“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul, there is no separation!” – Rumi
I’ve been holding to this quote from the Persian poet and scholar Rumi several weeks after our mother Carolina “Alol” Sapong died in May 10, 2019 — it was just a day after we arrived from our vacation in California. The grief is still in us knowing that we will not see her again but we also believe that Mama would not allow us to linger in sorrows. Even if it’s painful, we will continue to live our lives according to the values that she taught us; we will continue to do good and improve ourselves because in this way we continue to value the love that she forever has for us.
This idea was from our uncle Rev. Fr. Esmeraldo “Dodo” Reforeal, O.Carm, encouraging us to write an essay or poem anything about Mama Alol as our tribute to Mama Alol. We were able to pool more than Php16,000.00 for our prizes but we agreed to give Php5,000.00 from it to Aljun Reforeal, a relative of ours who suffered from a vehicular accident.
There were 14 significant entries for the contest from grade schoolers, college student, and adults. Proclamation of winning entries and the awarding of prizes were done during the 40th Day after death memorial service. According to our judges Fr. Dodo, Rev. Fr. Toots Buenafe, and Raffy Ugmad, they had a hard time in choosing the winners because all of the 14 entries were nicely written.
- “Si Lola Alol” by Jada Abriele Soliva
- “Aduna Akoy Istorya” by Josef Marion Rabuya
- “Si Manang Alol (bow)” by Ada Reforeal
- “Ode to Lola Alol” by Baby Hiyas/Ivy Lynn Sapong
- “Paboritong Kinaiya” by Lord Daryl Latras
- “Tribute, Love and Gratitude” by Teodora R. Latras
- “Ang Mga Kabilin ni Mama Alol” by Marissa F. Sapong
- “She was Carolina Reforeal Sapong” by Candice Louise F. Sapong
- “My Superheroes” by Nica Sofia Reforeal
- “Two Tides and Four Seasons: A Tribute to Our Beloved Sister Carolina” by Eufronio Reforial
- “12 05 50” by Aris Reforeal
- “Si Mama” by Darlene Joy R. Latras
- “Send-off” by Gary Reforeal
- “Akong Mama Alol” by Harold R. Sapong
First Prize (Php5000): “Tribute, Love and Gratitude” by Teodora R. Latras
Second Prize (Php3000): “Akong Mama Alol” by Harold R. Sapong
Third Prize (Php2000): “Send-off” by Gary Reforeal
Consolation prizes were also given to Jada Abriele, Josef Marion, Candice Louise, Darlene Joy and Lord Daryl.