ot much can really be said of Ka Erdy that we do not already know. One word will however describe him and will relate to all of us. “Father” or “Tatay”. When we hear this word, it tugs at the strings. Tatay, which we the remaining last of our kind are used to calling him will always miss him. Maybe this hurt that we feel would not have been so much if only those entrusted to care for the Church had only maintained that care and love left behind by Tatay.
I remember quite clearly during Ka Erdy’s prime, his birthdays were actually celebrated with gusto. When the Central compound was completed in 1971 (no Templo or Tabernakulo yet), all the brethren coming from Manila and the provinces would visit him at the Central offices. The gates were open and all of us would celebrate inside the compound. Food from breakfast to lunch would be served to everyone but most brought their own food. Entertainment was held at a stage behind the Central Office headed by talented brethren from all over the country some popular and others not so. There was the ever famous Rico J. Puno belting out his “namamasyal pa sa Luneta”. (By the way Rico J. Puno from Sampaloc is a grandson of one of the former PDs in Cubao.) He was a favorite of Ka Erdy until that crucifix necklace dangled from his neck and the San Miguel “platitong mani” incident. Then Rico went pffft with the Executive Minister. Of course Ka Erdy was there mingling with everyone leaving his securitys nervous like hell. Sorry, but there were no raffles, fireworks, or even portraits of him anywhere. No dancing too. How could you with the stern poker look face of Ka Ben Santiago checking from time to time on the crowd.There were no invitations at the locales, just mere word of mouth and the brethren came. In hordes. Buses, cars, jeepneys, and many on foot. But sadly, this yearly event ended when the membership grew and continued to grow. It was creating havoc at Commonwealth and nearby thoroughfares. A church circular was read throughout the country ending the EGM birthday celebrations. Not only the birthday celebrations but including the July 27 celebrations at Central.
Happy Birthday po Tatay, you are so dearly missed …
If you haven’t come across AEs latest article, don’t forget to check on it https://incsilentnomore.com/2016/12/31/lets-welcome-2017-with-a-bang/ . It’s superb and the video clip, awesome! Just in case someone gets lucky and manages to delete the clip, here’s one in another format.