On a very personal note

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LIFE IS LIKE a mist. It appears in a moment and then disappears quickly. We know that all of us can quickly fade away.

All of us will confront death sooner or later. And because of this, death is a very uncomfortable subject for many. Please allow me deviate from my usual legal discussion to tackle something personal and emotional.

This article is dedicated to the one and only Mr. Daniel G. Fajardo. We called him “Boss DF” not only in the workplace but wherever we met.

It is not often that I become emotional. I am happy and bubbly. Most who know me know that. But these past few days are one of those times.

My father, Diory, worked as a newsboy in Panay News. He worked with the company for over 25 years. Thus since I was a kid I have known Boss DF.

One hot summer night, I got the chance to accompany my father to work. I’m supposed to help him arrange the newspapers. But I could not keep up with their speed. I was 14 years old then. I ended up sitting in a corner because everyone’s busy.

A few moments later, someone stood beside me and asked my name. He also asked me who I was with. I told him I was with my father.

He then asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I answered that I wanted to become a lawyer someday. He laughed and said, “Mayo kay ari ka di’ kag makita mo ang panikasog ni Papa mo. Masulat ka man di?”

That was my first time to meet and talk to Boss DF.

I asked my father about him. I was told that there was no one like Boss DF – a good and principled man. He was a humble, peaceful, compassionate, kind, and helpful person.

Additionally, Papa told me that Boss DF had a very good relationship with his employees and was always ready to walk the extra mile when he was called.

It is not common to have bosses who shape our intellect, passion and life in general. But Boss DF did that. He was not just someone I knew or in vernacular, a “kilala.” He was like a father, a family, a friend, and a mentor to me.

Ang sekreto da, aga ka pa bugtaw para damo ka mahimo and matapos,” he told me.

And, yes, we had coffee at 6:30 in the morning at Hotel del Rio over law and corporate policies.

It was in 2011 when Boss DF gave me a big break – to have a column. I was a freshman then in law school. I was not only trained by him on how to write and approach journalism in a professional way but also trained me in the corporate world. He had confidence in me. And this is something I truly treasure.

A few months ago, we met in a gathering and I asked him, “Boss, kamusta ka?”

He replied, “Indi, Day, ah. Kamusta ka?”

That was the last conversation I had with him. And the privilege was entirely mine.

Now, he is gone. Who could have imagined it would happen as it did?

He was an ear and an experienced man who loved to listen and respond in order to give good advice and direction. Despite of all the powers of this world, he remained so simple, so down-to-earth.

No amount of words could sum up all of these. I will be forever thankful. I hope we can do half of what he had done.

I hope to see Boss DF in Paradise. (Acts 24: 15).

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(Atty. Ayin Dream D. Aplasca practices her profession in Iloilo City. She may be reached thru ayindream.aplasca@gmail.com/PN)

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