“According to his family, the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo loved writing them letters. When he was in Germany for official business in 1992, he wrote this letter to his oldest daughter Aika, who was four years old at the time.

Photo from Aika Robredo/Robredo family via GMA NEWS”

I was in El Nido when news of Jesse Robredo’s plane crash reached me and I spent days, agonized, hoping, praying, wishing for the best but bracing myself for the worst, on standby for the latest news and updates by the minute, by the hour, like he was my own father. And I wondered how I could be so distressed about someone whom I have not really known.

Born in Naga City and raised in Pili, Camarines Sur, I only spent four years in Naga as a student at the Colegio de Sta. Isabel. I saw him around a lot, and his family, as I was schoolmates with one of his nieces; but being young and carefree, I never really knew him for the great man he was.

But I have been a witness to how this man transformed the city and everyone around him through his words and actions.

And I wept and wept with the rest of my fellow Bicolanos at his early and unexpected demise. And maybe, we were also weeping for the loss of the country. He was a great man.

And he was great, not only because of what he has done, but what he stood for.

Public servant, friend, uncle, husband, father.

I still wept when I saw this letter, as if I was his daughter, and understanding the pains of being separated from one’s child because you have a job that a lot of people need you to be a better person for. And perhaps, I still will when I reread it. Over and over. This sadness just does not stop; but we all have to move on, whatever it is we are going through at this moment, or this day, or even tomorrow, we just have to keep moving forward. Stand on your two feet, put a smile on your face, and most especially, do not spend your time crying.

I just feel that this needs to be shared.

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