A LILY OF 5 PETALS - A Eulogy for Nanay
(Lilia Parian Sagra 1930-2011)

by Benito "Bobby" Parian Sagra
In moments like these, we remember, we give thanks, we grieve together, we honor, we love and we pray. As the fourth child of the eight children of Nanay, I have been requested by my brothers and sisters to make this eulogy. Let me capture the greatness, holiness, blessing and grace of such a long, full and blossomed 80 years of life that Nanay so lovingly lived and shared. Before I proceed, allow me to pose a question. Who is the person in the person's name? Each and every person is born out of the love of God and each person's name is sacred because essentially it is in itself a spoken word of God. When God speaks a word, the word comes alive, as in the story of creation in the book of Genesis.

Benito (Bobby) Parian Sagra

On October 4,1930 God said, "Let there be LILIA and there was a birth of a baby smiling like a lily of the pond with five petals representing five shining virtues of our dearly beloved Nanay Lilia: LOVE, INTELLIGENCE, LOWLINESS, INSPIRATION and AVAILABILITY. Nanay was a loving person. She truly loved this town of Janiuay, Iloilo, Philippines and the people of this town. She deeply loved her family and she offered all her life for all of us her children. She eagerly loved her job for many years at the Treasurer's Office of the Municipality of Janiuay. She cheerfully loved to give and share something to the poor who comes to our house for help. She loves to pray and offer thanks to God for all the blessings we received in our times of plenty and even in our times of want. She has a special love and devotion to our Lady of the most Holy Rosary, our Mother of Perpetual Help, the Holy Family and together with tatay in their late years, the devotion to the Divine Mercy.

Nanay was a person of remarkable intelligence, vision and instinct being the daughter of the late Felipe Parian Sr. and Guadalupe Atrazo. She developed a keen gift of insight, foresight and wisdom into things related to family, love and relationship, work and strategy to achieve success in life. Her kind of mind was pure, beautiful and prophetic. At 4:00 A.M. every morning, Nanay and Tatay were already awake and they used to talk of their common plan for each of us their children like what course to take in college and where to stay and work.

Nanay was lowly of heart, humble and graciously simple. Timid and quiet, she was never boastful but always grateful. Small and petite, she was never proud but always focused and dedicated to humble service out of her great, big and welcoming heart for others.

Nanay has lived a life of inspiration for us all. Each of us has been profoundly touched by her motherly love, care and inspiration at various stages of our lives. Personally Nanay has inspired me to life a life of strong faith in God's love and providence, coupled with a constant life of prayer and spiced with courage to stand for what is right, just and good.

Finally, Nanay has that enduring character of availability to everyone. In her job as a government employee for 47 years - being clerk, bookkeeper and a short stint as Assistant Treasurer of the town of Janiuay until she retired, Nanay was always available to work with her fellow employees and clients at her table. I remember with crystal clear memory our small Nipa hut in the old San Julian Street, when we were small. That home of ours was available, our door open to anyone who enters, our kitchen fire burning to provide food and give strength to the hungry, thirsty and weary, especially those coming down from the far away mountains of Janiuay during the market days of Saturday and Wednesday. Let this be known to all people of Janiuay and beyond, that if you feel hungry and you need help, the door of the Sagra family wherever we are in the world is open for you to come in. This is Nanay's loftiest legacy that we want to carry on and perpetuate as her children.

Thank you very much for being here for us and with us. God bless you and keep you in the palm of His Hands.

(Delivered during the Necrological Service for my mother, Lilia Parian Sagra prior to her Funeral Mass last March 16,2011 in St. Julian Catholic Church, Janiuay, Iloilo, Philippines -Bobby Parian Sagra)