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Dec 14 2018

Cristita B. Dimacali In Memoriam

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IN MEMORY OF CBD.

That was how she was referred to in Sikap Bundok communications.  To friends and colleagues she was Tita.  To the children of Isla Verde she was Tita Tita (Aunt Tita).  Incidentally, those children are adults now.

She was one of the seven founding members of the club, one of the seven birds in the logo, the first to depart from this world.

No resident member of the club, nor of any of the volunteer organizations she was with, knew of her passing.  It had to take a member based in San Diego, California to let the club know.

The unfolding events:

Prexy Rey Cuyugan (RFC) received on September 26, 2018 a message via FB Messenger from member Ma. Ninette Pecson with a cryptic comment about something that happened to Tita.

She missed a call from Tita’s cell phone (CP) on August 24.  No message was left.  Her return messages were unanswered.   In the exchange, she asked RFC to check.

Note:  Ninette clarified much later that a niece subsequently replied via SMS.

Messages to Tita’s CP were not answered.  RFC decided to ask member Ian Santos (JIRS) to check since they were more in touch.  Ian last heard from Tita on September 16 when she confirmed receipt of notification re Ian’s new CP number.

Initially no reply, but on the 29th, Tita’s nephew Randy replied:  Tita did not wake up from her sleep morning of the 21st.  She was cremated on the 26th (The date of Ninette’s PM exchanges with RFC).  Subsequent query revealed that her ashes were kept at home.

The club, via associate Maricar Sugayan, was invited to attend the customary 40th day celebration. Only members Eugene Guiyab (ELLG) and RFC were able to attend.

The duo arrived way past the noontime commemoration due to heavy traffic and unfamiliarity with the place.  The family, particularly Tita’s eldest sibling, her Ate Siony, were vastly relieved.

In her talks with nieces, Tita had expressed desire to be cremated and for her ashes to be strewn atop a mountain by her colleagues.  The family had complied with the first request even as they did not favor cremation.  They did not know how to comply with the second.  If no one from the club came, they had tasked a niece to scatter the ashes somewhere in Antipolo.   ELLG and RFC promised to arrange to fulfill the second part after consulting with the members.  The urn was left in place.

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After consultations via FB and CP, a date was decided upon:  November 10, 2918.  The mountain selected was Mt. Manabu, in Barangay Santa Cruz, Santo Tomas,  Batangas, part of the Malepunyo range.  The site was selected because it was an easy climb for first-timers, family members who may want to join.  Being a local site for religious pilgrimage, there are stations of the cross, the biggest and most prominent being one at ‘the peak.

Attendees were members Brian Agana (BAA), Bong Javier (BMJ), Vino dela Cruz (MMDC), associate Jerry Belarde (JAB), Rey Cuyugan (RFC).  They were joined by Me-Ann Belarde (JAB’s wife),  Ivy Lopez-Palad (from Isla Verde, one of those who called her Tita Tita), and five members of the family: Asuncion ‘Ate Siony’ Dimacali, Alma Mallorca, Nhilyn Dimacali, Ellen Dimacali, Janet Dimacali.

 

 

 

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And so it was done.  Just after 1200H (12:00 noon), in a first time ceremony, Tita’s ashes were thrown to the winds in four directions.  She was where she wanted to be lain: Atop a mountain.

 

 

 

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Epilogue:  The group were back at the jump-off point by 1600H (4:00pm).  Rested, cleaned up, and partook of pre-ordered late lunch consisting of native chicken in sour broth (Sinigang na manok Tagalog) and rice, courtesy of Australia-based members Yonee (JNDG) and Heidi Galindez (HPCG).  By 1730H, the group dispersed in the separate vehicles they came in.

Ate Siony expressed hope that the members can join the family for the babang-luksa (first year death anniversary) September 21, 2019.

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Tita’s last picture with SB during the celebration of RFC’s birthday cum rappelling.