On May 8, 2020, my beloved uncle, Isidro Baldos, “Tito Drod” loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away at the age of 69 at Jamaica Hospital in Jamaica, New York, after a courageous 3-week battle with Covid-19. He was preceded in death by his parents, Placido and Librada, two brothers, Felix and Agustin and sister Flora Maglalang. He is survived by his wife Estrella Baldos, son Zeus Baldos, grandson Zeon Baldos, sisters Estelita Hernandez and Herminia Corpuz, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Isidro was born on May 15, 1950 in Santa Cruz (Lagarian), Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines and was the youngest of six children. He attended Naujan Academy High School in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines. After high school, he attended Adamson University in Manila, graduating with a degree in Engineering in the early 1970s. While he was studying, he worked at Max’s Chicken restaurant. After graduation, he worked for the offices of the National Waterworks and Sewerage System (NAWASA) in Manila. Tito Drod met the love of his life Estrella (Tita Essie) through his sister Tita Flor. Tita Flor and Tita Essie were both teachers in San Andres, Manila. Tito Drod and Tita Essie were married on May 7, 1979 in Ermita, Manila. They had a small and intimate wedding with close family and friends. On July 9, 1981, they had their son, Zeus. Tito Drod came to the United States in February 1984 and lived with our family in Hauppauge, Long Island. Less than a year later, Tita Essie and Zeus joined us in New York in June 1985 and the Baldos family was whole again. At that time, the Hernandez and the Baldos family had decided to move back to Woodhaven, Queens. We lived together in the same household enjoying daily family life, celebrating birthdays, holidays and anniversaries together along with many family vacations and road trips. The Baldos family eventually moved to their own home a few minutes away in Richmond Hill, Queens. Lucky for us, they had a huge swimming pool. We would spend countless hours in their large backyard having pool parties and barbecues long into the hot summer nights. Every weekend was a party and Tito Drod was the master griller. I will always remember those delicious steaks with oyster sauce. Those were the best summers.
Tito Drod started working for the United Nations mission in 1985. He worked for different missions including Kenya, Angola, and Mexico. The last mission he worked for was Mexico up until he became ill earlier this year from Covid19. He made many lifelong friends while working for the UN. He was a hard worker, providing for the family and securing his future. It was his hope to one day retire in the Philippines with Tita Essie.
Despite the long hours of work, he always made it a point to be with the family. He loved to sing, dance, entertain and have fun. He was always noted to be loud, boisterous and happy. He had a wonderful singing voice and some of his favorites were “Delilah” by Tom Jones and “Spanish Eyes” by Al Martino. He always brought life to the party, often coming after working many long hours bringing his enormous smile and exuberant personality. He was fondly known as “Drod,” “Tito Drod” and “Lolo Rod” by many family, friends, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Tito Drod and Tita Essie were also the Godparents (Ninong and Ninang) for my brother, Marlon and my communion and confirmation. He and Tita Essie were also principal sponsors for Marlon’s wedding and Grace’s wedding. He was a large part of many of our major life events. He was the uncle that was always there for us.
Isidro loved his family not just in New York, but all over the world including all parts of the United States and the Philippines and Europe. His last trip to the Philippines was in February 2020 where he spent 3 weeks. During that trip, he was able to see family and friends and once again sing “Spanish Eyes” on Karaoke while dancing with his lovely wife.
Isidro also took up golf and was very passionate about this, disappearing for hours playing golf which he enjoyed immensely. Even in Arizona, I accompanied him to find golf courses in our town and he loved it immensely!
Tito Drod was loved by many and his legacy will be his passion for life and his love of family. In his death, he has shown us that life is meant to be lived passionately and to be enjoyed with family and friends. In his passing, he has also taught me how important family is, no matter how far they live, or how long it has been since you last saw them. Family is everything. He always made an effort to visit family members in the United States and the rest of the world, spreading his joy and making everyone laugh. We miss him and we will continue to miss him.
Tito Drod - I find comfort knowing that you are now at peace although you will be missed by so many whose lives you have touched.
Rest in Peace Tito Drod
"May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft, upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand."
- An Irish Blessing
Friends and family are invited to share a virtual memorial on Saturday, June 20th at 7:00 P.M. (New York local time) via zoom. Details to follow.
Please feel free to share a memory, a photo or a song about our beloved Tito Drod.