I personally had a bad feeling already when I saw in the Ateneo’s website that the high school was looking for a new Physical Plant Director, a position Fr. Macayan occupied all this time.
Known as a “terror” and a strict disciplinarian during our time, he never forgot to address us as “men” back when we were in the throws of puberty. During last night’s homily, his fellow Jesuits called him “Fr. Mac.” We used to call him “Mad Mac,” alluding to some sort of a “Mad Max” driving a “pimp’d out” Volkwagen Beetle.
He taught us geometry under a mango tree, back in 1986 during the time when the Philippines was about to throw out a dictator.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
How we hated, despised and, at the same time, feared, respected and even loved this mentor of ours. He brought order into our chaos, discipline into our unruliness, direction into our scatteredness. Again looking back, he never failed to address us as “men,” and it was even the first word that we heard during third year. And he did transform us into men during our time.
We were the most undisciplined, unruly, scattered and disunited class during our second year. That is probably the reason why God sent Fr. Macayan on a mission to transform us into men. After he was through with us, a lot of his fellow teachers wanted to be our class moderator going into 4th year (of course, our 4th year class moderator was equally worthy, but that’s another story). We became men. He succeeded.
Now, we appreciate him, respect him, love him for what he has taught us. More than the theorems of geometry, which we may have forgotten now. He taught us how to be men.
I still remember his famous quote, “Remember men, CRAM does not pay!”
“Mad Mac” is dead. We thank him and we will miss him. And the world will not be the same without him.