Father’s Day last Sunday was especially meaningful for me and other members of the Lina clan as we reminisced about my late father and namesake who instilled love of country in all his 12 children.
It was the patriotism that he inspired in us that was highlighted three days earlier on June 16 at the blessing and inauguration of the 2nd Lieutenant Jose S. Lina, Sr. Digitization Center, during which the guest of honor and speaker, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, honored Philippine veterans of World War II.
At the inauguration rites, my brother Alberto “Bert” Lina, founder and chairman of OneLGC and the Lina Group of Companies, signed together with Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator Ernesto Carolina, the Deed of Donation for the digitization center.
At the center’s marker it says: “2nd Lieutenant Jose S. Lina, Sr. rendered his military service by joining the resistance as part of the Mt. Sierra Regiment. The Mt. Sierra Regiment optimized the tactical use of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and conducted various operations in Tayabas and Lucban, assisting other guerilla groups as well, such as President Quezon’s own guerillas and the Hukbalahap against the Japanese Occupation forces.
His life, works, and contributions make a glorious chapter in the history of the Philippines and serve as a perpetual inspiration to the youth of all generations to love and serve our country and to fight for its freedom and independence.”
Sec. Lorenzana thanked Bert “for his generosity in ensuring that the records of the veterans who served the country will be preserved. This will improve in the overall process in verifying the identities of veterans which is critical in administering benefits and pensions.”
The digitization of documents of veterans is being done through the expertise of OneLGC affiliate, Dynamic Outsource Solutions Inc., headed by its president Edgardo Cayton, which shared its systems and training to the PVAO personnel to improve its digitization.
For his part, Bert said “that through these efforts he is very happy that the virtues that his late father has imbibed, such as generosity, helpfulness and love of country, are being passed on to the next generations.”
Aside from being a war hero, I remember my dear father as a poet when I was an elementary student. He used to write poems at night while we slept. He would give me a poem when I wake up at 5 a.m. to memorize. I would then recite the poem during a school program at 8 a.m. at the Masapang Elementary School in Victoria, Laguna, where my father was a teacher after the war.
I also remember my father as fond of singing kundiman songs. That’s where I probably got my love for singing in my later years.
For instilling in all of us, his children, the virtues of discipline, hard work, integrity, and compassion for others, we are deeply thankful to our beloved father. For his bravery and patriotism in fighting Japanese invaders in WW II, for which he was honored with a US Congressional Medal of Valor in 2019, the Philippines is grateful.