His former boss, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, now Ilocos Norte lawmaker was the very first mourner of former Quezon City chief executive Ismael “Mel” Mathay Jr. at his wake held at the Christ the King Parish in Green Meadows on Thursday.
Marcos said she wanted to be personally present to be at her long-time friend’s wake even if she is slightly ill.
Marcos was governor of Metro Manila when she tapped Mathay to be her deputy.
Mathay’s remains will be at the parish’s Chapels A and B up to Friday after which the remains will be cremated Saturday morning, his younger brother Sulpicio told The Manila Times.
Mathay’s ashes will be buried at a crypt in the parish crematorium beside it, Sulpicio added.
Christ the King Parish, The Times learned was a project Mathay carried out after the Ortigas family donated the lot to him.
The Mathays requested all who wish to visit their patriarch’s wake not to bring flowers anymore and instead donate the amount to Mathay’s favored charitable institution, the Missionaries of Holy Cross based in Marikina City.
Expected to be at the wake were former Mayor Mel Lopez of Manila and former San Juan mayor and former President Joseph Estrada now the incumbent Manila Mayor.
Both were Mathay’s colleagues when he served as mayor of Quezon City from 1992 to 2001.
He started his career in government when he was elected vice mayor of Quezon City in 1967.
In 1973, he was appointed secretary to the commission of the General Auditing Office; from 1979 to 1986 he served as vice governor of the Metro Manila Commission (MMC), that became the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
From 1980 to 1987, he served as director of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, and became an assemblyman when he survived the opposition landslide in Quezon City during the 1984 Batasang Pambansa elections.
In 1987, he ran as an independent candidate and won as representative of the 4th district of Quezon City.
He also served as MMDA chair from 1993 to 1994.
Born in Manila on June 26, 1932, to former Auditor General Ismael Mathay Sr. and Josefina Mathay, he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration Major in Economics from the University of the Philippines, and with a Bachelor of Laws in San Beda College.
He was married to the late Sonya Gandionco, with whom he had four children—Ma. Aurora, Ismael 3rd, Ramon and Ma. Sonya.
In February, Mathay married his longtime partner Vilma Valera at the same parish where his remains are laid.