Farewell, uncle Nito
Uncle Nito or Bucky (Joaquin Sta. Maria Bogayong) to friends left us last April 28 and joined our Supreme Creator. He was 94.
He left behind his wife Emily Romero Bogayong, auntie Emily to us, the daughter of the former Baguio Vice Mayor Antonio Romero his five children Terence Joseph (Terry), Karen Marie (Karen), Karl Michael (Karl), Lizelle Marie (Jhelle), and Gerald Gregory (Raldy); and his beautiful and handsome in-laws, grandchildren, and great grandchild. His internment was last May 4 at the Heaven’s Garden. He also left us beautiful memories.
I wrote about uncle Nito in June 2020, three years ago, as a comeback article after a long hiatus mainly as a tribute to him on Father’s Day and to greet him on his June 20 birthday. Bucky was the only child of Dolores Sta. Maria (widow of Mauricio Oteyza and Joaquin Bogayong). He was the brother of the late former Baguio Mayor Virginia “Gene” de Guia and the late Victor Oteyza, playwright and painter, after whom the Victor Oteyza Community Art Space or Vocas was named.
Uncle Nito was always gentle, soft spoken, kind, generous, religious, and had a great sense of humor. This gentle soul was the seventh president of the Rotary Club of Baguio North from 1981 to 1982 and a former professor at the Saint Louis University. He loved drama, playing the piano, and dancing when he was young.
His exposure to drama came at an early age when he acted as young Felito in the play “My Brother Cain” presented at the Manila Grand Opera House and directed by Severino Montano. In high school, he also acted in plays written and directed by playwright brother Victor.
He also spoke Japanese, which he learned during the occupation from the Chinese School that used to be a Buddhist School, and a little French. Uncle Nito had quite a basket of talents.
Just like most of the de Guias, he was the representative of Baguio to the Boy Scout World Jamboree at Moisson, France right after World War II. He visited different parts of Europe: Lourdes, Paris, Rome, Italy, Switzerland, and London; and different parts of the United States, Canada, and Asia. Most notable of his travels was an audience with Pope Pius XII.
He took a pre-Medicine course but shifted to Business Administration at the University of the Philippines. There he joined the prestigious Xenia International Foreign Trade Fraternity. Among his classmates and fraternity brothers were former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Minister of Education Onofre Corpuz, Metro Manila Vice Governor Ismael Mathay, Central Bank Governor and later National Commission on Culture and the Arts chair Jaime Laya, and his good friend former Ambassador Oscar Cariño. He also established the former Strike and Spare Bowling lanes now JOEM parking and building. Son Karl and daughter-in-law Maria Theresa “Coots” Co Bogayong own Sweet Stop.
Uncle Nito taught right after graduation at the University of Baguio. He went back to Manila to pursue his M.A. and upon his return to Baguio taught at the SLU College of Commerce as department head of Economics from 1973 to 1976. He also became president of the Children’s International Summer Village.
Uncle Nito felt so accomplished and he was loved and supported his late sister Gene and late brother Victor. According to him, he received a lot of encouragement from them. He and auntie Emily are members of the Familia Charismatic Community. He talked of writing his autobiography then which I hope he was able to finish.
Farewell, uncle Nito. Celebrate your 95th birthday with auntie Gene, Ed, Kidlat, your brother Victor, mamaLoleng, mama Chuling, papa Tur, and all the other relatives and friends up there.
Most of all, take care and watch over Emily, your inseparable loving wife and partner; your children and in-laws, grandchildren and great grandchild. Pray for us and those loved ones you left behind for healing and protection.