"Get well soon so we can go back to Bacolod and I'll take care of you."
Saying these words to his father Juanito could be unusual for Juvic Pagunsan. But just like his “Papang” had convinced him to play golf better in the past, Juvic probably just wanted to raise the mood of the pale, sick man who was sitting next to him in the car on the way to the hospital.
The relationship between the two personalities in local golf – Juvic is the strange superstar, whose career has been hampered by run-ins with organizers, his colleagues, and even the press, and Juanito, a tour guy who shaped the Swings of The country's best golfers like Bianca Pagdanganan and Aidric Chan were unusual.
Juanito and Juvic did not really see each other as equals and when someone has to pass a message on to others, this task often falls to Juvic's Uncle Rey.
It was actually Rey, himself a touring professional, who now spends more time teaching, that Inquirer Golf gave the details of this heartbreaking car conversation that couldn't have been so important, especially for Juvic. One of the rare situations when father and son could finally talk to each other again was a reunion that was set up for the wrong reason. It turned out to be her last encouraging conversation when Juanito, who made Juvic one of the best shooters in the country, passed away due to complications from a long struggle with pneumonia on Sunday.
"This situation is likely to make it twice as painful for Juvic because he wanted to fix things for both of them," Rey said in Filipino. As trained as their relationship was, Juvic was never negligent in caring for the needs of not only his parents, but also his siblings. Juvic even gave his father an off-road vehicle because the Camp Aguinaldo range, where Juanito had made a living as a teaching professional, is so far from the Santa Rosa house that he built for her. "Juvic was already offering his father a limousine replacement for the old SUV, but he preferred to keep it because it saves him gasoline," said Rey.
When Juvic saw that his father's condition in the hospital was deteriorating, he asked the doctors to save his father's life.
"Please do everything you can to keep him alive," Juvic was quoted after learning that his father was resuscitated from cardiac arrest after flatlining.
Juanito didn't make it for the second time.
His remains were cremated yesterday on the same day that his mother Rosalia celebrated her 89th birthday.
It was difficult for the large Pagunan family to get together, especially during this period of closure. The man who usually takes care of the funny stories at family reunions was now in a small urn.
Lolo Pago was at home. INQ
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