Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bye, Mommy Charing

Tagbilaran City Saturday June 14, 2008 ---- This morning my paternal grandmother Rosario Pernia Dejaresco, Mommy Charing we called her, passed away. I am rushing to write but still cannot compose myself emotionally. I decided to just borrow the article of my lone (baptism) "maninoy" Ruben Cal, now the managing editor of the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
The consummate newsman that he is, maninoy Ruben immediately produced his piece in time for the Sunday publications of the Bohol Chronicle and Negros Chronicle. Here is his article:

Remember Nang Charing -

MANILA, June 14 – Bohol’s media matriarch is dead.
Mrs. Rosario “Charing” Pernia Dejaresco, died in peace at her hospital bed at 10:36 Saturday morning after receiving the Extreme Unction, the last rites of the Catholic Church. She was 85.
I have known Nang Charing even before I went to school way back in 1949 when I accompanied my mother, Mrs. Milagros B. Cal’s regular visit to the Dejaresco family in their rented apartment near the residence of former President Carlos P. Garcia in Tagbilaran City.
At that time, Nang Charing’s husband, the late Atty. Zoilo Dejaresco Jr. was a practicing lawyer but at the same time a professor at the Holy Name College (now Holy Name University).
But in between, Atty. Dejaresco was a correspondent of the now defunct Manila Chronicle.
His passion in news writing gave him the idea to pioneer Bohol’s first community newspaper – the Bohol Chronicle in May 1954. Since then, the Chronicle has not missed an issue to date even during martial law.
Through thick and thin when the Bohol Chronicle was in its infancy, Jun and Charing Dejaresco held on together. They pulled through every obstacle the fledging newspaper encountered with flying colors.
But it was Nang Charing’s perseverance, constant prayer being a Marian devotee and faith in God that made the big difference.
When big problems occurred, Nang Charing was always there on the side of her beloved husband, giving advice to take things easy and leave the matter to the Almighty.
One summer vacation when I was nine years old years old, I found myself as a newsboy, selling Bohol Chronicle, Manila Chronicle and Alimyon, a Visayan vernacular magazine which the Dejaresco family was the exclusive distributor in the province of Bohol at that time.
As a dotting and loving wife, Nang Charing was the treasurer of the Bohol Chronicle, dutifully keeping an accounting of all the sales of the struggling community newspaper.
Every Christmas Jun Dejaresco and Nang Charing would host a Christmas party for the newsboys.
When I graduated from high school, I was employed in the Bohol Chronicle initially as proofreader-messenger in 1963 through the recommendation of my mother.
I was unaware at that time that it was the start of my journalism career.
Jun Dejaresco, the Chronicle’s editor-publisher, and Justino “Ning” Romea, a prolific writer, not only gave me the encouragement to be a journalist, but taught me how to write straight and feature articles.
However, Nang Charing, an English teacher in her own right, was there not as an editor but my unsolicited adviser, giving some pointers of the story I have written.
It was Nang Charing’s friendly coaching that I had to be careful in my grammar and choice of words when I submitted my stories for the Chronicle’s Sunday issue, especially when her husband was in Manila or abroad for a conference or official business.
It was Nang Charing’s dominant presence in the newsroom, her ever smiling face that we, the employees would double our efforts – working overtime every Saturday for the Chronicle’s Sunday issue.
The last time I talked to Nang Charing was in 2004 when the Chronicle observed its golden anniversary.
She was so happy to meet me after years of not having seen each other.
I did not know that it was the last time I would meet her in person.
For me, I would always remember Nang Charing’s big heart, her kindness, always helpful, and her wide smile.
Though she may not be larger than life, but Nang Charing was at the forefront when she and her husband pioneered the press and radio network in Bohol and watch the Chronicle’s growth into a media empire and watchdog of press freedom.
Through the years, Nang Charing was ever conscious of the shortness of life. That way she had gained wisdom of heart for her fellow being.
Goodbye, Nang Charing.

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