We will pine for Mondax
As we put to together this issue we mourn the passing of Ramon Dacawi, a stalwart of the media in Baguio City. He was the conscience of the local fourth estate who mentored a lot of aspiring scribes.
Up to the very end, he personified what a media person should be, in terms of principles and skills. His writings he gave out for free to all the media outfits are always a joy to read and uncorrupted by any quarters. Even after his retirement he was the inspiration of his former subordinates at City Hall’s Public Information Office (PIO) which still remained his writing habitue. Perhaps he could not stand retirement.
The bigger thing though about Mondax was his having converted the PIO to something like a DSWD office for the needy or the downtrodden. People would line up there seeking for his assistance on how to find donors to remedy the financial requirements of their medical conditions. These were people about to keel over. Some needed millions of pesos for major medical operations, others needed a regular flow of funds to sustain their dialysis programs and whose complexions have become dark due to missing dialysis sessions out of poverty. Every dialysis session missed means a major step forward towards one’s grave.
While he often found donors from among people he knew, he found a lot more by writing about the heart rending medical situations of those who sought his help. Such articles are loved by the media and these always convinced people here and abroad to share their blessings or whatever they could.
He helped them all, oblivious of his own medical needs. A few years back, he went through an angioplasty operation that financially set him back by about a million pesos. He said he was thankful many donated. He was also undergoing dialysis sessions for many years already. And that made his story even greater. For despite his situation, he selflessly went on, helping others get through their medical sufferings, instead of grabbing any opportunity there was to finance his own medical needs.
Many other worthy causes preoccupied him. He was in the lead in the fight against the cutting of pine trees at the Convention Center and at the SM City compound. He would periodically lead students in tree planting activities at the Busol Watershed.
Another important project he greatly helped to become successful was the offering of a summer course for young Cordillerans to learn attributes of Cordilleran culture such as the ‘pattong’ and indigenous dances. Whatever happened to that?
Such engagements never took his eyes away from corruption or other sources of injustice in government. A few months back, somebody told me that if we met, he would tell me about something — – – – – a mafia at City Hall. Now, that would have been interesting. Still is.**