10 August 2005

A requiem for Raul Roco (1941-2005)

NOTE: kimosabe27 posted this moving requiem for the the late Raul Sagarbarria Roco, a great Nagueño, at the PCIJ blogsite last August 9, 2005. I have taken the liberty to post it here, as it captures the grief of the Bikolano people for whom he served as an enduring icon and source of inspiration.

A requiem for you Raul

A mournful prayer

Set aloft

The gossamer wings

Of a fading Amihan

Black as spade

The future forebodes


A lull before the storm

The horizon beckoning thunderclouds

Pillars of despair

The balinsasayaw heralding the evil tempest

In a country where legends and war cries

Erode from collective memory

And greatness

Drain in rivulets

Like fading bloodstains

Of fallen warriors

We cry for solace

From this constant deluge

Of wanton wickedness

We wish you were here Raul
Your presence is Isarog

Solitary in a plain of green

Yet lofty and formidable

Forever sheltering fair Naga

From the terrible, terrible claws

Of shredding Habagat

It will be missed…

That keen mind of yours

As sharp as a newly forged Sundang

That penchant for justice

Like Magayon’s slopes

Everything should be equal, proportionate

That bravura, yes that bravura

When everyone else cowered

In the fusillade of lies and deception

You stood up in the defense of Truth

Like the victors of Tancong Vaca

You are relentless

Even though you are outnumbered and outgunned

Still you will be missed…

While the halls of Gugurang

Will rejoice in your presence

And the heroes of Ibalon:

Handiong, Baltog, Bantong

Ola, Vinzons, Escandor

Will welcome you as brethren

We who are left behind
Can only wail in despair

A requiem for you Raul

A mournful prayer

Set aloft

The gossamer wings

Of a dying Amihan


Nene G said...

Very moving poem.

I felt very sad and kept crying the whole day. In the evening, I stood beside his coffin in silence. I couldn't even tell him that he took away my dreams. Then I went to one corner and cried. Mrs. Roco tried to console me. That was quite awakward--Sonia stroking my head and telling me that he has just gone ahead when I should have been the one giving her some solace.

I am very, very grateful that I worked with him. I remember that I was the last person he saw before he delivered his address to the FOCAP. I gave him a short briefing on economic issues that he should address. I also gave him a face---at the risk of incurring the ire of GMA--I went publicly on TV explaining his policies.

I am truly privileged to have reached a high level of idealism through his inspiration and influence.

Nene Guevara

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