In Memoriam

2 min readFeb 17, 2024


From left to right:

Maria ‘#Nene’ Rodriguez-Vytiaco ✝︎

Jan 19, 1926 — Feb 17, 2024

Fortunato ‘#Atoy’ Eusebio-Vytiaco ✝︎

Oct 14, 1927 — Aug 28, 2013

Guillerma ‘#Emma’ Vytiaco-Diala ✝︎

Feb 10, 1935 — Apr 18, 2021


Leonida ‘#Aning’ Garcia-Rodriguez ✝︎

Sept. 12, 1919 — Feb. 3, 2010

I don’t know how to deal with this situation… since I’ve spent more than 50 of all my years never being, in all intents and purposes, “far” from my mother… from both my parents as a matter of fact. I have never known a life without them close by — except for only recently, for reasons that I did not hesitate to make public.

Public! And all that time longing, hoping, waiting… for the very distinct possibility (or so I thought) that someone, anyone, would stand by my side and perhaps even just whisper… that I should not let outsiders define who I am, how I love, and what I believe in.

This situation I find myself in is a bizarre, alien landscape that I am ill-equipped to deal with. Expecting that the concept, the idea, that the fabric of family that has played a significant role in all my entire life, has been yanked selfishly and greedily from this, my currently aging reality.

It has been five years since 2019 when Nanay was removed from the ancestral house she has called her home ever since my father and my grandfather completed it during the (best guess) late 1940’s. (The date etched in concrete at the base of the entry staircase has unfortunately been covered with more concrete when Bautista St. was elevated during the flood-prone 1970’s.)

As I say to all who mean well in their consolations and condolences, “I was there with her in more years than I thought I had. I was there when she lived, and for me, that’s all that mattered.”

Although I have to admit that I am still troubled by the fact that I have absolutely no idea how she lived her last years, I know exactly how she lived her earlier years! If 10 years is not what a 98 year old would consider a long time, imagine what she thinks of a measly 5 years? Of course we would beg to differ, but then again, we’re not 98 years old.

Those, her earlier years, are made up of significantly more years, obviously. And in these, I am a witness to, and a willing participant — and these years are quite eventful, oftentimes gleeful, with surprises and twists that keep us hopeful, but most importantly, these years have been most meaningful.

Copyright Donato R. Vytiaco © 2024