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AS I SEE IT: From the Original 13, now down to 5: A tribute to a loving brother

With the passing away of my brother Marciano Reasonda Estioko, Jr., 88, the original 13 siblings are now down to 5!

He is survived by his 5 siblings: Engr. Romy, Dr. Manny, Computer Programmer Mar, Prof. Elpidio, and RT Technician Leo. Siblings who went ahead of him were: Engr. Leopoldo, Dr. Felicidad, Teacher Aurora, Supervisor Aida, Arch. Quintin, and Rev. Fr. Leonardo, SVD. All children were children of the late former Vice Mayor Marciano B. Estioko, Sr. and the late Leonor Esteves Reasonda.

My brother passed away peacefully at home on December 10, 2023 and was buried January 26, 2024 at the Lima Family Mortuary in Fremont, California. He was the one who petitioned my family in the US (we arrived in California in 1977 after 19 years of waiting for our visa.) … that’s how long 5th preference visa applications were at that time (I was told, the 5th preference is no longer in effect). I brought in 5 of my 6 children plus my wife Delia when my youngest Paul was only 4 years old. He is now 31. My eldest Gigi (now a resident of Sydney, Australia with husband Eric), was the only child when we were petitioned by my brother and succeeding births (Jojo, May, Tweety, Jayson, and Paul) were reported to the US Embassy upon birth.

Born on September 28, 1935, he was an all-around athlete and was not only an ordinary sportsperson but a champion, an excellent player with superb moves in sports like chess, tennis, bowling, dart, basketball, and ping pong.

I want to recognize him as my mentor in chess, who taught me the rudiments of chess, chess openings and how to counter them, analyzed games, explained how chess brilliancy works including sacrifices, and kept on telling me that to be a chess player, for every move you do, you need to know at least 5 to 7 moves ahead of your opponent’s moves.

I remember him during his college days at the Central Luzon Agricultural College (CLAC) now the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), he was a chess champion in Central Luzon. At that time, he was already playing with rated players such as National Master Glicerio Badilles, Naranja and International Master and the president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Florencio Campomanes. Had he continued playing, he should have been a Grandmaster by now, even perhaps ahead than GM Eugene Torre.

He promised our parents to earn his college degree (to pursue a chess profession, you need a lot of time, minimum for rated players games, he told me, was an hour. He didn’t have that luxury of time because he needs to concentrate on his college degree.) He graduated with a BS Agricultural Engineering in 1959 and later employed in the Bureau of Soils after graduation.

He even taught me how to organize and sponsor chess tournaments by going over the rules and steps in organizing. So, I organized and sponsored chess tournaments, joined tournaments, in schools and in our subdivision, having in mind all he taught me about chess. Also, with his guidance, I was able to convince San Jose State University, where I was teaching essay writing/English writing, to offer a 3-unit subject in chess (Chess Made Easy for beginners and intermediate players).

With that, I thought I was already a good chess player, so I challenged him to a 3 out of 5 matches one day. I was thinking of the proverbial story of students defeating their teacher might be at work this time.

I was wrong! He won and I lost! My only consolation was I defeated him ones in my life, unlike in bowling where I never won against him. I also never won against him in tennis, ping pong, and dart. He was still the best! In basketball, he was always the center of attraction, not the rest of his siblings who compose the team.

In tennis, he was a champion too! My brother Manny, travelling with him in one of his conventions in his capacity as a cardiologist and surgeon, told me Marciano won the tennis tournament in Puerto Rico.

In a separate story, Manny in one of their travels during the Super Bowl, told me two players were seen playing in the hotel tennis court. Then suddenly, it rained so hard, but the two players never stopped and kept on playing. Then one of the players asked the other player, “Why didn’t you stop playing?” The other player replied: “I was waiting for you to quit!”. It turned out that the two players were brothers Marciano and Manny. Marciano eventually won the game.

Marciano is survived by his wife Rosita Sanchez, RN; and children Marciano V (Glenda); Ronald (John); Virginia Jane (Doug); and his grand children Kristina Rose, Gabrielle Jade, Kendrick Randall (Bailey), and Mikayla Aaliyah,

In 1969, he moved his family to the United States to pursue the American Dream, where he began his career as a draftsman for Guralnick & Lee Engineering, Palo Alto, CA. He later moved onto working at a wholesale nursery in San Jose. From there, he moved onto Real Estate sales, then becoming a successful Real Estate Broker, until his retirement.

We will miss him dearly but are comforted that his memory will live on in the hearts of all those who loved him. He is survived by his wife Rosie, their children; Marciano V (Glenda), Ronald (John), Virginia Jane (Doug), his grandchildren; Kristina Rose, Gabrielle Jade, Kendrick Randall (Bailey), and Mikayla Aaliyah, his brothers; Romulo, Manuel, Elpidio, Mar, and Leo, and an infinite number of extended family and friends.

His friends and family, best knew him for his charismatic dimpled smile, shoulder shaking laughter, his joy of sports, and his love for his family.

Marciano was born in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Philippines to Marciano Baguio

Estioko, Sr. and Leonor Esteves Reasonda, the 6th of 13 children. He often told stories of the family’s experience during WWII, fishing, playing basketball with his siblings against the others in the neighborhood, fighting spiders, and making slingshots as children.

His children and grandchildren were his pride and joy! He was encouraging and supportive of all their endeavors. To know him meant you were incentivized to participate in the many sports he loved to watch and play. Behind his unabashed smile, he would be the first to challenge, first to win, and first to talk some trash!

Heart failure did not stop him from playing his favorite sports and games with his family and friends. No one was spared from his competitive spirit. Each grandchild had the distinct pleasure of receiving one of grandpa’s spinning backhand on the tennis table. Followed by his roaring laughter and lovingly chanting, “come on, you can do it!” Each holding fond memories of him, from taking them on drives and singing everything from boy scout songs and nursery rhymes, “There’s a man and a hole in the middle of the street…” Each grandchild cherished their time with grandpa.

Marciano reigned as President of the Urdaneta Association of America for 2 terms where he and wife Rosie hosted numerous association balls and parties at their home where the cha-cha was mandatory, stories of the old country were told, and roaring laughter resonated through their home at all hours of the night. Through the association, he met and made inseparable relationships from his hometown, bridging “homes” across the Pacific.

An active member of St. Victor’s Catholic Church in San Jose for many years, it was Marciano’s dream to be a member of the Knights of Columbus (KoC). His dream came true and became a Faithful Navigator, St. Joseph Assembly #2246 on August 20, 2016. He was a member of the color guard, and helped make countless rosaries to be dispersed to the faithful.

In June 2023, Marciano and wife Rosie celebrated 60 years of marriage with a small group of family. Despite having lost Rosemarie, his first born in 2021, he was delighted to be surrounded by all his loved ones.

Marciano will always be remembered for making people feel welcomed and loved. His children and grandchildren always imagine hearing him say, “okie dokie” or serenading them with his harmonica, singing Dahil Sa Iyo, or simply peeling them persimmons most of the time. “We could not have asked for a better husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather and will miss him dearly. We are comforted by the Fact that his memory will live on in the hearts of all those who loved him,” the children chorused.

May your soul rest in peace, brother … forever!