I plan to transfer my Kuya Ben’s libingan

I’ve visited my brother in the cemetery twice in the past two weeks.
It was his birthday on June 11 but I only got to travel to Binangonan on June 12.
It was burning hot at the cemetery at 3 pm but that didn’t deter me from at least spending several minutes with him.
I lighted the two pieces of candle I had bought from the sari-sari store at the Santo Rosario Memorial Park main entrance.

Kuya Ben, cemetery June 12, 2024

Kuya Ben, cemetery June 12, 2024

Every time I visited him I couldn’t control my tears. He’s been dead for 18 years and yet I still feel sad thinking of him. His life, how he lived, could have been better but he chose to live like that. I felt guilty too for not paying too much attention to him. As a sister, even if I was 10 years younger, I could have spoiled him a little.
That chance is long gone. Now, the only thing I could do is to give him a more dignified resting place.

We drove around the park up the small hill where Dr. Amos Callanta, a certain Doblada, Sally, and the parents of Gov. Ito Ynares’s mausoleums are. Nakakatawa kasi the caretakers and their families are sleeping on top of the granite niches.
There are a few creepy buildings, parang pinabayaan na.

It’s been in my to do list for years to transfer Kuya Ben’s remains but never got too. In my mind, his children would probably be the one to think of doing that and make plans. But it’s been more than a decade and they are busy with their own lives so I’ll just proceed.
I really hate stepping on other people’s graves and that was also the reason why we bought the lots beside our parents’ in the US. And we also moved their graves alongside the road. More convenient. We park and just stand there, without having to hop and skip over other families’ loved ones. At napakinabangan rin dahil my Kuya Romy’s wish was to be buried beside our parents’ and thy wish was done.

I looked at the garden lots and family estate lots in Sto. Rosario and luckily there are still available lots, although just a few and not too many options in terms of location.

I implored the help of the sales agent but the rain poured heavily while we were doing the ocular. I didn’t want to get off the car. They thought I didn’t want to get wet. “Naku, hindi ako takot sa ulan, okay lang kung maligo ako sa basa, pero takot ako sa kidlat”. Grabe ang kidlat, ayokong matamaan. I was there looking for a resting place for Kuya Ben, eh kung tamaan ako ng kidlat, baka ako ang maunang mailibing.

They showed me one lot, nice location, tabing kalye although the road is inclined mahirap magpark. And there’s a mausoleum being built right beside it which is encroaching on the lot for sale. Tingnan mo nga naman ang mga tao, pati ba naman sa libingan, mandadaya pa sa sukat. Hoy, respect naman. Do not steal other people’s libingan. If you want to expand your burial ground, aba eh bilhin nyo yung kalapit, for sale naman. Bayad kayo, show your money.
What if that’s what I’ve decided to purchase for my brother? Sabi daw alam nila na lumampas, babaguhin daw, gigibain. I don’t believe them. I told the agent, since the owners are aware that they’ve encroached, they should correct that mistake right now, without need of notice or demand. Whether the encroachment is an honest mistake or not, now that you know, then as decent individuals, do the right thing, gibain nyo yung pader nyo.

I hope I can find a better location to transfer my brother otherwise baka may makaaway pa ako eh my Kuya Ben cannot rest in peace there.

There’s a newly constructed mausoleum for sale in the same area because the owners changed their minds. They decided to bury their parent in another town closer to them. Apparently they are not from Binangonan they just bought that family lot. The selling price is P1.7M. I don’t like ready built structure. My idea is a simple gazebo type, more like a garden. Creepy pag merong bahay tapos wala namang mag me maintain. Baka mapabayaan lang.
There are a few more lots still up for sale but I requested the agent to send me the lot plans and details. Baka sold na pala. Funny naman the agent, she told me, we can have picnics or class meetings at my brother’s resting place. Huh? Ang dami namang lugar, Jollibee, McDo, Lugawan ni Mang Ekek, bakit duon pa magmi-meeting. That’s weird. Magalit pa yung mga patay dun, they cannot have peaceful afternoon naps.

As we were leaving the park, the main road was heavily flooded including the garden lot where Kuya Ben is buried. Nalubog na sya sa baha. Kawawa naman ang kuya. The more I felt the urgency to move him to a higher elevation. Because of my schedule, I would only be able to continue my search in September, and if ever, transfer his remains next year. I also need to inform his wife and 3 children. I’ve informed Kuya Lito and Len, and they both agreed to share in the expenses.

Some people think why spend or bother, he’s dead, he wouldn’t know or feel the baha. But even in death, we should still cherish the memories of our loved ones, give them a decent send-off, burial, and a dignified resting place. Hindi natin sila pwedeng pabayaan kahit patay na sila.

This early morning Kuya Ben appeared in my dreams. Theo and I were on the bed playing, and Aileen was on another bed but in the same room. When Kuya Ben suddenly appeared to my right side. I got excited when I recognized him. I knew he was dead but I became ecstatic seeing him and started calling him “Kuya, Kuya Ben, Kuya”. He was walking towards me and I knew his appearance would be fleeting so I said “Kuya Kuya si Theo, si Theo, apo ko” . Kuya Ben smiled at us, he touched my shoulder and then he disappeared. Aileen didn’t see him but she heard me calling him.

I woke up at 6:30 am when I heard Theo calling me “Wowaaa, Wowaaa”. I immediately stood up and checked on him.
While I was changing his wet diaper, I suddenly remembered my dream. My tears just flowed.


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