Rodolfo “Bong” Ballarta Maestro, Jr.
January 28, 1952 – November 21, 2022
Rodolfo “Bong” Maestro, Jr. passed away at Montefiore Moses Medical Center in New York on the 22nd of November in 2022. He was 70.
He is survived by his wife Marge and children RB, Edgar and wife Jang, and Robert; and grandchildren Vito and TamTam. He is also survived by his beloved siblings Jane, Erie, Ruby, Lani, Eugenio Neo and Mark, his in-laws and many nieces and nephews.
Bong’s father, a decorated war hero during the World War II, Rodolfo Mayor Maestro, hails from Romblon. His mother, Angelica Operiano Ballarta was from Hamtic, Antique who dedicated her life to teaching and raising all seven children on her own. Bong moved to Roxas City in Capiz when he married Margarita Ignacio Beluso in 1983 and stayed there to raise his family.
Bong graduated from high school at the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Mandaluyong in 1966. He entered the University of the Philippines in Diliman in 1970 where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Community Development (BSCD). He worked in various government offices and led a life committed to public service even beyond his retirement. He started his career as a project manager at the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission, to manager at the Provincial Action Center of the Ministry of Human Settlements, and later on with the local government unit of Roxas City, Capiz.
Bong was a proud member of the UP Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity, an alternative non-traditional fraternity founded in 1968 bound by nationalism, service and brotherhood. Bong was also an active member and former chapter president of Kiwanis International.
Bong was a principled but down-to-earth person, well-loved and respected by people he worked with, his fraternity brothers and university friends, and by childhood friends in Banuyo, Project 3 in Cubao who he kept in touch with online. He treated everyone fairly regardless of status, income or wealth.
Bong was quiet yet observant, “malalim” as one high school friend described him. But his sense of humor was unparalleled as were his karaoke skills. He was generous and he loved nothing more than being a grandfather.
He is terribly missed. Rest in peace, Bong. Thank you for everything.