens of the city. He was at the helm of the organization until he finally rested in July 5, 2012.)