I woke up this morning with a very bad news that shocked my core group of friends in Cebu. Early morning all of us gathered in our chatroom and talked about it.

Tito Tingting de la Serna has passed. I call him Sir Ting and he calls me Tita Tin.

Sir Ting is a former governor of Cebu.

He is my mentor, my confidant, my adviser and my friend.

We chat every morning ‘cos like me he is an early riser. I enjoy talking to him. I learned so much about life, about relationships, about being a parent from him. Aside from that he makes me laugh.

I first found out he was sick during one of our chats a few months ago. I can’t remember exactly when. Whether it was this year or late last year. He told me he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He asked me to pray for him. “Of course I’ll pray for you. You don’t have to ask me.” 

I was so sad.

Someone who is a lover of life. Someone who I look up to. Someone who lifts me up every time I feel down. Someone who is always there. Someone who cares. Someone who is a good father. Why him?

Only God knows.

I made him promise he will fight. I told him to hang on and fight. Which he did. To the very end.

After his first chemo treatment he was very happy to tell me that the cancer cells were gone. His family celebrated and I celebrated with them.

A few months after he told me the cancer cells were back. And it was back with a vengeance. But he continued to fight.

I didn’t know what to say to him this time. I told him I will continue to pray. He would send me messages every now and then. And he became scarce in social media.

I did not expect it was going to be this soon. I knew one day it will happen and I have to accept it. He went peacefully surrounded by his family.

Goodbye Sir Ting. It was an honor to know you.

See you some day.

One day…

Sir Ting with his children. Frances, Marie, Carrie and Manu