I was six years old then when my father accepted the doctrines of Iglesia ni Cristo. Since then, my life had also changed. It was on the children’s worship service where I’ve learned about whom Bro. Eraño G. Manalo was. He’s the Executive Minister of the Iglesia ni Cristo. He took charged of leading the Church after the passing of God’s Messenger Bro. Felix Y. Manalo, Ka Erdy’s father.
Last September 1, 2009 around nine am, I received a text message from my aunt confirming the text message they received about the death of Ka Erdy. It’s not a good joke I’ve said to myself and I informed my aunt not to entertain such messages since it’s not coming from Central. However, I don’t know what drives me to seek for confirmation. I hurriedly turn on my laptop, open my Facebook account to ask some brethren if it’s true. We tuned in our television to Net 25 for any News Report. Search the Internet for any write ups until I found one. I haven’t started reading the news yet when Ka Bienvenido Santiago announced Ka Erdy’s death. I was numbed; all that registers on my mind was the word “Pinapagpahinga na ng Diyos”. I was shocked and can’t accept it. All I can do is to cry it out to let go of the pain I feel inside. It’s painful to know that our beloved Executive Minister Bro. Eraño G. Manalo was laid to rest. It’s like we lost a father.
Like many other brethren, we hurriedly went to Central Temple that same day to view Ka Erdy’s remain. I regret that I haven’t got the chance of seeing Ka Erdy when He was still alive and it’s more painful that I could get to see him already in his casket, lifeless, a situation that I never thought of my entire life.
We lined up and patiently waited for our turn to enter the Central Temple. We were there at around three pm; crowds are getting heavier time after time hoping to see Ka Erdy for the last time. You can see sadness to everyone’s face, teary eyed, and all are mourning for the loss of our dear leader. We were able to enter Central Temple around 11 pm, the line was so long and still we need to wait for our turn until we’re getting closer and closer to his coffin. Now, for the first and last time, I was able to see Ka Erdie. His face was at peace and was so calm, who would think he’s 84 years old, it doesn’t show. As I’ve seen Ka Erdie half smiling in his coffin, it’s like he’s telling everybody not to worry for God will never leave us and that we will still see one another when time comes.
Though we mourn for your death our beloved brother, we are also happy that you are finally done with your race. Thank you for loving us, for taking care of us, for devoting all your time for the flock, for leading us in the right path, for drawing us closer to God. Go rest dear Brother, in our hearts and in our mind you are always there.
Farewell our beloved Bro. Eraño G. Manalo. The whole Church loves you. You will never be forgotten.