Young, brilliant, promising, and dead

“AS STUDENTS and professionals, where are your eyes focused? Are they just focused on things ephemeral, temporary joy or happiness? If this is true to your life, I tell you are missing a lot. You are missing the greatest undertaking under the sun. You are missing the path to your prepared great destiny.

“When I was a kid, I had a vision… to be a lawyer and at the same time a doctor. I wrote it on the wall of our house using charcoal (uring), I was even scolded by my mother because that writing destroyed the beauty of the wall in my room. It seemed impossible for me to attain that vision because we live in a far-flung area. My father finished only grade 3 and my mother finished only 2nd year high school. They are both farmers. However, that vision pushed me, moved me and energized me.

“Immensely blessed, I graduated as magna cum laude with a degree in Political Science and then law, leading batch 2002 and law class 2006 graduates of Northwestern University. I managed to do well in academics even as I served as president of the Supreme Student Council. I reaped the bounty of my toils which made my family so blissful of my academic achievements.

“I am in the graduate program to soon earn a doctoral degree. I have my own business and a job. I am telling you this not to say that I am intelligent, but to tell you that there is indeed an equal opportunity for everyone. No matter who you are, your family, status, or the educational attainment of your parents, you can succeed.

“When the opportunity knocked on me, I grabbed it. I tell you, opportunities had been knocking on to you and are still knocking on to you even this time, grab it now and for sure you will all become prosperous and successful.”


What you have just read are excerpts of a speech Eddie Gregorio delivered before an audience of students and young professionals two years ago.

I have never met Eddie although he is a law partner of my dear cousin Erme Labayog with whom, together with a few other lawyers, Gregorio had his last supper. Going through his blog entries, however, I safely deduce that he was a decent man with grand dreams and a big heart.

Above all, he was a believer in equality. He had faith in education which, coupled with hard work and good intentions, spells success to both man and woman, famous and unknown, millionaire and pauper. He believed in the power of reason, the soundness of arguments, and the rule of law.

It’s the height of irony then that his life would end rather senselessly with a brand of inequality brought by two bullets fired by a coward accompanied by another coward.  He was 28.

It is quite one of life’s cruel jokes that it takes too much to sustain a human life—from a helpless baby in a womb to a full grown person—and just a couple of bullets to end it.

The irony levels up to tragedy when the victim is young, brilliant, decent, and successful, not exactly the kind of villain that humanity is better off without.

But then manslaughter is a dark reality that humanity has faced since the time of brothers Cain and Abel. Eddie will not be last person to be murdered in this world that hates people who speak of the truth and who stand for their principles, especially today when it only takes a few thousand pesos or a couple of bottles of gin to get the services of a hired killer. But should you now fold up and live in the shackles of fear? Yes, but only if you are a chicken.

Socrates, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Edgar Jopson, Ninoy Aquino, Marlene Esperat, Roger Mariano, Jimmy Chua, and Pepoc Pastor are names that will continue to be revered by every human being who believes that social change is not a chance but a choice… a costly, costly choice no murderous cowards dare make.


Click here for the news story on the Gregorio murder.

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

59 thoughts on “Young, brilliant, promising, and dead”

  1. all the previous killings remains unsolved?? i do not understand…i am telling you it is hard to dad survevid the worldwar II and he survived a gunshot wound when he was a cop in batac. i remember very well . i was in high school my dad was off duty and someone came to call him because a drunk guy was very rowdy and making trouble in the house of our neighbor and he went and in 5 minutes he was shot twice a bullet went through his back neck and when he fell he was shot again in his left hand. in a matter of seconds his life could have been shattered by a drunk with a gun.and for what and why?

  2. to all the fathers..happy fathers day..qouting pres barack obama”be involved in your kids’ lives.this isn’t an obligation.this is a priviledge to be a father”

  3. herdy..are you not scared of your life sometimes when you write stuff about politics and politicians?and wrongdoings? lay low and keep a low profile ok? would you not rather write best seller books?

    1. Risks are a part of the trade. I’ll try to be careful without getting compromised, if it’s possible. I’ll ask my family to send you word if something does happen to me. As the cliche goes, life is too short to be lived in fear.

  4. it is natural to lose parents but losing a child is not.that is why when a parent lose a child it will take a longer time to get over the grief. i will probably be in a denial for a looong time when that happens.


  6. if something does happen to you i will just ignore it and be in denial for a very ,a very looooooooooong time i think.

  7. like the title say”young, brilliant ,promising and dead. what a is just so unfair…if you know that you will die tomorrow what would you do today?

  8. This is a such tragedy… I cannot help but be suspicious of the mastermind/s behind all the other lawyers who were killed in the past – Young, brilliant, promising, agent of change… Shed some light, my dear Laoag.

  9. hi….we are back from our mini husband and i went to new york and help set up my sister with her apartment.we moved her from virginia to new york. so the 3 sisters were back together again bonding and shopping, my husband said “i better be good , i am out numbered. Baby is new to the country so my sister from virginia and i have to help her out. it was tiring but it was also fun.again my 2 sisters were surprised why i knew people from laoag and vigan.”she is communicating with a priest,photographer,and a professor!!! my husband and i stayed in a hotel near her apartment. she does not have room for us.she only have 1 bedroom. did you give eaglepower my email address..

    1. Yes, I did give eaglepower your email, but it’s your gmail. I sent the fairpoint just now. Welcome back! 🙂

  10. and of course they do not blog so my blogging is another surprise for them..they think it is a waste of time..and then they said”well anyway she got nothing else better to do she is a lady of leisure “

    1. “A lady of leisure” I like that, hehe… That’s what every woman should aspire to be.

  11. my sisters pissed me off again..i was just telling them i ordered a high tech phone a high frequency enhancing phone for our dad because he had hard time hearing me last night and they said so that “mangeg naka no ungtam ni tata gusting… i told them tapno mangeg nak when i tell him i love him and whenever he does not want to take his meds william talks him into taking it(he listens to my husband) sisters sometimes..i love them dearly but they think i am always the kontra bida

    1. hahaha, kontrabidas provide the spice of an otherwise dull life… Please take comfort in that thought.

    1. yep. The legendary Bella Flores. There sure is some resemblance. Offcam, she is one of showbiz’ kindest beings.

  12. so when your life becomes dull just let me know and i will spice it up for you..being the kontra bida.

  13. i was telling my husband that as i get older i see more and more of my dads traits in me and he said”you were like that when i met you 38 years ago … suplada,ornery, wants attention (jealous ,you do not want to be the second banana) perfectionist…that’s why you married me..and so i thank him for putting up with me for all those years…that was after i told him he is conceited and he quipped ” i am convinced”

  14. thank you herdy i will take comfort in that thought..and thank you for giving me consolation.

  15. has everyone survived the flood in batac ?i heard it was a mess.i was there july 16 of last year when it happened and now july 17 this year.and even messier.were you in batac or already in laoag when it happened? our house in batac was soooo flooded. …hopefully next year there will be no typhoon or flood.

    1. We went to work on that day, but we were sent home before 12 noon. A number of students were stranded though. It was difficult to get a ride home. Lucky for us, we had a shuttle bus.

  16. wow..that must have been so awful for the people that were stranded..we were stranded one time in japan when we were coming home to the philippines.that was when mt.pinatubo erupted.after 2 days we were cleared to continue.i had fun time shopping though..

  17. why did they not cancel classes to begin with?how about the little students? the way how is ananda?is she enjoying school?

    1. When it comes to suspending classes, gov’t is usually indecisive. If you ask me, we should always be on the side of safety.

  18. are you still loving your mio?do you have a chance to ride it in the rain? and are you still pedaling your bicycle?..i do not know if you read what i wrote in your facebook about my husband buying mountain bikes .mine is purple and his is switch gears automatically..i donot even know how to ride bikes..well i rode it when i was a youngster but they say you cannot forget ..i think i will venture and race you when i come home…hehehe

    1. My mio now brings me to school and back everyday. I miss bicycling though, and I am green with envy everytime i see people pedaling. I put on some more kilos since mio got the better of me. Hope you can join one of those “bike for a cause” activities initiated by the church when you come home.

  19. then i have to start training now.LOL maybe once in awhile park mio and go around mmsu pedal to your next building of class.and are you wearing your helmet? otherwise you will not savor my katsudon…

    1. Yes, I have to reunite with my bike. And, yes, I wear my helmet in long-distance travels. Katsudon is worth living for.

  20. will you be there with me when i join those bike for a cause?where is the finish line? are we there yet?

    1. I’ll join bike for a cause as long as it’s not sponsored by hypocritical folks from the diocese.

  21. so you have to let me know what are the ones i will be joining the bike marathon for..hehehe i sound like a true biker huh…the other day i got 4 big zucchini from my garden.they call it summer squash (it is elongated green vegetable and resembles an upo) so i baked like 14 loaves of bread..i sent some to my sister in virginia and to my sister in new york and the rest i gave it to the soup kitchen.they caters the hungry and homeless…

  22. my sister loves her job in n.y.she works for an agency that is responsible for assigning caregivers all over new york,new jersey and neighboring towns.she is one of the case managers and do assessments. (AGING AT HOME IS THE COMPANYS name)the owners are american family who have a soft spot for filipinos..most of the staff are filipinos,”they are hard workers and they never complain” are the words from mrs coyle..and again my husband said to Baby..tell them they haven’t met my wife yet.if they do they will have a taste of their own medicine?what a vote of confidence from him?

  23. *he said i am hardworking.but i complain a lot and i always say “i don’t give a shit” and again he quips.”.but i love you anyways “

  24. here you go again.your mom must be squirming at her seat when she reads are being disrespectful once again?

  25. I was so sad with what I read in this article…his a good model to students>>As I readhis message I was so amazed with his brilliant mind..Even they are not that rich before, that vision makes him stronger and moved forward to refrain from poverty. Maybe they kill him because they are insecure with his standard or because of his degree. Justice for Eddie Gregorio!!T_T

  26. he is a great example to everyone. i salute him for his bravery for reaching his dreams and reveal truths. his vision is the one who gave him the courage and hope that everyone can be educated. I pity those families who lose someone specially those who are been killed. man forgets the 10 commandments. the one stated that “thou shall not kill”. in this, many are murdered. now i really believe that money are the roots of all evil. to all the man who reveals the truth, i salute you. thou you know that it is dangerous you keep on revealing and fighting. Eddie Gregorio may be in peace.

  27. hummmm,, since in the call center thing comments is closed il just leave my comment here okay… well as i have read all the comments about the article of _________ …i did really smell something fishy.. and i think its proven,, correct me if im wrong.. well ive heard that there will be a bigger cc company to be set here in ilocos and to make my comment short, your article would just rather e- down ang mga small bpo companies dito…jjajajaj.. para mag sipuntahan lahat dian… humm..mga madlang people magmasid kayo malay nio bigla-bigla may tutubong malaking call center sa ilocos …lets see.. the right time will come. lets take it slowly.. slowly but surely. at mahihinuha nio rin ang sense ng article…lol

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daytoy ti bunga ti rimkuas nga iliw ken abrasa dagiti lagip iti selsel met la a nagtaudanna...

Herdy Yumul

Blogger/Columnist/Book Author


Got Stuck Beneath the Ink of Pen And Aperture of Lens

When will things happen?

like how I want them to be...

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