Raul Antonio Decano of Dardarat, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, RIP
Seaside Park

In Memoriam

Raul Antonio Decano
April 29, 1968 – May 30, 2015

I am deeply saddened to tell everyone who knows Raul that he passed away this week unexpectedly, the last week of May 2015. He was in a motorcycle accident that happened somewhere at the Junction in Bitalag on May 28, along with one of his neighbors. Raul and his neighbor both suffered serious injuries but unfortunately Raul’s injury was a lot more serious for he had a head injury. His neighbor survived the accident but Raul was not as lucky. He went into a coma immediately after the accident and never woke up until he died on May 30 at the Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in San Fernando, La Union.

Raul was one of the staffs at Seaside Park Resort in Tagudin working for the night shift. He was one of the pioneers at Seaside Park. He was there working almost every day since the very first day when the resort started operating sometime in the late 2003 until that day before he passed away. In fact, he was even involved in the construction of Seaside Park. He was one of the workers hired by the contractor and that was how my late parents who were the owners of the resort got to know him. When my late parents saw the great qualities that Raul had – gentleman, hardworking, humble and someone who was always happy and very easy to get along with, they did not think twice in offering him to work as a full time employee for the establishment when the construction ended. Though his job at the resort ended too soon and too abruptly due to what happened, I am forever grateful to my late parents for hiring him. Because of that, all of us at Seaside Park got the opportunity to be a part of the life of this great and wonderful man. It is a rare opportunity that could never happen again for all of us at Seaside Park.

Raul’s family roots are from Cervantes and Tagudin. He was born in Cervantes on April 29, 1968. His family moved to Tagudin in the late 1960’s to take advantage of the booming business of iron ore extraction in the area by the Filmag Company. They settled at a place along the road that borders Libtong and Dardarat where Seaside Part is now located between the National Highway and the beach which I believed used to be called Manglapus Beach prior to it being taken over by Filmag. It was here where he was raised by his parents and where he was also happily raising his family before that fateful day on May 28. He went to school at Libtong Elementary School and the former Tagudin General Comprehensive High School. If I am not mistaken, he belonged to TGCHS Batch of 1984.

He was an OFW working in Saudi Arabia for several years until the late 1990’s when he came back home to his beloved country the Philippines where he met and married his beautiful wife, Mae Ann (Fely) from Man-Atong, Suyo. They started a family and Raul never went back to Saudi Arabia. During their early years together, there was no more steady income for Raul unlike when he was still in Saudi Arabia so he had to work harder to support his growing family by working odd jobs here and there and Mae Ann did the same. He did everything from being a farmer, carpenter, and to a laborer on a temporary basis for people who wanted to hire him. Raul and Mae Ann also tried getting into the buy and sell business at one time which he said was a lot of work for they had to go from place to place selling their wares with their kids tagging along with them. Because of their determination, perseverance, and hard works, they got through those years with no problem. Then came Seaside Park. Working at the resort which is only a block away from where he and his family live made his schedule a little steadier. Though he was a full time night employee at the resort, he still found time to work as a care taker of a farm which was a job that was passed down to him by his late father and as a tricycle driver if he was not taking care of the farm during the day. He worked hard and did everything for the sake of his family. He was a great provider to his family that he loved so much.

The neighborhood and Seaside Park will never be the same again without Raul. He was kind and a very friendly person with a nice sense of humor. He made everyone happy. He was the type of a person who rarely gets angry. I’ve never seen him get angry for as long as I have known him. He made a lot of friends at Seaside Park through the years because of his great personality. In fact, a lot of the customers would ask for him if they see that he is not around. The staffs at Seaside Park including myself, the customers, and the people in the neighborhood love Raul.

I consider Raul as not just one of the staffs of the establishment in which I am a part of but also a family and a good friend. Some of you who are followers of this blog probably have seen the videos and photos that I’ve posted here of Raul and me going to places and doing things together. He was a great company and assistant for a lot of the projects and chores that I did during my stays in the Philippines. It was always fun to be around with him. One thing that I will surely miss is his cooking. He was a very good cook and nobody can make “pulutan” the way he did. It was simply the best. He was always there for me and for everyone and I am not sure how I will feel when I go back home to the Philippines and see that he is no longer there. I know that it would be very difficult for me. I got to know all these facts about Raul through him from our countless conversations together through the years.

Raul ading, wherever you are, words cannot describe my sadness that you are no longer here with us. I am deeply sorry about your unexpected tragic accident. I wish that there was something I could have done that would have prevented the accident from happening. We will miss you tremendously, but we know you are in a better place in the presence of our Lord, with no more agony and no more sufferings. Thank you for all the things you have done for all us. You will always be in our minds and in our hearts. Ay-ayaten daka la unay. So long, until we meet again. May you rest in peace.

Raul is survived by his wife Mae Ann, his four children – RM, Rhea Mae, Aira Joy, and Shaira and his four siblings.

Please let us pray for the repose of the soul of our friend and kababayan Raul Decano.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
And let the perpetual light shine upon him.
And may the soul of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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