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He won’t be at poolside to help his child swimmer

/ 12:00 AM December 22, 2015

DUMAGUETE CITY—CLAYBORNE “Bonbon” Clyde Lim gave up his pursuit of a second term as a provincial board member in Negros Oriental so he could spend more time to help train his 9-year-old daughter Monique for swimming competitions abroad.

Monique, a member of the swimming team of Silliman University Elementary School in Dumaguete City, won a gold medal during the Milo Little Olympics held in Iloilo City in September.

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Her father, a swimmer who transformed to become a triathlete, would no longer be at the poolside, however.

Lim, 33, died from multiple organ failure caused by severe bacterial infection on Oct. 17. His passing came seven days before he and his wife, businesswoman Katrina Ramas-Uypitching Lim, could celebrate their third wedding anniversary.

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“He wanted to set politics aside for now so he could have more time for our daughter,” Katrina said. “He wanted to support her so she could compete in international competitions.”

Lim’s demise came as a shock to his colleagues and constituents.

“His youth did not hinder him from doing what he did, in serving the people. He was a good man. Negros Oriental has lost a good man,” Vice Gov. Edward Mark Macias said.

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Iris Armogenia, a local artist and a triathlete herself, said Lim had many visions for sports in the province. “He always had a happy disposition and encouraged a lot of his friends to try doing triathlons,” she said.

Before he was elected board member in 2013, Lim was the No. 1 councilor of Bayawan City for two terms. A member of the Liberal Party (LP), he chose not to run again in next year’s elections because he wanted to spend time with his family.

Katrina said her husband balanced his political career, family life and training as a triathlete by making time for everything.

“He would wake up early in the morning to bring our child to school, and then come back home, and then change, and then go to where he was supposed to go. He would then come back home at lunchtime or in the afternoon,” she said.

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Despite his busy life as a public servant, the couple were always at the Aqua Center pool in Dumaguete, cheering their daughter on, almost every time she trained, Armogenia said.

“I also remember him giving snacks to the maintenance guys … . He and Katrina would buy pizza for the kids after training on Saturdays,” she said.

Lim complained about an aching leg on the night of Oct. 14 to his driver for three years, Jessie Gomera, while they were on their way from Bayawan to Dumaguete for a meeting.

“He called me the following morning, asking me to drive him to Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC) for a checkup,” Gomera said. At 6 p.m. that day, he was admitted to the hospital and was brought the next day to Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City.

“The SUMC doctors thought that there might be cardiovascular embolism—so we brought him to Chong Hua because it has more equipment and doctors [who could check him],” Katrina said. The heart disease is common but potentially deadly.

On Oct. 17, Lim died. His remains were cremated.

Vice Governor Macias, a party mate, said Katrina would continue her husband’s remaining eight months in office. Chapter 2, Section 45, of the Local Government Code, requires an appointee who succeeds a deceased board member to “come from the same political party as that of the Sanggunian member who caused the vacancy.”

“She had to think about it at first but she was persuaded to accept it so she could finish the things that Bonbon started,” Macias said.

The LP submitted its recommendation to President Aquino and was awaiting his approval.

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