This is a fitting tribute to Enteng who in his 32 years of life had been a good son, a responsible sole provided to his parents, a multi-talented yet honest carpenter; and a kind-hearted person who was generous to children before cancer cut down all his dreams.
I am re-posting my daughter Arizza's writeup of her impression of Enteng as a self-giving person. This article got people from everywhere in Metro Manila and Enteng's previous clients to contribute some P200,000 in cash and in kind which unfortunately had now ran out, along with the funds Enteng raised from the sale of the few possessions Enteng managed to acquire in his short life.
Give Kuya Enteng the Gift of Hope this Christmas
by Arizza Nocum, Faceook Note, December 15, 2010
Whenever I hear Enteng Kabisote, I always think of Kuya Enteng in a crown and cheesy leggings, with a babe by his side.
Kuya Enteng was the chief carpenter in the renovation of our first house. In our second, he crafted some of the fixtures as well. In the very room I sit writing this; the wide pink cupboard above my head was fashioned by his hands.
At 32, he has been hailed a talent by us and all of his other employers and colleagues. Amusing it is to say that he barely even finished Grade 6 and has no formal education whatsoever in carpentry.
Again, no formal training. But what he has—determination, courage, skill—I am sure he has a lot of.
Recently, he has been diagnosed with cancer in the abdomen. Formerly robust, I last saw him with pitifully thin limbs. Formerly a bright, good-looking face, I last saw him emaciated. Formerly lively, it is a wonder how he still gets to keep up that smile.
He is the breadwinner for his family—with his wife, Laarni, and 5-year old son Lorenz—and his two parents. His mother, 72, is suffering from benign ovarian cancer. His father, 68, has tuberculosis. Kuya Enteng’s diagnosis shoved away his profitable workload and brought on medical expenses to add to those of his parents. His diagnosis is untimely, unwelcome, and—in my opinion—undeserved.
I have always admired Kuya Enteng. His life story is one woven with hardship; yet where he is now, anyone can beam with pride to exclaim. He was born in Illigan City, but was quickly given away by his grandmother because his mother neglected him. His adoptive parents brought him to Manila and made him a Junior—Vicente Yangco, Jr. At 9 years old, he was made to take care of pigs. At 16, but only in Grade 6, he was made to leave school and was taught carpentry by his adoptive father.
From then on: if Enteng Kabisote had his magical sword, Kuya Enteng had his brilliant hammer.
I recall the hands that seamed through this cupboard above me, and I have always liked this cupboard. The little pink groves, the carved borders, the smoothly-drawn drawers—this cupboard is flawless.
It is flawless like him in many aspects. I recall one time—I think it was in 2003—he and his family celebrated a Christmas party and invited all the children they knew. This included me and my sister. Imagine this poor fellow with not even a house or lot to his name, spending for spaghetti, hotdogs, and toys for the kids in the neighbourhood; how humbling the experience was to me.
And I, humbled even more this time, see him enduring the pains of his cancer to remain the stronghold and anchor of his family. He refuses to undergo chemotherapy because, one, he cannot afford it and, two; he understands it does not attack the cancer itself. He favours more the option of surgery although this also entails an amount of money he does not have.
Furthermore, he is currently the caretaker of the lot he and his family are occupying. To add to the dilemma, they have already been advised to move out since the lot has been put up for purchase.
In lieu of this, I would like to invite all of you for a humble Christmas party--a figurative one. In 2003, he was gracious enough to have me; and 7 years thereafter, I repay the lesson learned. It is to be held anywhere where my words echo to your hearts and anytime help could be extended to Kuya Enteng and his family. Particularly, I would like to ask for monetary donations to fund his surgery plus support in spreading the word about him and his predicament.
Much like movies like Enteng Kabisote, this is the climax; this is the part where you and I are supposed to sit, think, and give the gift of hope this season.
Throughout his work so far, it is sad to remark that all the sawing and the measuring and the hammering are done to construct pieces for others, to build houses for others. But I would like for Kuya Enteng to endure, live on, and someday have the health and the capacity to use his talents to build a house, this time, for himself.
Again, please help spread the word by tagging or telling your friends. Merry Christmas!