Thanks Roumel for the good times and friendship

Barely recovered from the death of my former boss, Engr. Reynaldo Deypalubos, another shocking news of death of one of my closest friends in the university hit my horizon again.

Oh God why all these sad news just won't end??But then of course I have no right to ask God why. Everything happens for a reason and in His perfect time and maybe this is the perfect time for Roumel to join the Lord. 

At first, I would not believe it even if the news came from Cromwell's post in FB, it's simply inconceivable. I needed a concrete confirmation directly from his family, so I attempted to call Bels, his wife, there was no answer, so I sent her a text message, later she called me back and confirmed the agonizing news. I felt my stomach twisted into knots. I cried with her and asked how it happened.

Actually while talking over the phone I did not know how to comfort Bels how to ease the pain she felt at this moment of sorrow, it's always devastating to lose a significant other. They're married for only 4 years and a half, too early to be separated physically, but then we'd no right to question God's plan.

Roumel was so young and had a promising career, at 33, he had plenty of opportunities to explore the world. I knew him as an energetic and bubbly fellow who had lived his life to the fullest.

I met Roumel while he was still in college, that was 1999 when he transferred from USEP to UIC. He graduated in 2002. When I came back to work in the engineering program of UIC in 2006, Roumel was already a faculty member. Due to his very friendly nature, sense of humour and generous heart, I became closed to him. We talked almost everyday, different topic he could think about, sharing life stories and advising me about my personal life.

Whenever I got a problem towards my PC, it's him I always approached because I knew he would not refuse, he was so helpful, very accommodating and considerate. Back then, he would often check me at the office if there's anything I needed or if my gone-with-the-ages computer is working well. Everything was so great then, I would laugh at his corniest, greenest jokes. He was so full of life and loved to tease me during my cranky moods.

At the time of his death, he was the chairperson of the ECE program of Holy Cross of Davao College. His wife, Bels, is also a college professor at the Ateneo de Davao University. They're also active in business, having co-owned So Proud Maternity and Baby Shop at NCCC Mall Davao and Let's Dish restaurant along Jacinto Street infront of Ateneo.

This is really unthinkable, can't imagine this is happening. He had two very young kids. Brea, his eldest, is only 3 and half years old while the second daughter is only 5 months old. I hope Bels can carry on without breaking while slowly accepting her husband's untimely demise for the sake of the children. This is so distressing!

December 20, 2009 during Roumel and Bel's first wedding anniversary 
and Brea's christening where I stood as one of the godmothers

Roumel loved to talk and most often than not his sharing always accompanied by funny anecdotes. He would tell me wonderful sharing about love life and how I would deal with it when it's time for me to have one, it was him who always reminded me that my biological clock is already ticking fast and that I should not allow time to pass me by, he frequently urged me to settle down to which I often responded with chuckle. Now, if ever I have a love life in the months, years to come, sad to say, he was not there anymore to listen to my sharing.

Attending a thanksgiving dinner at Gardena Fresca (September 2010) for the civil wedding
of Michael and Cathy Obenque
At the time of his death, Roumel was only 33 years old, too young to die but God has His own reasons why it happened.

I attended his wedding to Bels in December 2008 and became a godmother to their eldest child, Brea, on the following year. Since then we often communicate. I always attended Brea's birthday celebrations and while attending the party Roumel would make many side comments, you know, hilarious comments about his experience as a father. In January 2010, he invited me to have lunch at their house so I silently sneaked from UIC and went with him to Buhangin where they lived. There, I poured my heart in, sharing one painful story about my life, he bombarded me with soooo many advises, reminders, lessons to be learned and how I should handle it. I was so touched with his concern.

The last time I saw him was in January 2013 when he attended the OBE presentation of the engineering program at UIC. We had a good talk, he told me about his new car and how he worked hard for it.

Roumel was so full of life, he was a good provider, a devoted family man. It's just very distressing to know it ended soon. No exact amount of words can ever describe the sadness I felt. For someone who had been a friend for many years, hearing him passed away is always agonizing, the fact that I could not attend the wake and funeral added to my despair.

I hope Bels can endure the feeling of losing a husband at such a young age. In this time of sorrow, may she finds comfort in God's consoling embrace. 

May Roumel find eternal peace and happiness in the after life. Goodbye and thanks for the good times and beautiful memories of friendship. 

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