A Tribute to Soledad “Nanay Soling” Duterte

 

THE DUST THAT LASTS FOREVER

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

“WE ARE NOTHING BUT DUST IN THE WIND

EVERYTHING IS DUST IN THE WIND.

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER BUT THE EARTH AND SKY”

 

THE DABAWENYOS TODAY ARE IN GRIEF.

NANAY SOLING HAS DIED.

HER PASSING NOT ONLY IS A GREAT LOSS TO HER FAMILY.

THE DABAWENYOS, TOO, HAVE LOST A GREAT WOMAN, WHO OFFERED HER LIFETIME IN THE SERVICE OF THE PEOPLE.

BUT THEN “WE ARE NOTHING BUT DUST IN THE WIND. EVERYTHING IS DUST IN THE WIND.”

NANAY SOLING WAS NOT AT THE CENTER OF GOVERNANCE.

BUT HER CONTRIBUTION TO THE POLITICAL, EDUCATIONAL, SOCIAL, RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL LIFE OF DAVAO CITY IS A COLORFUL STORY OF A BRAVE, COURAGEOUS AND TIRELESS WOMAN DEDICATED TO THE WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE.

SHE LEFT AN IMPRINT IN THE POLITICAL LIFE OF THE CITY, BEING THE WOMAN BEHIND THE FAMILY CREDITED WITH MAKING WHAT DAVAO CITY IS TODAY.

SHE WAS THE WOMAN BEHIND THE LATE GOVERNOR VICENTE DUTERTE, HER HUSBAND, WHO AS GOVERNOR OF THE THEN UNDIVIDED DAVAO, LAID DOWN THE FIRST FOUNDATIONS OF THE DAVAO REGION’S MARCH TO THE FUTURE.

SHE WAS THE WOMAN BEHIND THEN MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE, HER SON AND NOW OUR VICE MAYOR, WHO STRENGTHENED THE FOUNDATIONS FOR THE CITY’S MARCH TO PROGRESS.

SHE WAS THE WOMAN BEHIND OUR MAYOR, SARA INDAY DUTERTE, HER GRANDDAUGHTER, WHO TODAY CONTINUES THE DUTERTE LEGACY OF SERVICE TO THE DABAWENYOS.

AS THE WOMAN BEHIND THE FAMILY WHO FOR DECADES STEERED THE POLITICAL ENGINE OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE, NANAY SOLING WAS THE SOUL AND INSPIRATION FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE AND PUBLIC SERVICE.

THE FIRE AND VIGOR IN HER TO MAKE AN IMPACT IN THE LIVES OF THE DABAWENYOS, DID NOT STOP EVEN AFTER HER RETIREMENT AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER WHO DEDICATED HER CAREER IN MOLDING FUTURE DABAWENYO LEADERS.

NANAY SOLING VALUED FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY SO DEARLY, THAT SHE PLACED HER LIFE IN GRAVE DANGER IN THE 80s BY LEADING ANTI-MARCOS ACTIVISTS IN THE DAYS OF DANGEROUS LIVING DURING THE MARTIAL LAW REGIME.

SHE WAS ALSO A WOMAN WHO PLACED PREMIUM ON LOCAL CULTURE, TRADITION AND HISTORY.

SHE INSPIRED THE CREATION OF OUR MUSEO DABAWENYO, NOW THE REPOSITORY OF DAVAO’S COLORFUL HISTORY.

SHE LOVED THE LUMADS SO MUCH THAT SHE LIVED AMONG THEM IN MARILOG, HELPING THEM IMPROVE THEIR LIVES.

HER DEEP LOVE FOR MOTHER EARTH INSPIRED HER TO ESTABLISH A FOUNDATION THAT HAS BECOME A MODEL ON HOW MAN CAN CARVE OUT A FUTURE IN FARMING IN TUNE WITH CLEAN ENVIRONMENT.

TODAY THE SRD FOUNDATION CONTINUES TO TRAIN FARMERS ON ORGANIC FARMING AND PRODUCTIVE AND RESPONSIBLE AGRICULTURE IN HARMONY WITH NATURE.

HER RELIGIOUS FERVOR WAS MARKED BY A WIDE RANGE OF INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH AND OF LOVE OF GOD.

THE LAST FEW MONTHS OF HER LIFE WAS DEDICATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A RELIGIOUS SHRINE IN MARAHAN, A PLACE OF PEACE AND COMFORT FOR DABAWENYOS LOOKING FOR REFUGE IN THIS TROUBLED WORLD.

HER HEART ALSO BELONGED TO THE DOWNTRODDEN, THE LESS PRIVILEGED AND THE OPPRESSED LOOKING FOR COMFORT, AND THOSE WHOSE DREAMS ARE CAGED BY LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES.

SHE WAS THE PRIME MOVER BEHIND BAGONG BUHAY —A 36-HECTARE REFUGE OF LOVE, HOPE AND COMFORT AND OPPORTUNITIES.

PART OF A FORESTAL AREA AWARDED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES TO THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF DAVAO THROUGH NANAY SOLING’S INITIATIVE, BAGONG BUHAY IN MARILOG IS A FUTURE HAVEN OF DRUG DEPENDENTS SEEKING REHABILITATION, HOMES FOR ELDERS AND WOMEN IN DISTRESS, LIVELIHOOD AND TRAINING CENTERS AND FARMLOTS FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T FIND THEIR PLACE IN THE URBAN JUNGLE.

IF THERE IS ONE CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF NANAY SOLING’S VISION OF EQUALITY IN OPPORTUNITIES IN LIFE, BAGONG BUHAY STANDS OUT AS A SHANGRILA FOR THE MANY WHO HAVE LESS IN LIFE AND MORE ON GRIEF AND SUFFERING.

NANAY SOLING WAS THE EPITOME OF A COMPLETE WOMAN.

MAKADIYOS FOR HER DEDICATION TO GOD.

MAKABAYAN FOR FIGHTING A DICTATORSHIP AND HELP FILIPINOS REGAIN TFREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.

MAKATAO FOR HER LOVE OF HUMANKIND

AND MAKAKALIKASAN FOR HER DEFENSE OF NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT.

AND YET, THIS DEAR WOMAN BADE HER BELOVED CITY GOODBYE WITHOUT THE HONORS BEFIT HEROES.

BEFORE SHE DIED, SHE ASKED THAT HER BODY BE IMMEDIATELY CREMATED AND HER ASHES RETURNED TO THE EARTH THAT SHE LOVED SO MUCH.

NANAY SOLING CAME AND PASSED THIS EARTH IN THE MANNER OF EVERY MORTAL AS DICTATED IN ECCLECIASTES: THERE IS A TIME TO BE BORN. THERE IS A TIME TO DIE.

BUT IN BETWEEN, SHE LIVED A COLORFUL LIFE THAT MADE IMPACT ON THE LIVES OF MANY.

THE LINE IN “DUST IN THE WIND” OF THE FAMOUS BAND KANSAS, MOANS ABOUT THE FATE OF MORTALS:

“WE ARE NOTHING BUT DUST IN THE WIND. EVERYTHING IS DUST IN THE WIND. NOTHING LIVES FOREVER BUT THE EARTH AND SKY.”

NANAY SOLING WAS ANOTHER DUST IN THE WIND, A DUST IN THIS EARTH WHO CAME AND PASSED AWAY.

BUT THERE IS SOMETHING IN HER THAT SHOULD LIVE FOREVER, LIKE THE EARTH AND THE SKY.

SHE WAS DIFFERENT. SHE WAS A WOMAN WHO MADE AN IMPACT ON PEOPLE AND SOCIETY. SHE WAS A WOMAN WHO TOUCHED OUR LIVES AND HELPED SHAPE OUR FUTURE.

SHE IS A DUST THAT SHOULD LIVE FOREVER—IN THE HEART, MIND AND SOUL OF THE DABAWENYOS.

GOODBYE AND GOD BLESS, NANAY SOLING.

(Delivered at the Davao City Council, Regular Session, February 7, 2012 By COUNCILOR ARNOLFO RICARDO CABLING Nanay Soling died around 3AM on February 4, 2012 at age 96. Her body was cremated in the afternnon of the same day).
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