OpinionsEcon 101Filomena “Apo” Cang’s web

Filomena “Apo” Cang’s web


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Sometime last year in a social gathering in Makati City, introductions were made among the guests, and somebody remarked: “Ikaw pala taga-Dumaguete. Alam mo, pinahirapan ako ng dalawang araw diyan sa Dumaguete!”

This remark came from a Justice of the Supreme Court. It turned out that he had stayed at Bethel Guesthouse — where no alcoholic drinks or smoking is allowed. A lover of good wine and smoke, the Justice recounted how he was sweetly directed to seek his pleasures at the neighboring establishments outside the hotel, along the boulevard.

Mrs. Filomena Cang, “Apo” to friends and acquaintances, was “bold as lion”when it comes to professing her Christian values in her home, business, and involvements in the community.

Now she has joined the Creator in His “mansion in the sky”. The resoluteness and steadfastness in her conviction that a hotel can thrive as a business even with the rule of “No Alcoholic Drinks or Smoking Allowed”was met with skepticism and best wishes, because mixing religion and business is some kind of oxymoron. How can you mix money-making with seeking spiritual treasures in the afterlife?

This is the reason why Apo was an exemplary Christian, Christ-centered, steeped in the Confucian philosophy of her Chinese ancestry.

In celebration of her life, SU Church, led by the Rev. Jonathan Pia, Rev. Elmer Saa, Rev. Bernadette Amistoso-Morales, and Rev. Jeremias Lagahit held a memorial service to honor this simple, ordinary steward who was able to achieve extraordinary stature in the realm of the academe.

Former Finance Sec. Juanita Dy-Amatong was brief and concise when she recognized her long-time friend, benefactor, co-worker, and fellow traveller through the highs and lows of the life and times of Silliman University, the University Church, and the SU Medical Center.

Dr. Ben Malayang, now on his second term as President, said he grew up looking up to this grand lady who was actively engaged through the development stages of the University, and expressed the gratitude of a Silliman family that remembers her with much fondness and awe.

Atty. Pearl Estacion, as chair of the SU Church Council, comforted the grieving family with her words of remembrance and celebration of the life of a dedicated church worker.

For many faculty members, Apo was a person who listened to them, and lent her assistance in her own low key manner.

Conversing with Josefina Pal, she also intimated how the Cangs gave away calendars to schools, and how they offered their assistance to her family during their time of bereavement when Dr. Graciano Pal passed away, lending vehicles, etc.

The celestial music of the members of the Covenant Choir, the songs of Dr. Samuel Gregorio and Rudy Juan inspired those who attended, as Silliman Church kept its ambiance of solemnity and serenity, but it became glorious with the rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus.

The Malayang sisters, Fe Pia and Dr. Eva Moncada, with Atty. Ray Moncada, joined to bear witness to a woman whom the community looked up to as an example of Christian living. Judge Crescencio & Dr. Betsy Joy Tan, Judge Fe & Prosecutor Elson Bustamante, the SUHS Class of ‘67, Beckay & Dr. Noriel Capulong, Amelia Bejar, Rev. Dodong & Marina Mendoza, Roberto Montebon, Atty. Didil & Marietta Montebon — their presence, along with the many others who had in one way or another been part of Apo’s web of kindness, wisdom, and generosity attested to how many lives she truly touched.

When Dr. Ruth Chang responded in behalf of the family, she recognized how her mother was really involved with Silliman University.

The legacy of Mrs. Cang lives on, in the hearts of those who were touched by her Christian web, actualizing the motto via, veritas, vita.

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