November 9, 3:00 p.m. –PAYING tribute to UST’s first writer-in-residence, Ophelia
Alcantara-Dimalanta, Rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. said those
whose lives have been touched by the late poet should not only mourn
but also celebrate her life.

In his homily for the funeral Mass at the Santisimo Rosario Parish
Church this morning, De la Rosa said Dimalanta’s death was the final
act of her lifetime attempt to transform her flesh into meaningful
words, poems, or verse.

Father Rector blessing the remains of Dimalanta, UST's premiere woman poet. Photo by Paul Allyson R. Quiambao

“In this Mass, let us not only mourn for ‘Ophie.’ Let us celebrate her
life as we have been touched by her,” said De la Rosa, who led the
mass together with the regents of the Graduate School, Fr. Jose
Antonio Aureada, O.P. and Faculty of Arts and Letters, Fr. Joseto
Bernadas, O.P.

Dimalanta taught literature at the Graduate School and Artlets.

De la Rosa said Dimalanta “lived as though she was never going to die.”

“She lived a dynamic life and her sudden death reminds us that life
has a boundary so that every important decision must not be
postponed,” De la Rosa added. Her death is also a “constant reminder
to each of us that we must cherish every moment of our lives, because
every moment is unrepeatable.”

Dimalanta succumbed to stroke last November 4. She was 78.

Father Rector said Dimalanta should be remembered as someone who
“poured her soul in whatever she did and someone who lived her life

“[She] never apologized for who she was, what she did or what she
chose not to do,” he said. “I’m sure that like many of us, Ophie
wanted not only to be worshipped as a writer, a poet or a mentor, but
also to be loved deeply as a person.”

“We have memories of her and these memories will continue to live in
our hearts,” he said, after which he invited everyone to pray for

After the Holy Mass, a necrological service followed and eulogies were
delivered by Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Pilar Romero, assistant to the
Rector for administration, Isagani Cruz of the Manila Critics Circle,
ABS-CBN Vice-President Ramon Osorio, and Inquirer editor and
Varsitarian publications adviser Joselito Zulueta.

Dimalanta is survived by sons Al and Wystan and sister Hortencia.
Kalaine Nikka Kay C. Grafil


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