Dean Dimalanta

I’d always refer to her that way. When I entered UST, she was the current dean. She was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters up until I was in 3rd year.

I never got to sit in her class. The only encounter I had was when I was asked to fetch her from the AB Dean’s Office for the V’s anniversary dinner in our former office in the Main Building. That time, I was quite unsure as to how to approach her, a person of high merit. But to my surprise, she was warm, kind of like motherly. She spoke in a tone that would tell you to respect her and like her at the same time. And that time I liked and respected her.

She’s always considered a literary luminary, a goddess in her craft. And I got a chance to see her gift during Lit class. Her written words are like blades that could pierce your heart. No kidding.

And that’s why with her passing, many of her former students and colleagues feel the void. And even if I never got the chance to be illuminated by her aura except for that single close encounter, I feel sad about the loss of one great person who has touched the lives of many.

Dr. Ophelia A. Dimalanta will always be remembered, through her words and the memories of the people who have met her, even if it was just in passing along the hallways of St. Raymund’s Building.

——–

A Kind of Burning
Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta

it is perhaps because
one way or the other
we keep this distance
closeness will tug as apart
in many directions
in absolute din
how we love the same
trivial pursuits and
insignificant gewgaws
spoken or inert
claw at the same straws
pore over the same jigsaws
trying to make heads or tails
you take the edges
i take the center
keeping fancy guard
loving beyond what is there
you sling at the stars
i bedeck the weeds
straining in song or
profanities towards some
fabled meeting apart
from what dreams read
and suns dismantle
we have been all the hapless
lovers in this wayward world
in almost all kinds of ways
except we never really meet
but for this kind of burning.

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