ATTY. IGNACIO BASA SANTOS
July 31, 1925 – April 28, 2021
Ignacio Santos was born in Manila, Philippines in 1925. He was the youngest of four children of Andres Santos and Augustina Basa. They were born poor. At the end of the WWII, Iggy or Aciong as he was called by his friends, got a job as a clerk and then a stenographer for the US Armed Forces. Not content at being a stenographer he completed his law studies at the Manuel L. Quezon School of Law and passed the BAR examination in 1953.
As the Director of the Manila Youth Club he was part of the Philippine delegation sent to Japan for the UNESCO Youth Leaders Conference.
He practiced law in the early years “a la” Perry Mason, the fictional character who investigated his own cases. His clients were mostly poor folk who would pay him what they could afford.
On March 1955, he married his sweetheart, a teacher, Elizabeth Bueno Marcos on her birthday, March 28. They had 6 children, Ricardo, Nina, Liza, David, Joey and Grace.
A very good friend on his, Antonio “Tony” Villegas wanted Iggy to join him in politics. Iggy declined, because of the long hours that would take away from the family. He chose instead a career with the National Power Corporation (NPC), a quasi government entity. Tony Villegas eventually was elected Mayor of Manila from 1963 to 1972.
He retired from NPC in 1986 and immigrated to the USA with his wife Elizabeth. He got a job as a gardener at the Mount Miguel Covenant Village in Spring Valley, CA where he impressed his co-workers with his work ethic. He retired from there and continued his love for gardening by raising vegetables.
His wife Elizabeth died in 2015 after 60 years of marriage. He spent the remainder of his years as he has since his youth, as a witness to the glory of God. People who knew him would remember how he would give them advice on numerous subjects, especially about loving God. He enjoyed spending time with family, always advising them on how to live a righteous life.
He died of natural causes, on April 28, 2021 surrounded by his loved ones. He is survived by his 6 children, 9 grand children and 3 great grand children.
Services took place May 19, 2021 at the Holy Cross Chapel, 4470 Hilltop Drive, San Diego, CA 92102 at 11 am. Internment immediately followed at the Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery nearby.
ELDEST SON'S EULOGY
My dad, Ignacio Basa Santos was a righteous man. He was moral and
incorruptible. He was selfless, and he had nothing but an immense love for God
and his family.
He was righteous! His whole life was lived as a tribute to the Glory of
God. He preached about it to those who would listen. He witnessed to it. He
would not speak ill of anyone and always saw nothing but the goodness in
people. People who knew him will attest to what I just said He inculcated in
his children the very idea that we should love God above all. When we were
growing up he made sure we prayed together as a family. A favorite saying of
dad was, “a family that prays together stays together”.
Did I respect dad for his righteousness? Well not only did I respect my
father, I venerated him.
He was extremely moral and incorruptible. Stories of dad as a young
lawyer was that he was like the fictional character Perry Mason. A lawyer who
investigated his own cases. His clients were often poor, and could only pay with
what they could. He took their cases anyway. Even if they could only pay him
with chickens. I remember him telling me when he got married and started a
family he could not afford to do that anymore, so he had to find more stable
work. He saw the inequities in our society. How power and influence could
corrupt the justice system, especially against the poor. He did not want to be
part of this, so he picked a career where he could preserve his morality and
where he felt he would not be exposed to corruption. He chose to be a lawyer
for the National Power Corporation.
His best friend from Manila, Antonio “Tony” Villegas tried to convince
dad to join him in politics. Dad told me he declined because he didn’t like the
hours he would spend away from the family. I believe the real reason he
declined, was he was not sure if Tony’s supporters were moral, because he
knew that politics without Christian moral values was not good. His friend
Tony eventually became Mayor of Manila from 1963-1972.
Towards the end his career at NPC he was in charge of contracts for
electrification and building projects Those who had this position before him,
from what I heard, became millionaires. I know that a lot of contractors tried
to bribe dad, even just to speed up approval of their projects. He would tell this
people “You don’t have to pay me for your projects if I’m going to approve
them anyway”. I remember asking him why he stayed away from corruption.
He told me that he didn’t want even a rumor, nor a whisper nor the idea that
he did something corrupt to reach the ears of his children.
Dad was selfless and not materialistic. He didn’t care about physical
I remember seeing him using an old frayed belt and worn out shoes. I
knew he would rather spend money on what we his children needed than buy
stuff for himself
Dad loved his family. He loved his beautiful wife Elizabeth, who is made
even more beautiful in the presence of God. I have no doubt Dad is at peace
right now with mom in heaven. He really loved our mother dearly, and he
constantly reminded us children of this love. He would say “taob kayo sa misis
ko”. Meaning I love you all, but I love my wife foremost. He also joked that
mom used to complain that he beat her up daily, with his love for her. How do
you even do that? Beat her up with love?
Dad would say, as a father, the best way to show your children you love
them, is to love their mother.
I guess he learned to love his family from his parents. He told me of how,
when he was in law school they needed to be in whites. White shirt, pants and
white shoes. They were poor so he only had one set of whites. When it rained
the street where they lived flooded. When this happened, my grandfather,
would wait for him to get off the bus and with an umbrella and would carry
dad on his back to their house so his white shoes and pants wouldn’t get ruined.
List the things we are thankful to God for:
I would like to thank God for His gift of daddy in our lives. For the 95
years of a glorious and God loving life. Lord I know you have been waiting to
welcome dad, your humble servant, into your loving arms for such a long time.
Lord I know that you knew that dad was ready to meet you when he was in his
thirties. I know on the 3th of March you wanted to take him, but you heeded
our prayers and gave us 1 month and 26 days more with him. An opportunity
for him to meet his great grand daughter Eilidh. He was so happy.
Thank you God for willing it that our family loves you above all and that
we love each other as our dad taught us.
Thank you Lord for allowing dad to be able to know his grandchildren:
Johnn Carlo, Eleonore Lizbeth, Jean Paul, Corbin Khristoff, Ian Philip, Sarah
Joy, Abigail, Jacy Sally, and Jaylen Elizabeth. Thank you Lord for allowing his
grandchildren to spend time with him, hear his advice, hear him share his love
for You and experience his love. Thank God for willing it for him meet his great
grand children Jaxton Bayani, Sonny and Eilidh Bernadette.
Thank God for ours friends, for their warm words of comfort, for their
sympathies and for prayers. These have given our family solace.
One of dad’s prayers and his wish was that he didn’t loose his mental
sharpness and faculties till the end. Thank God for granting this wish.
Thank you lord for my sisters Nina, Liza and Grace for taking care of
Dad and Mom. Especially our sister Grace who has been not just dad’s nurse
and his caretaker, but his angel who constantly looked after him.
I urge as all to remember Dad, remember him fondly and remember his
message to us all: “we should Glorify God in our lives”
Friends please allow me to share a blessing from scripture. Numbers
May the LORD bless you, and keep you:
MAY THE LORD make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you:
MAY THE LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Thank you again, and God bless you.