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Sense of duty

The last page THERE is something more than merely coincidental in the way the holidays prevented this last page from being printed before the end of the year. For something happened on the last day of 1969. Our comrade, Leon SA. Aureus, finally received the final Transfer Orders that he had been awaiting, in pain, for quite sometime. And it was also more than coincidence that as he left us—he who was mainly responsible for bringing the movement here, five years ago in October, 1964, with Caceres Cursillo No. 1, among the graduates of which were the founders of The Rainbow—that same December 31st also saw the graduation of the 100th Caceres Cursillo class for men. It was amazing how so much leonine spirit was in so frail a man. And he was a man of many other firsts: organizer and Executive Officer of the Tangcong Vaca Guerilla Unit that, even before Corregidor fell in 1942, had already spurred the resistance movement here which had captured and held Naga for a week; founder and publisher of The Bicol Mail; organizer and first president of Naga Press and Radio Club; the first City Mayor of Naga; to name but a few. But we who knew him well will always remember him as a true soldier of his country and above all, of Christ. As the three volleys herald the sounding of the final taps, we too, The Rainbow Staff, render our fond salute. He died in line of duty in the service of country and God.—jamc (*Page 60, The Rainbow, October-December, 1969) The first page The pen name, “jamc”, is Jesus Antonio Matamorosa Carpio. He is my father. He was an esteemed Columnist, Author, and Writer. Coincidentally, this columnist was scheduled to return and report for duty last December of 2016. It was a joyful article but because of the inclement weather, which is an understatement—to call a spade a spade—it was a disheartening disaster. Sadly, many lost their homes, hence, we deemed it insensitive to have had it published. Later on, we thought that it would be interesting and enjoyable to feature a story and interview of a hotshot Bicolano basketball coach but he is too preoccupied with reasonable matters in terms of attending to his flourishing career. Time is, definitely, running out. It has been a long time since Inspired had a new edition. Your columnist was not hiding under a rock. I had to prepare to write for an American Media Company. The challenge was served on a silver platter, so to speak, everything was professional—like clockwork. The producer was quite welcoming and I was even assigned to have a Social Media Manager to handle the complicated machinery of online publicity. To be completely honest, I was glad. Well, the most- suitable-apt-word would be euphoric. But the feeling of leaving something and the people that I have worked with for a long time, since May of 2013, left my heart in profound chagrin. Two people that I am indebted to: the editor, and the publisher. And they became four; the son of the publisher, and the web administrator. The plot thickens, while at the head office, there was a poignant moment though, when the young female administrative assistant, referred to me as a former writer of the firm. That feeling that one could just walk away, never look back, and bask in the greener pasture I have been blessed with, for a moment, my heart leaped. Nonetheless, I just laughed it off. I gave my word to the editor that I would still write, dutifully, for the firm once a month. I am at a loss if the younger generation have been taught in learning institutions of the Filipino trait called ‘Palabra de honor’ (word of honor). And the proverbial trait we keep practicing, which is ‘Utang na loob’ (gratitude.) Frankly, my treasured readers, I would not have become a writer if not for Bicol Mail. Principles run deep in the core of my being and they are afire. When someone has a penchant for reading antique books, you might just be in for a surprise, in this case, a treasure. Reading that eulogy, sent waves of frequency to my soul that resonated and the connection between my Captain of the army and his private soldier is, unmistakably, loud and clear. “Son, go and write for Bicol Mail, pronto.” His last page. My first page. Tabula rasa we call it in Philosophy, simply, a clean slate. A few may remember this column, some may have been impatient, maybe most of you will come to know this for the very first time. Finally, my own personal elephant in the room had been addressed. From the film, Quantum of Solace, the double agent was asked by his boss, M: Bond… I need you back. James Bond: I never left. Here is to a bright future ahead. New stories, something to learn from, to make you laugh, to brighten your day, essentially and meaningfully, a celebration of life here in a wonderful world. Our commitment is to bring light to dark hours that we encounter in our lives. To give hope and inspiration, so that like your humble writer who found his purpose, you as well, would be where God wants you to be, and how He intended for you to discover your own or to continue your vocation and mission here on earth as pilgrims, walking on the road less traveled by—but, fortunately—will make it all the more worthwhile. Godspeed.

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