PHILIPPINES: Who were the massacred journalists? – Part 4 

Daddy’s Little Girl
By Mayang Reblando

More than anything else, he was my Daddy.

So much goes into that simple statement. My Daddy, Alejandro “Bong” Reblando was my hero, my strength, the best of all my bestfriends. He was my mentor and my protector. He was the angel sent from above. He was indeed the number one man in my life. He is my inspiration

My daddy showed me what life was all about, and he showed me that at a very young age. He explained well to me how life really is. I knew and understood essential basics – because he cared to inform me – while so many of my friends were still just trying to understand what life is really all about. I was daddy’s little girl who sat on her daddy’s lap and mingle with him as if I am not her daughter but instead his friend. He taught a lot of things that, for sure, will always be my treasures. He guided me in every decision I made and loved me the way I love best. Daddy told me at an early age all about that money too – that everything he gave to me is not simple money, but it is the fruit of all his hardworks.

As I flashback the memories when he was still alive, he never ever left me behind. When I need someone to fetch me late at night after a long program in school he’s always there even he already fell asleep in our house.

I remember one night; I’m too much eager to have a facial with him but was never been able because there are a lot of customers waiting. As I sat on the car I was silent, and without saying a word he knew how I felt – sad. Instantaneously he comforted me and heaved a joke, by then I was relieved.

That’s the way my daddy was. He was intuitive. He somehow knew what to say and what to do, even in those times when you had not spoken. You could always count on one important thing, although the words were not expansive. They were the right words.

Most of you knew that he is a strong, talkative, friendly, God-fearing, generous, helpful, kind, respectful and reserved. You’d probably be surprised to know that he was also one of the funniest men I’ve ever met, and that his artistic ability was tremendous. These were not necessarily traits that he displayed to his friends – he came from a time where humor and art were not always the way to survive.

He was born right in this city, where he lived all his life, during the great depression. My grandparents impressed upon him the seriousness of life and of supporting oneself, and finally the importance of providing for the family. There was no time for the finer qualities of life in those early years for Bong Reblando.

Probably due to that early upbringing, “Bong” was an icon to many of you. He was well known in this city for his works and contributions – to his attitude and skills, and by all of you who are here today. The family name is as entrenched in the town as the town is entrenched in the family. My brothers, sister, mother and I went the same church as our father, and we shopped at the same stores as he.

My hero has passed on now, and he leaves my family and me to carry on the family name. We are proud of him, of all that he was, and all that maybe he would have liked to be if times had been different.

We are mostly proud to say this one thing: Of all that he was – He was our great Daddy.

I won’t say goodbye to you deh, but instead I’ll say “we will see you when we get there.”

Congratulations for entering the Kingdom of God and we are all happy knowing you’re safe there and having a smile marked on your face.

I love you so much.

Text Box:    Mayang with her father, Bong Reblando


How Will I Forgive?
By Mayang Reblando

Everyone tells me that I need to forgive.
That all the pain in me must go.
That I need to be free and just live.
But no one knows the memories hold.

I was hurt throughout my years.
I was put down day to day.
I hold back all of my tears.
And hope that they soon will fade away.

It’s hard to forgive a person who killed.
A person who took away a very precious life,
But the truth that lies within him won’t be revealed.
So right now all things cause me strife.

I won’t forgive the man that killed.
For I have never felt this way.
Until my father’s life was taken away,
And his life couldn’t go on any further.

My father was young and in love,
And he had a future for me.
I was his special gift sent from above,
But the life I live he won’t be able to see.

Till this day I am unable to forget.
The day that causes me so much sorrow,
But the only thing I do regret,
Is when I wake up without you tomorrow.

(About the author: Mayang Reblando is the daughter of Alejandro “Bong” Reblando, one of the 32 journalists who were killed in the Maguindanao Massacre. Her article “Daddy’s Little Girl” was written and read by her during Bong’s burial in December 5, 2009. Her poem “How will I Forgive” written in January 15, 2010 was also a tribute to her father. The author has given permission to the AHRC in publishing them)

Document Type : Article
Document ID : AHRC-ART-034-2010
Countries : Philippines,
Issues : Extrajudicial killings,