Monday, February 16, 2009

Good-bye to Our Beloved Bermie Alejandro

We bid farewell to our beloved Bermie Alejandro. She was called home by our Father last February 7, 2009 at the prime of her life. She was finally laid to rest last Saturday, Valentine's Day, escorted by a throng of people who loved her dearly. From her home to her final resting place, her earthly remain was borne by a horse-drawn carriage. A huge crowd trailed behind the ornate brougham as it meandered the streets towards her garden of eternal rest.

Her untimely demise has left a gaping wound in our hearts that will take forever to heal. But we are comforted by the thought that she is now with the Almighty God where she will share life eternal with Him, with all the angels and cherubims.

Bye bye sweet Bermie. Till we meet again. . .


    by Diko Dan Alejandro

    Bermie will always be remembered as an inspiration to anyone in living a life filled with challenges and the occasional sacrifices and frustrations that may come his way in one way or another.

    We came from a simple and a so-called family with just enough with our father a fisherman and our mother a fish vendor. And coming from a place with almost seventy percent of people sustains life from the catch of the day, this fact never stopped our parents to do everything noble and dignified in order for us to enter school.

    For those of you who may be wondering why you haven’t heard of a similar name Berminda. It is because it is taken from the name of our parents, Bernardo and Luzviminda. Bermie to most of her friends, ‘Bunso’ to our parents, grandparents, aunts , uncles and elder relatives, but I lovingly call her Mi, or the further shortened Bermie, just Mi… especially when I send text messages to her.

    Bermie and I, without prejudice to our other siblings… we grew up together. She is the fourth in the brood of four, while me the third; and we shared the same high ambition to finish school and to end up with a good job. We used to sing the same childhood songs and even sang silly lyrics to an otherwise hit song.

    I remembered that I always wanted to become a doctor and so did she. And not everybody knew that Bermie had to patiently wait for two years after graduating a nursing course before she could enter medical school. After all, which family could afford sending two children in medical school at the same time? Thanks to our parents’ prudence and personal sacrifices that they even had to borrow money with interest just to sustain our very expensive education.

    For those who can still remember, I had my residency training in internal medicine here in Tondo Medical Center. And it was during my last years of training that Bermie entered as a medical intern and right there she knew that she wanted to work and to stay with the people who also adopted me for four years.

    You fondly call her Dra Bermie or Dra Alejandro, no longer known as just a sister of yours truly, your once medical resident, but because she had earned her own identity in this hospital as a down-to-earth, smiling face, bombshell of laughter and an easy-to-approach kind of person. And to every one of you here, I know you will agree that her smile is contagious that you won’t help it but smile back. She was a very active personality in hospital organizations, the thing that I never was when I was here in Tondo Medical Center and for this reason, it made me really proud of her.

    I cannot remember a single time that we had an argument. Bermie is my younger sister who always valued my every advice and she always listens to every word that I say to her. And perhaps, no one is ever prouder when you are one’s “idol”. And no one will ever take this away from my heart.

    Ang Tondo Medical Center po ang nagtaguyod sa aming ambisyon para makapagsanay at magbigay ng kaukulang pinansyal na suporta para sa aming pamilya. Dahil po rito, pamilya nga ring maituturing ang bawat isa sa ospital na ito. Labis-labis ang aming pasasalamat at pagtanaw ng utang na loob sa Tondo Medical Center at sa lahat ng mga taong bumubuo rito.

    Maraming salamat po sa taos-puso ninyong pakikiramay sa aming pamilya. Damang-dama naming kawalan din po ninyo ang aming kawalan. At dahil po rito, ang aming pagdadalamhati ay parang naibsan na rin dahil alam po naming maaalala nyo si Bermie bilang isang magalang, masayahin at mapagbigay na kaibigan, katulad din ng lubos na pagkakakilala naming sa kanya.

    Maraming salamat po sa pamunuan ng ospital, lalung-lalo na sa Radiology Department na siyang umampon kay Bermie sa mahabang panahon. Sa bawat staff, empleyado, duktor, nurse, at sa lahat ng nakadaupang-palad ng aking kapatid sa ospital natin, salamat po. Sa mga taong naging takbuhan ni Bermie sa oras ng pangangailangan. Sa mga taong tumulong sa aming ama nang siya’y nagkasakit hanggang bawian ng buhay, hayaan nyo po akong magpasalamat sa inyo ngayon. Sa lahat ng nagtanggol kay Bermie at nanatiling kaisa nya hanggang sa huling sandali, kulang pa rin ang aking salita para magpasalamat sa inyong lahat.

    Si Bermie po ay naging isang masunuring anak, mapagmahal na kapatid, maarugang ina-inahan sa kanyang mga pamangkin, matalik na kaibigan, matatag na mananampalataya, mabuting duktor at matapat na kasintahan.

    Sampu ng aming angkan, ng pamilya Alejandro, hangad namin ay pagpalain nawa tayo ng Diyos sa lahat ng panahon at nawa’y ang halimbawa at alaala ni Bermie ay magsilbing inspirasyon sa bawat isa sa atin.

    Salamat po.

    (Delivered at a tribute by TMC-EA on February 13, 2009)

  2. Dear Danny,

    Thank you for posting your family's response to the tribute given to Bermie last Friday. Through this we have learned another side of Bermie unknown to us and also some trivia about your family.

    Ingat na lang parati and God bless you and your family.

    Dr. Teddy Tan