In the past years, I’ve noticed that tributes have oftentimes been given to people when they are already dead. To me, that idea is as good as a chocolate teapot! The now dead person would have felt honored and appreciated if only the kind words have been told when he or she was still alive! Wouldn’t he or she?
Now let me pay a tribute to someone who’s very much alive!
…to someone who’s touched so many lives!
I’m talking about Mr. Dennis Rodriguez!!!!!
According to our mother, he’s the largest baby she’s ever delivered! He weighed 9lbs when he came into the world exactly 28 years ago today.
“He looked like a one-year-old baby back then,” she would recall.
He was BIG! Oh wait, let me correct myself here. He IS big for until now, he’s the tallest and the heaviest among the four of us. (Ooops… I think I’d have to apologize! I know I’m supposed to make him happy and not make fun of him today.)
Yeah, he seemed healthy during his infancy. However, something’s changed when he turned 4. He grew thin, so skinny that you would think he could make a great fit for your banana cues! Oh well, kidding aside, our parents thought he wouldn’t make it for he’s been coughing so hard and he’s really having a hard time to breathe. They’ve already tried almost every option to have him healed, but it just wouldn’t work.
Then one day, out of nowhere, it came to our father’s mind to take him to the Baywalk located just behind Quirino Grandstand. He’s taken him there for four consecutive mornings. He had to carry him on his back for he couldn’t walk for a long period of time. He would splash water over him and even take him to a ferry ride. The water there’s a thousand times cleaner that it is nowadays I suppose.
It was a leap of faith he’d made right there, and this faith made my brother well.
In his very first year in school (1990), there have been times when he would wake up, dress, and go to school all by himself. The other times, when our father wouldn’t come on time because he was recovering from lack of sleep due to work, he would opt to go home from school by himself.
During his elementary days in Shalom Learning Center, Inc. (now called Shalom Akademeia of Cavite), he would sell Dunkin’ Donuts and some toys to his classmates. Little did we know that this was already a sign that he would later venture into entrepreneurship.
We’ve got one young businessman in the making!
In the same school, his skills were developed which made his schoolmates and teachers recognize him. He’s been known for his creativity, diligence, brilliance, responsibility, leadership and many more. These characteristics he still possesses to date, and I can attest to that!
He really is amazing!
Even when he needed to transfer to a different high school, this didn’t make him any less of what he once was. He continued to show what he’s able to do regardless. He’s gained many friends and even teachers got fond of him.
He really is one sociable dude!
Before he reached his twenties, he’s already tried working for a number of companies. That hasn’t been a problem with him because he’s persevering and hard-working. This he did for the very purpose of helping our parents financially. He’s made a lot of sacrifices for us, which I’ll always be very proud of and thankful for.
I still remember how he would take care of us (his siblings) when our parents were not home. He would even cook for us. He’s started cooking at a very young age, which made him a good chef to date (even without a formal education). Actually, I’ve been missing the foods he used to prepare for us. They’re just so delectable!
He sings well, too! I don’t know if you’ve already heard him sing in the past, but he’s just got better! He sings with feelings. I suggest you try listening to him if you haven’t! Go look for him somewhere in Dubai! I bet he’s singing while preparing some pastries right now.
I’ve learned a lot through his life. I’m absolutely a fan of him. When I was younger, I knew I wanted to be just like him. He’s a living proof that educational attainment doesn’t define a person, but rather his faith defines him.
He’s the epitome of one who performs beyond expectations.
He has innate power to influence people in a positive way. Wherever he goes and whatever he does, a life or two is impacted by him. He’s also able to communicate his message effectively just like during our Bible studies, devotions and fellowships at church.
Despite his serious facade, he has a funny side. You may not be aware of it, but he does have that. When he went home from Abu Dhabi in 2011, he, along with Kuya Erwin and myself, would share a bunch of stories and jokes with one another. We would sing and laugh the night out and thus sleep in the morning of the next day. How I miss those very fun times!
At church, he used to take care of the Praise & Worship Ministry and Youth Ministry. He was also the one who kept the church documents. He’s just so organized.
He’s eager to serve God in almost every way.
I admire him so much. I wish I was as creative, sociable and flexible as he is. I’ve always wanted to be the leader that he is. I’m amazed at how dedicated he is to everything he does. Despite all these, he’s managed to remain humble. He knows that it is God who deserves all the glory in whatever good he does, and I couldn’t hold him in any higher regard for this!
He has this mark which he unconsciously leaves in almost every person he encounters. This is why his erstwhile classmates, teachers and Sunday School students cannot just forget him even after a few years have gone by. He’s just one of a kind!
Keep shining His light through your wonderful life!
Now, let’s see what some of our relatives, his friends, workmates, former workmates, former churchmates, former classmates, former teachers have to say for his special day!
To the coolest people in the world who have taken their time to send the birthday messages that are published here, I couldn’t thank you enough! May you realize how blessed you all are today!
Acknowledgements go out to Kuya Bobby, Ate Cristina, Kuya Rodel, Ate Aihlza, Ate Djherrie Lhynn, Kuya Jomer, Kuya Philip, Ate Rachel, Ate Mae, Kuya Frederick, Kuya Jesus Ray, Kuya Jonathan T., Kuya Glenn, Ate Cielo, Ate Tere, Ate Yumi, Tchr. Alona, Tchr. Edna, Tchr. Perla, Tchr. Mary-Ann, Tchr. Glenda, Tchr. Minerva, Tchr. Alpha, Mam Mapanoo, Mam Simon, Mam Alvaran, Ate Lily, Kiko, Kuya Marlon, Marielle, Ninang Nheng, Tepp, Ate Isang, Hazel, Sarah G., Elaine, April, Elphee Heart, Tchr. Lumen, Ate Didang, Klause, Jane, Tiffany, Jenny, Kuya Christian, Ate Christian Joy, Kuya Jonathan A., Ate Jocelyn, Ate Zandra, Kuya Zenen, Kuya Duke, and Ate Ei Mon.
I count myself blessed to have known God at an early age, to have a family like the one I have now, and to have a brother like Kuya Dennis. He’s one of the reasons why I’ll forever consider myself blessed!
Here is a poem I have just made.