He was young.
He was a dedicated journalist, devoted to his craft that is sports writing.
His mother's grief was striking. His sisters' sobbing - one tightly clutched in her left arm the college graduation picture of his late brother - was an unbearable sight. Although composed, his father was also mourning his son's death.
He also left his best friends from those days where they were one of those all boys' group. They proved they were different though, that theirs a friendship that will last through time - they were dear buddies to him, as they showed up to yesterday where they stayed for their best friend, and sent him to his final rest.
He left more than a year-old son, who has no idea he lost his father, and a loving wife, whose grieving went from silent tears to impish cries that casted a gloomy cloud over yesterday's sunny, Sunday afternoon.
Christian Ace Pasco, tabloid sports writer, former sports editor of UST-The Varsitarian, and fellow AB Journalism classmate, died of asthma complications. He was 26.
The news of his demise was circulated in a flash. Text messages and a phone call from fellow UST-The Varsitarian alumni flooded Tuesday night. When stories the next days followed about Ace's wake, it was confirmed - that the small man, whose eyes crinkles to slits as he sniggers infectiously, was gone.
Those who know Ace - from UST AB Journalism, UST-The Varsitarian, from his tabloid work, fellow sportswriters - visited him at his wake. Stories - mostly fond memories about Ace - were poured over with crying and wailing.
I believe nothing ill was said against him. All have good words for him. Some, like I, were in denial about his death. When I got the news, memories of him flashed - the last time I got in touch with him was when I asked him for contact details of a sports celebrity we wished to interview. He was quick to reply to say he had none, and sent his regards as well. Over the holidays, he was one of those who sent greetings. That was the last.
Then, in a middle of a call from our college professor Tuesday night, I remembered how Ace thanked me for inviting him to join my graduation dinner at my cousin's house in Antipolo - he probably did not expect that I would be inviting him since we were not that best-of-buddies. Other images of him also flashed before me - those one-of-too-many press work nights we had at UST-The Varsitarian. We heard him catching his breath. Although tired from publication work plus the other tasks we had to fill for our classes, he would still close his pages, slept for a while, and most of the time, would leave for home to get ready for a morning class later. His dedication he definitely brought to his professional life, where he spent about two years pounding the sports' beat.
Some, like I, thought Ace was too young to die. But for those he loved most, they know he lived a full life - he was a good son, a loyal friend, a professional, a loving father and husband - he was all those in such short 26 years of his life. And he may no longer be here, but all the things he left will forever be cherished.
Truly, he's an Ace we're all glad to know.