Family and friends of the late Rep. Carlos “Charlie” Cojuangco of Tarlac commemorated his 40th day with a Zoom mass officiated by Fr. Jerry Orbos on the weekend of April 2 and 3.
The mass invite was shared by Michelle Barrera Juban, Charlie’s godchild, on Instagram.
It was attended by Charlie’s brother Mark Cojuangco and wife Kimi, his sister Tina Cojuangco-Barrera and husband Mike, and some of Charlie’s nieces and nephews. His wife, Mrs. China Cojuangco, was present and was streaming live from the crypt.
“Ako po ay nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon na nabigyan ng pagkakataon na muling magkaroon ng magandang samahan sa aking bunsong kapatid na si Charlie. Nakita ko po ang kanyang saya na matagal nang nawala sa kanya dahil naging biyudo nga. Ako po ay nagpapasalamat kay China dahil nandoon po nagmula ang kanyang kasiyahan. Thank you for that China. Maraming salamat sa pagiging isang napaka-nagmamahal na kapatid. Mahal kita Charlie. You did well bro,” said Mark.
Friends like Ramon Ang, Francisco Tiu-Laurel were among the attendees and relatives from the Cojuangco-Lagdameo, Cojuangco-Yulo also represented.
In his homily, Fr. Orbos spoke of love and reminded listeners to remember Charlie as the happy and smiling man he is known to be.
Family members gave their messages as well.
Michelle fondly recalls the constant presence of his Ninong Charlie in their lives, his generosity not in material things but in love.
“He’s also my ninong, and Tito Charlie was the perfect ninong. He didn’t give in material goods but he give in prayer; he never smothered us but was always there when it matters most; he never killed the fun but joined in; and he never forced us one way or another but instead offered guidance and advocated for our good. He was a person who showed love through action and not just words and gifts.
“As a Tito, he was someone we had fun with us kids; he was the person we were terrified of as teenagers when we would get into trouble. You know, experiment, go out with friends, or for the girls, I guess when we had boys making ligaw, he was the one we were terrified of. He was also the one who became our best friend, barkada, and our eating buddy as we became adults.
“I’m thankful for the life I had with my Ninong in it; I am thankful that my parents chose him to be my ninong because he was the perfect ninong and; I am thankful that I was a witness to his love and care firsthand.
“Although it’s been tough to let him go, and it’s been a very sad time for us in our family, a part of me is also happy for him. Because I know now there’s no suffering, no frustration or sadness, or pain. I know that he will continue to live on in our hearts and memories forever.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who showed Tito Charlie the kind of love he so readily gave us through his short, and full life. I know how much he appreciated each and every one of you, and he will continue to pray for you in heaven,” Michelle said.
Tina Cojuangco-Barrera encouraged everyone to continue sharing memories and stories of Charlie, to keep him alive. “I hope you continue to give us your stories about Charlie in one way or another. Thank you, everyone. China, just a quick word from Kimi and myself, you will always have us as a sister. We would go through this journey together. It doesn’t end here, it just begins. We love you and thank you,” Tina said.
China in response reciprocated the heartfelt affection. “I lost a husband, but I gained a brother, a sister, a sister-in-law, nieces and nephews, and I gained all of you aunts and cousins, thank you so much. It will be our first wedding anniversary on the 7th, so please do keep us in your thoughts. It will also be his birthday on the 14th. So with love and—would remember him during that days.”
Rep. Cojuangco passed away on Feb. 22. He was 58.