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Feb 07th
Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park Remembering Rizalino A. Oades, Ph.D., a Professor, Community Leader and Writer
Remembering Rizalino A. Oades, Ph.D., a Professor, Community Leader and Writer PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 17 October 2009 07:19

He was probably the most-influential Filipino in the local community of
San Diego because of his direct contact with generations of Filipino Americans whose perceptions and attitudes he helped shape in the many years that he taught history at San Diego State University. Off campus, he advocated for Filipinos in the realm of politics and health. As a journalist, he used his column both as a bully pulpit and as a forum for grievance and reform. Dr. Riz A. Oades, the man with the acerbic wit, passed away quietly last week (Thursday, Oct. 8). He was 74. Internment is scheduled today, Saturday, Oct. 17.




. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .




University Professor & Community Leader

Who Shaped Generations of Filipino Americans 




The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten. – Jewish saying








The author is a member of the Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA)



S AN DIEGO -- Thursday last week (Oct. 8), the Filipino community lost a renowned figure, a respected academician who undoubtedly had influenced popular thinking and helped shape generations of hundreds of Filipino Americans in San Diego.


Rizalino A. Oades, Ph.D., succumbed to cancer, according to a close friend, apparently unaware of what had afflicted him until the last moment. He was 74.


Having had survived his first major hospitalization, the few months he had lived through had been a fruitful second coming. He said then that he had not realized he was quite wealthy.


In between that moment to the time of his demise, he had proposed the creation of a voters' coalition after witnessing how Filipino candidates were waylaid in mainstream elections.


His idea -- to be put to the test in next year's elections -- was the first solid step towards institutionalizing political empowerment at the local level.


Politics was just one of his many advocacies. Community health was another, as exemplified in the healthy eating campaign waged through Kalusugan Community Services which he had founded with Dr. Ofelia V. Dirige.


PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News

Volume 3, Issue No. 27 / News Without Fear or Favor /

. . . . A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public. . . . . .



Dr. Oades  was best known, I believe, for his writings in some Filipino newspapers, notably in the San Diego Asian Journal. There he ran a column which he used both as a bully pulpit as much as a forum for advocacy. 


His lengthy newspaper column had provided a window to his personality, to his soul, to the inner workings of his mind, to the many disappointments, to the triumphs, to the failures, to his vanities and to his own frailties as simply Riz Oades.


Professor Oades excelled in satire which he often wrote at the the tail-end of his articles. Many times during visits at his office at KCS, our conversations almost always ended in laughter over how and why he assigned faux names to real people in the community .


He was as passionate a historian as he was a chronicler of the times, a journalist.


In those positions, he had provided a link between two worlds -- the past of which he had studiously glimpsed and learned lessons from, and the present in which he had lived and thrived. That's where he applied those lessons.


He taught Philippine history and Asian Studies at San Diego State University, and in the process, laid bare the many character flaws that to this day bedevil generations of Filipinos, such as crab mentality and the lack of cohesiveness.


Dr. Oades was the person to confide to, the one I felt comfortable with brain-storming for hours on end. He had the ability to read beyond the news, to see outside the confines of a story, and relate whatever those were with the current situation.


It's a kind of reality check. But the important part was that he provided the grounding and the knowledge about the richness of Filipino heritage to generations of Americans of Filipino descent.


The creation of a voters' coalition that he had espoused -- he succeeded in gathering a good number of people to support it -- could be his most important legacy in a community sorely wanting in role models and day-to-day heroes.


But it was as columnist that he shone the brightest because of his acerbic wit.


Professor Oades was the person to confide to, the one I felt comfortable with brain-storming for hours on end. He had the ability to read beyond the news, to see outside the confines of a story, and relate whatever those were with the current situation. It was a gift sharpened by a knowledge of history.


Whenever we talked, half the time was spent sharing tidbits of information about people and what they do in the community. The other half was exhausted in what Filipinos fondly called "bulshit-tan" which was no more than telling tall stories and fairy tales.


As we probably both expected, our conversations inevitably veered towards the personal and the mundane, as my last visit to him at KCS turned out to be.


What was on my mind wasn't so much the usual community issues that dominated our discussions. This one I thought transcended any formalities simply for its absurdity and I was not one to rely on mere say-so of people. It needed airing and an immediate answer.


I've been told many times about the unbelievable news going around town, supposedly his latest "conquest" that sent itchy tongues wagging, and the mere mention of the word was enough to send him into fits of interminable laughter and excitement. 


"Oh, is that so?" he uttered in disbelief, half-amused and half-inquiring, then asked repeatedly who it was and why he was being linked to this woman his age.


"From what I hear," I said, "the story goes that you were caught lovingly feeding her during a dinner date at a casino. And then you supposedly. . . "  Before I could finish the sentence, the burst of laughter exploded.


I could still see how he reacted -- incredulous yet not losing the composure of a university professor that he was.


Instead of answering his questions promptly, I told him I wasn't the one to doubt his venerable prowess with the opposite sex.


This talk was man to man, not between a reporter and his subject, and therefore, more of a friendly exchange, much like a secret being confided over bottles of beer. We had done this many times in years past


Then he opened up, mocking the story as one fantastic tale by envious people out to discredit him and the woman. "Ano pa, ha, ano pa ang mga pinagsasabi sa 'kin?" he implored.


"Well," I replied, "you have become so attractive lately because of your recent discovery that you're a millionaire! Plus, I don't doubt your ability to deliver".


With that, Dr. Oades burst into a big, hard laugh. He was in his elements. # # #



This Breaking News comes from Romeo P. Marquez, Editor, Philippine Village Voice, San Diego, California. Mailing address: P.O. Box 2118, La Jolla, CA. 92038. Volume 3, Issue no. 27, October 16, 2009.


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Last Updated on Saturday, 17 October 2009 07:24
Comments (2)
1 Saturday, 17 October 2009 22:20
Pareng Romy,

It's a touching story. I enjoyed reading it. Very personal.... You were able to relate to your readers the essence of the man. You brought him to life with this story, especially his laughter on gossips about him. I especially liked that part. Thanks for sharing it.

2 Saturday, 07 November 2009 15:58
Whoever that woman, he made Dr Riz a happy man. Enjoyed her company. At his age, he was still attractive. Still have communications with ex girlfriends even his younger years.
Please watch this youtube link. "Riz A Oades Young at Heart"

Go to YouTube on search type" Riz A Oades "
I like your article. Thank you

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