WE ARE very, very sad after knowing that a friend and distant relative of ours, Gov. Corazon N. Malanyaon of Davao Oriental, died last Wednesday morning in a Davao City hospital of an illness we have yet to know.
The last time we were able to talk with each other was over a year ago, shortly before her assumption as head of the Eastern Davao Province for her current term as the provincial chief executive. She invited us, but we were not able to make it due to distance and lack of material time.
Just as we were thinking of Cora when we chanced upon a family picture of ours in front of the Davao Oriental Museum late afternoon of Wednesday, our landline rang. At the other end of the line, we heard the voice of a former colleague at Davao Light asking us if we knew what happened to the lady governor. We answered in the negative. And that was when our former fellow Davao Light employee gave us the unexpected news of Cora’s death.
We had our first few engagements with Cora during the early post-EDSA days when she was appointed one of the OIC councilors for the third district of Davao City and later when she topped the polls for the same position in the regular elections in 1988.
Even as the late governor decided to move to her home province and started her political career first as Congresswoman, then governor, back to the Lower House and back again as head of her province, she never lost an election.
Why was her political star that bright? Simple – any resident of the Eastern Davao Province will tell anyone who bothers to ask that question and cares to listen for an answer will be told: She is a servant leader who can either be seen ahead on the lead or at the back pushing for things to be accomplished for her people.
From our perspective, both as a media man and later as head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) concerns of Davao Light, we can claim we knew the late Cora Malanyaon up close. We represented our employer during the relief mobilization for the people of her province badly affected by typhoon Pablo. And despite her being a woman, she was on top of everything.
Of course, we cannot fathom the will of the Almighty. He is our creator who determines what we become and when we are only up to live in the world. Apparently, the lady governor had only that length of time given by the Almighty. And sadly, her time came when she was in the thick of her activities leading her province and its people to the right place they deserve in society.
Now, the people of Davao Oriental and those not from there but who had the opportunity to engage with the late governor are mourning her demise. But what Cora did during her lifetime of service to the people surely had already secured for her the enshrinement of her name. Her physical body may long be back to its former state – a handful of earth – but certainly, the legacy she left behind will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew her, be they Davao Oriental residents or friends from outside of her native province.
We have no doubt Cora’s travel to the great beyond and her arrival in Shangrila will be smooth and welcomed by the angels of God who know all the good deeds that she had in this earth.
Bon voyage Governor. We are certain we will meet again somewhere when our own time comes.
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