Rotary life and my many friends there -- my clubmates, my classmates when we were Club Presidents in Rotary Year 2006-2007 "Lead the Way" theme, and others -- have been part of my life since the middle of last decade.
Among my favorite classmates is Atty. Cesareo "Ces" Singzon. He was the Club President of RC Makati McKinley. Upper left seems to be his favorite photo as it was his latest profile photo in facebook. Middle right, when he visited Kazakhstan in 2009.
Classmate Ces is the most gallant among us. It is usual for a Club President of a big or rich club to invite all his/her classmates during his/her club induction of officers and new members with the District Governor as the inducting officer. Ces did that, held at Makati Sports Club sometime in July 2006. I did it too, but with about five other small clubs in our District, we held a joint induction in order to save money.
Now Ces went beyond that. During his birthday celebration on January 18, 2007, he again invited all of his clsssmates to a night of food, drinks and entertainment, also held at Makati Sports Club. When his club celebrated its charter or anniversary day, he again invited all of his classmates for the 3rd time. And when he celebrated his 25th wedding anniversary with wife Mel Singzon, he again invited all of his classmates for the 4th time that rotary year, to another night of food, drinks and speeches. I have attended all four parties that Ces extended to his classmates. He was the only one among us 78 classmates (for 78 clubs) in the District who did it.
Photos below: With classmates Jay Tambunting of RC Makati West, Lorenz Tato of RC Makati Bonifacio, Archie Jimenez, and Ces. I think this was during the birthday party of another classmate Tetchie dela Cruz a few months ago. Lorenz has passed away about two months ago. He was the second among our classmates who rejoined our Creator.
Middle photo, with other classmates that night. From left: Lorenz, Rose Acoba, Lilibeth dela Cruz, Tetchie, Ces and Jay. I followed that night too, but it was already late and Ces and several others have already left.
Lower photo, when Ces' first child, Cesario Jr., topped the 2010 bar exams, he was #1 out of several thousand aspiring lawyers, Ces again gave a celebration party. That was our photo in our table. Standing from left: Past District Governor Sid Garcia, me, classmate Toni Francisco, John Sobrepena.
Sitting from left: Patty Chiong, my wife Ella, Past District Governor Jimmy Cura, classmate Noe Indonto, and former DepEd UnderSecretary ______.
Some photos of Ces and wife Mel. Lovely couple. Ces is very proud of his Junior: Class Valedictorian of Ateneo Law 2010, #1 Bar exams 2010, finished LLM from Columbia University Law School in NYC, a James Kent scholar (first honors) only last May. I and many of Ces' friends congratulated him for the intellectual achievement of his Junior, he kidded that it was due to "improvement of species."
Last August 18, 2012, we had a get together with some classmates, with our beloved Governor at that time, Past District Governor Butch Francisco. Ces was not able to join us. When I posted in our LeadTeam yahoogroups my blog post about our reunion the next day, August 19, Ces sent me a private mail saying he wanted to come but he's confined in Makati Medical Center (MMC) the day before. I visited him in his room that day, or a day after. I immediately kidded him that he lacks beer or alcohol that is why he is hospitalized. He said that when he went to MMC to have a check up why he was getting dizzy, from the emergency room he was confined that day. Results of a CT scan showed some lumps in his head that could lead to stroke, so he was confined for several days.
My deep regret, I was not able to visit him again in the hospital as I promised him. But I was very fortunate to have visited and saw him. For the last time.
Yesterday afternoon. Ces passed away. I was deeply saddened when I heard that text message from classmate Rose Acoba. Have to fight tears as I write this.
Below, a photo posted in his fb wall, made by some of his friends.
It is raining very hard since this afternoon until now. A typhoon has left the Philippines already but it could be the Heavens' act of condolence to Ces and his family.
I am going to his wake after I post this and shut down my computer. His body is at Loyola Guadalope in Makati. Then it will be brought to his hometown in Samar on Tuesday.
My good friend, my classmate in Rotary, goodbye Ces. We shall dearly miss you....
* See also my posting about his birthday party in 2010, "Classmate Ces Singzon's birthday party", January 23, 2010, http://rotarianpinoy.blogspot.com/2010/01/classmate-ces-singsons-birthday-party.html.