Friday, January 24, 2014

A Touching Tribute for Reynald Torralba Gatal

Here's Atty. Roland B. Inting's heartfelt letter that was penned two days after Papa Rey passed away last December 27, 2013

I am reprinting this so that people will get a glimpse of Papa Rey's multi- faceted personality. I was given the privilege of reading the contents of the letter during the memorial service . 

Atty. Roland B. Inting is one of the most brilliant and most eloquent Boholanos that I look up to

December 29, 2013

Dear RONIE, ROCKY, RICA, RICKY, ADLAI and RACQUEL:

In an address to the Bar Association of Boston on March 7, 1900, Justice Oliver Wendell Homes said: 
“We cannot live our dreams. We are lucky enough if we can give a sample of our best, and if in our hearts we can feel that it has been nobly done.”
 
Your Papa Reynald may not have lived all his dreams, but we, his true friends know so well that he has given his best, and I can confidently say that he has nobly done so.

Reynald who I fondly called ROLEX just as he called me by such name, which was our bond of friendship and brotherhood, seemed to be ordinary. But in my book, he was a great father who loved you so very much and had consistently been proud of all of you his children.

Every time I asked how you, his children were doing, his eyes always had a twinkle uncommon to ordinary parents. I surmised that it may be because at your very young ages, you lost your Mom Mila, and he never remarried but poured all his love for you in ways only he could have mustered.

He may have had flings and relationships as you all know. But never in his life did he ever exchange you and substitute his love for you for another being after your Mom was gone. What a father he was!

He may not have been materially wealthy, but he was so rich with care, with concern, with dedication and specially with love for you his children, so that he would do as he did, anything to make sure that in whatever time or circumstance, you have something on the table, and that you get the education you want within his humble means.

ROLEX was never proud, arrogant or haughty. Everyone knew he was for many years in the corridors of power, but he never bragged about it, nor did he enrich himself even when opportunities beckoned him.  He fed you with what he earned bythe sweat of his brow.

I cannot recall or even think of anyone I know who has a grudge against your Papa. I know of some who may be envious, but not a soul could ever say that he was corrupt, because he never was. 

Along with many of his true friends, I take pride and will always be proud if I deserve to be counted among them. 

Many times we were together, spending time until the wee hours of the morning. He would doze off, but never did he leave me or anyone he was with. That was the friend I had in him. His ears were always open to serious as well as to light matters, and he was quick to share his counsels as he dug from the richness of his experiences.

You know that in my first job, he was my Station Manager of DYXT. 

He made that radio station great and was number one when he was at its helm. 

DYXT was the conduit of ABS-CBN in the 1971 National PRISAA held in Tagbilaran, and we were heard all over the Philippines.

Your Papa was our  leader, guide, planner, adviser, teacher, and stylist all rolled into one. He did not even hold a microphone, but he knew what he was talking about and he was the one who assigned each of us to our respective chore, either as radio announcer, field reporter or commentator.

Allow me to name members of our team; The late TibsBullecer; Tommy Abapo, Timmy Cabatos, and myself who now are all lawyers.  Proc Maslog who later became a Professor of journalism of Siliman University, Ladies Sol Amisola, Lyle, and Liz Gonzaga who was our librarian.   These were the men and women under your Papa, but he never treated us as his subordinates or his employees. He treated us like family.

I was the youngest then, yet he treated me as a brother and an equal much to my amusement and pride. 

Among others, he taught me how to eat the fat of pork which I hated before, and to eat as many chicken eggs during the evenings after we had our fill of alcoholic drinks when there was nothing else to eat.  

I never regretted these even if they say they’re bad for the health. I enjoyed them because your Papa taught me how to.  In all honesty, I succumbed to high blood pressure and Dodong Gonzaga and your Papa had their big laugh when I amicably blamed ROLEX for teaching me to “devour” those cholesterol.

as Linda Garcia's partner while Pres CPG & the First Lady watch
Your Papa was always sought in gatherings among friends. No party whether in music sessions and specially in dancing could be complete and as enjoyable without your Papa. 

He was loved by everyone because he was who he was…. a man of all seasons and not only for all seasons.

He was God-fearing, and had many short but sharp comments exhibiting his gratitude and love for our God. He hated hypocrites and did not hide his contempt for cheaters and those who use people for personal gains. He can be trusted with any secret and held friendship sacred, most precious and priceless. These were just a few of his assets.

with a very young Dominic Butalid & Dodong Gonzaga
The last time we were together, was in July of this year, in Ormoc City, with Dodong Gonzaga, Joe Torralba, Rene Relampagos & PopotMarapao. 

Your Papa, Pare Dodong and myself shared one room for two days. Our conversations were as always varied, funny, and sometimes serious but always honest.  

From Ormoc, the two of us flew to Manila via Cebu City while the rest returned to Tagbilaran on different schedules. We were together at lunch and together in going to the airport. Unfortunately, he left his plane ticket in the bag he asked your Auntie Mameng to bring back to Tagbilaran. He was worried. I helped him check into his Cebu Pacific flight first, before I checked in my PAL flight, because he had no ticket to show.

An audience with Carlos P. Romulo
We later had a long hearty laugh at that funny adventure. We had a long chat before he took his flight for Manila. When he was boarding, he gave me a salute with his usual exceptional smile only he had. He said: “See you ROLEX” . “See you”, I replied. That was the last….

Now that he is with our Father in Heaven and with your Mama Mila, no one can fill in his shoes. There was only one Reynald Gatal, and he was your great and beloved Papa.  I mourn his passing, more so because I could not be in his wake and burial. I wept in the stillness of my room, and I will always say a prayer for him and to him. 

My consolation is that, with his passing, he left behind beautiful children like you all are. By your deeds, keep his name honoured, respected and loved. Help and love each other like what your Papa taught you.  

You are the children of REYNALD GATAL, and no one can snatch or steal that honor from you.

Like the last time we were together, and since he had taken an earlier flight for God’s kingdom, it is my turn to salute him, with a tearful smile longing for a friend... I say: “ROLEX, see you in heaven!”

Please accept my most sincere condolences... and my endless gratitude for sharing your Papa with us, his friends...his brothers.

Very sincerely yours,

ROLAND B.  INTING

Atty. Roland B. Inting

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