Written by Emmanuelle
oN Saturday, July 6, we laid to his rest one of Pangasinan’s famous legal minds, Atty. Julio F. Desamito, retired COMELEC Commissioner. A native of the eastern municipality of Pozorrubio, he was considered to be one if not the most loyal Pozorrubian. Jules’ eulogy, penned by this writer, was read in whole or in part by Mayor Emma T. Chan. Present were his immediate family, his kabaleyans, and his friends. Also present were some members of the nation’s executive, legislative and judicial branches – people who, in one way or another, were touched by his long, colorful sojourn in this lifetime.
In contrast with the turmoil of the past weeks, this is one morning when we stand here truly united, with one thought, one purpose, and one sentiment. We are here to share this one last morning with a friend.For, after the long and winding road that he walked with us – there is this one road he shall have to walk without us. We, too, will have to walk without him.We have heard so much about Atty. Julio Desamito. We must all agree – as a lawyer, a COMELEC commissioner, a Jaycee president or senator – he made the nation, even the world, take notice of Pozorrubio. In fact, he was the most loyal Pozorrubian. He comes home to Pozorrubio as soon as he could think of a reason to do so.
Actually, I never got to know how to address him properly – Attorney, Abogado, Kumpare, Sir. I was forever in awe of him! His achievements during his lifetime were so many and so amazingly extra-ordinary! Jules was never ordinary – as a boy, student, schoolmate, son, husband, brother, father, friend, lawyer, COMELEC commissioner, Pozorrubian, Pangasinense, Jaycee. Even as the grand old man.
Jules was extra-ordinary. As a boy, a student, a schoolmate – he had the fun; he had the medals, too. As a son, a husband, a brother, a father û he loved, he cared; and he went on to prove so. His family is the living proof. Widowed at thirty-six years of age, he was able to raise his five kids and to graduate them single-handedly – a civil engineer, an economist, a doctor, a dentist and a lawyer! – Without encountering major familial problems (such as drugs, discipline, etc.). He entered into his second marriage only when he was in his sixties, when his kids were all married and settled.
As a friend – he was the buddy, the comrade; the helper-assistant-supporter or the one who dares you to make possible an almost-impossible dream, the one who pushes you, the one who will even lead you ahead.
The last hours of his life, he spent with us. His last consciousness was of this rural air, of this rural place.
It is to my regret that I was not able to join Jules in his last gathering of friends during the birthday of his sister, Madam Letty Desamito. He dropped by the house to invite us, but upon learning that my husband, ex-mayor Artemio Chan, and I were in Sison for the celebration of the inauguration of Mayor Kimi Cojuangco, he left without making bilin of the purpose of his visit. He was able to fetch one of our friends though, who was luckily at home at the time.
How I envy this friend for the chance to have shared those last few hours with Jules! How I wish my husband and I were also there! We could have had the best of times recalling the Friday Club, a group composed of prominent or influential Pozorrubians, Dagupenos and other Pangasinenses. Jules made sure he was in Pozorrubio every Friday night, just to join the barkada, kahit bumabagyo and regardless of how busy or exhausted he was. That last night, he told our friend he was happiest when he was in Pozorrubio.
Not having been there during the last of his few hours left, I missed the one and only opportunity he could have had shared with me his advice on my new role as mayor of this town. I know he will never be selfish with his thoughts, his views, his witticism and his komentaryos. One thing sure, Jules does not let you leave na hindi nadagdagan ang iyong nalalaman.
Sa totoo lang, I believe Jules did not leave us. He lives… forever here, in our hearts.”