“She Lived For Others.”
by Loy Palapos
Finding oneself in the whirlpool and the vagaries of life is a metaphor to that proverbial needle lost in a haystack… it never comes as a surprise that there are countless individuals who venture into a quest without reaching their destination, and sour-grape themselves into concluding that it is the journey that counts. Blessed are those who introspect for the meaning of existence and, albeit the false leads and the maze they are heir to, find the candle to light their tunnel.
Mrs. Lina Virtucio-Tan was one of those who acknowledged their imperfection, searched for the truth, and was bestowed a heightened perception of truism in Godliness. But it was not an instant walk in the park. She had to surmount varied misconceptions before she found what she was looking for. And even then, it did not appear like a well-defined gloss in total darkness. It was through her marriage to a man who promised her “Until death do us part.” But that is getting ahead of the story.
Lina was born to entrepreneurial parents on December 20, 1944. Her jest for life, which was evident even in her youth, was only equaled by her ideals that transcended the material and mundane. She was a whiff of wind breezing through her perceptual panorama by subtly warming the hearts of those whose lives she touched. A pretty girl, who metamorphosed into a beautiful woman, she gave justice to John Keats’ “a thing of beauty is a joy forever,” as one of the campus personalities at Divine Word College, where she took and finished Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in Accounting. A well-admired ROTC Sponsor, she proved that beauty is not skin-deep by being a part of the various curricular and extra-curricular activities of what was later to become Holy Name University.
Resituto C. Tan of Rafael Palma College (now University of Bohol) was one of the young swains smitten not only by her charm, but by her religious demeanor. This turned out to be the main obstacle. From her lips divulged to him by her friends, Lina’s word was “Impossible!” For she wanted to march down the aisle in a Catholic Church.
He wooed her relentlessly, until love transcended faith. They were married at the UCCP (United Church of Christ in the Philippines) on September 16, 1966. The marriage resulted to 3 sons, 3 daughters, and 9 grandchildren.
It may not be the most perfect of marriages, for they had slight arguments, but it was blissful – with both adjusting to each other – with him heading the family with wisdom and compassion. She was very much a part of the family company’s growth. He was a businessman, a farmer, and a miner. Tantrade Corporation was an acknowledged and well-regarded establishment even before the emergence of those who presently dominate the business world of the Province. For years, his Corporation was one of the 4 biggest taxpayers of Tagbilaran City and the Province of Bohol. Mr. Restituto Tan himself was the Founding Chairman of the Bohol Wisdom School.
But most significant was the transformation of Mrs. Lina V. Tan. She started to read the Bible, took it to her heart, studied intensively the Biblical lines, and made her own research with the help of the Holy Spirit; until she discovered the Lord and encountered Jesus Christ. And received the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Lord. Until finally, when she retired as the Company’s Treasurer, she concentrated on being a Bible Study Teacher, through the Tagbilaran Bible Fellowship.
Practicing what she preached. She discarded materialism, and vile language, added gardening and philately to her chores, and became an epitome of moderation and patience. Not a person who bore grudges, she was always the first to apologize when she realized she may have hurt some feelings.
It is unfortunate that nothing lasts forever and God, in His eternal omnipotence, at times does things in strange ways. She had this lingering chronic illness, which she tried to obscure through her evangelization. He called her to His Kingdom at 11:50 AM on October 23, 2014. A call nobody can refuse.
Lina has joined her Creator, and she will be remembered in the hearts of those whose lives she touched, as a mother and wife who loved and cared for her family the best way she could, as a woman who lived for others, and as a friend who knew how to enlighten even the skeptics through the Word of God… unconditionally.