SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — As oxygen is to breathing, love is to the beating of the heart. The heartbeat as life of a soul. And what do all great words come to an end? To paraphrase Dorothy Sayers: But that — to love you. To say I am at rest with you. To unveil one’s face to gaze the true self in Christ Jesus.
To love is to be vulnerable. Sillimanians are hurting. SU mourns, in grief over a great loss. Over the loss of Dr. Edith L. Tiempo. On its week-long Founders Day celebration, Silliman is missing-and-remembering Edith.
SU President Ben Malayang III ascertains that Dr. Tiempo, the 1999 National Artist for Literature, is part of the celebration. Such is the power of love.
The SU community loves Dr. Edith L. Tiempo. She delighted in words. Wove words of magic into short stories, into fiction, into poetry. Loved them with passion and compassion.
Great words coming to an end. Becoming an act of love. Her literary works becoming a living legacy for Silliman. Her reason, her season, her lifetime story. She is gone. She has come. Such is the power of love. It defies space. It defies time.
Edith is blessed. Blessed is the meaning of her name. Blessed in many ways. Blessed with a natural feel for words, with a loving family, and adoring province-mates in Nueva Vizcaya.
Edith is beautiful and powerful. That is what Casta means, the Gaddang name townsfolk in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya gave her a couple of years ago during a hometown visit. Honoring Mom Edith for her achievements in Arts and Culture, the local government declared April 22, her birth day, a municipal holiday.
Such is the power of love. The accolade bestowed on her after a long absence blurs distance. It erases the passage of time.
They say that people come to one’s life for a reason, season, or lifetime. Dr. Edilberto K. Tiempo came into her life for a reason. Together, they grew in stature as national writers and artists. Then together, they established in 1961 the Silliman University National Writer’s Workshop for a season. Time to share their writing skills and craftsmanship with young aspiring writers. Ever since, it has become the mecca of young writers all over the Philippines.
Such is the power of love. And in their lifetimes, the Tiempo’s forged that love relationship with Silliman. They stayed connected, through thick and thin.
It is the same love relationship that binds Sillimanians far and wide who find solace in Mighty God. Loving one another, as God loves us. A Fortress is our God. Happy Birthday, Silliman!