A Tribute to Mang Jo

Mang Jo started to serve the family when he was hired by Mama Lola to paint the Cruz Building. Mang Jo was a good painter. His paint coatings would be even, smooth, and perfect. I never really got to know him that well. All I remember was that he made my first writing desk, and I loved it. I wrote on that desk for years until I was too tall for that little cute desk.

He also made a clear glass and white metal garden table, and I thought that it was one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever seen. Vertical vase-like stems raised and supported the glass tabletop. It was simple but elegant. He loved his wife, Ka Remy, maybe too much, as he would always be at the point of irrational jealousy, but it was love. She called him alpahor, which means sweet potato. He never got rich or famous, but he made beautiful things, he loved, and he was loved.

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