Jeland De Guzman: Another friend passes on, will be missed

Third wake this Christmas week. Another passes on, Jeland de Guzman, 47, once with the Student Christian Movement and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (under Rafael Mariano).

I was struck by his personal effects--a Mao cap, another one with a green leaf symbol, a cluster of necklaces with medallion, trinkets, and rosary. These somewhat speak of what the man cherished in his heart when he lived--a revolutionary ideal, an advocacy for Mother Earth, a deep spirituality. Jeland completed the 9 masses of this Season's "simbang gabi." When asked what he would wear on Christmas, he rejected the more formal shirts; and especially on Christmas day, he chose a rather casual shirt on which is emblazoned "World's Greatest Dad." But on this day he moved on to Soul World. And so he wears the shirt he chose, which I would say is "smart casual"-greatest dad!

Last night we had quite a laughter as we imagined him wearing a barong Filipino in his death. That could not and should not be, which could have been the height of awkwardness for a man who gave us light-heartedness and humor. Even his name is conversation piece. We learned that Jeland was derived from Magellan; Jeland was born on the day Magellan is known to have come to these islands, March 16! A happy send-off for a komrad who left us feeling good and feeling light, a spiritual value, something that matters a lot in our continuing daily toil and in our struggle for peace and social justice.

Dr. Ferdie Llanes


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