Thursday, February 28, 2008


Somebody called me last Monday June 25, 2008. At the end of the line was a lady with a nice voice, who I later learned was "Noranda Manalo-Basilio", they call "Inday". Inday was the eldest daughter of "Norma Echivarria Manalo", who just passed away this February. She was referred by a good friend Boboy Reyes, the manager of Nova Funeral Homes. The Reyes' Family were long time friends who I can't refuse whenever I am available to cover an affair. I was informed that Aling Norma has been a long time friend too of the Reyes Family and Inday was such a wonderful person, who came to our house requesting me to cover her mother's burial. Who am I then to say no to this gorgeous lady, who came all the way from New Jersey leaving behind his husband and three children to attend to her mother's funeral.

I have limited information of Aling Norma, she is a native of Batangas, who married Andronico Manalo from Iloilo. They have three children, Inday, followed by Domingo and Michelle Joel Tecson. Aling Norma with her family resides at Barangay Pulang Putik in Maligaya Park, Zabarte, Caloocan City, where she is also a Barangay Kagawad. Aling Norma was so loved in her Barangay that no less than Engr. Jess I. Dungca, their Barangay Captain and the Kagawads were present during the mass with all the Barangay Tanods and Barangay Traffic enforcers.

The mass was held at St. Peter, Parish Church. Aling Norma's body was cremated in Bulacan and her ashes were kept in a columbary at St. Peter Church along Commonwealth Avenue, where Bishop Antonio Tobias used to hold mass. The last time I met Bishop Tobias was with Fr. Albert Delvo about three years ago. The Bishop was so happy with the charcoal painting I did on him that he hanged it in his room (he told me).

Inday and her relatives were willing subjects. When I asked them if they wanted to have photo oppotunity with me aside from the shots I already took during the mass while awating for her mother's ashes, Inday and her relatives never hesitated.