05 May 2009

Victor Ordonez (+)

When it rains, it pours. Augusto Boal died 2 May, as did Al Robles. Yesterday (4 May), multilingual writer Victor Ordonez died in Makati, Philippines, of a lingering illness. He was not primarily a writer, having written only one novel (in English), but his work at UNESCO in Paris was crucial to the development of writing in many countries. He spoke several languages (I don't know exactly how many, but I saw him talking to delegates in a UN conference in their own languages) and most likely read several more. He spearheaded a number of innovative movements in education, not just in the world (he spent much of his later life in international circles), but in the Philippines, where he served in various capacities in government and the private sector. He was my friend, as he was a friend to countless others, especially writers.


  1. Victor Ordonez and I met at De La Salle University in the 70s. The late Bro. Andrew
    Gonzalez introduced him to me as "young man in a terrible hurry". To go where, I did not realize nor could I foresee.

    I sensed ambition in him, and an intellectual aura which explains all his achievements before this relatively early demise.

    But I am sure he had carved a good name for himself in the intellectual world; in the rarefied world of global educators.

    I grieve for him. Surely, I cannot ask: O Death, where is thy sting?

    This end that claimed Victor stings badly.

  2. GOD...why do people die around me? We would always pray for sir ordonez, may GOD rest his soul, and the souls of all dead people

    and of course, may GOD bless the living

    i dont know him sir ganni, as sir albert does, but having read how you described him makes me think he is devoted to work and to people

    i want to discover, anyway, about that death phenomenon relating to writers...isnt a writer dead sometimes?

    May GOD give comfort to all those who grieve for him

    Good morning po

  3. Condoleances to everyone close to Dr. Victor Ordonez. I was happy to have met him on several occasions at UNESCO in Bangkok when I was working there. We will miss him.

    Alida Pham
    Communication and Marketing Officer
    UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education

  4. Vic Ordonez was a multi-faceted person. When I was a student, he spoke to my class as a line producer of films. I remember Doy del Mundo, my professor, had difficulty introducing him because of his many outstanding accomplishments. Indeed a model Lasallian.

  5. May Victor's soul rest in peace. He was a good friend in my youth and a thoughtful one at that. Funny and artistic. He will be missed... angelique

  6. It's comforting to read all this about someone I've loved for so long. VIctor was one of my closest and dearest friends - my spa buddy. We traveled all over the world. Tomorrow is All Soul's Day and I'm being sentimental missing my friend so so much.

  7. I grew up with Victor Ordoñez at La Salle and he was what we call a Christian Gentleman. During our reunions, he would talk to me about a mutual friend... This guy lived life to the fullest.... requiescant in pace. Victorino Cruz DLSC HS'1961

  8. Dear Percy,

    I always knew you as "Percy" (not Victor). I got to know you socially in the early 70's through Marina "Beng" R. Villanueva. Beng formed a social group composed of 5 to 9 of her friends upon her return from U.S. studies in the early 70's and, for several years, all of us interacted with each other through Marina's leadership. What fun we had; at least I did.

    I left for the U.S.A. in 1984 and, after 25 years of absence, I came back to Manila on May 1, 2009. Little did I know, Percy, that you were gravely ill at that time. I did not know you passed away on May 4th until 3 months later. I wanted to use you as a business or personal referee and, before doing so, I thought of getting in touch with you first to say hello, renew our friendship, and ask what happened to Beng and the rest of our friends. I could not believe the news that you had kicked the bucket.

    Do you still remember the last time we met, Percy? Beng and I had dinner with you and your sister Gina at a Hawaiian-styled restaurant in Marina del Rey, California in early 1985. Your laughter could be heard all over the place as I related my various missteps as a purchasing coordinator in the German-filled world headquarters of the Hilton Hotels Corporation in Beverly Hills.

    Percy, do you also still remember the time we bumped into each other outside the Folk Arts Theater in Manila in 1982-83? Mrs. Marcos's Manila International Film Festival was then in full swing, and you had a stunning film starlet from Europe for a date. Attaboy, Percy.

    What about the time you invited us to your parents' home in Dasmarinas Village, Makati in the late 70's? You demonstrated to us the art of summoning your househelp from the kitchen to our table in the lanai for coffee service. Percy, that was a nice thing to know from you. I am still grateful.

    You must still remember the time about 7 of us spent a few days in Baguio City in the late 70's. We had a whole house (actually, an old house)(courtesy of Beng and her relatives) for ourselves. I scared the hell out of Beng and Jeng Castro when I pretended to be in a trance while we were eating hotdogs and marshmallows by the fireplace. I hope Beng and Jeng don't ever get to read this, but I was also behind the strange tapping sounds they heard by the window while they were trying to go to sleep in their bedroom. Percy, you were very worried to see Jeng and her very sore eyes at the breakfast table the following morning. She did not get any sleep, and she sought your TLC for comfort.

    Enough said. Percy, how is it up there? You must have finaly known the mysteries of the universe (which you and Eugene Sevilla loved to discuss while we listened).

    Love you, Percy.

    Irreverent as always,