Farewell, Sec. Jesse Robredo

I’m supposed to be working on a homework for school tomorrow, but I honestly can only think of one thing right now: Sec. Jesse Robredo. His body has finally been recovered, three days after the plane crash, and though at the back of our minds we somehow already knew, the confirmation is nonetheless painful.

photo taken from gov.ph

First I remember his family and I pray for divine comfort, because there are no words that can ultimately provide that right now. I pray they may first have the privacy to mourn and grieve for their father, brother, son, cousin, uncle, and husband. Lord, oh that you will comfort them at this dark, dark time in their lives.

I pondered on the collective grief almost everybody is feeling right now. In one way or another, we are deeply, deeply affected by his passing, even though most of us have never met him. You know why we are so heartbroken over his death? I realize it’s because he represented someone we BADLY need for our country.

Uhaw na uhaw tayo bilang isang bansa para sa isang taong tunay na makabayan, isang taong tunay na may integridad, na may pagmamahal sa Pilipino at sa bansa. And he was that person, and more. He was one of us. Hindi siya mahirap abutin, hindi siya makasarili, hindi siya ipokrito, hindi siya tulad ng nakasanayan nating mga politiko. This is what stings. He was not like them. That’s why it hurts so much because we want someone like him, not someone like them.

Photo credit: Alde Arlante, Jr.

Sawang-sawa na tayo sa mga trapo, sa mga ‘lider’ na puro sarili lamang ang iniisip; mga ‘lider’ na gusto lamang magpayaman; mga ‘lider’ na abusado sa kapangyarihan, na ninanakawan tayo hindi lamang ng pera, ngunit pati narin ang ating kinabukasan.

When I look at the pictures of Sec. Jesse Robredo, I noticed he was almost always smiling. He seems to me as someone who genuinely loved to serve the people. We don’t always see that. Instead, we see politicians’ faces plastered on campaign materials, offering canned smiles, the ones taken in studios, photoshopped into backdrops of relief operations or something that hopes to elicit hope. Robredo’s was genuine. You know why I know? Because people attest to it.

Photo credit: Romulus Rueda / romulusrueda.com

It’s not uncommon to meet Filipinos who have become cynical and pessimistic about our government. I think at one time in our lives, we all have felt the same way. So to have someone like Jesse Robredo, the antithesis of everything we know about politics, and to lose him so suddenly…it hurts, deeply.

It’s unfortunate that it is only now that we can really appreciate and grasp what he means to our country.  And I pray that his death will not be meaningless.

Farewell, Sec. Jesse Robredo. Salamat, Sec. Jesse.


  1. I’ve only heard of Sec. Jesse this past week-end, and I already feel the loss for the country :( Thanks to you and KZ for telling us about him, although sad some can only appreciate him now he’s gone. :(

    1. Oo nga e, diba they said, sometimes we only appreciate something / someone when they’re gone. Kz worked with him so Sec. Robredo’s death is more personal for her. But to some extent, his death is a loss for all of us, all Filipinos. Sigh. I only wish…. (you know what I’m thinking about..)

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