Rhodora Cristobal Tabije
Born on: 10 October 1950
Born to Eternal Life: 2 May 2007

Myrna Felix brings us the saddest news:
 
It is with great sadness that I inform you that our EVERDEAREST RHODA passed away today in a motor accident.  God knows this is a shock to us all.  The vehicle she was in fell down a ravine in Hala-hala, Morong, Rizal due to brake failure.  She travelled there on behalf of her work with the poor and homeless.  I am so sorry.  God bless her kind soul.

 
A dedication from Batch of '66:

The Rhodora

By Ralph Waldo Emerson

On Being Asked Whence is the Flower




In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.



 
Rhoda was very passionate about her humanitarian work, especially about child labour.  She was very keen on helping people who are in dire need or are disadvantaged.  She was born with a big heart and was always willing to sacrifice for the sake of others.  She is a big loss to Batch '66 .

Evelyn Bacud
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Rhoda Cristobal will be missed by all of us.  She has a special place in my heart and even though we will not see her in future gatherings, we know in spirit she will be with us.  I remember during our high school days when it was my birthday and it fell on a weekend, Rhoda, Evelyn Arceo and Myrna Felix travelled all the way to our place in Quezon City to greet and spend time with me.  I am also fortunate that I was able to go to our 40th grand reunion last May because I had the chance to enjoy the company of our batchmates, most especially spend happy times with Rhoda.

I know she is in good hands with our Heavenly Father.

Maria Teresa Coloma-Recio (Tere)
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Rhoda......my beloved friend
You are the most loving, beautiful, gracious, selfless, dependable, amiable person I have known.
Rhoda.....my dearest, dearest friend, you were and always will be with me, in my heart.
I loved you and will always love you wherever you are.

Evelyn Arceo
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It was indeed a sad, sad day for all of us as our very dear friend and classmate, Rhoda Cristobal-Tabije, has met her Creator.  Rhoda will be in my heart forever and prayers will be offered daily for her.  Dear Myr, I am glad you are still there and how lucky can you be as you are able to bid her goodbye and to spend the precious moments with Vic and Rhoda's family during this very sad time.  Like Evelyn Arceo, can you also blow kisses to her as a final goodbye from me as I can only be with you in spirit.
 
Crisanta Guevarra-Corpus
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Before I left the Philippines last January, I had the chance to talk to Rhoda over the phone.  As usual, she was the sweet, kind and sincere lady that I loved so much.  I could sense how happy and delighted she was every time we talked.  There was so much eagerness in her and she looked forward to setting a meeting before I left.   When it was not possible anymore for me to set a day for a meeting, she kept reminding me about our class reunion.  When will I come back again?  And if ever a class reunion would be held again, that I should be there and schedule my vacation on that date. 
 
Rhoda, you're one of my high school classmates I treasure so much and here you are...gone!  It's devastating!  That is why it's a vivid reminder for all of us that whenever there's a chance to be with your friends and loved ones, do them at once because you never know what tomorrow holds.  Meet them, talk to them, share with them, hug them, kiss them and whatever joy and happiness you could impart, do them at once.
 
I know life is not in our hands but in the hands of our Almighty God, the Creator.  We now have to pray to God that Rhoda rests in peace with Him and, also to console her family and dear friends.
 
Peace be to you all, my beloved and grieving classmates.  God bless us all.
 
Armando Veneracion
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Hi, Cris and everybody whose lives have been touched by Rhodora.   Rhodora was not my classmate but somehow was close to me through my sister Cris Guevarra Corpus.   It is very, very sad to know that she has left us at a very young age.  What she has done with the poor and the homeless in the Philippines will forever be remembered especially by those whom she has helped.  Rhodora will be in our prayers.  May her soul rest in peace.

Rizalina Guevarra Almonte, Batch '68

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Dear Vic and Nanay Mary

Kami po ng asawa ko (Tess) ay labis na nalulungkot sa nangyari kay Rhodora.  Hindi po namin inasahan na mapapadali ang buhay niya at hindi na namin siya makikita sa muli naming pagsasama sa Manila ng aming mga kaibigan.  Ipapanalangin po namin ng asawa ko ang spirit ni Rhodora at sana kasama na niya si Lord sa mga panahon na ito.

With our deep sympathy; may GOD comfort you in your time of grief.

Sincerely,
Alan Canlas and Tess Dizon
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I am so sad and sorry to hear about this terrible news.  I find it most distressing.  I've always admired and respected our dearest RHODA - she will be greatly missed.

Lita McKay
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So sorry to hear about Rhodora.  What a tragic thing to happen!  Nakikiramay ako sa kanyang mga naulila.  May God rest her soul.

Danilo Bancod
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I was about to go to work when I got a call from Tere regarding this news. This is really shocking as I've just seen the pictures Dorie sent us on the outing at Cora's place and Rhoda was there, and I really rarely see her in pictures and outings that our batch usually does.
 
Please extend my heartfelt sympathy to her family.  I will surely miss her and I am glad that I have seen her last reunion still smiling and happy with the members of the batch.  May God bless her soul.
 
Mayette Cube (Yetski)
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I still cannot believe up to now that Rhoda is gone.  She was just with us last Saturday and she was happy and full of life.  I feel very sad.  I have this heavy feeling in my heart.  Let us all pray for her soul.

Adoracion Manebo
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I attended Tita Rhoda's funeral today.  I got there earlier than the convoy because I went straight from the house as did some of her friends and relatives in the QC area. We waited in the high summer heat for about an hour or so.  When the convoy came, it started to rain.  It was a refreshing break from the tropical heat, cooling down the grass and the crowd, hiding the tears on my face.  It was a cinematic moment when the priest was uttering words nobody really listened to, people around holding umbrellas.  And then, right after the throwing of flowers on the coffin and when they started shovelling soil over it, the rain stopped.  It was a sobering, cleansing moment.  To wash away the grief, but not the memories nor the sentiments and definitely not the legacy.  To move on with reality and with life, fueled by the passion and energy that Tita Rhoda had when she was with us.  And, I guess, in one way or another, she will remain in my life as a bright candle in the dark and a refreshing rain shower in the middle of summer.

Ari (Arceo) Bancale
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May Rhodora, our dear friend, rest in peace.  Let us pray for Rhodora and her family.
 
Sony Mangcoy Spencer
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I am sorry about this sad, sad news.  We will pray for her.  With her good work here on earth, she has to be with our Lord in heaven now.  You will surely miss her during your reunions.

Marlene Amoranto (a friend)
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Please extend our deepest sympathy to Rhodora's family.  May her soul rest in peace.

Lydia Remias Galido
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I'm sorry to hear about Rhoda's tragic car accident.  I do remember her friendly smile.  She was a great lady and I'm proud to have known her.  My deepest sympathy to her loved ones.

Rizalina Gatchalian Seaver
Batch '63

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Sorry for the long pause, but this news simply devastated me.  If you will remember, Rhodora was one of my co-delegates to a CMLI conference in Baguio and there are two pictures in your website with both her and me in it.  I looked at the pre-departure picture and realized I'm looking at dead friends and thinking of the others. 
 
Misses Jimenez and Arana were not just my teachers.  Melvin Agudo and I used to hang out under the stairs in the teachers' lounge with them.  We helped raise funds to send delegates to two student conferences by caroling, panhandling and blackmailing and usually ended up for Sarsi and hopiang hapon at the Arana residence.  We also used her father's prized antique Studebaker for just plain cruizin'.
 
Socorro Elequin, our class valedictorian, is gone (cancer).  Rodico Orquina, the class tough guy, killed (stabbed) in front of the school during our senior year.  Rhodora Marcelo, who was with me at the Y Conference and pictured in your site during our improv, gone (cancer).  I won't even list and mention the cause of death of those comrades-in-arms in college and Advanced ROTC who perished in Mindanao and Central Luzon right after graduation and commissioning as second lieutenants.  I also lost shipmates but somehow do not miss them due to the mindset forced on us by the U.S. military.
 
I think there ought to be a law of nature for humans (animals already have one) that those who have fulfilled all her requirements and completed their duties should go on, and keep longer those who are still serving her.  This law keeps the animal kingdom at a perfect balance.  Messing with that law is, IMHO, what makes the human race as a whole so screwed up.
 
Daggie

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Dag
 
Hear, hear!  You have said it all beautifully - and what you have left unsaid, we can only deal with, with a good dose of stoicism.
 
Rhoda has been held, through all these years, close to my heart.  We worked together in the school paper and several other committees and the Student Catholic Action no less, although I may have dropped off the faith since.  Only a few months back, by email, we were indulging in the hopeful anticipation of meeting again soon.  I guess that is not going to happen now.
 
Leah