Espina: We Care Forever

·2 min read

I had a brief visit from current We Care president Ramon Sebastian who wanted me to join a get-together of the We Care Foundation since we have not been together since the start of the pandemic. Sadly, I couldn’t make it.

Remember We Care? It is timely to remember the group which was formed shortly after the Edsa Revolution. There was this first local election, and the government officials then were asked to vacate their positions during the campaign period.

A group of private business, socio and civic leaders was formed to manage the city during the campaign period. The appointed mayor was Antonio Veloso, vice mayor was Joseph Gaisano (+). The councilors were Hermie Villarica (+), Remy Mateo (+), Nene Dakay (+), Roberto Montesclaros, Lito Roden, Ed Rosello, another Dr. Veloso (+), Nene Aricayos and myself, representing the Academe.

We all experienced running the local government and it was indeed difficult, with piles of documents to sign, people to entertain, meetings to attend etc.

After the local elections, our duties were over but not the friendship we shared. We decided to continue our monthly bonding, singing and sharing resources to fund scholars, community projects, travel occasionally and dine at the old White Gold House every month with the birthday celebrants as hosts.

It was fun, memorable, but eventually, as years went on, some passed away, leaving memories of the songs and camaraderie we shared.

As time rolled by, the We Care family had new members to keep the warmth of friendship: Eking Benedicto, Peter Dy, Ben Yapjoco (+), Ramon Sebastian, Boni Sia, Gary Muñoz, Ester Ong, Chit, Pam Mateo, representing Remy, Sonny Espina, Willy Go, David Chan etc. The We Care ladies were always around to add to the fun and camaraderie.

We Care sponsored high school and college scholars from Cebu Normal University, University of San Jose-Recoletos high school, and provided Christmas cheers to chosen barangays and institutions. We did this for almost three decades, and still counting.

But the sweetest part is the repertoire of songs, accompanied by pianist Roland Suarez; every melody coming from the hearts and souls of every singing member, who each had his signature song. The music played on and on, year after year. We never got tired of the same songs. Ah, we even had a mini concert at White Gold, some of us even singing in some musicals I directed.

And these songs are memorable: “The Nearness of You,” “The Wonder of You,” “Saan Ka Man Naroroon,” “Usahay,” “Impossible Dream,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “Cuando, Cuando, Cuando” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

The list goes one: The Trini Lopez, Elvis Presley and Pat Boone medleys, “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” “The Way It Used To Be,” “Que Sera, Sera,” Christmas songs, “500 Miles,” some Chinese ditties, and, ah, so many others.

The music played. Every rhyme and rhythm was a note of love and friendship. We Care Forever. We care, share and dare!

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