Issue of June 6, 2021
     
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Only the good die young

Like everyone else who has lost a loved one, the emotional dehydration we experience drains all the energy to face more. I wished I stopped writing eulogies but simply can’t when special people come into fore. Duty calls, tears freely flow but pounding the Ipad keys goes on.

When we got the news that fateful Wednesday afternoon that Alvin Montenegro Arevalo was at V. Luna Hospital, our world stopped.Everyone accompanied him in prayer through the sickness and pain he was undergoing. In less than three hours, the 25-year-old was gone. While he is in a better world with the Lord, he has left behind a pain that persists, leaving a vacuum for his absence for the rest of our lives.

Allen, son of an officer and gentleman Benedict and Assumption teacher Becca, was the eldest brother of Annie.

At Don Bosco Makati, he tried his darn best to cope with the academe under the stern watchful eye of his mother. He had other plans though and foremost was to enjoy his world. He loved to eat and was spoiled by lola Norma with food – pasta, pizza, ribs, burgers whenever he came to Baguio. He idolized his dad and stayed with him whereever he was assigned including the dangerous combat zones of Maguindanao and Panay Islands.

He was a great entertainer for the soldiers and cousins as a magician and with what he was going through with his health, a profile of his courage for others similarly situated to face life and its challenges. He was in his element at the shooting range at Fort Bonifacio, a gentle giant in full form and regalia.

It was his constant presence when needed most that forged a bond with whoever got to know his person and character. He marched to the beat of the drums and the bugle and was far figuratively larger than ourselves. He came to this world at a difficult time as his dad spent more times in the mountains fighting the enemies of the state. He remained inspired and resolved to live and friends and family, who helped him cope with faith in God and mankind. He had an unwavering concern and cared for Annie whom he loved more than himself.

I recall the hug and kiss he would give every time he would come over when most kids of his age would be embarrassed to show affection and would rather give you a high five. Vin was a gentle one and probably reluctant to go with the rough and tumble ways of the specie called male cousins. When it came to decency and manners, he set the bar high to the consternation of the bullies in the family.

His interest in books was overtaken by his dreams to follow his dads footsteps, idolizing his principles, unrelenting devotion and professionalism to the AFP. He felt more at home in the outdoors with the foot soldiers or underlings. In his own little way, he worked to improve their lives, rather than engaged in endless hollow talk as would be the ways of some.

In a sense, his untimely passing was part of his ultimate sacrifice in a life full of giving. The heartbreaking and unintended realization is we, adults are led to travel the roads that put premium on making a living or serving flag and country at the expense of family or the normal quest for personal happiness.

Thus this tragedy raises doubts in our minds if we have been forsaken. We mourn the passing of a young man, not knowing why precious time was taken away from him at the peak of his youth. He should be enjoying life, experiencing the embrace of one true great love – Mariel or at times being naughty with cousins led by “B”-influencers (joke lang) Menggay, Stephanikate, Brian, Miguel, and Tasha.

Alvin was happiest during his brief visits in Baguio like during Maine’s wedding to Chock where he embraced the bride who from his father’s point of view looked gorgeous, splendid, truly, and really happy.

We will miss him more than we can imagine.

No words can define the sorrow and sadness the family feels who have our eternal pledge of prayers, love and gratitude for Alvin. There are so many memories that beg to be shared. While we were unable to spend more time together to enjoy his magic, laughter, banter, stories, and his dreams, the few special moments with Alvin were plain awesome.

Time to bid Allen goodbye for now. We are sure though that as he closed his eyes in the fading sunset of his earthly life, he was forthwith awakened to the unending sunrise of an eternal life in the heavenly father’s loving embrace. Hasta la vista Alvin.

Sigh.

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