October 24, 1943 - March 4, 2022
Tombstones indicate the date of a person’s birth, the day of first breath, and the date of death, the day of last breath. But it is the small dash between these two dates that make a difference to family, friends, and everyone else whose lives have been touched by this one life. Wilfredo Daffon Dirilo October 24, 1943 - March 4, 2022 Wilfredo “Willy” Daffon Dirilo was born in Ormoc City, Leyte in 1943 and passed away in San Diego, California in 2022. The life he lived between those two dates, as indicated by this one small dash, gives us much reason to honor him and his memory. Willy was the sixth child in a brood of one sister and six brothers to Juan and Rosario Dirilo. Willy was born at the height of World War II and during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. He was a very cute kid with a dimpled smile. His almond eyes and skin color could pass him off as a Japanese boy. One day, when he was between one to two years old, his mother could not find him anywhere. It turned out that he was “borrowed” by homesick Japanese soldiers, who missing their children back home, took him to their barracks. They later returned Willy, all freshened up, scented with baby powder, and with pockets full of candies. Willy was very close to his mom. She would cook rice cakes, which Willy and his siblings would sell. Willy would be allotted an allowance from these sales, which he would save to get himself some tailored clothes. Yes, he already had a keen sense of men’s fashion even at an early age. Due to the war, Willy’s father, Juan, was mistakenly thought missing and dead, and therefore did not receive an inheritance from his parents. To make up for this, Juan’s sisters offered to fund his children’s schooling. Willy’s siblings later became a doctor, an accountant, a US Navy, and an engineer. Willy also dreamed of becoming a professional like his older siblings. He wanted to become a lawyer. He valued education as his father instilled in them. However, funds started dwindling and later stopped when it was Willy’s turn to attend university. Willy’s eldest brother, who was already then married and had a family of his own, invited him to come to Manila. There his brother taught him a new trade: custom-tailoring. Soon after, Willy worked in a well-known tailoring company to hone his craft, and there he met Remedios “Remy” whom he later married. After they had their first two children, they decided to build their own custom-tailoring business. Thinking that they have better opportunities in Leyte where Willy’s sister was a practicing physician, the couple set back to Tacloban City to build their small business. They are a young couple with only their skills and hard work as collateral, but they were willing to take the risk. Willy and Remy were true partners in life and business. They both would work until the wee hours of the morning, only grabbing an hour or two of sleep before starting early in the day again. Both committed to achieving their goal. Remy managed the finances, while Willy took charge of the business operations. When their fifth and youngest child was born, their small business has moved its operations from a rental apartment to their very own commercial building. Their business name “Jodirs” – short for their eldest son’s name: Jojo Dirilo, became the prominent name in town for custom-tailored suits. Politicians and professionals would have their suits tailored from Jodirs. Foreigners in Leyte would frequent Jodirs for their tailored clothes, and some would request these to be mail ordered to their home country. Willy was even offered a partnership to expand the business in the US. Willy lived by the principle of giving his best on whatever task or profession he was given no matter how humble it may be while trusting that God will take care of the rest. As Willy co-managed his business with excellence, so did he manage other areas in his life. Willy and Remy made sure that their family would consistently be well provided for, and not experience the lack they had in childhood. Remembering the importance of having a good education, he and his wife worked to ensure that their children were able to study in good schools. He also sent himself to law school while managing the business. He had to forego taking the bar exams though since this would mean that he would have to take off from work to review, which would significantly affect the business. He decided that sending his children to school and helping them pursue their dreams would have to take precedence over his dream of becoming a lawyer. Willy, in partnership with his wife, did what they can do to help others in any way they can. Sponsoring college education extended to his wife’s siblings, and even to distant relatives and friends. The building where Jodirs operated also became a place of refuge and a home away from home for many. Anyone needing help, a place to stay, a meal, or work was always welcomed. Willy was very encouraging and very generous, especially to those who were hungry to pursue their dreams but without the means. As the business grew, Willy’s network of friends grew as well. He became actively involved in the Freemasonry organization where he became a twice past worshipful master and a district lecturer. He was active in charitable causes through this organization. Willy was also a notable sportsman. It became a common saying in the family that Willy excels in whatever he does. The many golf tournament trophies that he brought home were proof of that. He was also an astute poker player, a remarkable billiard player, and a fine swimmer. As his mom, Willy was also a great dancer. Willy loved to be abreast of current events. He loved listening to the news, and his memory was sharp for a very long time. If you gave him a list of random numbers verbally, he would recite them all from memory. He was very observant and quiet, but he can converse with you on many subjects knowledgeably. Through it all, Willy remained humble. He was not one to brag of his many accomplishments, nor would even speak of the many times he helped someone. He was not a doormat either. He would give you a one-liner or two to let you know you have gone beyond the boundaries. But he was very forgiving; he was never one to hold a grudge. Although his body started to weaken and he was unable to do the usual activities he used to love in his later years, his mind remained sharp and his faith in God sharper. The dash in the tombstone though small signified the times that mattered most. That small dash between the date of Willy’s birth and the date of his passing pointed to the magnitude of the life he led, the lives he brought up, and the lives he had touched. So how did Willy spend his dash? He lived passionately, loved fully, and gave generously of himself.
Tombstones indicate the date of a person’s birth, the day of first breath, and the date of death, the day of last breath. But it is the small dash between these two dates that make a difference to family, friends, and everyone else whose... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Tombstones indicate the date of a person’s birth, the day of...View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Dirilo family.Send Flowers