‘You are my sunshine’: Rene honors, bids goodbye to friend Nene
MANILA, Philippines — “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey.”
As if reliving their good ol’ days, former Senator Rene Saguisag sang this line from a familiar tune during his eulogy for his friend and colleague, the late Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr., during necrological services at the Senate in Pasay City on Wednesday.
“After martial law was inflicted, Nene taught in the San Beda College of Law and some years ago, the school decided to honor him for having been a member of the faculty,” Saguisag recalled.
“D’on ko nakita ‘yung hilig ni Pimentel sa pagkanta, kasi binigyan ng mic at I joined him,” he added.
(That’s where I saw Pimentel’s interest in singing. A mic was given to him and I joined him).
Saguisag went on, singing the first verse of “You Are My Sunshine” in front of Pimentel’s family and other former colleagues.
“The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping. I dreamed I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken. So I hung my head and I cried. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”
Saguisag continued to honor Pimentel, whom he described as someone “totally focused” on doing “selfless” work.
“Hindi kapakanang pansarili, kundi kapakanang pambayan. Kaya I hope that that will be passed on to those who have come after us,” he said.
(Not for himself, but for the country. That’s why I hope that that will be passed on to those who have come after us.)
Saguisag also thanked Pimentel for setting an example to future lawmakers.
“Nene, for the example that you have set, paalam (goodbye), thank you. And when you unite with my Dulce to tell her na (that) I have carried out my promise,” he said, referring to his late wife.
“That if she went first, I’d never look at another woman again wink, wink,” he added, which earned light-hearted laughs from guests.
The Pimentel patriarch, who first won a senate seat in 1987, passed away at the age of 85 early Sunday.
He was the Senate President from 2000 to 2001 and had served both as a minority and majority leader in the upper chamber. /kga