DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 December) – “Hilarious, creative, crazy, a true friend, a survivor.”
That was how Christine Rizardo-Omar, 50, a professor in Business Administration at the Ateneo de Davao University’s Graduate School, described herself in her Facebook account.
Christine, who was among the brains behind the "Davao to the World" campaign of the Department of Trade and Industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was the epitome of strength in the two years she was coping with cancer. She passed away peacefully at the San Pedro Hospital at 6:45 a.m. on December 16.
She made sure she would have a party on her 50th last November 6 and she asked friends – including high school batchmates in Kidapawan, to visit her at home for a potluck party, and to make sure they come in – was that red or pink or polka dots?
Her last Facebook entry was on December 3 at 4:57 p.m, after earning 75K in Bejeweled Blitz.
The next entries were messages of goodbye to Christine until her daughter Kristelle (or Chingkay) wrote on December 17: “
One of her MBA students wrote in Christine’s Facebook account after her death: “Maam, you are the best teacher as well as mentor, there is nothing impossible with you. In every endeavor you always find a solution. Wala na akong magaling na kalaban sa Bejeweled, wala nang mag reply sa mga shoutout ko. It's my honor and privilege to be your student (MBA Ateneo). I remember those days, even super lakas ng ulan... sa Davao, always on the go ka, you devoted yourself in teaching, pag may case analysis kami, di magkatugma ang sagot, you were there to assist. You had so many brilliant ideas, we had fun listening. Thanks Ma’am Christine for coming into our life. But, we all know you must be more happy with our Lord almighty.”
Until her last breath, she was in command, meeting with people she wanted to resolve issues with, if there were issues that needed to be resolved, and assigning the godmothers and godfathers of her only child, tasks that she and her husband Elkan would no longer be able to do for Kristelle. Kristelle lost her father a few months earlier.
On December 11, when a friend who was out of town, sent her a message of encouragement in the hope she would still be able to make it to Christmas, Christine sent back this text message: “I think I will not last longer. I’ve reached the terminal phase na. Pain killers are still working. If it won’t work anymore, then morphine na. So if you want to see me, please do it now while am still lucid.”
Christine left behind her daughter Kristelle Alina, mommy Amelita, and sisters Maria Victoria, Maricel Geronima and Lailanie and grateful friends and students.
Her remains can be viewed at the Venice Chapel, Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes, J. Camus St., Davao City.
Funeral mass will be at the chapel of the Ateneo de Davao University Jacinto campus, at 1 p.m. on Monday, December 21. Interment will follow at the Davao Memorial Park. (MindaNews)