Her Last Leaf Fell in the Last Days of That Winter

Her Last Leaf Fell in the Last Days of That Winter

(On Remembering FJ Publishing Editor Rosalinda Cantiveros)

I always attribute my having become a columnist at and eventually also the associate editor of the Winnipeg-based community newspaper Filipino Journal to two things—first, my enduring and undying passion for writing; and then, the faith in my ideas and writing abilities of its late publisher and editor-in-chief, Rosalinda Natividad-Cantiveros, who died on March 4, 2008.
As my personal commemoration of her life and death, I am featuring in this column an article I wrote on my eLf ideas blogspot eight days after she died.

“Farewell, Tita Linda Cantiveros”
Rosalinda Natividad-Cantiveros, or Tita Linda to many of her younger friends and acquaintances, the publisher and chief editor of Filipino Journal, of which I am a columnist; the president of Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba; a longtime pioneer and pillar of the Filipino community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (20 years!); had always been active in many Filipino and multicultural activities; admired by a great number of people—not only fellow Filipinos but also non-Filipino Canadians…
…sadly, had died in the morning of March 4, 2008, at Victoria Hospital, because of cancer. She was 61. She was declared cancer-free for five years, but the dreaded disease came back late last year perhaps because of work-related stress.
I was glad that I phoned her in the middle of February, to ask how she had been, because I learned from Tito Rod, her husband, that she was hospitalized in December. She was still okay during our conversation, in which we talked about some future plans for the newspaper; she even told me that she would need again my help in the editorial. She tried to sound jolly, but her voice kind of betrayed her weakness and tiredness.
Tita Linda even apologized for failing to pursue the annual get-together for the Filipino Journal staff last December, promising that we—FJ family—would instead have the gathering come Spring.

Sadly, her last leaf fell in the last days of that Winter, without having the chance to greet and kiss the new blossoms of the looming Spring.
I met Tita Linda in 2005, during a regularly held welcome party for new immigrants at PCCM. My Tita Lucy told me that Mrs. Cantiveros was the publisher of Filipino Journal, the leading Filipino newspaper in Manitoba. I approached her and asked if she could publish some of my articles in the newspaper. She told me to submit samples of my works, which I duly did. After less than a month, she phoned to inform me that she liked my writing style.
And the rest was history.
Like a mother to many, Tita Linda had been very supportive of my ideas. She was one of the few persons in Canada whom I personally looked up to.
Her legacy will live in the memory of every person whom she inspired, impressed, or simply befriended.

The Last Leaf
I will remain an instrumental part of Filipino Journal, in her honor and as my contribution to the Filipino community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada—with a personal longtime mission of instilling in the minds of my fellow humans the realization that a life driven by logic, common sense, and analytical thinking is far better than that which is guided by blind faith, uncertainty, gullibility, and hypocrisy.