By Bro. Niel Dalumpines, BCBP Davao East Chapter
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” — Matthew 25:34
I first met Boy Elma sometime in 2003 at the Eco 2 Tennis Courts along Eagle Street in Ecoland. That was during my last two years of playing tennis which eventually led to the hanging up of my racket due to my knee surgeries.
After a tennis match, players usually converge, hang around, socialize, and banter just for fun and exchange anecdotes, humor, and political satires in the club’s premises. There was a rainbow of characters in Eco 2 tennis club which spiced up the mood and temper of the folks out there, transforming it into a vibrant scenery.
My first impression of Boy was his mellow personality which was well liked by the club members. He was one of the nice guys around, so easy to get along players of all stripes and demeanors, the hard losers, the “winning is the only thing mentality” coming from all nooks and crannies of the city.
As I faded away from tennis due to injuries, I lost track of Boy. But sometime in 2008, the late Johnny Paraguya, invited me to join the BCBP. Vacillating for five years, I and Dina finally joined the community in 2013. When we were on board, I was surprised to see again my tennis buddy, Boy Elma, whom I heard had been with BCBP for more than two decades and was already holding a high position in the Davao East Chapter. His charming wife, Sis. Sheila, complimented Boy’s leadership in bringing Christ to the marketplace. Eventually, Boy became our Chapter Head, then voted as member of the Board of Trustees and Area Managing Director for Southern Mindanao.
Boy was quite adept in guitar accompaniment and, in spite of his more urgent duties as an officer, he still found time to activate himself and mesh with the members of the music ministry. He accompanied hymns and songs in many BCBP events.
Boy and I belonged to the same Action Group, (AG2). With Boy and Sis. Sheila’s boundless energy and enthusiasm, they brought about a closer bonding with our wives and families in our action group. Boy must have had a well-founded Christian upbringing as clearly manifested in his adult life, truly molded into a modern day Christ-like disciple, watching his flock. He attended Mass even on weekdays and would not miss receiving the Eucharist for his spiritual nourishment.
But there was no question that Boy was always on the run, keeping up with his business commitments, bringing up his own family and setting up higher goals for the BCBP community in Southern Mindanao. From my own deduction, he was ready to forego business concerns when it conflicted with the things that mattered most to him, his work in the BCBP and his fidelity and devotion to Christ. He always found time to attend spiritual retreats in places far and wide, not to mention the BOT meetings and other BCBP national events.
On the lighter side, Boy was the one who enticed me to play golf again in the late 2018 after an absence of nine years due to my knee surgeries. As a come-on, he generously gave me No. 3 and No. 5 fairway woods to lure me back to the game. For more than three years now, we organized the BCBP golfers who enjoyed a healthy recreation and outlet from life’s monotonous drudgery.
In the end I can say that in matters of serving our Lord Jesus Christ, I would fail miserably and just cannot hold a candle to Boy’s degree of devotion and fidelity.
Finally, I bid farewell to an outstanding leader, Boy Elma of BCBP, who in his lifetime showed us the way and inspired us to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks so much for the sacrifice in bringing us closer to one another as God’s family.
Our sincerest gratitude to his loving wife, Sis Sheila, who stood by Boy’s side until the end. My heart goes to Karbee for the loss of his dear father. Boy’s selfless dedication shone bright and clear and never dimmed even to the end of his earthly life. We are confident that today, Boy, through his own merits, has inherited eternal life in God’s kingdom, where he truly belongs together with the angels, saints and martyrs. His gift of immortality has already begun.
From the BCBP community and from the depths of our hearts let us offer our never-ending gratitude to Bro Boy Elma.