It is quite difficult to put into words my feelings and thoughts appropriate for this moment. There is so much to say and yet, I know, that it will never be enough to totally express the love, admiration and gratitude I have for Tito Ben.
He is to me a beloved benefactor with unwavering values. He is someone who is a shining example of how life should be lived…and most of all, a family man.
Beloved Benefactor. I am just one of many whom he has helped thru the 75 years of his life. As many of you may know, I am a product of scholarships and endowments from kind-hearted institutions and individuals who saw promise in me and my capabilities. Foremost of these individuals is Tito Ben – covering for portions of my education, incidental expenses and providing guidance as well as opening up his home here in LGV for me during weekends when I was in college.
He did these things not just for me – but for my siblings and perhaps even most of the Macaraeg clan who needed help as well – sometimes without even the need to ask. I can recall back in 1986 at the height of the EDSA People Power revolution, and we were just panicking while others were panic-buying. He sent basic necessities to put food on our table, and make the situation a little bit more tolerable, even if he himself was affected by it. In fact, even last year at the height of Ondoy – he opened up his house again to me and Bisay, who got affected by it.
And he did these things with such humility and lack of fanfare – truly espousing his Christ-centered belief of not letting his right hand know what his left hand was doing. I am sure there are a lot of you here whom he has helped one way or another.
And I am forever grateful. I think the only return he asked for, although he never did truly say anything about it – was for me not to waste the opportunity, not to squander away the blessings. I hope I have done you proud, that I didn’t disappoint, Tito Ben.
Steadfast Values. Tito Ben was a firm believer of Christ and lived his life in accordance to His will. In our many conversations or even during many lunch or dinner time banters with his family – he would always find a way to highlight the importance of the truth, espouse what is right, emphasize hard work and perseverance – just a few of the values he lived by.
A conversation with him was always a learning experience for me. I’ve always sought those conversations out despite my feeling of inadequacy every time I am with Tito Ben. I always come out of it slightly with more wisdom, slightly with more insights, slightly a better person.
For he was truly a Shining Example – of how I wanted to be when I grew up. Then – when I was in college and struggling, searching for my place in the sun. And even now – as I raise my own family and try to impart my own values to my kids.
Even in his twilight years he remained productive, and always with a ready smile. Despite his many trials and I’m sure he had his own failings and heartaches – his attitude remained positive. More relaxed now perhaps because of his grandchildren - he embraced life and whatever was dealt to him – not with fear and anxiety but with joy and bravado.
Family Man. If I were made to say just one thing about Tito Ben – it would be this – that he is foremost a Christ-centered family man, and everything he did emanated from there. I think he was happiest during family gatherings – where everyone would be together sharing simple food and enjoying each others’ company.
However, his concept of family was so much beyond what we normally perceive it to be. He deemed family his own nucleus family with Tita Chit, his kids and grandchildren. He deemed family the extended family of Tita Chit, the Macaraegs, his UCPB work mates, his dela Strada community. And I guess many others I may not have had the privilege to meet.
Tito Ben, thank you so much for your generosity, inspiration, guidance and example. Rest now with the Lord. You have lived a more than full life and have shown us how life should be lived – one with faith, bravado, humility. A life enriched not just by material things but by love and depth of relationships.
To Tita Chit, Marilou, Bisay, Benjie, Christi, Benjot and Guy – thank you as well for allowing your father to touch our lives. In his lifetime, you have shown your generosity and openness by sharing your father with us. In his death, let us share with you the journey of hurting, of wishing we had more time with him, of accepting the loss, and celebrating his life!
It is not good-bye for he has touched our lives so great and will remain within us even as he is physically no more. It is not good-bye for he will continue to guide us with the Lord with whom he is now with. It is not good-bye for we can not imagine our lives without him. It is a mere pause as we move on in our lives until the time comes where we can be with him again in God’s paradise.
Thank you, Tito Ben. And I love you!
About this Eulogy: I wrote this eulogy to honor my uncle, Vicente A. Casino, Jr (Mar 22, 1935 – Dec 14, 2010), which I spoke of during his interment ceremonies last Dec 17, 2010.