Jess Robredo …to die a hero

This is the other poem, submitted by Mr. Apolinario Villalobos as a comment to one of my blog post. He really is an amazing poet who can easily come-up with such a nice poem. Won’t like to take it long, here’s one of his masterpieces.

Jess Robredo
…to die a hero
By Apolinario B. Villalobos

At a young age –
Showed the world
He’s that strong;
Used to the fullest
What God gave him
As the stairs of knowledge
He took one rung at a time-
Carefully, not to miss the steps…

Strong leader as a student –
Many tried to emulate his ways
Some did try but failed
To be Jess is not that easy
His friends proudly said
Simple ways he had
But hard to be copied
A really rare breed, that lad…

His intellectual thirst was such
That even three educational degrees
Seemed not enough to accomplish;
Took a wife, equally strong
And like him is intelligent;
The two built a home
With a foundation of love
And pillars of determination…

Alas! Not long afterwards
The couple thanked the Lord
For the three beautiful girls He gave;
Their joy was such that they did their best
To mold the three into the same ways
Into which they grew –
Respect for others, and love, too
Respect for time, and money, too…

At the helm of Naga City, at twenty –nine
Jess showed that when called to serve others
Age is just a number, and skill matters;
Unfazed by responsibilities, he did his best
By just being him –
As he checked busted city street lights every night
As he scraped mud from streets after the floods
As he helped garbage collectors fill their trucks
A he patted the back of those who sought his counsel
As he handed coins to the destitute he met
As he smiled his way through days of problems
As he wore the same office uniform just like others
As he took the bus to Manila and tricycle to functions
And many more Jess ways…
Hence, the Magsaysay Award at so young an age!

Though unfortunate to see high brows
This was when chosen by P-Noy to head DILG
Many, as usual tried to block his way
But just as when he was in Naga,
He was unfazed, and just worked his best;
No meetings and official ceremonies
Stopped Jess from skipping at least one meal –
One meal with his family, his precious family
Not even that distant meeting in Cebu one day
That was the fateful 18th of August 2012
When he took a Cessna flight for home
But as nearing Masbate, was distressed…

For three days, people cried and hoped
That he was just carried by waves to nearby islets
Or that a fisherman took him home to recuperate;
Alarmed but praying to the Lord
People patiently waited ….
Until, finally on the 21st of August 2012
Jess has been brought to shore…

A hero?…more than a hero I say!
Politicians who gave him a hard time
In getting the more than deserved confirmation
Are now cringing in guilt… suddenly silent
Alibis are said, but no amount of such
Could make a cover up for their misdeed;
They refused to see what Jess had been doing
For us, his countrymen who for long
The dirty air of politics we were breathing;
Politicians whose schedules are filled with investigations
That did not give much result, but limelight grabbing
They who played “intelligent”, “hero of the people”
Are so eerily silent……………………………
Yes… so silent………….!

To be a hero is to die with a purpose
It is only at death
That others accept what he did for others
It is a sacrifice for the man and his loved ones
But what can he do?
It is God’s will and plan –
The only way to make others acknowledge him
The only way to open their eyes to see him
And open their mind to finally make them think
That, indeed, he is unselfish, hardworking, etc…

To die a hero should not be seen as late in coming
God has a way as to when this should happen
His acts are done at the right time
And we, His creatures, His instruments
Can just wait, most often caught unprepared
But Jess was not –
For even as a child, his ways
Led to his being that –
A hero, and he died for it….
Though for others, hard to accept.


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