Sudden Death of a Great Man Weeks After Getting Vaccinated — My Grandfather, Almost a Centenarian

I’m still in shock about the sudden death of my Lolo, Atty. Domingo L. Martinez. I didn’t think this would be my post here after a long hiatus on blogging. I have several vlogs lined up, so many exciting things have happened since we moved here in Oslob, Cebu but the news about my grandfather passing away really came as a shock to me.

It is our family’s theory that it’s all because he got vaccinated with Sinovac recently… Though official WHO (World Health Organization) findings reported that various Covid-19 vaccines pose as no threat to human health, and that the benefits of taking the doses far outweigh the risks, there is still news circulating about some people experiencing complications from getting vaccinated, one of which is dying. I’ve been seeing real-life accounts of both people I know and don’t know saying how the vaccines caused them grave illnesses with some eventually dying like my Lolo when they were otherwise in good health prior to getting those jabs. Getting that vaccine for my Lolo was the only thing he did differently in his routine in the last few weeks. And suddenly, he couldn’t breathe… He died of pneumonia according to my step-grandma. He was still very much alive and well just a few days prior to this.

To cut it short, please refer to screenshots of my Facebook posts below before heading to my current writing…

So there…. I’m still in pain… 

And to help me grieve, I just want to look back at the life he has lived, which I know for a fact has been exciting, fulfilled, happy, and blessed for the most part at least. As I mentioned before, he came from a poor family, crossing 7 mountains on foot, and digging up kamote along the way for his baon just so he can go to school… He became a teacher at 19, a war veteran, a school principal, a school superintendent, President of PASS (Phil. Assoc. of Schools Superintendents), a PhD. Grad, a lawyer, a College Dean, a University Vice President, a gov’t consultant and so much more. He raised the bar so high that none of us in our family even came close to achieving the things he did. He was so extraordinary! 

The earliest time I remember really bonding with him was when I was 12 years old. He’s the type of guy who would have his executive check-ups done every few years just so he could remain healthy for many years to come and I felt so excited that he allowed me to be his chaperone that year at Philippine Heart Center. I remember feeling so in awe of that hospital! It was like we were checked-in at a five-star hotel! We were there for one night so he can have his tests done and I just enjoyed my time talking to him and me exploring the hospital floors and elevators. It was a first for me so everything was so exciting! I vowed to myself that when I become an adult I will do executive check-ups as well, until I realized that check-ups like those would cost like P25K a night which I ended up spending on my travels instead. Lol!

I lived with him and my step grandma, a high achiever as well (Dr. Ellenita Tumala Martinez), for 4 years back in HS, and even before then, I have been a constant vacation guest in their home every summer since I was 6 years old. He and my step grandma didn’t have children of their own so I became like their first child. He would also visit us in San Mateo during my childhood whenever he had meetings in Manila he needed to attend to. Suffice it to say that I was used to having so-called big-wigs around me because of my grandparents… at their home in Cagayan de Oro, in their Department of Education Regional Offices (CDO, Camiguin, and Bukidnon) where I’d often hang out after school or during certain weekends, and other social gatherings. I was used to seeing mayors, regional directors, public officials and other who’s who of their circle inside their home. They were kind of grooming me to be like them (hence, my 5-year stint in GSIS at a high salary grade position where I came out top 9 of almost 1000 employees who applied to get in and graduate from the prestigious GSIS Management Development Program at that time), but I chose to leave that path towards the end of my government career and opted for early retirement instead because my heart was somewhere else. And Lolo never once reprimanded me for it. I followed my own bliss, grateful for all the learning and experiences I’ve had under their care and most importantly, under his guidance. I still consider myself so lucky for getting a taste of that kind of life, but I knew it wasn’t for me. I have my own path to follow and I thank my Lolo for allowing me (finally, after years of martial law in HS, college, and my early adult years, lol!) to just be me.  

There have been times that I deeply struggled under their strict care, rules, and supervision (especially when it came to boys, my scholarships, and my career, lol!) but I also knew they were just doing it out of love and care for me. 

I miss those times when he would just share with me his life story (on repeat!) — from his stint at the war and how he was able to avoid getting killed, and everything he has been through to reach the kind of status and wealth he had that enabled him to take care of all his retirement needs without any help from anybody. Doesn’t matter where we were… on the sofa, in their bedroom, in the office, on the plane, while shopping, while eating out, in the car, etc. He can be real talkative when he’s in the mood for it! Naku lalo na when he’s with his siblings and my mom and aunts! They would often talk about their forgotten past (lol!) and our vast ancestral lands in Surigao or his farm in Bukidnon! They were speaking Surigaonon so it was a bit hard on my ears but from what I understood, kapag marami kang lupain, marami ka ring poproblemahin. Lol! This is probably why I’m not much into acquiring tons of lands coz ayokong magkagulo-gulo mapag-iiwanan ko by the time I pass on… Tama na yung I have a little property of my own I can pass on to Tuz someday. But if God would bless me the way he did my Lolo, then I would gladly use the blessings to bless other people as well.

So that’s my Lolo for me…

Cheers to you, Lolo, from Earth to heaven! You have lived such a full and meaningful life that many of us could only dream of! To the most amazing man I know… my real-life superman and superhero. I thank God for the wonderful, blissful, long, blessed life you lived! I know you could have lived longer but you’re in God’s loving embrace now… and your experiences, love, teachings and leadership will forever be engraved in our hearts and memories. We love you so much!!!

Goodbye, Lolo… We love you so much! Until we meet again in heaven…


3 thoughts on “Sudden Death of a Great Man Weeks After Getting Vaccinated — My Grandfather, Almost a Centenarian

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