Monico “Nick” Atienza passed away yesterday, December 5, 2007, almost a year suffering what appeared to be a stroke and being diagnosed with cancer. He has remained bed-ridden since December 23, 2007, not being able to move or communicate.
We said goodbye to our friend and mentor last Tuesday at his house in the University of the Philippines. His friends and familiy were there. Several generations of activists from the 70’s to the present, his fellow teachers as well as students were all present. Fr. Joe Dizon celebrated mass at Nick’s bedside. A choir sang beautifully while Nick’s family and friends cried, sure that his immediate passing was all but inevitable. It was only a matter of time, they said.
In the final song, blood was already coming out of the tube in Nick’s throat. The choir played on as the two nurses scrambled to get the vital readings on Nick. It took some time for him to be stabilized. We almost thought that it was going to be his end, right then and there. He stopped bleeding. Nick would live on for another day.
I have written about my experiences with Nick in a previous post. His achievements in the national democratic movement are almost legendary. His sacrifices are worth emulating. He was loved by many, by his co-teachers, fellow activists and his many students.
That Tuesday afternoon at the Hardin ng Bouganvilla, family and friends came to see Nick alive, for the last time. We are humbled by the life served by one of the stalwarts and pioneers in the national democratic struggle. We shall miss Nick.
His remains lie at the UCCP chapel along EDSA near Quezon Avenue. He will then be brought to UP on December 8.