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In solemn rites, Bicolana solon laid to rest

The late Rep. Marissa Andaya, though immuno-compromised, never neglected her duty as she continued to serve her constituents during the enhanced community quarantine period.(Photo grab from Cong. Marissa Andaya’s FB post)

NAGA CITY --- In solemn rites held Wednesday, July 8 at the Heritage Memorial Park, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, family members, close friends and supporters bid farewell to Camarines Sur 1st District Rep. Marissa Mercado-Andaya.

Rep. Andaya died on Sunday,July 5 after her long battle with cancer. She was 51.

Ex-Congressman Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya, hours after his wife died, posted a touching message on his Facebook account, confirming the sad news that his beloved wife has joined the Creator.

“The love of my life has passed on into eternal life. Her people lost their leader, our children their caring mother, and I, my best friend. Marissa was a cancer warrior, staving off the ravages of that cruel disease for seven years,” Nonoy Andaya said.

Andaya described his wife as “Always cheerful, she never allowed her sickness infect the people around her with despair. Even at her lowest point, it was she who kept our spirits up, and never for once relinquished her role as the anchor of the family.”

The late Rep. Marissa Andaya was very active during the Covid-19 pandemic, distributing relief goods, medicine and every kind of assistance to her constituents despite her condition.

Her family embraced her passion and dedication as a public servant. It was her nature to serve and inspire others.

Her son, Ranton recalled how inseparable he was with his mom.

“My Mom was my first best friend, we are always with each other all the time. She showed me different places. She taught me to be respectful and humble. I would give up anything just to have her with me. Ma, I always miss you. I’m always thinking about you. Please watch over me,” Ranton said emotionally during the congresswoman’s farewell rites.

Gail Bedales, one of Marissa’s best friend reminisced how her friend would protect her when they were in college.

“ I have a beautiful friendship with Marissa. She’s one of the very few who has the wisdom about anything. She was my best friend, a part of my life. Her life was always in public service, that for me, it didn’t require an office. She is always willing to help. She did an unrelenting service to her constituents despite the fact that she was a cancer survivor,” she recalled.

Her husband, Nonoy Andaya narrated that they only knew that the fatal cancer virus has returned and has again invaded his wife’s body June this year.

“She reluctantly returned to Manila on the first week of June for her scheduled medical check-up. It was there that we learned that her nemesis has returned with a vengeance.”

On the night that his wife died, she was surrounded by her loving family.

“Tonight, surrounded by her loved ones , her beautiful heart gave up. I am blessed to have spent half of my life – twenty five happy years – with this wonderful woman with a generous spirit and compassionate heart who was devoted to her family, her faith, her oath, and her fellowmen.”

The late congresswoman authored several bills: House Bill (HB) No. 6102 filed on Jan. 29, 2020 otherwise known as “An Act Establishing Special Education (SPED) Centers in all Public Schools in the Country.” and HB No. 6104 or “An Act Institutionalizing the Unang Yakap Campaign, Adopting the Protocol on Essential Newborn Care.” Both bills remain pending at the committee level. (LSMacatangay-PIAV/Camarines Sur)

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