This post is in memory of my batchmate in high school, Antonio Jazmin Balanquit, Jr.
I often hear my other batchmates from high school call or refer to him as “Tonio”, “Tonyo”, or just “Balanquit”.
I remember how some would claim that he was the long-lost brother of one of our classmates, due to the resemblance.
I also knew in Junior year he was a COCC, is a year-long training for students who aspire to become CAT, citizens’ army training, officers in Senior year. Having successfully fulfilled the requirements, he eventually became an officer in Senior.
I remember him for the intense expression on his face; a sign of a deep intellect within. I heard he was very eloquent, both verbally and in writing. I would not be surprised.
But that is all I knew of him.
Still, when I learned of his passing, I felt a pang of sadness inside. Someone so young, with a lot of promise in store, expired and moved on to join our Creator. It was his time, we would all rationalize. Still, I remember the lines in the movie “The Hours”, when Virginia Wolf decided that a character in her novel “Mrs. Dalloway” will kill him/herself. When asked why, she replied “Someone has to die, so that others may realize the value of living”.
And whenever I hear of someone’s passing, it saddens me more each time.
To my schoolmate and batchmate, be at peace and may God be with you.