Philippine economy

‘Bio-eulogies’ to Tado

Michael Bueza

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According to Tado, the book, published in 2012, was "a preview, a pre-burol (pre-interment), a trailer of his life"

MANILA, Philippines – Family, friends, and fans have paid tribute to comedian Arvin “Tado” Jimenez, who was among the 14 people who died in a freak bus accident in Bontoc, Mt. Province on Friday, February 7.

Some, though, have done it in advance, as early as 2012:

Si Pareng Tado ay isang may paninindigan na aktibista, mabuting asawa, mabuting ama para sa kanyang mga supling… at isang huwaran at mapagkakatiwalaang konsehal ng Marikina. (Tado is an activist with a firm stand, a good husband, a good father to his children… and an exemplary and most-trusted councilor of Marikina City.)”  Empoy, comedian

Maski ang asta niyan eh parang puro katarantaduhan, naniniwala ako na ang gusto niyang iwan ay para sa ikagaganda ng ating kinabukasan. (His demeanor may seem like one that’s full of foolishness, but I believe he wants to leave behind something for the good of our future.)”  Epi Quizon, actor/comedian

Mananatiling may saysay ang klase ng komedya ni Tado Jimenez. (His brand of comedy will always make sense.)”  Joven Mangahas, former schoolmate and fellow activist

Not that they wanted him dead back then. In fact, it was Tado’s idea.

These two-year-old tributes and more can be read in Tado’s tongue-in-cheek book, All About Myself (Not Yours): Bio-eulogy ni Tado Jimenez, published in 2012.

According to Tado, the book was “a preview, a pre-burol (pre-interment), a trailer of his life.” It is filled with anecdotes written by family and friends, as well as advanced “final messages” from them.

Half biography, half eulogy. Thus, the term “bio-eulogy.”

In his opening remarks, he said he is aware that death is inevitable. “Kaya ko naisipan ‘to, mga ‘tol. Sa ganito mababasa ko na ang mga pwedeng sabihin sa akin ng mga tao. (That’s why I thought of this idea, my friends. This way, I could already read what other people would say [when I die].)”

His friend, William Rodriguez II, was not surprised with Tado’s idea. “Advanced lang talaga siya mag-isip (He really just thinks in advance),” Rodriguez wrote in the book.

From haikus to wacky pictures

The inaugural tribute was written by one of his daughters, Diosa. She composed a poem for his “Ama” (father), and called her entry a “youlogy.”

Another daughter, Indi, drew the 10 things she likes and loves about her father. Number two on the list goes, “Kapag exam, ang perfect score = P100. ‘Pag may one mistake = P1.” (When I get a perfect score in exams, he gives me P100. When there’s one mistake, I get only P1.)

The rest of the write-ups were delightful reads. Some stories even contained wacky and memorable pictures of Tado.

Director and musician RA Rivera composed a haiku, while Roel Francis Rosaroso wrote a 7-stanza poem. Comedian Ramon Bautista quoted Tado’s favorite motto: “Hindi bale nang tamad, hindi naman pagod.” (Better to be lazy than tired.)

Ricky Orellana wrote a movie script out of his first meeting with Tado. Actor Ronnie Lazaro praised his “walang mintis” (spot-on) creativity. Lourd de Veyra recounted his “extreme sports” moment with him.

There were also funny and heartwarming tributes from fans, fellow activists, colleagues from the film industry, even from Manang Neneng, his family’s former neighbor in Leyte.

The last “bio-eulogy” to Tado in the book, however, was untitled unlike the rest. Its tone is more serious, more intimate. He was described in that tribute as a “no more, no less” kind of man. It was a peek into a little-known side of the comedian.

Part of it goes, “And so, for all the good and not-so-good ride we had throughout our life journey, I can only sigh and say, ‘How a beautiful ride, indeed.’ And whether it was the most complex decision I ever had to make, I don’t regret sharing my fate with you.”

It was written by his ex-girlfriend, unnamed in the book.

These “bio-eulogies,” in various forms and manners of delivery, depict the genius behind the funnyman: genre-savvy yet humble, wacky yet composed.

Above a picture of a half-naked Tado with the caption mentioning his waist and brief sizes, his friend and Imago band member Zach Lucero summed it all up – and described the comedian – the best in four words: “talentado, astig, diretsohan, olrayt! (talented, awesome, direct-to-the point/frank, OK!)”

T.A.D.O. – 

Arvin “Tado” Jimenez, 39, died in a bus accident in Bontoc, Mountain Province on February 7, 2014. He is survived by his wife Abby and his 4 kids, Taja, Indi, Diosa and Tila.

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.