Some people make an impact on a place or situation even if they do not make any noise, nor invite attention to themselves. They are just around, smiling, reacting silently to whatever happens to their milieu. It does not mean that they do not care. They just have a different way of caring. The simple, but profound way. They exude a quiet presence.
One such person is our co-worker at the SangguniangPanlalawigan, Jacqueline Ferniz-Lim. We all fondly call her Gigi at the office. Since her younger, and slimmer, days she loved to dance; and did so gracefully. Even when she gained weight, which goes naturally with age, she would not say no to a request for her to be part of a dance presentation during our annual convocation program at the Capitol. She also loved to cook. We were usually among those at the beneficial end of her sleepless nights when she would make sure that her torta and other sweets would be at par with the best-tasting ones in the city.
But the best part of her are those memories of our other co-workers who recalled that she would not fail to greet them every day and tell them how good-looking they were with their choice of clothes or outfit. “Bagaykasaimonggisuot ‘day”, she would simply quip to our co-employees. Nothing fancy or flattering but sincerely expressed. She was generous with gentle praise and kindness.
For sure, she had her share of challenges in life. One time she lost her collection of jewelries and other valuables to a burglar who forcibly opened their house in her absence. She simply cried and carried the burden without too much ado. With the recent transfer of our office to the new Capitol she was one of those who feebly complained about the difficulty of catching a tricyle or multicab to and from our new office. But never too loudly. “Smile gihaponbisaghangaknaibaktas. Exercise man gihapon para pa-slim”, she and her usual companions would poke fun about it.
With Gigi’s quiet presence, the office was more peaceful and harmonious. The kind of music she would play on her computer are the old inspirational favorites that never die. Like her love for equally serene husband, Milo, and favorite niece,Josely, who inherited Gigi’s poise and charm and won the 1998 Miss Bohol title. Gigi’s physical body may have succumbed to cardiac arrest, but her beautiful spirit-soul lives forever! Godspeed, dear friend.