12/26 to 12/29- Viewing at St. Peter Memorial Chapel, Landayan, San Pedro Laguna, Philippines
12/30 Interment at Manila Memorial Sucat, Paranaque City, MM, Philippines
Erlinda, fondly called Tita Lyn by her former students and Ate Lyn to her younger siblings has left us on the wee hours of Christmas Eve. After experiencing a debilitating stroke four years ago, she hanged on for a while. She was a strong woman and did not give up easily. We surmised that she wasn’t ready then. Her mission for sure was to prepare her loved ones for her inevitable departure. After all, she was the leader of the pack of seven siblings still living in the Philippines. Since their eldest sister lives abroad, Mama Lyn had to be the driving force and comfort for them. They have always looked up to her for direction and guidance. Most of our Uncles and an Auntie who were younger have gone ahead to join the Lord. Finally, on a holiday, she left on her own accord presumably to meet up with her husband who passed away early this year. The day after Christmas was their wedding anniversary. We are certain that she had a date with him. Although they’ve had some rough moments as retirees due to proximity at home plus age-related ailments slowly settling in, they were inseparable, nonetheless. It was no surprise to us that she followed him only after a few months.
In the academic world, she spent decades mastering her craft. But one can say she had that innate talent in engaging people considered invaluable as an educator. She was revered as a consummate Filipino teacher who can wow her audience with stories mostly personal ones while speaking in our traditional national language. After all, she was a Filipino professor all her life. Her students found the subject very challenging. But she made them love it eventually. She was a planner who had the passion for orchestrating major events like songwriting and choral contests to celebrate Linggo ng Wika (Language Week). Lastly, she was a writer/ publisher that created short stories and encouraged her students to imagine and author their own to be compiled with hers. Those books were in fact used as textbooks for the school.
In the age of digital technology, Mama Lyn stubbornly but endearingly wrote long hand in her educated cursive fashion. Before she lost her hand's mobility, she would still send snail mail to everyone across the world when e-mails were the norm. That was her way to make them feel her personal sentiments. Without a doubt, people looked forward to seeing her familiar scrawl on the envelope. She would have said “being busy” is just an excuse. Taking the time to call or write clearly shows how you value that person.
Erlinda has touched peoples lives in many ways. In the last four years until the very end, her caregivers had a love and hate relationship. For sure she was frustrated feeling helpless especially for somebody who wanted to be in control most of the time. Beneath the tough exterior, she had a charitable and loving heart and we will always cherish that best part of her. We will miss you Mama.
“Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure, you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.”