Job Lacson, known as the “Manong Mani” of Silliman University, died at the age of 65 after battling with stage four pancreatic cancer around 8 a.m. last July 3 at his house.
Despite being 80 percent blind, Manong Job had been selling sugarcoated nuts, green peas, and assorted candies in the campus without paying rent for 25 years.
He sold goods in front of the library and in the pathway from CBA grounds to the Roman T. Yap Hall. He stopped selling goods last year because of the cancer. Many Sillimanians visited him and some groups raised funds last semester to aid his treatment costs.
Dave Lacson, Manong Job’s son and former physical education teacher in the university, said that his father considers selling goods in Silliman as “something more than just a job.”
He also said that by Manong Job’s mere presence, students were encouraged.
“My father was like a ‘grotto’ to students. He would place his hand and pray over students who go to him and ask for prayers,” said Dave.
Dave added that his father did not stop selling even if he and his sister graduated in the university with teaching degrees.
“He knew that God’s purpose for him was to stay in Silliman. He also knew the purpose why he was blind and why he was suffering when he got sick,” he said.
He said that he did not see his father’s passing as a defeat. Instead, he saw it as a victory because his suffering ended.
Remembering Manong Job
Silliman alumnus Bron Teves said that he finds Manong Job amazing because his blindness is not a hindrance for him to live his life to the fullest.
“After a long time of not being in Silliman, I came back together with my children. I introduced them to Manong Job, and they, too, are amazed,” Teves said.
For Maya Jajalla, a senior mass communication student, transferring from Guy Hall to Roman T. Yap Hall was sad, but the sadness was taken away upon seeing Manong Job on the way to class.
“I guess one of my consolations in exchanging the view of the sea for the 30-step inclined journey towards our classes was another uplifting view in a human’s face: Manong Job’s smile whenever he hears our steps walking towards him. He always wears it. It’s a smile that warms one’s heart, a smile I’ll never forget,” said Jajalla.
His funeral service was held at the First Baptist Church in Barangay Piapi.
By: Jameela Mendoza and Andrea D. Lim