I have a colleague turned close friend / second father of nearly six years. It is very seldom to come across a person who has so much dedication with work, who has so much passion about life, whose feet have stayed on the ground even if he has journeyed a lot in his lifetime, who never fails to please everybody around him even at his own expense. I am blessed to have met a person such as this in my lifetime. I am blessed to have met and known Kuya Opet.
His zest for work is incomparable. He has managed foreign workers very well. He hated time wasted. And even though he gets angry at his workers, they loved and respected him for being the professional that he is.
He is one great epitome of a family guy. He regarded his family as his priority. He never failed to provide their needs, and even wants. He ensures that despite work commitments and living life abroad, he wouldn't fail to be present in all his kids' programs, graduations, birthdays and other special events.
He has always been the father figure to me since I've been away from home for so many years. He has taught me so much about life in general. He has always been present and ever supportive in my little triumphs, whether at work or even in personal undertakings. He never failed to reach out to me during the gloomy phases of my life. He will pick me up at home everyday to work. And in return, I would sometimes cook for him his favorite adobo, which he heartily devours. He is one of the few people whom I can talk to with substance -- from politics, to current news and events, to work ethics, to family, to love, to life -- and we never ran out of stories to tell.
I've had so much memories of him that whenever I remember, I laugh so hard until I end up crying. He has so much heart to give to the world, and with that, he has become my life peg.
I have a colleague turned close friend / second father of nearly six years. And last Saturday, he died at the age of 42. Kuya Opet died of liver cirrhosis.
All was shocked about the sudden news -- family, colleagues, friends. Two months ago, he was still the funny guy who never ran out of jokes, the Project Manager who always rush to get things done fast. But life always tricks us with reasons we don't even understand.
I've never felt a strong paradigm shift in my life until he passed on. Kuya Opet never ceases to teach me life lessons even after he died. He taught me so many things because of his passing.
When we have something to do, we have to do it now.
When we have something to say, we say it now.
When we want to apologize, we apologize now.
When we want to go some place, we better start moving.
When we have dream, we start realizing it now.
When we want change, we should start now.
All because, we won't know if tomorrow will still be given to us.
We live life as if it's our last.
It is in his passing that I have realized that though his life was brief, he has left a legacy that we will forever cherish. His loss created some kind of hole in my heart, that no matter what I do, I would still, from time to time cry for missing him. But at the same time, I am thankful for this hole in my heart that light can pass through it so I may always be enlightened, in everything I say, in everything I do, in every dream that I make come true.
I will forever miss Kuya Opet dearly. And while most of the time I don't understand why life and death has to be like this, I will surely live life with zest, passion and full of hope just like him.