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Remembering Bibsy

WITH FONDNESS AND SADNESS – Nestor Cuartero, Nestor Torre, and Ricky Lo have written their tributes to the late Ma. Dolores “Bibsy” Marquez Carballo. Also Winnie S. Ferrer, who described Bibsy as “teacher (at St. Theresa’s QC), mentor, protector, and friend.”

All of us, along with her many friends and colleagues, Miss Bibsy, the “original bohemian,” with fondness and sadness. She was a joy to be with, she of the pretty face, with her “katsa” dress and handbag and leather sandals; hair often windblown. Which she carried with natural elegance.

In media her friends included Canada-based Baby K. Jimenez, Jojo Gabinete, and Edd de Leon, who spoke always of Bibsy’s kindness and generosity.

LAST GOODBYE – The last time I, along with Ricky Lo and Aster Amoyo, saw Bibsy was November at St. Luke’s QC, very thin and hair all white, lying helpless in bed, attended by faithful secretary Gennie and maid Lodine. Very few words were exchanged, but she looked at us and smiled. Bibsy held my hand in obvious recognition.

When we were about to leave, Gennie told Ma’am Bibsy she’d lead us to the door, to which she said, “Of course.”

Ricky, Aster, and I didn’t say it. But we knew in our heart that was the last time we would see our beloved Bibsy alive. It was an unspoken grief.

Bibsy died on Dec. 2 at age 75 in her Pasig home of lingering illness. She was cremated the same day, her ashes interred at the Pinaglabanan church in San Juan, a stone’s throw away from the family owned St. John Academy. The ashes of her mother were also interred there.

At her wake, friend of long standing Lulu Coching-Rodriguez said that Bibsy led a full and good life and that she must have felt it was time to go.

TRAVEL WITH – Bibsy was fond of travelling and I was with her all over Europe four years ago. We rented an apartment in Madrid, our home base. Joining us were Mexico-based Richard Signey.

From Madrid, we took buses going to El Escorial and Santiago de Compostela, proceeding to Porto in Portugal.

We flew to Austria and then joined a tour going to Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and Czech Republic. On our way back to Madrid, Bibsy lost her balance on an escalator, but thank God she didn’t suffer any serious injury. We even took a side trip to Morocco, an hour or so by plane from Madrid.

We all had fun, seeing the usual tourist spots, eating in quaint restaurants, visiting museums, watching ballet and flamenco, hearing Mass in nearby and faraway churches, buying souvenirs looking for bargains in flea markets, shopping in so-called high-end stores especially El Corte Ingles and Zara and Mango outlets.

And that is how I want to remember Bibsy, fun and helpful, adventurous and caring, with a good heart and sharp mind.

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