Roger O: Politicians are all rotten | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Roger O: Politicians are all rotten

DID ROGER O. try to dig in for Mayor Rody Duterte of Davao City in the last presidential election?

No way sir, said Marilyn, mother of a young basketball aspirant whom Roger O. was trying to help through college.

Roger O. was the committed nationalist writer Rogelio L. Ordoñez from Alapan, Imus, Cavite. His cremation, scheduled today at the Holy Trinity Chapel in Sucat, Parañaque, has been postponed to give way to the homecoming of his eldest son Lenin, who will arrive from Canada tomorrow.

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My dear kumpadre, my writing mentor together with the poet-novelist Erwin Castillo, passed away on Thursday morning after a brief confinement at Imus Medical Center.

In a reply to my text message the other week, he said he had suddenly lost his appetite, was rapidly losing weight, after being diagnosed with tumor in the liver.

We would not be communicating again after that fleeting exchange.

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In an obituary printed in the Inquirer yesterday, Ordoñez was cited as a multi-awarded poet, essayist and short story writer, whose tales have been translated and anthologized abroad.

One of those stories, entitled “Nasaan si Anto,” is about a village underdog who strayed into Roger’s quaint village from nowhere.

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It was a great characterization of a hungry, overworked servant, equaled in its power and vividness only by the great Rogelio Sikat with his classic piece “Kaka Celo.”

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Sikat and Ordoñez were contemporaries of prized nationalist writers Ave Perez Jacob, and Edgardo M. Reyes of the “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag” fame.

Ordoñez et al. belonged to that group described by a respected critic as “the best of the young writers who have resisted the lure of formalist experimentation in favor of realistic documentation of the plight of the exploited poor.”

Roger O. had always fought oppression.

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He readily passed the hat around to help tortured nationalist writer Jose F. Lacaba, after the fighting poet from Pateros contracted tuberculosis for having had to sleep on the cold concrete floor during a lengthy heartless incarceration by the dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Bilin po nya sa akin, one day lang cremate na siya,” Marilyn bared.

Roger O. passed away at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Marilyn was mystified how she got a missed call at 6:30 the same morning from Roger O’s cellphone number.

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It was all too sudden, napakabilis po, said Marilyn.

Did Roger O. bat for Duterte in the last elections?

No way sir, said Marilyn, explaining that Roger O. had always abhorred politicians because they are all rotten one and the same.

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She reported that flags at Polytechnic University of the Philippines, where Roger O. was a well-admired stand-out professor, have all been put at half-mast since Thursday.

TAGS: Davao City, help, poet, presidential election

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