Based on a PhilStar article written by Aurea Calica, Energy Secretary Rene Almendras revealed that the Cabinet members sang Jesse’s favorite songs, the “Impossible Dream” and “My Way,” the latter of which was replaced with “Jesse’s Way.”
Almendras was all praise for Jesse’s widow, crediting her for being the “greater woman” who has helped Jesse become the good man that he was.
According to the article, that night was obviously a night celebrating Jesse’s life, as his widow and their children also burst into laughter as the Cabinet belted out song after song, sometimes going out of tune. Even the Cabinet members laughed at themselves, too.
Even the political rivals, Binay and Roxas, who went against each other during the 2010 vice presidential race, sang a song together.
But on top of the singing, the Cabinet members had nothing but good words for Jesse.
“Tsinelas leadership’ is about working on the basics, no frills, no kaartehan, something as uncomplicated and casual as the tsinelas but with a very, very clear vision. That was Secretary Jesse Robredo,” Almendras said.
“I will tell you, I will explain to you four features of ‘tsinelas’ leadership, Jesse Robredo version. ‘Tsinelas’ leadership is about the willingness to brave the floods; the willingness to go where you normally do not go; to the most remote areas just to be with the most disadvantaged people. We all know Secretary Jesse rarely said ‘no.’ That’s why he was one of the most well-traveled Cabinet members. He went to many places where some of us could not go to,” Almendras added.
And this is the same kind of leadership that the incoming vice president Robredo is aspiring to pursue.
“Ibinibigay ko po ang aking sarili ng buong-buo sa ating mga kababayan, lalung-lalo na sa inyong mga naka-tsinelas na nasa labas, nasa ibaba, at laylayan ng lipunan,” Robredo said.
So that photo full of smiles was not the only light moment throughout Jesse’s necrological service.
There was also a light moment when the Robredos laughed as Tricia, the Robredo’s second daughter, spoke in Bicol and talked about how Jillian, their youngest, dreamt of becoming a celebrity like Kris Aquino, whose father died when she was around Jillian’s age. Tricia went on to say that she, along with her sisters, promised her father that they won’t pick boyfriends who were not as “pogi” as he was.
Jesse Robredo’s life was a life worth living and a government servant’s life worth emulating. Those smiles were not smiles over something so evil, as accused by Leni’s haters, but smiles celebrating and thanking the good life Jesse lived. Whoever has mourned the death of a loved one would tell you that there are truly light moments during a wake, when people talk about all the happy and good moments during that loved one’s life and when you can’t resist smiling or laughing. And Jesse’s life definitely had a lot of good moments worth smiling over.
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