-The two lines for the viewing of the beloved late governor Eloy S. Inos was already long at around 10:30am. People from all walks of life took time to pay their respects and say goodbye to the former leader of the Commonwealth who served the people of the Northern Marianas until his last breath. Some wore coat and tie, some were in traditional clothes, and even a couple wore island outfits, but all were united in grief.

-Inside the church, dozens of crowns of flowers in every color and kind decorated the church. The flowers—coming from various government departments, organizations, companies, and individuals—lined the walls, the back and the front. One read: “The governor was a great leader and will be missed.”

-It took us about 45 minutes to finally see the governor’s remains. I’ve only known the governor less than a year, but I was already touched by his kindness and warmth. He looked different from the jolly grandfather-like figure I always see him as, but nevertheless he seemed at peace, surrounded by his loved ones and finally at rest.

-Even at lunchtime, people were still coming in to bid the late governor goodbye. His family could barely sit down because of the many visitors that would pray over him and then offer their condolences with hugs and kisses. People of different cultures and nationalities were present—showing that no matter the differences, the governor has touched their lives one way or the other.

-During the Mass and speeches, various views of the governor came to light. For many, Inos was a politician, the governor, and the leader of the CNMI, but he was also an ordinary person. He was a brother, a father, a grandfather, an uncle—someone who loved his family. He was also a friend, a mentor. He was seen as a faithful follower of the church and a devotee of San Vicente.

-Inos was also a great boss, as many of those who worked for him shared. It was evident from the people closest to him in the workplace how much they will miss him and how much he has touched their lives.

-In the afternoon, the church was full of people who attended the Mass and said their final goodbyes. Many stood the entire time at the back of the church, and then followed suit for the burial. As a final show of respect and love, each offered flowers before Inos was laid to his final rest. (Frauleine Michelle S. Villanueva-Dizon)


-Several agencies were granted administrative leave in order to allow government employees to pay their respects to the governor. Some employees stayed until the end or at least until 4:30pm.

-The social hall was filled with friends and family, and a few who were there for balutan.

-It is noteworthy to mention that, thanks to the forethought of the Department of Public Safety and Mt. Carmel leadership, there were no traffic issues at the funeral. It was only when the governor’s hearse first arrived that two car accidents occurred during the convoy.

-Over 50 wreaths from several agencies expressing their greatest sympathies, and deepest condolences lined the Mt. Carmel Cathedral. One said: “the CNMI lost a great leader.”

-Anthony Alepuyo, the governor’s most trusted personal security, was visibly emotional after saying his last goodbyes. It was evident during Rep. Angel Demapan’s remarks and messages from the family that the governor was a father figure to many and would be sorely missed.

-The social hall surprisingly did not run out of food to feed the people. Previous funerals of prominent CNMI officials often ran out of food.

-It’s an unfortunate reality in the CNMI, probably worse than nepotism or corruption, that great leaders and great visionaries die due to non-communicable diseases.

-Adios, esta ki is a song often sung during funerals, a classic Chamorro song that could almost be considered Amazing Grace’s counterpart. The song’s chorus in English is “Goodbye, until we see each other again, goodbye.” It certainly puts things in perspective and based on what the late governor believed, it’s a great reminder that we are all human. (Daisy Demapan)


-During his eulogy yesterday, Rep. Angel Demapan, a former press secretary under Inos, recounted one instance when, as then-Lt. Gov. Inos was leaving the office, he backed into a tree. When asked what happened, Inos complained and asked, “Who put the tree there?!” “Well, the tree had been there for as long as anyone could remember,” Demapan said, “but it was still the tree’s fault.”

-Inos also liked to keep up with technology and the latest gadgets. “Except when he’d complain to us that his emails and calendar schedules weren’t showing up on his phone,” said Demapan. “But that was because they either weren’t installed or he wasn’t logged in.”

-A man of character, of family, of finance, and of shrimp? According to Demapan, Inos loved family gatherings. Inos would make sure that food was more than enough for everyone to enjoy and then some. “And as his family would know,” Demapan added, “the party was not a party unless there was shrimp.”

-Demapan also said that when Inos first became lieutenant governor, this “very private man” did not like the idea of being driven around. But because he was the lieutenant governor, he was provided with the security that came with the position. “We quickly learned that didn’t matter,” Demapan said. “When it was time to leave his house, he would peek out the window to see where the officer was and then exit through the back door and drive himself to the office or to wherever his presence was needed.”

-Police officer Anthony Alepuyo was later chosen by the late governor to drive him when Inos became governor. Alepuyo was also behind the wheel of Inos’ hearse upon his arrival on Saipan last Friday, and his arrival at the Mount Carmel Cathedral yesterday morning.

-“I have a great deal to accomplish with you and for you over the next four years. And Lord willing, that’s exactly what I intend to do.” That’s how Inos closed his inaugural address exactly one year ago yesterday. While the Lord did not will it, Inos’ will in the face of his illness—to this reporter—was remarkably exemplified in the humor, eloquence, and thoughtfulness with which he led the few press conferences or events this reporter had chance to see him work. The room listened, Cabinet members leaned in, the administration was assured by his very word, it seemed. The late governor was accessible, and you could tell he enjoyed explaining things, clearly. Direct quotes aplenty. (Dennis Chan)

Saipan Tribune

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