It was like the first time my mother brought home an eight-color Crayola from the public market – I was 3 or 4. I excitedly drew a life-sized yellow corn on a typewriting paper and waited for my older brother to come home from school. When he asked mom where his corn was, I laughed with much enthusiasm and gave him the fake corn. With mom’s full support, I thought it was so witty of me.
The same enthusiasm pushed me to accomplish all my duties early morning on a Saturday just to spend some hours on the PlayStation 1. This a strict policy in the house to be required of household chores before playing the “computer”. You know, things like sweep the floor, mop the stairs, clean the walls, burn some leaves, and the like.
Sitting at the farthermost row, I tilted my head up, trying to contain the brimming tears.
Laureen Velasco was our professor in Philisophy 101 at De La Salle University. Currently at the crossroads in my religion’s faith, I was in a class wherein Ms. Velasco would share her own journey in Zen Buddhism – a kind which appealed to me as free and brought spotlight to the self.
A stark contrast from that chapter of my life – one that was about carrying responsibilities which eventually became a burden. Every Saturday, I would conduct a bible study in a particular barangay – which our congregation called kawan. It was an invitation for Sunday’s mass.
The tears that welled up in my eyes, they dawned the awakening that I had a choice. And that choice to be free to choose not to do things that I no longer see meaning in was what I uttered in front of Pastor Dan. He acknowledged my retreat in an instant.
I remembered Laureen Velasco because Emerita Quito was her teacher:
At 12:40 am today (Sept. 17), Emerita Quito, one the Philippines’s greatest philosophers, finally got her wish. The 88-year old former De La Salle University dean and author of more than 20 books died of respiratory failure in Manila. She was a trailblazing scholar, a prolific writer, and a sought-after lecturer. She was also my grand aunt.
~ from The Philippines’ greatest female philosopher has died on Quartz