Ka Erdy: A most remarkable man
Some say great leaders are born while some say they are created. I say to them great leaders are chosen and Brother Eraño G. Manalo, Executive Minister of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is such a leader. Much the same way the Apostles and the late Brother Felix Y. Manalo were chosen by God to lead His children, Ka Erdy was chosen to lead God's flock. He did this for 46 of his 60 years in the ministry.
Ka Erdy was laid to rest by the Almighty on August 31, 2009.
Peace and unity, even for a moment
Arroyo, Aquino, Estrada, Marcos, Velarde and Villanueva and many others. These are the prominent and illustrious. The secular and the religious. On many fronts they are on different sides of the issues. But for one moment in time they were one, united, at peace with each other. These are people who experienced the greatness of this man Iglesia ni Cristo members lovingly call Ka Erdy. There were no distinction between the common man, of whom many of the Iglesia Ni Cristo members are, and the rich and famous who paid their respect. All were touched by the quiet kindness, wisdom and power of this man.
They all lined-up, fell on queue and respectfully approached the place where the late Ka Erdy now lies. Men and women, young and old, the powerful and the powerless, the sick in wheelchairs and crutches, some in shock, some in tears, all paid their respect and last farewell to his man, Ka Erdy.
A great loss
First Lady Mrs Imelda Marcos and her son Representative Bongbong Marcos were among the first to arrive at the wake. The gracious lady wept openly remembering the friendship they had developed with the late leader. “We lost a great leader, a big loss to humanity!” she said.
Mayor Jose Francis Stevens M. Dizon of Guimba, Nueva Ecija described the passing of the Executive Minister as “a gloomy period, not only for INC members, but also for the entire country.”
Worship services of Iglesia Ni Cristo are markedly somber. Members are overheard telling each other that this passing of the leader is the saddest day in their life. Choirmembers openly cried while they sang hymns of praises to God. Prayers for the family of the late Ka Erdy and for the whole church as a whole is said at every opportune time. Another milestone is set for the Church of Christ.
Selfless and kind.
The whole church, the Iglesia ni Cristo was shocked when the announcement came via word of mouth. Simultaneously with the announcement made on the television stations Net-25 and Gem-Tv, the news was slowly being spread by brethren all over the world. The shock wave can be felt as the sad news pass from one to another. He was already sick and yet he didn't show it. The lessons, advices and caring continued. The lessons were still signed by him, obviously prepared weeks, even months ago. He cared for the welfare of his brothers and sisters. For 46 years he labored day and night to shepherd the flock. To guide them through this dark and wicked world. Like a loving and ever protective tatay he was always there, approachable, loving, giving.
Kris Aquino, the television personality and daughter of the late president said that she received a personal letter from Ka Erdy, telling her that he is praying for them and and their were in his thoughts. Kris Aquino was seen on television breaking down and crying openly for her mother. Unknown to all of us, Ka Erdy was also in his sickbed and only had a few days to live, and yet he reach out to comfort others. Such was the man, beloved by his brothers and sisters.
Driven by the love Ka Erdy extended unto them, members of the Iglesia ni Cristo reciprocated in the same love as they trooped to the Central Temple to pay their last respect. Oblivious of the heat and rain, hunger and thirst they stood in line shoulder to shoulder some weeping openly, to get a chance to take a short glance at Ka Erdy, to say their private goodbyes and to thank the man who was their shepherd for the last 46 years.
Goodbye po Ka Erdy. We will miss you. Your words ring clear in our hearts and minds. We will be steadfast in the faith. We will hold on to the truth you made us see. We will be forever grateful for the sacrifice you made on our behalf. Thank you po. At paalam.