Hopia, sans rival and ube cake –those were his favorite treats to bake in their family-run Jimel’s Bakery.
It was no surprise that 17-year-old Jimboy made it great in his culinary classes at Tech Voc. Baking was in his nerves even at a young age.
“He loved watching us. He has started helping us in kneading and baking pandesal as early as when he was four. He was always eager to learn”– Ate Mel, Jimboy’s mom, recalled how Jimboy has started showing his passion in the kitchen at a young age.
JIMBOY: HIS PARENTS’ JOY AND PRIDE
Jimboy was a normal teenager who also loved video games. If he was not in school, most of his time was spent with his parents learning the secret of their recipes.
“One time, I told him Jimboy, your dad and I are getting old and are tired of baking. He told me he would love to take over our bakery when he turns 18. But I told him he needed to know the hows of the business. And he was really hands-on with everything.”
Ate Mel recalled how lovingly his son would come with them to supermarket to buy baking supplies. At times, he was also stationed behind the cash register. He just didn’t like washing dishes. But he loved helping out in the kitchen. He cooked many dishes including adobo.
Jimboy’s dream was to become an executive chef. He also dreamed of owning or managing his own hotel business.
“Jimboy was so sweet. Despite his being big and tall, he would always run to us and gave me and his dad hugs and kisses. He would always tell us he loved us”.
Many times when Jimboy was not in the bakery, ate Mel would come home with the house cleaned up. “Alam n’yang pagod na ako. Naglinis na ‘yan at naglaba” (He knew I was tired. He already cleaned the house and did the laundry).
Ate Mel showed me a few photos and videos of Jimboy. Their last family trip was in Seattle in January which Jimboy enjoyed a lot.
She also showed me the last image she sent Jimboy a few hours before his senseless killing.
“I sent him this image of Jesus Christ. I was teasing him, he almost looked like Jesus because he loved growing his beared and mustache. I did not know it was my last message to him. I did not know he was joining Jesus that night.”
CALL FOR ACTION TOWARDS KEEPING OUR HOMES AND STREETS SAFE
Sadly, Jimboy’s dream shattered when he was killed in what was called by police as random home invasion. The heartbreaking loss triggered grief , anger and an outpour of support in the close-knit Filipino community.
It also served as gateway for police and residents to speak out, come, plan and act together in helping keep a safe neighborhood.
Social media has been flooded with a plea and petition for lawmakers to ammend criminal laws and implement stricter justice system against crimes especially involving drugs and recidivists.
“Our community is on the grip of an addiction crisis that is fuelling an increase of violence in the street. The government should hire more policemen, increase long term treatment beds and invest in community organizations that play a key part in fighting poverty and addiction.”
MLA Flor challenged the government to step up. “Jaime’s death should not be in vain. Let us work together to stop this crisis from spiraling and taking more lives.”
KEEPING THE MEMORY OF JIMBOY ALIVE
Ate Mel and Kuya Jim plan to rebrand Jimel’s products to bear their late son’s Jimboy’s name on top of each tag as a way to honor him.
A scholarship fund in his name and a baking sale are only just few of the projects his family and friends plan.
Gone too soon but will forever stay in our hearts.
Jimboy left behind a beautiful memory of a sweet child with a gentle soul who dreamed big and who loved his parents. A positive spirit who always met everyone with a smile coming from a pure heart.
He left behind a piece of his heart in every baked product that he used to lovingly bake.
Paalam Jimboy. May you rest in paradise.