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Eulogy to a Friend

(Berthram (Nonoy) Tan, Best Friends Forever UP Cebu 74-78 died on September 27 due to Myocardial Infarction. He came to Cebu and pretended to invite Robert, fellow classmate to dinner at Laguna Garden. Unknowingly,he was part of the game plan of Robert’s children to give a special surprise silver anniversary party. They had grand time that night and parted ways wee hours of the morning.

The next day , Nonoy woke up to get ready to depart for manila and had breakfast. He wasn’t able to reach back to his room and fell unconscious.He was DOA when he reached Cebu Doctor’s Hospital.)

This is my eulogy which I read last night during the necrological services.

Dear family, relatives and friends and Best Friends Forever,

I am not a stranger to death. I lost my mother, father, my two brothers and most painful of all my beloved son. 5 deaths in the family.
Still, the loss of a friend hits me hard. Even if my house in Manila is
undergoing a clean up operation due to Ondoy flood damage, I knew I
just had to come here to Cebu and pay my last respect to a friend.

I only met Nonoy in 2006 when Joan invited me for his birthday
celebration. I was like ” who is nonoy tan?”. But see, we shared
mutual friends from our group, Best Friends Forever . I had no idea who he was. Meeting him for the first time, we hit it off right away. It helped that he knew my dad .We could relate to stories of our common classmates and both had health issues with our heart.

Three years of friendship is not much but we didn’t have to meet every
day to connect with each other. Facebook, the social network bridged
the gap. It was our social playground, a place where we could be
ourselves, express our views and de-stress ourselves from the daily

He was my number 1 fan in most of my blog entries that dealt with
politics or social issues. I felt complimented every time he’d comment on my post or indicated that he liked the links or photos. We shared
the same passion and hope for our country. His music video links
lifted my spirits and gave me smiles when the song is in sync with my
current mood. Yes, we had fun even we were just having a ball in our
virtual playground. And I am sure a lot of you in Facebook as well.

My last memory of Nonoy was when he hugged me and said our` goodbyes” He added: “Let’s not wait for 5 years to have reunions. Make it 3 years. We are getting older.”

Each friend is a gift. I’d like to think that Nonoy left me with 3 gifts. and some of these may apply to you.

1. The gift of friendship

Why did Nonoy value the reunion? A friend once asked me “why should
we reconnect when we have gone our separate ways?”

Being with Nonoy and the ““Best Friends Forever” helped nurture my
inner child of the present which we all need to do the rest of our
lives…the fun loving, happy, frivolous, joyful, humorous moments when
we were once young and unsophisticated, even if it is replaced with a
sophisticated, mature and more serious me.

Taking a trip into the past via attendance at a college reunion is
relaxing trip for our mind . When we return back to the present, it
will be with a firmer grasp on the treasure that is your past. Nonoy
wanted us to treasure those moments.

2. The gift of Music

We both love our ipods and music collection. I shared Michael
Jackson’s favorite song “Smile”… as we grieved his death, Nonoy
added “This is a very touching song by Charles Chaplin and has touch
our hearts for generations.. MJ will be missed..”

He often laughs whenever I tell him that my speakers are in full blast
whenever I am home alone just so I could groove to the 70’s music.
Grooving to the 70’s music kept us in touch with our inner child just
as reunions did. I thought I had a sizable amount of 70’s music. I don’t know if he was kidding me that he had 10,000 songs. His last message in my inbox was to send my USB flash drive to his home address so he
could fill it up with more seventies songs. I took my time sending it
over to his house. I regret it so much. I took for granted that he
will always be there. I never imagined he’d pass away so soon.

Nonoy, hearing your music in your facebook wall feels like you are
still there soothing our soul.

3. The gift of hope

It’s so easy to be cynical these days and yet, do nothing about our
country’s situation.

Nonoy once said to me “This is why we need to safeguard our election
process and forget the TRAPOS.”

I reassured him that is a project that I am working on.

He continued “Our country now needs someone with high integrity,
someone who walks the talk when it comes to self-sacrifice for public

At the height of the controversial Con-ass , Nonoy asked me “Why is it
that those people who love their country so much do not find
themselves running our government?”

We shared so much hope for our country. Nonoy and I often
discuss the latest political gossip. We shared the vision of what the
president of our country should be.

Nonoy, I will keep those dreams alive for you through my work during the Election 2010 and beyond.

For all those who grieve the death of Nonoy: family and friends: Death
may have taken Nonoy away from us but death did not take away the
memories in our hearts and in our minds. We grieve because we loved
him so much. Pain is the price we pay for love. . The grief journey
won’t be easy but keep in mind, if you hadn’t love so much you
wouldn’t hurt so much now.

Before closing, let me share Nonoy’s last Youtube post:

The Wheel by Rosanne Cash

Take up the hearts you came to heal.
Put down your dagger and your shield.
You need fear nothing now from me.
I see the essence of the man.
I stand before you as a friend.
The truth moves through us even when we sleep.

And the wheel goes round and round.
And the flame in our souls will never burn out.
And the wheel, and the wheel goes round.

The wheel of life goes on. Life moves on without Nonoy but it does not
mean forgetting his legacy: friendship, music and hope. All of these,
I treasure in my heart.

Nonoy is never really gone because he lives in my heart. Nonoy lives
in your hearts.

3 thoughts on “Eulogy to a Friend”

  1. Pingback: Never again, never again – never again to martial law! | A Filipina Mom Blogger

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