On February 5, 2024, the community of the City of Philadelphia lost a friend. A friend that was a fixture at many community events for years. A volunteer that I and many others captured in many images for he so loved to pose for the camera. He would rush to get all the Spanish newspapers to see if his images had been captured in the local events. He had an incredible zest for life. His smile and his love of music and dancing was contagious. He volunteered at La Mega, La Feria Del Barrio, the American Legion Latin American Post 840, and whatever other organizations needed his assistance. He volunteered for the parades and stages at community events, where he made sure that the musicians and invited guests were taken care of by ensuring that they had water and/or food. Pepito was present at all community festivities. His love for the community was unconditional. He loved Cuba, where he was born, and loved Puerto Rico as he was adopted by many of us throughout the city.

Pepito will be remembered by many. He would send cards for birthdays and holidays and call to make sure all was okay. He would acknowledge all your family members and would call with updates on community events.

On February 18, 2024, a service was held for Pepito at The Amadorez Funeral Home. The community was Pepito’s family. Many attended and expressed their love for this most humble man. Maria Del Pilar spoke about his love for the community and his friends. He would be the first to call the radio station inquiring about his horoscope. Maria circled the room with a microphone, and many expressed their experiences with Pepito and how much he will be missed. You could feel the love and emotions throughout the room. The Reverend Bonnie Camarda provided words of comfort, compassion, hope and spoke about Pepito’s love for the community and his friends,

El Trio Renacer serenaded Pepito: “Cuando Un Amigo Se Va”, “En Mi Viejo San Juan”, “La Copa Rota” y “Dame La Mano Paloma”

I can envision Pepito singing and dancing to all of the above.

Maria Del Pilar sang from the heart “Adios con el corazón…tú, serás el bien de mi vida, tú, serás el bien de mi alma, tú, serás el pájaro pinto que alegre canta por la mañana”

Los Rumberos Jeep Club provided music and comfort as they held the Cuban flag. White heart-shaped balloons were sent to Pepito with “Cuando un amigo se va” and “Carnaval” by Celia Cruz playing in the background. 

Jose “Pepito” Muiña will be missed. A big thank you to all the presents and to Maria Del Pilar, Alma B. Rios, Alfredo Calderon, and Los Rumberos Jeep Club for ensuring that Pepito received a sendoff of a Diplomat. If you couldn’t make it, we know you were there in spirit.


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