Hundreds bid farewell to George

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita February 04,2015 - 10:43 AM

 

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama says barangay captain George Rama’s death served to unite all the Ramas (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama says barangay captain George Rama’s death served to unite all the Ramas (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

A Sinulog dance by the Tribu Lumad Basakanon  was a send off tribute for George Rama, whose  funeral yesterday was attended by hundreds of relatives, friends, and supporters from  Basak San Nicolas where he was  barangay chairman for over ten years.

As his casket was brought out of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the award-winning dance group which Rama founded performed, and shouted “Daghang salamat, Kapitan George Rama.”

Before  burial at the Cebu Memorial Park,  his   remains were brought to the Cebu City Hall where a necrological service included  eulogies from his cousin, Mayor Michael Rama and sister, showbiz talent manager Annabelle Rama who showed up with members of her celebrity family from Manila.

A large LED screen was set up at the Plaza Sugbo grounds to allow people outside to view the ceremony.

In his homily, Msgr. Roberto Alesna called on city officials to follow George’s legacy as a public servant for 30 years.

Sympathetic soul

George Rama's younger sister, talent manager, Annabelle spoke of their close family ties. She attended with husband Eddie Gutierrez, daughter Ruffa and two sons. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

George Rama’s younger sister, talent manager, Annabelle spoke of their close family ties. She attended with husband Eddie Gutierrez, daughter Ruffa and two sons. (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Alesna said he officiated George’s marriage to his wife Geraldine in 1999 as well as the confirmation rites of their only son Paul Edward. George died of pneumonia sepsis last January 26.

In his eulogy, Mayor  Rama said he was grateful to George, whose role as a loyal political ally   was strategic in holding the support of other barangay captains.

“The death of Geroge will unite the Ramas further and will also enhance Team Rama,” he  said.  “I will assure you that his courage and wisdom will be in all of us.”

Close to family
Annabelle, his  younger sister, talked about how she and the village chief were close since they were the only siblings still living in the country.

“Sige mi’g away ni George, mag-lalis mi pirmi. Pero close kaayo mi. Pinangga kaayo niya akong mga anak (George and I would often  fight and argue but we were very close. He really cared for my family),” she said.

Annabelle was with her husband Eddie, daughter Ruffa and sons Raymond, and Richard with his girlfriend Sarah Lahbati and their son Zion.

She joked that she told George when he was still in the hospital that he won’t die yet “since he’s a bad guy.”

“Sige ko’g ingon ni George nga dugay na siyang kapitan pero pobre lang gihapon.  Mangayo gihapon siya nako.  Ako siya gi-ingan, ngano di ka mangupit nga 10 percent is legal, it’s SOP.  But dili gyud siya, kay ganahan siya kaayusan sa iyang barangay,” she said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

(I would tell him, he’s been a barangay captain for so long but still remains poor. He would still ask money from me.  I told him why don’t you collect  10 percent when that’s legal and SOP. But he  didn’t want to touch  public funds.)

After he toured her  around the barangay, Annabelle said she saw how clean it was.

“Mao tong nisugot ko nga dili sya mangupit ug ako na lang sya tabangangan.” (That’s why I agreed to help him so he won’t have to steal.)

Councilor Gerardo Carillo said he saw George Rama as a partner and mentor in politics when they both ran for the City Council in 2001.

“George Rama was a gentle giant. Behind the thundering stature was a soft, kindhearted and sympathetic soul. His satirical discourse  left an imprint in the people’s minds, both friends and foes,” Carillo said.

Vice Mayor Labella handed the council’s framed resolution conferring a posthumous award for exemplary public service to George’s wife and son.

George served as Basak San Nicolas barangay chairman in 1989 to 2001 and in 2007 to 2015. He served as Cebu City councilor from 2001 to 2004. George’s brother Adolfo who flew in from the US thanked those who helped George in life and death.

A motorcade brought his casket  to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for a 2 p.m interment Mass presided by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma.

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TAGS: Cebu City, George Rama, Michael Rama

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