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Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park BEYOND ‘EDONG MAPANGARAP’: Remembering Eddie del Rosario, His Advocacy and Activism
BEYOND ‘EDONG MAPANGARAP’: Remembering Eddie del Rosario, His Advocacy and Activism PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Obituary-Memorial Park
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Friday, 09 July 2010 08:26


BEYOND ‘EDONG MAPANGARAP’: Remembering Eddie del Rosario, His Advocacy and Activism

 

(Part One of a Two-part Series)

 

By Bobby M. Reyes

 

O ut of the blue in August 2000, this writer received an e-mail from a Dr. Eddie del Rosario of Guam. He called himself “Ka Edong.” He said in his online message that he had heard of me in several e-newsgroups. He wanted the help of our Southern California-based coalition in lobbying the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) to support his pet advocacy: Changing the Medicare Law of the United States, so as to permit Medicare patients to be treated in Philippine hospitals and medical facilities.

 

At that time, our group members had heard too of Dr. Del Rosario and his bold dreams for the Overseas Filipinos and our homeland. One of our colleagues from Los Angeles said in a jest that Dr. Eddie could be the Filipino-American personification of the Tagalog idiomatic moniker, “Edong Mapangarap.” I replied of course that “everything really starts with a dream. Even the great Martin Luther King--and the great civil-rights’ movement that he led--came from a dream.”

 

To read an earlier article about the death of Dr. Del Rosario, please click on this link, Ka Edong del Rosario Joins Ka Tonyang in the Great Beyond

 

Ka Edong and our group members eventually became soul-mates for we shared many common dreams, including what we dubbed as the “NaFFAA nightmares.”

 

Dr. Del Rosario did his homework. He knew that our SC-based coalition just affiliated with the NaFFAA and that it would be fielding 35 delegates to the federation’s national convention slated at the Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2000. He heard that our delegation would be the biggest group of NaFFAA members in the convention and chances were that I would be elected the new regional NaFFAA chairman for SC and Southern Nevada. He knew also that Atty. Loida Nicolas-Lewis is my fellow Sorsoganon and a childhood friend at that. And ergo, Ka Edong and I thought that it would be easy to “sell” his Medicare advocacy to the NaFFAA ruling clique through Ms. Loida.

 

So, our SC-based coalition agreed to push Ka Edong’s Medicare advocacy. He e-mailed to me his four-page presentation, we Xeroxed it and brought 300 sets to the NaFFAA national convention at the Bally’s. We gave the material to, and lobbied, the delegates, starting with Ms. Loida, for and on behalf of Dr. Del Rosario. But despite the assurance from Atty. Lewis that the Del Rosario Medicare Initiative would be discussed at the NaFFAA convention, it was not inserted at all in any of the focus-group meetings and/or plenary sessions.

 

The Oct. 1, 2000, election for the NaFFAA regional chairmanship turned out to be the “Ballygate” of an electoral scandal, as the NaFFAA clique used all the dirty tricks in the books to elect my opponent, who was its candidate. Details of the “Ballygate” could be read at this article, Why Many First-generation Filipino Immigrants Are Failing Badly as American Citizens

 

“NaFFAA-ka Sakit, Kuya Eddie”

 

I advised Dr. Del Rosario of the non-action on his pet project by the NaFFAA national leadership at its Las Vegas convention. He and I said that probably the NaFFAA ruling clique thought of the adage, “A friend of my enemy is also my enemy.” It would a variation of the saying that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” I used for the first time my pun of Eddie Ilarde’s radio show, “Napaka-sakit, Kuya Eddie,” in describing the NaFFAA's snub, even if Dr. Del Rosario preferred “Ka Edong” as his moniker.

 

For the following years, Ka Edong would lobby the NaFFAA national leadership for support of his Medicare Initiative. But all he got was lip service from the federation’s ruling clique.

 

Ms. Chee Garcia reported that some NaFFAA national executive officers were present during the wake for Ka Edong’s remains in Manila. The NaFFAA clique members were lucky that I was not there—for I would have asked them why they were shedding “crocodile tears” for Ka Edong.

 

The 2004 National Elections

 

T he debacle in the NaFFAA for Ka Edong’s Medicare Initiative did not end our budding ties with him. We frequently exchanged e-mails and compared notes on advocacies and common causes or concerns. In fact, our ties become stronger when he learned that I worked in Guam during the Vietnam War. I was assigned by an American mover to handle the hold-baggage shipments of B-52 crew members that flew out of Andersen Air Force Base. Ka Edong loved—aside from the islands in the Philippine archipelago—Guam.

 

In 2003 then presidential-aspirant Nene Pimentel invited me to be part of his party’s senatorial slate. I e-mailed about 100 Overseas-Filipino community leaders and informed them of Senator Pimentel’s invitation for the 2004 national elections. I sought their opinion and advice. Ka Edong was one of the leaders that did not laugh at the idea of my representing the Overseas Filipinos in the Philippine Senate. He said that he would help in any way that he could and wished me luck. In fact Ka Edong and I planned a Guam stopover on my way to the Philippines to join Senator Pimentel in proclaiming his presidential and senatorial slates.

 

But then Senator Pimentel aborted his presidential bid and his party did not field any senatorial slate. (Mr. Pimentel ran for reelection under the United Opposition banner and won handily.) So, I became instantly an “ex-future Filipino senator,” as Cesar Torres, a former University of the Philippines professor, likes to tease me from San Francisco, California, where he lives.

 

(To be continued . . .)



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Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 14:02
 
Comments (7)
My sincere condolence to the family of Ka Edong for the passing away of our good friend and colleague. Let us all pray for the repouse of his soul.

Dr. Lito
2 Friday, 16 July 2010 07:03
I am asking everyone's prayer for the eternal repose of Ka Edong.

In Solidarity,

Jun
May Ka Edong rest in peace! I have appreciated his friendship, sense of humor and dedication to his advocacies.

Bert
A great loss to OF community. Ka Edong was a patriot: fearless, determined and dedicated to the cause of the Overseas-Filipino community.

He is my friend. I love him dearly!

May he rest in peace!

Rob Ceralvo
5 Friday, 16 July 2010 07:26
wbvillarama@ yahoo.com
To: PDP Worlwide-Filipino- Alliance
Sent: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 7:24 pm
Subject: Re: [Worldwide-Filipino -Alliance] Fwd: [OFWNetFI] Prayers for Ka Edong del Rosario

Mag tanong lang po? Where is ka edong. This is willie buyson villarama cousin of his wife maribel BELAY Buyson Bernardo. Ka Edong was very active in pushing for the absentee voting law when I was a congressman. Will appreciate receiving any info re him.

Ty po

Ka Willie

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tumbagang Isda
Sender: Worldwide-Filipino- Alliance@ yahoogroups. com
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 2010 16:58:51 -0700
To:
ReplyTo: Worldwide-Filipino- Alliance@ yahoogroups. com
Subject: Re: [Worldwide-Filipino -Alliance] Fwd: [OFWNetFI] Prayers for Ka Edong del Rosario

Again!??

Oh my God, please take care of him, and revive him.

This is sad news.

On 7/5/2010 4:46 PM, bertpagarigan@ aim.com wrote:

For your intercessory prayers.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rachelle C. Garcia
Sent: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 5:41 pm
Subject: [OFWNetFI] Prayers for Ka Edong del Rosario


It is with great sadness that I'm informing everyone that our dear friend, Dr. Eduardo "Ka Edong / Eddie" del Rosario, suffered from a massive stroke last Sunday morning. Because of the size of the intracerebral bleed, he is not expected to recover. Presently comatose at the Neuro ICU where only immediate family members are allowed to visit, he is being supported by a respirator until his 2 US-based daughters arrive tonight. His wife, Maribel, and 2 other daughters (Guam-based) are at his side.

Please pray for him.

Chee
6 Friday, 16 July 2010 07:28
Condolence to the family of Ka Edong del Rosario.

Angel R. Pantoja
Mobile No. Globe +639178494929
Mobile No. Sun +639225910711
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
7 Friday, 16 July 2010 07:31
In behalf of the Jeddah WFA/PPP groups please convey our wholehearted condolence to the family of Ka Edong. Surely we will be missing one of the epitomes of OFW's worldwide.

Ka Corly
WFA/PPP Jeddah, KSA

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