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Friday, April 25, 2014

HE WAS the black sheep of the family. He was a half-brother born during World War II when my father was still a teenager. He lived with our family and we called him “Noy Warren.”

While the rest of us put school first in our young lives, he spent most of his time with his barkada along F. Ramos St. where we resided. As a young man, he worked as taxi driver while the rest of us busied ourselves getting an education. “What would he turn out when he matured?” was a question at the back of my mind in those times.

But Warren Tesaluna was a likeable person. He was charming and handsome, having inherited the Hispanic-look of our father. And he always looked at the sunny side of life.


Like in one instance, I visited him during my university days there he was flying a kite in one of the crowded suburbs of Cebu City. He was always fun to be with.

As he got older, he became an entrepreneur and was quite successful at it. He was a dedicated family man while pursuing his livelihood.

The last time I saw him was when he accompanied my family to the airport when we left for New Zealand to migrate. He helped us with our luggage and cargoes, and bid us goodbye.

I came to realize at that moment how wrong I was in judging Noy Warren as a black sheep in my younger days. He was unique, yes, and the wonderful thing about him was that he was a caring and loving older brother that one could be proud of.

He is gone. He died on April 21, 2014 at the age of 70. I am sure he had no regrets in life: having a loving wife, having raised good children, and having fun until the end.

In the Book of Genesis, Jacob, upon being released by his uncle Laban was asked, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.” To which Jacob responded: “I will pass through all thy flock this day, removing from there every speckled and spotted animal of the flock, and every black one among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and these shall be my wage.” (Genesis 30:32)

While “black sheep” today connotes one who contradicts the values and norms of a family, one author says that it could also mean, “People who have the innocent acknowledgment that they are not perfect; that they do tend towards evil and false things.”

The “black sheep” is who Jesus sought to save. The New Testament reads: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." (Luke 19:10)

Farewell, Noy Warren. Rest now for you have found joy in the eternal company of the Lord.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 26, 2014.


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