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Rolando Santiago

Rolando P. Santiago

April 20, 1943 - September 22, 2021

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Make The Most Out of It
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Ceny Santiago (Wife)

Stories about Lan

Make The Most Out of It

Sept 21, 2021 at 7:05pm Eastern Standard Time: I was watching my dad gasping for air on a video call to the Philippines. My sister messaged me eight hours earlier saying that our father was very weak and was rejecting food for two days. He was currently staying with his sister Annabel in Pampanga.

As I watched him laying down and struggling, Auntie Anna was pinching his arm to see if he will react. She said, “Talk to him, he can still hear you…” and I said “We love you papa, you can rest now mama has been waiting for you.” The words “Make the most out of it.” kept repeating in my head. Those were the words my dad told me before I left for college.

My father, Roland was born in Tarlac to Pablo and Francisca Santiago on April 20, 1943. His parents ran a shoe manufacturing company and the largest shoe store in Tarlac. He was their third child. In the 60s my dad met my mom and the rest was history. They got married in 1967 and had me a couple of years later. They open a shoe store called Rocen in Tarlac. This only lasted a couple of years because it was not profitable enough.

In the early 70s, they discovered Olongapo City, a booming city because it was adjacent to the biggest American Naval Base in Asia. They decided to move there and opened a Shoe store, Santiago Shoes. This became their main source of livelihood and provided well for his family for three decades. They moved to Marikina and then to Tarlac in the early 2000s. My mom, his wife passed away in 2007. In 2009, my dad immigrated to the States and went back to work for 10 years before retiring in the Philippines in March of 2020. He spent his time with my sister Sarah and then stayed with his sister Anna.

My dad and I have clashing personalities and argued because of this. We did know that we love each other though. Make the most out it! This was the best advice anyone has ever given me. He was a very generous man who helped his relatives and friends in need and even strangers. After my mom was gone, he devoted more of his time to God, never missing a mass or reading the Bible. He also loved his wife and never remarried even after 14 years. I remember the time he told me that he was holding my mom’s hand when she expired.

Sept 21, 2021 at 7:45pm Eastern Standard Time: I was still trying to say that I love him and he should get some rest hoping that he heard me.

7:55 pm: I told him “Papa you made the most out of it, you deserve to rest now. I am sure mama will be there waiting for you.” I decided to end the call around 8:00pm to take a break; it was disheartening seeing him like that.

8:25pm: I got a text from Auntie Anna – that my dad was gone. And just like that, he let go after 78 years.

He made the most out of it from what life/God has given him. He made the most out of it by touching the lives of his family and friends.

Your children myself, Sarah, Sonny and Rosanna will miss you and thankful for having you in our lives.

We love you papa!

Music credit:  Amazing-Grace.mp3 Kevin MacLeod (
   Honoring the memory of Rolando P. Santiago