Marinduque pays tribute to ‘Nanay’
BOAC, Marinduque — Before she died on Monday, 87-year-old Marinduque Gov. Carmencita Reyes had been reporting regularly in her office at the provincial capitol to perform her duties as the province’s leader, local government employees and her relatives said.
“She was very sharp and very poised until the very end,” Reyes’ grandson, Edmundo Luis Vega, told the Inquirer.
Constituents referred to Reyes as “Nanay” (mother), as she led Marinduque for 31 years, switching positions as governor or lone district representative of the island province in Southern Tagalog.
Her family confirmed that Reyes suffered from a ruptured abdominal aneurysm, but did not provide details on her prior health condition.
Capitol employees on Tuesday expressed shock, as they saw Reyes attending the provincial government’s Christmas party last month. Some said they saw her dancing at the party.
Reyes, who was serving her third and last term as governor, had filed her candidacy for representative in this year’s elections under the United Nationalist Alliance. She, however, withdrew from the race in November.
Resident Marvin Ypanto said he was grateful to Reyes because the governor’s scholarship program had sent young Marinduqueños to school.
“I am one of those thankful for receiving a scholarship [grant]. To her critics, the only noise you can make now is by saying a prayer for her repose,” Ypanto said.
Badong Manalili, a provincial government worker, remembered Reyes for her motherly gestures, like when she would prepare “binagoongang rice” (rice cooked in shrimp paste) topped with green mangoes for employees. He said Reyes “loved the province more than herself.”
Reyes, to her grandson, was a loving grandmother.
“She would always tell my son: ‘You made me great.’ Of course, referring to her status as a great grandmother,” Vega recalled.
“Nanay Carmencita will be always remembered for her dedicated and untiring service to the people of Marinduque,” said her daughter, Regina.
On Tuesday, Vice Gov. Romulo Bacorro took his oath as Marinduque governor following Reyes’ death.
Reyes’ wake is at Heritage Park in Taguig City. Her remains will be flown to Marinduque on Thursday for public viewing at the capitol and at Immaculate Conception parish here.
The remains will be returned to Metro Manila for a funeral Mass on Friday at Sanctuario de San Antonio Church in Forbes Park, Makati City. —Reports from Mayda Lagran, Jofel Lancion and Maricar Cinco