Comedy Relief: Daddy’s Wake I, August 1990

And so Daddy Beda passed away of severe diabetic complications on 08 August 1990 at the rather early age of 58 at the Loma Linda Medical Center in California, USA.  We brought his body back to Manila and he arrived 12 August if I’m not mistaken [ after all, I’m reminiscing this 19 years after it had happened  😛 ].

He lay in state in the Jupiter chapel [ the biggest one ] of the then-fashionable Capitol memorial chapels along G. Araneta Avenue [ where the present-day Sanctuarium memorial chapels building is ].  We kids were amused at the crowd that came to bid farewell to Daddy.  For the very low-key gentleman that he was all throughout his short life, the best and the grandest in the land came to say goodbye.  I could not believe how grand his wake, and his funeral, were.

During one of those evenings, wonderful, well-meaning relatives of ours brought the 30ish parish priest of their parish to say the holy mass.  And he did, much to the befuddlement and amusement of the congregation…

He was so HIP, GROOVY, COOL, and “KWELA” [ the 1970s slang term for “fun” ]…

“In the name of tha Fatha, and af tha Sun, and af tha Hauwly Zpirit!  I’ll betcha all you are glad that I’m here to zay tha Mazz far our brotha Baydah Ganzalaz who is naw reunited with Ahr Lawrd in Hay-ven!”

Mommy and Daddy’s oh-so-proper sister and Gonzalez first cousins were ALL disconcerted with the rather strange evangelical priest and politely exchanged confused glances…[ Daddy’s sister Naty Gonzalez-Palanca, first cousins Nena Elizalde Gonzalez-Franco, Erly Valdes Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Peping Hizon Rodriguez, Raquel Valdes Gonzalez-de Leon, Jorge Lichauco de Leon, Mely Palanca Gonzalez-Gan, Ato Palanca Gonzalez, Blanquita Luna Santos-Gonzalez, Jerry Palanca Gonzalez, Aguing Jakosalem Buencamino-Gonzalez, Ina Palanca Gonzalez-Dizon, Manoling Martinez Dizon, Conchita Singson Gonzalez-Cancio, Toy Aquino Cancio, Letty Singson Gonzalez-de Padua, Nena Singson Gonzalez-Belo, Atty. Ike Belo, Manolo Rafols Gonzalez, Esther Mapua-Gonzalez, Pacita Paterno Madrigal-Gonzalez, Eva Rafols Gonzalez, Lilia Rafols Gonzalez, Dodong Rafols Gonzalez, Tessie Sison-Gonzalez, Tina Gonzalez-Lesaca, Bib Padilla Lesaca, Gaston Gonzalez, Edith Gonzalez-Sarmiento, et. al. ]

And the “hauwly mazz” continued…

“Take thiz, all of ya and eat it, Thiz iz mah bahdy which will be given up for ya…”

“Take thiz, all of ya and drink it, Thiz iz mah blahd, tha blahd af tha New and Evahlazzting Cahvenant, it will be shed for ya and all, zo that zinz will be fahrgiven.  Da thiz in memahry af mee…”

The regal and dignified Dona Luz Sarmiento de Panlilio sat in the front pew calmly.  She was unperturbed by the odd priest.  She was, after all, familiar with all the “excentricidad” the “noted eccentricities” of the Gonzalez clan from Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga…

After the holy mass, she confidently and matter-of-factly told her grandson Jo Panlilio:  “Oh ‘hijo,’ I’m very sure…  that priest was also a GONZALEZ!!!”

Harharhar!!!   😛   😛   😛



  1. Paz Atienza said,

    December 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Was he the priest my mom brought to your dad’s wake? He sounded hip too!

  2. Myles Garcia said,

    December 5, 2009 at 11:54 pm


    It’s really a small world. My younger brother did his second residency (in Critical Care) at the same Loma Linda Medical Center…but from 1983-1986 (I think it was). So he missed your Dad by a few years. Nonetheless, what are the odds of that?

    As the Disneyland ride goes: IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL. 🙂

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