Oscar Lardizabal
Memorial website in the memory of your loved one
This memorial website was created in the memory of our brother, Oscar Veloso Lardizabal who was born in Cebu City Philippines on November 4, 1958 and passed away on April 3, 1999 at the age of 40. We will remember him forever.

Written and delivered by Lorna Lardizabal Dietz
St. Therese Parish, Lahug, Cebu City, Philippines
April 9, 1999

Let me tell you about Oscar Veloso Lardizabal, my younger brother. My name is Lorna, oldest in the family and spokesperson for this morning. Oscar was the third of seven children --- fondly nicknamed Ting by my family, Oca by friends, or even Oscar the Grouch (for those of you familiar with ham radio handles). He was born on November 4, 1958 to our parents, Joe and the late Sally Lardizabal. Mom once told me that Oscar was named after her favorite Filipino musical conductor. Our piano teacher, Pilar B. Sala, once complimented Oscar on his ability to entertain a crowd during piano recitals, using exaggerated body movements for his own interpretation of a classical melody. He also composed his own songs although not many of you know that some songs made it to music festivals, TV, and church music at the University of the Philippines Chapel in Diliman, Quezon City. Fortunately, some friends remember the songs. Oscar had also saved some of his compositions, courtesy of a midi file.

So, you ask, what was he really like?

Well, since we didn't have many toys when we were growing up, Oscar became quite creative. He would convince his younger sister Myrna, to take a spin in his new car --- which happened to be a chair, strategically positioned on the floor with its legs up in the air. He also had the most difficult time keeping a straight face before the camera. He even mastered the art of strategically lifting his left eyebrow. Now, that is an Oca trademark!

When Woodstock was the controversial rage in the late 60's, he quickly organized my other brothers and sisters, together with other neighbors, and made the round of the neighborhood, carrying their metal-strung guitars. The name of this new rock group was, of course, "Bamboo Stock."

Somehow, Oscar found ways to make our parents shake their heads in amusement whenever he wanted something badly enough. At one point during his college days, he needed a car. Thus, he wrote a letter to Dad, not once mentioning the word "car" but had every word with the letters C-A-R highlighted in bold caps. What a subliminal approach! He got his car!

As a young man, having just finished his studies in Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, he went back to Cebu and started learning the ropes of the family business --- coming in with bright, bold ideas. Oscar had the perfect tag line for himself. He said to us "I will build an empire," not realizing that in a few years, he would be building an empire of lechon manok stores and stalls, proud that he grew the business with his own sweat equity, and without any family monetary help. We also realized that Oscar was a mathematical wizard who challenged anyone with his financial skills. A friend once said that it was interesting to see what else could be found around Oscar's waistline through the years. It started with a VHF radio, then a pager, then a cellular phone.

In the summer of 1980, he became a computer techno-geek. Let me say this: Oscar lived and breathed computer programming that summer, barely sleeping because he was obsessed with finishing his self-study course at the shortest possible time. We learned to live with his ideas of cable wire management, that is, we were careful not to trip on the haphazard layout of his wiring system on the floor.

Now, many of his friends and business associates admit that Oscar had so many ideas that impacted their career and business growth, who willingly shared these ideas with them without expecting anything in return except, perhaps, a "thank you." You are so fortunate to have had such a friend. Not many of you know that Oscar took care of our father after Dad had a stroke in 1985. Oscar had to be a father to his two sons, financial adviser to his brothers and sisters, and employer of a rapidly growing lechon manok business. Yes, he had high expectations of everyone involved in his life. Impatience was both a virtue and a non-virtue. Oscar believed in seizing opportunities quickly --- and took action immediately. He finally took the time for a vacation (without any phone calls from his office) in the United States 10 years after he established his business. His visionary approach was a trait all of us respected. Fortunately, before he passed away, for several months we talked about his visions of personal and business growth for the next century.

This brings us to the subject about Oscar's battle with leukemia. I would describe it as a "valiant battle." It was in August of 1996 that he was first diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, or AML-M4. Even as he took his chemotherapy in stride, Oscar had no hang-ups about wearing his mask for reverse isolation as he went around town. He was in so much pain yet he preferred to deal with his pain in private. Finding blood donors was a logistical nightmare since our family has one of those rare blood types. We would like to honor these donors who took the time to help Oscar. Thank you.

This is really a story of how a family truly worked very hard to support Oscar in his search for a cure, spanning hours and hours of research and inquiries through the internet and electronic mail. The technological advantage resulted in many blessings, especially when he qualified for a clinical trial in the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He made the brave choice to undergo a stem cell transplant, knowing that there was a 50-50 chance he would survive, and that he had to take that risk. This time, he wanted to share his experience through videotapes. Maybe one day, we will be able to tell you his story.

J-II and Caloy, and my nieces and nephews: Could you please stand up? Oscar did bring you together from all parts of the world. To J-II and Caloy, Oscar's sons, and my other nieces and nephews--- we would like you to know that Oscar had your parents, his relatives, friends, and strangers give their love and support willingly and unselfishly. If there is one lesson we can learn from Oscar's passing, it is --- that you will always have each other to help you "through the good times and especially the bad times." We were given an opportunity to connect with long-lost relatives and appreciate their kindness and concern. I know Oscar would want you to remember this. Please take a seat. Thank you.

I would like to quote some important words from Oscar. He shared this with us, through videotape, right after his transplant, that is, reflections about his life and his future. He said: "My life will change, definitely. Normally, I was superman. I could go anywhere. I'd go drive, drive anywhere with my motorcycle. I am now conscious that we are vulnerable. That God permits, how many years God will extend my life. But deep inside me, I know that this is just an extension. It is how I maximize my life. If he extends me as much as 90 years old, OK lang gihapon. I look forward to the extension of 90."

Oscar talked about "quality of life." He told us, " Because now, when you're well, you don't feel that there's ever going to be an end. When you realize there is an end, you will plan things better."

Oscar, we want you to know that we love you. We will miss you. You've taught us so much about the strength of family love and solidarity, and about the kindness of strangers. Many people will benefit from your experiences. We are grateful to the Lord for the blessings He bestowed on you.

This is what we would like to say to you today:

God saw you getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So He put his arms around you,
And whispered "Come to Me"
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer,
And saw you fall away.
Although we couldn’t bear to lose you,
We could not ask you to stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hardworking hands laid to rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
That He only takes the best.

Ting, Oca, Oscar… May you rest in peace.

Other Family Memorial Sites:

Our daddy old boy, Jose P. Lardizabal
Our brother, Reuben Veloso Lardizabal
Our little angel, Jose Luis "Luijoe" Lardizabal-Dado
Coming soon: Our mother, Salustiana Veloso Lardizabal, July 26, 2006

Click here to see Oscar Lardizabal's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
No one deserves the pain of losing a sibling   / Adin Martin Villanueva (Friend of Lorna )
Dear Lorna and family Allow me to narrate a situation to let you feel my sincerity in feeling for you as you lost a dear brother. A few years ago I was doing my usual e-communication and was working on catching up with family and friends' e-let...  Continue >>
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Oscar's Photo Album
Oscar right after his first remission in 1998
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