June 13 will mark the first death anniversary of the late Gov. Emilio “Dodo” C. Macias II.
He was many things to many people. A doctor, a public servant, a father, a husband, a friend.
My interaction with Dodo Macias started when we worked together in tourism projects for Negros Oriental. Dodo wanted to be actively involved, and would ask to see the plans and discuss it, before presenting it to the other members.
One thing he stressed over and over again was the sustainability of our programs. Everything we were planning had to endure.
He quietly listened to the situation, digesting each fact, and then proceeded to walk me through what had to be done. He would often talk to me about the career path public service had called upon him to do, he talked about the need to defeat poverty, alleviate people’s lives, and the need for people to rise up to serve others.
That is a good description of who Dodo Macias was, someone who rose by the sharpness of his mind and the excellence of his work, but also someone who stooped to serve with a purity of heart so rare. He would describe it as “the joy in serving”.
More than roads, bridges, and other infrastructure projects, Dodo was a builder of people.
Mentoring, for him, was not a series of lessons but a time of impartation.
I thank God for people like Dodo, who not only gave me their honest opinions, but set aside time to listen to my views as his constituent and his friend.
Looking back, I realize his not-so-secret key to success: a love for the people of Negros Oriental.
This gave him the strength to live life fully, and to show this love in different ways to the people he had sworn to serve.
“Some people live for money, and amass fortunes they’ll leave behind. Some live for power, only to be swallowed whole. Some live for fame, and rise simply to peak. Some live for achievement, and wake up regretting the price they paid. Others live for adventure, which lasts only as long as the last thrill. People live for a million things that mean temporary at best, for death ends all things.”
But men like Dodo will live forever in our hearts, in the people whose lives he has touched.