Higino Trajano Baylon obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Higino Trajano Baylon

August 26, 1932 - December 21, 2013

Obituary


My name is Marvin Ibanez Baylon. I am the son of Higino Trajano Baylon. Before I begin, I would like to thank all of you here on behalf of my Mom, Azucena my brother, Ed and our extended family, for your efforts large and small to be here today, to help us mark my Dad's passing.

I am honored to be here.

I am honored to be here to speak to you all.

I am honored to be here to speak to you about my Dad.

Each...

My name is Marvin Ibanez Baylon. I am the son of Higino Trajano Baylon. Before I begin, I would like to thank all of you here on behalf of my Mom, Azucena my brother, Ed and our extended family, for your efforts large and small to be here today, to help us mark my Dad's passing.

I am honored to be here.

I am honored to be here to speak to you all.

I am honored to be here to speak to you about my Dad.

Each of you here had your own relationship with my Dad, each of you has your own set of memories about my Dad. Some of you called him Pai Eno, Grandpa Geno, Uncle Eno and even Eddy Baylon maybe because you couldn't pronounce his first name.

I don't presume to know the man that you knew. But I hope that, in this eulogy that I offer, you will recognize some part of the man that we all knew, the man that is no longer amongst us, the man who will never be gone until all of us here have passed.

If he was still with us today, he would ask all of us why we are making such a fuss about him, and why are we sad. Instead I think he would want us to be happy for him and that with God's help, he is once again young, healthy, and free of any ailments and pain.

My Dad was born in 1932, and raised by his parents Luciano and Juana Baylon in Nabua Camarines Sur in the Philippines. He was the youngest of four kids. As a young man he loved the game of baseball and was very skilled. I tried not to complain when we played catch and he hurt my glove hand.

During his teenage years he was always the dapper dresser preferring white Polo shirts and Khakis as his everyday wear. This was kind of strange for the son of a rice farmer. He loved all things mechanical and was driven to try new things. It was his spirit of adventure that motivated him to join the US Navy and explore the world. He was the first in his family to come to America not for a better life but for a different life.

Before he came to America he studied in Manila where he met my Mom Azucena. He told one of his cousins early on that she was the one he was going to marry. From the pictures you can see, they were a very handsome couple. Their bond lasted for more than half a decade, they would have celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this coming March.

While in the Navy my Dad served his adopted country as a fireman, as a fighting soldier in Vietnam and then as an engineman. He love his job so much that he retired as a US Navy recruiter which allowed him to share his experiences with new generations of Americans. The uniform you see him in today was the last uniform he wore before he retired from the Navy in Seal Beach, California in 1976. Some of his ribbons are a little tattered, some of the metal bits not as shiny, but my Dad is still proud to wear his uniform today. Ultimately the after effects of the Vietnam war is why my Dad is longer with us.


My early memories of my Dad were one of stern discipline and instruction. He was the poster child for "Tough Love" before anyone knew what that was. He could just look at me from a mile away and I knew I had to shape up instantly. He never really spanked me as a kid, because m My Mom did that. I was taught that the worst thing you could ever do was to disappoint your family. So although I am never perfect, I always try to make sure that I do my best in everything I do. I hope my family understands.

I didn't really appreciate all of that "Tough Love" when I was growing up. At one point I thought my Dad was some kind of reincarnated British Guy, because he was always telling me to keep "a stiff upper lip," never show weakness, and always, always come to the aid of your family and your friends.

I think it was his loyalty to his friends and family that caused him to get into a little trouble with the Navy Shore Patrol. As a young kid, I overheard him talking to some of his "barkada" (friends) that he had been reprimanded by the NAVY for knocking out a few people because they were harassing his best friend. I think his best friend may have been named "Marvin" I'm not really sure. I think it was at a bar, but I'm not really sure.


I am pretty sure that my Dad was the one that taught me to always think of different ways to solve even the most basic problems. I remember my Dad asking my Mom to sew hidden fishing hooks into the collar of his combat fatigues. It wasn't until later that I found out that he was going to survival school prior to deploying to Vietnam and he wanted the use of the fishing hooks to give him an advantage in survival school. I guess the Navy didn't think he was all that clever though, they found the hooks and took them away. But my Dad had another trick up his sleeve; what Island boy doesn't know how to climb coconut trees? So while the patrols were looking to capture him...he just waited high up in the trees until they left.

My Dad proudly served in Vietnam but never really talked about his experiences much. I remember he showed me pictures of him with his trusty M-16. He could recite a few phrases in Vietnamese, but that was really it.

As most kids do, during my high school years I didn't have as much interaction with my Dad because I was busy hanging out with my peers and he was busy with his work. I really only turned to my Dad when I needed help fixing something, like adjusting the valves on my car, or figuring out what was causing my brakes to stick. He was good about helping fix things to keep me from killing myself. It's funny how parents are protective that way. It was comforting to know that my Dad was the one guy I could count on to help me no matter what even if he was too sick to show me how.

In a way my Dad and I are very much alike; independent, fixer of things, sticking up for your friends and family, but not too emotional.

My Dad loved cars and I knew we had something in common when I was excited as he was when we went looking for the next cool car to buy. I still remember the sea foam green 56 Cadillac, the black Pontiac Grand Prix, the white Buick Grand Sport, the Trans Am and the really slow Ford Falcon for my Mom (I wish we would have gotten the Mustang or GTO instead).

When our whole family was comforting him at the emergency room, I decided to bring him back to when we had fun together and I asked him quietly which of his past cars was his favorite and through his oxygen mask he looked at me, smiled a little and uttered; "the Mercedes." That little car was the one that we worked on together for many hours.


To this day I don't I wish I could have hugged my Dad more or said "I love you" more when he was alive. He would have just said, "what's the matter with you?," in an awkward kind of way. Instead we bonded in a different manner. I felt his love and appreciation during the times when we worked on cars together and nothing between us was ever said. He just looked at me with respect and love and that's all I could ever ask for. That appreciative look from him will last with me until it's time for me to go as well.

My Dad had his first heart attack in 1995 and his last one on Dec 20 of this year, 2013. During his almost twenty years of sickness, my Mom took care of him night and day. She is a truly devoted wife and mother. My Mom is a saint and I will cherish her forever.

My Dad was in a lot of pain for many years, but he never complained once. He even chose to stay away during one of his back surgeries, I guess to make sure the Doctor didn't mess up. He didn't like Doctors that much, He hated hospitals.

Prior to his death, my Dad told my Mom he was no longer afraid to die because God had given him a glimpse of how it would be to be young and healthy again.

During his last hours my Mom and I were holding his hand and talking to him softly telling him he would be safe no matter what happened. He felt comfort that my Mom stayed with him at all times. It was at that very moment at 7:05 am that God ended my Dad's pain and brought him to heaven on the 21st of Dec 2013.

My brother and I are who we are, because of who my Dad was. Our family will always miss him.

Good-bye Dad, thanks for everything. May you always drive a fast car....safely.

I will love you forever, your son,

Marvin Ibanez Baylon