Method to Our Madness – Notes from your Editors 1. The tribute pages are alphabetized by nickname. In other words, how we know each other – As the memory dims, last names, married names fade – but our nicknames and the names we gave each other stay cemented in our memories. This is why most of your pages use your maiden name – unless you specifically put your married name into your header. 2. You are looking at your pages with the minimum of edits. We formatted superficially but the contents were left largely alone. So if dates, names and spelling (some grammar?) need editing we thought that was a style thing. This can be worked on later. We noticed a persistent problem with tenses. Pages would begin in the past tense and then gradually the present tense would take over. This we know is a mindset. Although some of our mothers are gone, they are still with us and the memory is as if they walk and talk with us still. So we did not alter that. 3. It was a matter of cost – we just couldn’t afford to print these books in color. Oh how we wanted to. Oh how we tried. In the end we would have had to sell our first-borns (thankfully some of us didn’t have any!) 4. But we fully intend to digitally make the original color copies available. To everyone - either on Picasa or some other free and public web service. Please be patient. It will be available soon. 5. Finally, this is “a draft,” a first submission – a promise of what can be a jaw– droppingly significant addition to our sapphire (45th) homecoming commemorative programme in 2014. 6. Here in the pages that follow, we are “daughters first” again. Here and for always we are so grateful to our Mothers. CJY, PLP, CGH, GAC, LGC
WE ONLY HAVE ONE MOTHER
We only have one Mother – birth, adoptive, step, or figurative. We, Class ’69 Theresians, give honor to our Mother with this tribute of a Tea Party and the presentation and dedication of a collective manuscript of testimonials (tentatively entitled “MY NANAY BOOK”) written by us about each of our own Mother. It is never too late to recognize our Mother at any time. As they say, it should have been done “yesterday” - while they are still on Planet Earth to hear us or read our words of thanksgiving, admiration and love for them. And any day is the perfect day for giving Mother her tribute’s worth for a lifelong testimony of love for us. Mother nurtured us - body, soul, spirit - through our growing years of elementary and high school days in St. Theresa’s College - and even if we were not very obedient daughters, her advice and guidance has sustained us from sweet sixteen to sensible sixty. Today we are sweet sixteen again and our Mother is in her early 30’s or 40’s. She’s packing our sandwiches into our schoolbags, checking that our homework is okay, braiding our hair, powdering our backs, seeing us off to school, ”helping” us with or sewing projects, coaching us in reading, guiding our hands in penmanship, signing our report cards, and seeing that we’re going to school in a good mood and a full stomach. Our Mother, be She present in life or in spirit is the woman we place on a pedestal of honor, thanksgiving and love. We only have one Mother, and She is a treasure as much as She treasured us. We love our Mother forever and we give thanks to God for who She is. Our bucket list continues…
MA. ASUNCION “NANCY” TANCINCO REYES-LUMEN January 20th, 2013
ANG TANGI KONG YAMAN Ang tangi kong yaman Na pang habang buhay Ay pagmamahal ng aking ina na walang katulad Ang kanyang paglingap At mga pagdamay Walang kapantay kahit saan Kay sarap mabuhay Sa piling ni Nanay Pag nasawi ka Ay mayroon pa ring napaglalambingan Kanyang mga payo At mga pangaral Alaala ko habang buhay
These lyrics come from a song by Conching Rosal. We are grateful that Athens aka Goddess aka Diosa remembered Marilou Unson gave them to her some time ago. The NanayBook went out without a dedication page. Seems like it was waiting for this perfect expression.
Agnette and Ebony Peraltaâ€™s Mom â€“ Carmen Prospero dePerio Peralta
Mameng, Lola Mommy, Lola Menchie, Mama, Mommy is CARMEN PROSPERO dePERIO PERALTA, our 86 year old mother who was widowed in 1976 at age 49 by our father Atty. Isauro Corpus Peralta. Mama lost her mother at an early age and was taken care of by her married but childless aunt Tia Ineng since her eldest sister Nene already was busy helping earn a living and taking care of the rest of the siblings. Moreover, her father had remarried a widow with several kids, too. Mama had to do housework in her aunt's home while studying in elementary school in her hometown of Castillejos, Zambales. In high school, she and her cousins boarded with a family because the high school was not near the center of town where the de Perio clan had their homes. Her high school education was interrupted by the Japanese invasion of the country, because the family had to evacuate to the mountainous area of Castillejos. After the war, she finished her high school studies and came to Manila to take up the Associate Degree in Elementary Education at the Philippine Normal College. Her studies were funded by our grandfather and by Mama's older sister Liling who was then already working in Manila. Mama taught in Castillejos, Zambales, but after she and our Daddy got married, they moved to Manila. From being a lawyer in the Department of Labor (DOL), our father rose through the ranks to become a (DOL) Regional Director. As an RD, he was assigned to different parts of the country. Mama did not work in the school system anymore because she would be mother and father on weekdays during the period when our Daddy would be assigned outside Manila. They produced six children (4 girls and 2 boys) and Mama had to take care of us plus her backyard pigs and chickens, and home garden (with help from our kasambahay). As the home economist, Mama had to juggle the salary of our Dad, augmented by financial help from Auntie Liling who had moved to the USA, some profits from Mama's rice fields, her food-
Agnette and Ebony Peralta’s Mom – Carmen Prospero dePerio Peralta generating projects, and plastic bag-related home project. We also did not have to buy rice because this was supplied from her rice fields and Daddy's family's rice fields. Moreover, thanks to various scholarships awarded to us and our siblings, we were all able to go to elementary and high school studies at St. Theresa's College (for all the girls) and Lourdes School (for all the boys), and for college studies at UP ( five of us) and Ateneo (one of us). One of Mama's economical tricks was that of feeding us dinner after school, instead of merienda. However, we could take midnight snack if we had to stay up late studying. We also often had eggs as a viand. In April 1976 our father passed away. By then, we (Agnette and Yvonne) were already working. During our growing up years, we also shared our apartment with cousins from the province who would live with us in Manila for their college studies. This is one reason why we are very close to our cousins. Mama had a triple heart bypass in 1992 and a knee replacement surgery in 2010. She was also able to visit our youngest sister Donna STCQCHS ´82 in the USA in 1992. Mama now lives in Olongapo, with Cheryll, Cyrus (there on weekdays) and now 90 year old Auntie Liling who is being taken care of by a midwife. Fast Forward... Mama is now what we can call a Lady of Leisure. We have all become successful: Yvonne - a food scientist, son David is the 2007 Chemistry Board Topnotcher Agnette - a Medical Physicist and is a Director of the Department of Health Center for Device Regulation, Radiation Health, and Research of the Food and Drug Administration. Cyrus - an Orthopedic Surgeon practicing in Zambales. He is married to an anesthesiologist and has two sons going to medical school Cheryll - STCQCHS '74 is an Internist Cardiologist in Zambales Dod - President and Global Director of IBM Systems married to an accountant and has 4 sons - one has graduated, another in medical school and the 2 youngest in grade school Donna - STCQCHS '83 used to work at the Silicon Valley but is now a special education teacher in Fremont, CA . She is married to an engineer. Her daughter is in college and has a son in grade school We love you Mama, Mommy, Lola Carmen! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Angela Aida W. Halili-Jao’s Mom – Remedios Jovita Musngi Warren-Halili My mother, Remedios Jovita Musgni Warren-Halili, fondly called Mommy Titang, turning 86 years old by February 15, 2013, is such a wonderful, gorgeous lady who has reared myself and my six siblings (Dr. Rosario Halili-Calimag, Lourdes HaliliPerfecto, Miguel Jose Halili III, Leoncio Mariano Halili, Bernadette Juanita Halili and Rachel Asuncion Halili-Tuazon) to become God-fearing, law-abiding, family-oriented, resilient individuals.
Remedios Jovita Musgni Warren‐Halili (in her younger years)
She managed to find time for all of us and my deceased father, the former Quezon City Assistant Fiscal Miguel Halili Jr., despite her then hectic Literature and English teaching job at the Far Eastern University Boys High School in Morayta, Manila. When she retired from teaching, she helped in managing the Tofemi Realty Corporation, which celebrated its golden anniversary two years ago. By the way, Mommy Titang is also a Theresian, having studied at St. Theresa’s College, Manila and so are my four other sisters.
It was from my mother that I learned the values of love, marriage, family life and relationships. She instilled in me the values of hard work, integrity, commitment and dedication to my chosen field of endeavor and to never forget the underserved. I even followed her footsteps and I’m also teaching at the UP Manila College of Medicine. Currently, despite her post-stroke left-sided body weakness and recent cataract surgeries of the right and left eyes, she still takes active part in planning our menu for the day. She continues to read pocket books, to pray daily the novena to St. Bridget and to teach Spanish to my daughter, Bernadette. Three years ago, she voluntarily tutored her caregiver’s assistant who graduated with honors from a public night high school. She now also enjoys the company of my son’s two year old daughter, Erin Bianca Ong Jao and now, especially with her improved visual acuity following her bilateral cataract surgeries, watching HBO movies and the games of the Azkals, Pacquiao and even Donaire.
Mommy Titang during her 85th birthday celebration at Elizabeth Hotel, Cebu City seated beside Odette H. Perfecto. Standing from left to right: Dr. Nina Halili‐Jao, Berna H. Jao, Abigail Halili, Kenneth Halili, Karen Halili, Kyle Halili and Dr. Mario H. Elloso.
Angela Aida W. Halili-Jao’s Mom – Remedios Jovita Musngi Warren-Halili
During the Ong‐Jao wedding January 5, 2010: Front Row: (First row) Remedios Warren‐Halili, Keisha Halili and Kevin Halili; (second row, from left) Emily Jao‐Lopez, Editha Abesamis, Bernadette Halili Jao, Dr. Ednalyn Ong‐Jao, Dr. Bernard Halili Jao, the author and Mark Herrera; (third row) Irma Halili, Dennis Halili Agbayani, Marie Diana Halili‐Gonzales; (fourth row, from left) Pete Halili, Dr. Junjun Halili Perfecto, Morris Halili and Architect Marvin Gonzales).
From Left: Angeles Warren‐Abes, Mommy Titang, Dr. Nina Halili‐Jao (April 2010)
Angela Aida W. Halili-Jao’s Mom – Remedios Jovita Musngi Warren-Halili
Ground Breaking Ceremonies of Tofemi Realty Corp. and Trighem Corporation in Baguio City May 21, 2011 (Mommy Titang seated at center wheelchair)
Mommy Titang seated beside Odette Halili‐Perfecto during her great granddaughter’s second birthday celebration (Erin Bianca Ong Jao) last September 2012.
Angie de Leon Izhar’s Mom Angelina “Helen” Francisco de Leon
To the best of my recollection: Mommy was a lawyer who finished law school from UP and worked as the Legal Assistant of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at that time. She was an active member of the WILOCI. Mommy was such a kind, gentle and caring woman to all of her six children, until she got sick of cancer. I’m sure that if not for her illness, she would like to be remembered this way. Mommy always told my oldest sister Vicky who in turn imparted to us, the fact that no matter how much we disliked any of our Daddy’s ways (because he was so strict hehe), never to forget that Daddy is a very good father. I indeed realized this after she passed away and I became a parent myself. Mommy said I was her only child whom she personally attended to as a toddler as opposed to having a nanny to do that for me, till later, hence maybe why I have such a strong bond with her. She also always referred to me as her “black beauty”, yet I know I wasn’t a beauty, black or whatever . I love her so and miss her to this day, 39 years after her death, such that the first time in my life I ever asked The Lord for a miracle was when she was dying of her cancer and I was still so young, in university. I love you Ma.
Aleli Raymundo’s Mom – Araceli Santayana Matriano-Raymundo
Araceli Santayana Matriano‐Raymundo Born January 29, 1928 Pharmacy graduate, University of Santo Tomas
Mom devoted her life raising 8 children. Strong‐willed and resolute, mom moved heaven and high waters to send all 8 to the very best colleges in Manila. Thank you, Mom. I will not be where I am today if it were not for you. Aleli
Athens Castaneda’s Mom - Maria Consolacion Guiam Castañeda
My Mom with 4 generations - ako, my niece and my grandniece (my nephew's daughter).
When Mama turned 95 on 26 November 2012, I took her to the early evening Mass at our parish to thank God for the blessings bestowed on her. Before the Mass ended, Mama was asked by the priest to come forward to the altar to receive a special prayer followed by the sprinkling of holy water. As I ushered Mama back to the pew, another parishioner came forward to ask the priest to bless her mother who turned 100 the same day. Natalo si Mama by 5 years!!! Quite a number of people, who were at Mass, came forward, greeted and congratulated Mama as well as the 100 year old lady. One of the parishioners asked Mama what her secret was for her longevity. Without batting an eyelash, she quipped "Mababait ang mga anak!" I have 2 older brothers: the first was born 8 years ahead of me and the second one was already 5 years old before I came along. Afraid that she won't have a daughter, Mama prayed to St. Anne. Lo and behold, I said hello to my parents before they celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary. So may this be a warning to future mothers: beware of what you ask from Jesus' Grandmother! Mama was a public school teacher but retired from the Central Bank of the Philippines. So Saturdays were always her marketing days and by Sunday, our refrigerator was filled to the brim with food cooked the Kapangpangan way. She learned to cook not from my grandmother but from her Tiya, my grandmother's sister-in-law. But, alas, her knack for good cooking did not pass on to me. Since she can no longer cook, our kitchen is in someone else's restaurant. I am sure that my fondness for clothes and style comes straight from her. As a child when she dressed me up, everything had to match from the ribbon or barrette on my hair to the color of my bobby socks!!! She has always been a prayer warrior. She spends her days praying the rosary and her various novenas. When she's not praying, she sleeps and somewhere in between she watches television. She is now a woman of leisure. It is surely well-deserved. She was a loving daughter to a woman who was widowed at 24 and never re-married. She was Ating Mary to her 2 younger brothers and a devoted wife for 42 years. She also doted on her grandchildren and great grandchildren until she was in her late 80s. Then a s now she asks, "What's for dinner?"
Belle Licud Sabares’s Mom - Francisca Marieta Campos Licud Like all other mothers, my Mother always reassured me that to her, I was the most beautiful and most loved youngest daughter in the whole world. Now it is my turn to tell the world that to me, my Mother is the most beautiful and most loved mother in the whole world. She was my strength and inspiration throughout all the challenges in life. My constant prayer for her was that she will live forever. However, my prayers were not answered when she passed away on August 13, 2006 at the age of 91, while I was enroute to the Philippines from Canada to visit her. Mama was an Elementary school teacher who was educated under the American Thomasite Teachers in the year 1934. She graduated as “Salutatorian” being a woman instead of “Valedictorian” which at that time was awarded to a male co‐graduate. Being a survivor of Thomasite students at age 87, she was presented at the 100th year Thomasite Centennial Celebration held at the Escaler Hall, Ateneo de Manila University on August Bel Licud Sabares with dear Mama, Francisca 25, 2001. There she delivered a narrative Marieta Licud taken during her visit to Canada Sept presentation and was honoured by the 1996 President of the Association of Thomasite Descendants and Students, Commodore Joselito Aseniero. Mama acknowledges acquiring from her Thomasite mentors, the knowledge, education and virtues such as: love of God, love of country, love of fellowmen, fairness, justice, freedom of speech, discipline, enthusiasm, perseverance, determination, hard work, integrity and honesty. She is proud to say that she has in turn instilled these values and virtues to us, her children as well as to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mama also served as a past President and Historian of the Ladies Auxiliary of the US Navy Fleet Reserve Association being married to my father, Agustin Licud, a retired US Navy. In May 2006, three months before my mother passed away at the age of 91, she wrote an Ode to Mother entitled “Life with Mother “(see attached in her own handwriting). My mother would like to be remembered the way she expressed it in this writing. She wrote letters to me in Canada almost every week filled with inspiration, good and happy thoughts and loving messages with a constant reminder to always look up to God for Divine Providence and protection. At her death bed, she managed to scribble notes and messages to all her children and grandchildren who were then by her bedside. I do miss my Mama. No one else can replace my dear Mother. God bless her soul.
Belle Licud Sabares’s Mom - Francisca Marieta Campos Licud
Belle Licud Sabares’s Mom - Francisca Marieta Campos Licud
Belle Licud Sabares’s Mom - Francisca Marieta Campos Licud
Elizabeth Basaâ€™s Mom â€“ Francisca Ravara Basa
Francisca Hebron Ravara (Mommy's maiden name); Francisca Ravara Basa (married name) My mother started as a typical housewife until my father died when I was 9 yrs. old. She then thought of pursuing her career as a registered nurse to help with the family expenses. She was hardworking, strong- willed, & a fighter when confronted with life's challenges. In 1975, she was called to work in a hospital in Chicago, then Los Angeles. Mind you, she was 60 yrs. old already. Because she was either busy working while she was in the Philippines, then abroad from 1975 to 1996, I do not have lots of memories of her. But during all those years she always remembered us on birthdays & other special occasions. She made sure that distance was not a hindrance and we could always feel her love. If it were not for old age, my mom would not have stopped working. Unfortunately, age caught up w/ her & she decided to come home & spend the remaining years of her life w/ me & my family. Perhaps, she did this to make up for lost time. Since she died in 2005, we feel her physical absence but thoughts of her, her warm gestures of sincere love & kindness ( big or small) still linger in our hearts. I love my mom so much that up to this day, I feel the loss. I will always remember some of her favorite lines:
Elizabeth Basa’s Mom – Francisca Ravara Basa •
Never keep up with the Joneses.
In anything you do, always put your best foot forward.
If you want to buy something & you can't afford it unless you use your credit card, then don't buy it at all.
Bread Escueta's MomJosefina - Josefina DelgadoEscueta Escueta Bread Escueta’s MomDelgado
JOSEFINA DELGADO ESCUETA My mom, known to all our relatives and friends as Pining, was born in Bulacan, Bulacan to Ambrosio Delgado and Juana Ycasiano on March 27, 1908. My mom, known to all our relatives and friends as Pining, was born in Bulacan, Bulacan to Ambrosio Delgado and Juana Ycasiano on March 27, 1908. Mama went to Assumption Convent and St. Scholastica for her elementary and high school. She taught Home Economics after graduating at the University of Santo Tomas until retirement Mama went to Assumption Convent and St Scholastica for her elementary and High School. age, which was the year we graduated from college. She taught Home Economics after Graduating at the University of Santo Tomas until retirement age, which was the year we graduated from college. Starting from the kids in our neighborhood to all barkadas from school of my brothers (4) and sisters (4), she is known for her pancakes, upside down cake, sans rival and her chocolate cake. Starting from the kids in our neighborhood to all barkadas from school of my brothers (4) and She just made sure my groupmates and I always had merienda. sisters (4), she is known for her pancakes, upside down cake, sans-rival and her chocolate cake. She just made sure my groupmates and I always had merienda. Looking back, it was her way of enticing the barkadas to hang out at our home. To date, our family encourages friends of our kids to hang out at our homes for obvious reasons but serving Looking back, it was her way of enticing the barkadas to hang out at our home. To date, our only delivered pizza. family encouraged friends of our kids to hang out at our homes for obvious reasons but serving only delivered Pizza. It goes without saying that she was a dedicated and loving wife, mother to 9 children, and Lola to 37 + 1 grandchildren. The + is my menopause baby Zoe whom she never got to see and It goes without saying that she was a dedicated and loving wife, mother to 9 children, and Lola enjoy. to 37 +1 grandchildren. The+ is my menopause baby Zoe whom she never got to see and enjoy. Every month she would refer to her birthday and anniversary list and buys all the cards to send Every month she would refer to her birthday and anniversary list and buy all the cards to send to her children and grandchildren. We have missed her and her birthday cards for the past 23 to her children and grandchildren. We have missed her and her birthday cards for the past 23 years and continue to miss her. years and continue to miss her.
Bread Escueta's Mom - Josefina Delgado Escueta Following is one of her favorite recipes:
Bread Escueta’s Mom- Josefina Delgado Escueta
Following is one of her favorite recipes:
Sponge Coke BJ.SIC INGR.iilli.;.i;NrS:
6 eggs 1 C. flour 1 C. sugor
1/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. OO.king p:rw..l<:J r 4 tbsp. wat0r or juice
Sift flour once, measur~, t~an sift with baking pow ~ur or juice Prepar;a 2 boHls. In a larg..:r one place the! eggyolks c:n:l to the colcr~d. Ba~t th~ whitds until stiff but not Jry. To th0 beaten eggyolk aJJ 1/2 c. sug~r anJ th~ othJr half to th3 white. J.JJ the flour altcrnc.h:ly with thlil wa"Wr to th-> yolk nri.xtuN then fold this into th0 eggwhit~ miXtur~. Bake in 2 lay~r greas~J pans dustad with flour. Bake in JIPderate oven for 25 minutes at a t~mp.:!rature of J)O deg. F. Raise to 350 de~;. F. to brown. Onmold on a cake rack anJ,cool. Vi.R:U.TIONS:
1 C. butter l .C. sugc. r
C. milk (chilled) vanilla
Cream the buttdr, aJ.J su[ar gradually and beat until fluffy • .hdd the milk gradually; baating well after .each addition. Continue adding the milk until the sugar granules disappear and the whole runout of milk's consumed. When the mixtuN is fine an<l snvoth, spraad on the cooled -cake. lESSON XXVII.
Vi.R.IATIONS: UpsiJe-down Cake Sruoo ingre;tients as Sponge ·Cake, plus: SIIlc."lll can sliced pineapple J/4 C. brown sugar 1/J C. butter or margarine M!lraschino ch~rries i f dasire1 1
On thd baking pan place the butter anJ brcwn sugar; melt .over slew fire. R~~ve then arra.Ilf.e the cut pineaPPle slices in attractive patter aocenteJ by the maraschino cherri~s. Ovar this pour the »ponge cake batter.· Bake in mo-ierate oven for Jl) minutes. The sponge cake when 1one loosen the ~dges and ~urn cvar a round plrte showing off the pineappla base. ~~Cake
Same ingredients and procedura as 1 small cn.n sliced peaches 1 big can Nestle r·s cream
Spvnp3 Cake, plus: Maraschino cherrios ·
- 35 -
Carmen "Baby" Abesames’s Mom – Patsy Torres Abesames
Pastora "Patsy" / "Toray" / "Taba" Torres – Abesames
Mama hailed from Gapan, Nueva Ecija, the youngest in a brood of one boy and five girls. Born on August 7, 1927, she was named after her town's patron saint, Divina Pastora. Her nickname was Toray which evolved to Patsy when she started working and in later years, would be called Taba by our relatives as she became pleasingly plump when we, the children, came. But they say she was a beauty in her youth, getting invited to be a muse in town fiestas or a “sagala” in Flores de Mayo. Graduating with a degree in Education, she didn't pursue teaching since she got hired right after graduation as a secretary cum typist in a government office. That was where she met Papa, a talented and debonair lawyer. The union was blessed with three children‐ me, Boy and Vicky. Mama was very loving and sweet and took very good care of all of us. In fact, she spoiled us all, but my brother got special treatment for being the only boy. Despite its advantages and disadvantages, giving in to your wants was her way of showing love. My daughter, Tet, experienced this generous love and she has fond memories of her lola, who took care of her until she went to pre‐school. (‘GIVE GENEROUSLY BECAUSE IT WILL MAKE THE PERSON HAPPY AND THAT HAPPINESS WILL RADIATE TO EVERYBODY AROUND’.) Mama loved the good life and liked to celebrate occasions such as birthdays, school affairs (graduation or field day presentation) and anniversaries. She liked marking milestones with photos and keeping souvenirs. One tradition of hers was having our pictures taken at every birthday in X’OR Studio. We would do the same after every Field Day Presentation in school. This continued all throughout our elementary years. Sadly, I now regret not being able to carry over this tradition in my own family. (‘TAKE PICTURES SO THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO REMEMBER THE OCCASION AND HAVE BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES’.) Mama also commemorates death anniversaries of relatives where she invites people to her “Padasal”, then serves them her yummy native delicacies. It was her way of keeping her extended families close; a reason to get together with her siblings more often. Mama was deeply religious and spiritual. One of my fondest memories of her would be seeing her in daily prayer often with a Rosary. She and Papa would attend novenas to Our Mother of Perpetual Help,
Carmen "Baby" Abesames’s Mom – Patsy Torres Abesames St. Jude and the Black Nazarene. By example, she taught us to be prayerful. (‘PRAYER WORKS MIRACLES. IT WILL HELP YOU OVERCOME ANY PROBLEMS IN LIFE’.) Going to the Misa de Gallo was a tradition we imbibed from her. I remember how we loved walking in the cold for the dawn masses and being part of the church choir that sang traditional Christmas songs. I tried to continue this tradition in my own family but somehow, this is still a work in progress. We attend the anticipated Midnight Masses but we never really get to complete all the nine days due to workload and varied schedules. Mama eventually became my role model of a working woman, efficiently juggling work with the duties of a loving wife and mother. Like me, she learned how to cook and bake only when she got married. But unlike me, she really practiced cooking, and would later be known for her superb cooking and appetizing native delicacies which people liked to receive as Christmas gifts. (‘LEARN TO DO HOUSEWORK. IN THE FUTURE, WHETHER YOU HAVE HOUSEHOLD HELP OR NOT, YOU WILL KNOW HOW TO FEED YOUR FAMILY. IF YOU HAVE MAIDS, YOU WILL NEED TO TEACH THEM DO THINGS YOUR OWN WAY. THERE ARE THINGS THAT YOU WILL BE DOING FOR YOUR IN‐LAWS THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE DOING NOW’.)This mantra would help me have a good relationship with my in‐laws. Mama was fashionable and was the typical working girl of her time. From her, I learned to love makeup, perfume and stockings. I remember we would have a home facial together before I prepare for a party. Red was her favourite color which eventually would be mine too. I just love wearing red lipstick. Oftentimes it’s the only makeup I wear. When my youngest son, Mark, was of pre‐school age, he thought all the while that the natural color of my nails was red because I always had red nail polish. (‘WEAR RED! IT’S A HAPPY COLOR’.)But for all her seemingly modern ways, she was really conservative and strict when it came to our upbringing. She did not want me to go to a co‐ed school even though I passed the entrance exams at U.P. and U.S.T (‘FOCUS ON YOUR STUDIES. A GOOD EDUCATION MIGHT BE YOUR ONLY INHERITANCE. DO NOT GET MARRIED EARLY!’)On hindsight, I am grateful I continued in S.T.C. Both my parents loved music but it was Mama who wanted me to excel in piano. (‘WE MAY NOT BE RICH, BUT AT LEAST WE KNOW HOW TO APPRECIATE THE ARTS AND CULTURE’.) In order to encourage me to regularly practice playing the piano, she would request me to play her a piece before bedtime, once a week. However, I liked dancing more than piano playing and I know I let her down then. Years later, I would do a self‐study on piano but would unfortunately make little progress because of schoolwork and the STC Chorale practices. Mama was generous both with her time and resources. Nobody who approached her left empty handed. There were times when I felt she was too generous to a fault. (‘IT’S BETTER TO BE A LENDER THAN A BORROWER’.)And Mama loved taking care of her grandchildren. I feel blessed that she would make herself available for us. When my kids were toddlers, she did not want me to leave them with the household help. Hence, I would bring the kids and the maid over to her place and pick them up after office. Mama’s great love and care was manifested when she tenderly took care of Papa when he suffered a stroke, even if she herself had Diabetes. She was selfless all throughout Papa’s long sickness. Eventually, she would pass away at the age of sixty, two years earlier than Papa. Now that I am about her age, I realize how young she was then when she left us. How I wish she were still around now to see my beautiful grown‐up family and feel her pride at the achievements I have made in my career and life in general. Thank you, Mama, and I miss you very much. I love you and I always pray for you. I am so privileged and proud to be your daughter.
Cecile Joaquin’s mom- Rosario Tirona Joaquin
Name of Mother: Rosario “Charing” Tirona Joaquin+ Name of Daughter: Cecile “Chelsea” Joaquin Yasay Children: Teresa “Tess” Serrao, Erlinda “Lindy” Jalbuena, Cristina “Tina” Erum, Eduardo “ED” Joaquin, Enrique Jr. “Eric” Joaquin, Cecile “Chelsea” Yasay, Rene Joaquin, Walfrido “Freddie” Joaquin, Rosario “Charo” Villegas. She was a campus beauty queen and a freshman elementary education student at the
Cecile Joaquin’s mom- Rosario Tirona Joaquin
FEU. He was a law student when they were cast as leading man and lady in Anton Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal”. When the war broke out shortly after, they decided to get married because they couldn’t bear the thought of being apart. At 18, Rosario “Charing” Tirona became the bride of Enrique “Ike” Joaquin. Fast forward to 50 years later, Daddy Ike and Mommy Charing celebrate their golden wedding anniversary during the Christmas break by taking the entire brood to Hongkong – 9 children and spouses, and 50+ grandchildren and great grandchildren. To be a part of this family is to experience true love.
This is Mommy Charing’s legacy.
She devoted all her life to rearing nine children and her grandchildren. The house in West Avenue had more than 6 bedrooms to accommodate all the children and anyone else that needed care. It was the infirmary to a grand aunt during her cancer treatment and an uncle also suffering from cancer. Another aunt underwent a bone operation. They were nursed to health by Mom. Sundays were spent with the entire Joaquin clan and Mom made sure that this tradition was carried out throughout her life. The house in West Avenue was also the place where all our friends could hang out. Mom encouraged all of us to bring our friends over on the weekends so it became the party house. She knew them all by name. She was not just our Mom who fed us, took 2
Cecile Joaquin’s mom- Rosario Tirona Joaquin care of us when we were sick, helped us with our homework, sewed our clothes, drove for us when the driver was not around, and disciplined us. She was also our friend who loved to hear our stories. Our Dad was a larger than life hero, because Mom considered him one. She was the “silent” hero, the ever-supportive wife, the “wind beneath his wings” who helped him reach great heights in his career – as an officer in the World University Service where he travelled around the world delivering speeches, as a law professor at the FEU, as Chairman of the Anti-Dummy Board appointed by President Magsaysay, as the only non-American President of the International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT Phil), as Chairman ofBusinessday Corporation, as Immigration Commissioner appointed by President Cory Aquino, as Board Vice Chairman of the FEU Hospital, as Vice Chairman of Meralco, as Chairman of the Philippine Journal Group of Companies, and the list goes on.
. When all her children had grown, she finally decided to spend time on self-development. She took cooking, flower arranging and painting lessons. This is where she discovered her talent and passion for painting. In her first exhibit, all her paintings were sold. At this time too, Dad fulfilled his promise of taking her to all the places he visited while she was having babies. We enjoyed listening to her travelogues, and sometimes even had the pleasure of travelling with them. She was also active in church activities, spearheading the construction of a new chapel in Barangay Nayong Kanluran.
Cecile Joaquin’s mom- Rosario Tirona Joaquin
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MOMMY CHARING: On character – from Dad but shared by Mom to us: Protect your name and reputation at all costs by doing what is right. On keeping the marriage: Never say no to your husband, he might look for someone who will say yes. On divorce: Work on perfecting your relationship. All of us are flawed. Better to stay with the “devil” you know and work on making him your angel. On finances: With budget limitations, you can save on everything else but never scrimp on food.
Cecilia Katigbak’s Mom – Cecilia Castillo Katigbak A SLUMBOOK PAGE FOR MY MOM (parentheses are mine)
MAIDEN NAME: Cecilia Katigbak Castillo (yes interfamily marriages happened during her time) NICKNAME: Maestra (she was a Math teacher before she had 11 children and after that she was the teacher to all of us. She supervised all our homeworks, reviewed us for our tests and kept a file of pictures for our scrapbooks. For others though she is called Maestra because she seemed to know a lot. She was their favorite go to. Doktora (she used to prescribe medicine for Dad’s patients who complained of simple ailments like stomach ache or colds) Mother Superior (her senior citizen group call her this not only because she is the oldest in the group but because she insisted on strict Christian discipline. Vanidosa (what can I say mom has blouses, shoes and purses that I would not own in a lifetime.) DATE OF BIRTH: October 30, 1921 (all of 92 and still swinging) FAVORITE SAYING: “Eh Eh Kainaman!” (translation: either I am impressed and am happy for you or I am not impressed so come sit down and let’s talk about it. That’s how she corrected us – never self righteous, never pointed fingers but always eager to listen and help come up with a solution)
Cecilia Katigbak’s Mom – Cecilia Castillo Katigbak MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT: Winner of the “All Time Favorite Person Award” (her no nonsense values coupled with a good sense of humour, deep empathy for others and down to earth perspective make her the favorite sister, the favorite aunt, the favorite in-law, the favorite woman. FAVORITE COLOR: Red (how do I know this? She made us all wear red for her 90th birthday)
SECRET TO A LONG LIFE: Have someone to pray for (she believes that the Lord will not take her life as long as she still has someone to pray for. The problem is: the Lord quickly answers her prayers) MESSAGES: Dear Mom, I know you will be disappointed with this write up because there is no drama. So I have decided to end this tribute to you with a little drama. Here it is : Thank you, mom, because you were always there to wipe away my tears so I can see the stars. I love you. Your daughter, Cecilia
Cecilia “Cecille” Chua Chiaco’s Mom – Marcela “Celing” Chua Chiaco
Mom Celing was a nurse by profession, graduating with the highest academic award in her Nursing class of 1942. Her innate goodness and love for others is most evident in her loving care for her husband, Dr. Manuel Chua Chiaco and her devotion to her children and extended family which continues even today at 90 years of age! Mom Celing is a gourmet! Her cooking skills are legendary. She used to feed all the classmates of her children and even today, these same girls, now all grown with families of their own still fondly remember the best meals they had at the Chua Chiaco residence! When not in the kitchen, Mom Celing loved to sew and dressed her very meticulous clients in the finest haute couture attire. Her granddaughter, Elisa, an up and coming fashionista, readily takes after her with her own passion in the art of styling and dressmaking. A devout Catholic, Mom Celing is a long-time (since 1998) friend and supporter of the Bethesda Healing Ministry which Cecille now heads.
Cecilia “Cecille” Chua Chiaco’s Mom – Marcela “Celing” Chua Chiaco
“Do everything with PERFECTION IN MIND.” Mom Celing was a perfectionist: she always admonished her children to do everything with perfection in mind. Cecille attests that because of this, she, like her mom, is also a very meticulous person and a perfectionist. Cecille credits her flourishing catering business to the exceptional cooking skills and tips she learned from her mother.
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta Date of Birth: August 24, 1928 Parents: Buenaventura Reyes Nadres, Sr. + of Candelaria, Quezon Soledad Malleta Alabastro + of Lipa, Batangas As a child: According to my grandmother, Soledad, at an early age, my mother already showed her love for music. She would sing and dance and play the piano. She would play the piano with so much passion that she would always be asked by friends and relatives to grace their family gatherings with a piano number. Although typically shy, she would never turn them down. Her Story: At age 18, she met my father, Luis Tongco Villacorta + of Baliuag, Bulacan. All I know, as narrated to me by my grandmother, the moment my father laid eyes on her, he never stopped pursuing her. At 21, they married and were blessed with six (6) children: My Kuya, Luisito(1949), myself (1951), Andy (1953), Pol (1954), Bing(1957) and, after 12 years, Bong(1969). I grew up seeing them together all the time. They were inseparable. My dad was her constant companion and driver to church, the market, the grocery, to the parlor, shopping, etc. I remember they used to have ‘barkadas’ just like us, they were also couples, six of them if I remember right. They would go up to Baguio in motorcycles (what we call now as ‘big bikes’). What amused me, now that I think about it, was the fact that my mom would have her blouse and my dad’s polo made out of the same material. I think that was cute. To this day, I can still vividly remember some of them…colors and prints. As a family, we used to go out a lot to all the beaches up north, to Baguio, Tagaytay, everywhere. I remember her saying “I never really enjoyed going to the beach because all I did was count heads.” That was funny. She made sure everybody was safe. Then, in September 1974, we were all devastated by the sudden death of my dad due to stroke. We all felt the pain and the loss…but I felt sorry for my mom as I knew she was hurt the most. It took more than a year before she realized she had to move on. It was a year of frequent visits to Loyola Memorial, a year of sudden outburst of emotions every time she would come across anything that would remind her of my dad, like the unexpected encounter with the shirt he was wearing when he was rushed to the emergency, while she was cleaning the closet. I could go on and on… By God’s grace she was able to move on until March 2007, when she lost a son, my only unmarried brother, Pol, due to cardiac arrest. Again, it was painful for her to bury her own son. I was here in the states then couldn’t go home to be with her. Her strong faith
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta in God made her accept the fact that her son is in a better place now. experience with my dad’s passing have made her stronger.
I guess her
My Mom in My Eyes: When we were little, I remember she made sure we had all the things we needed. Every Christmas, she would have our clothes custom made and new pairs of shoes for all of us. She would go to the market and fill our refrigerator with food and all kinds of fruits in season. I remember my dad always praised my mom when it came to finances. She knew how to budget and save for the rainy days, so to speak. As a teenager, she would be my confidant and adviser. Because my father was a bit strict when it came to parties, my mom would always see to it that I would be able to go once in a while providing me with brothers and cousins as chaperones just to convince my dad that it was okay for me to go. When I settled down, my dad was no longer around. My mom would always tell me that as a wife I should see to it that my husband’s needs are always met…clothes should always be clean and neatly folded or hung in the closet. Food should be served when he gets home. Although I grew up with house helpers around, she said I should learn how to cook just like she did. She said a mother’s task was not always easy and could be very demanding in terms of time and attention but with lots of love could also be very fulfilling…and she is right. She just turned 84 last August 24. She was hospitalized 2 weeks after her birthday but she's fine now and doing well. She lives in Cainta with my youngest brother's family. Just like most moms her age, she has difficulty going out on long trips or even attending family gatherings as she gets embarrassed when she frequents the restroom. My mom is typically the shy type but considering her age, she knows how to bridge the gap between her generation and that of her grandkids' that's why they simply adore her. She starts her day with her daily devotion to the Lord. She loves to play the piano and because she stays home most of the time, watching the Filipino telenovelas and listening to old time favorite songs keep her busy each day. That’s my mom…and I love her.
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta
My mom's baby picture is a rarity...I mean, how my grandma managed to preserve their pictures...I have no idea. Their house in Candelaria, Quezon was turned into a garrison during the Japanese occupation and burned to the ground.
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta
Rosario “Cherry” Nadres Villacorta Bringas’s Mom Carmen “Mameng” Alabastro Nadres Villacorta
Mama’s 84th Birthday, August 24, 2012
Taken at my Kuya Louie’s residence at Filinvest East Antipolo, Christmas 2012
Mom with her only living sibling, my Tita Lita
Her passion to play the piano
Maria Corazon “Cora” Guzman Herrera’s Mom – Elvira “Elvie” Guzman Guzman Children: Maria Lourdes “Mer” Moeharam, Maria Teresa “Terry” Alinea and Maria Corazon “Cora” Herrera. Mommy Elvie’s whole life revolved around her husband, Arnaldo Guzman, her children, her grandchildren. Her whole life was centered on her deep and unwavering devotion to God and the Virgin Mary. She had eclampsia with her first pregnancy endangering both her life and that of her baby. Hence, my parents decided to pace their pregnancies. I was 12 years younger than Terry who was 5 years younger than Mer. They indulged on each daughter as if each of us was an only child. That was the same way they pampered her grandchildren – each catered to his/her favorite dish and activity whenever they were in Biak-na-Bato. There is not a single day that I do not think of Mommy. I do miss her a lot specially when an important event/milestone happens. She had instilled values in me that I hopefullyhave been able to pass to my daughters. I am who I am now because of her. On spirituality: Your faith in God will carry you through difficult times. Offer everything to Him but you have to do your best in everything you do, He will do the rest. On family: Treasure family relationships, they are your support through life. Try to maintain regular family gatherings. On finances: Save, save, save… On Mother’s role: A Mother puts her family’s needs before hers. On education and career: Education is the best gift we can give you. All we ask is for you to try your best, work hard and we will provide you with unconditional support. On humility: One should not boast of one’s accomplishments. On love and life: Live fully and love unconditionally.
Elizabeth “Behja” Feliciano Dimla’s Mom – Mela Amorsolo Romulo-Feliciano
Elizabeth “Behja” Feliciano Dimla’s Mom – Mela Amorsolo Romulo-Feliciano How do I remember my mother? She was a housewife, a stay at home mom who’s major achievement was her thirteen (13) children and I am number six (6). She took charge of the house, made a home that brought so many good memories and molded us thirteen siblings into who we are and what we’ve become. Her daily routine started at 4 AM, preparing the day’s menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner and merienda in between; and made sure we all drink that glass of milk before bedtime. Saturday mornings were spent at a beauty salon to get her hair coiffed and nails polished, all for the Sunday visit to Church. She made sure she was presentable on her day with the Lord. A meticulous dresser, her dress, shoes and bag were always well coordinated. My mom was very strict (she got it from her German ancestry) and her words were always final. In spite of her being strict, she warmly welcomed everyone into our D.Tuazon home. Mom had the pleasure of knowing my best friends, classmates, boyfriends and everyone else that made memories with us during our growing years. Most of you would have remembered our house across STC, the many dogs that numbered more than 15 at one time, that barked in unison some times. She managed to run a huge household and the dogs efficiently. My mother instilled in us the value of family. She left a mark that made me become her when it was my turn to raise my children. And now I see my children turn into me in raising their children. The legacy continues. Thank You Mela! I know you and Daddy are always watching over us from up there. On another note, my mother was very religious and always wanted to attend the first mass on Sundays. Those days, it was at 6 AM. One liner I will never forget: “Sige pag hindi ka bumangon para magsimba, wala nang party party pag sabado.” O di wake up agad!
Elsa Ma. De Veyra Unson’s Mom - Estrella De Veyra Unson
My mom was a woman of many facets. She was not a career woman in the way that married women of today are but she made being mother and wife a full time career and vocation. She gave up her teaching job so that she could be sure that we were all being cared for properly. After looking at how things were running with the children being raised by helpers, she decided that it would be best to be a full time mom. She was supermom. My dad said that he would not have been able to build our resources if my mom was not the woman that she was. She knew how to budget…how to stretch…how to be creative so that the little she chose to work with could go a long way. Mommy always told us that she did not start off knowing how to cook…she did not even know what Patis was! House chores were not second nature to her as she was a piano major and a music teacher. I remember sitting with her watching musicals on television in the afternoons and listening to her play the piano and we would sing along to her accompaniment. Whatever nature homemaking was at the start, Mommy was a quick learner and set her mind and heart to do a great job in homemaking. I fondly recall the party dresses, suits and gowns she sewed (oh yes, even the cross stitch projects!). I remember her signature dishes as well. I know she would go all over the city in search of great buys. But that was not the end for her. Mommy even had time for regular parish work and charity work. She was at home also visiting the squatter areas and cooking for a day care that she and her friends helped put up in the parish so that the women from the slums nearby, could work. Mommy was a woman who had strong values and beliefs.
Elsa Ma. De Veyra Unson’s Mom - Estrella De Veyra Unson Mommy was not like the telenovela moms. She was an uncomplaining woman. Even at her death bed, she was still concerned about daddy getting enough rest. She would not nag us to study but was strict enough to enforce the NO TV until homework is done rule. She also was a great woman who incentivized us to save. She would double the savings from allowances at Christmas time. She was at the same time soft hearted as she would help us do our cross stitch projects that I guess she must have felt were too challenging for us to do. She, like my dad…was very welcoming and hospitable. Our house was always filled with relatives from the province who visited or stayed with us while studying in Manila. Mommy and Daddy also did things together. They also had one mind and approach to things. None of us could try to get something done by just talking to her or to daddy. If it was a ticklish matter, she would say, “ask your dad.” You would know if that is a NO when both of them give you the ASK YOUR DAD, ASK YOUR MOM routine. Doing things together extended to going out with friends and to faithfully attend meetings with the Christian Family Movement and later the Ligaya ng Panginoon. She was prayerful and trusting in the Lord until the end of her life when she died peacefully knowing that she was being called home to God. Today, 28 years after she died, I still think of her fondly and thank God for the blessing she was to me – mother who brought me to life, mother who nurtured and raised me, mother who led by example and love, mother who was just plain SUPER!
ELY CHI CO’S MOM – TRINIDAD “TRINING” ESTEBAN CHI
Ely fondly recollects that her Mom Trining was a classic example of a wonderful stay home mom. She was the ultimate Chinese housewife and homemaker, a mother who dutifully cared for her husband and children all day long, attending to their every necessity. “My Mom Trining cooked all the meals: The vegetables were always the freshest in the market for that season. Sometimes, the ingredients for the meals were especially handcarried from China. From the airport, these vegetables were cooked straight away! We had the best Chinese meals every day,” recalls Ely smilingly as she fondly remembers all the wonderful meals her mom lovingly and diligently prepared for the family. Ely proudly boasts that her mom’s specialty was Chinese lumpia – a flavorful concoction of minced and diced vegetables all put together and rolled into a wrapper and served with different sauces and condiments. “Mom would go through the laborious ritual of slicing up all the vegetable ingredients by hand from early morning . . . and then after all the hard work of slicing, sautéing and wrapping, the hungry expectant kids would gobble everything up in seconds”, recounts Ely with a guilty smile on her own face. When not preparing meals, Ely says her Mom Trining would find time to relax in her beautiful garden which was overflowing with her collection of flowering orchids! ADVICE YOU REMEMBER MOST FROM YOUR MOTHER: “All the stuff that happens in my kitchen is a FAMILY SECRET”. Ely knows her mom treasured her cooking recipes and techniques and the admonition to keep all things that happen in the kitchen a secret was also because her mom would use a lot of imported products in her cooking.
Ma. Cristina “Gang” Aquino Chong’s Mom – Patricia “Saling” Rolison Aquino
My Mom Saling was a beautiful, genuine person gifted with a sincere love for people and the arts. But, in spite of her fun-loving, artistic and charitable ways, she was also a complex person with deep hurts, insecurities and unfulfilled dreams. In her lifetime, she didn’t graduate with honors, nor was she given any awards. In fact, Mom Saling only achieved a humble grade school education. The war years snuffed her adolescence and left her as a teenage mom. Life for her after that became laborious until she met my dad Tony when she was 21 years old. My mom’s indomitable and persevering spirit propelled her to survive and re-invent herself. She was a strict homemaker to a blended family, wanting always the best for her children. She supervised a meticulously cultivated household, was a perfect hostess and exceptional in giving theme parties. Through the years, she taught pattern-making and for a while operated a small dress shop at our Borromeo backyard. She learned how to drive at 55 and click the mouse at 65. She even collated her favorite inspirational “forwards” into a book Email Uppers for the Soul. She cross-stitched until her eyes gave up and painted with the passion of Van Gogh. Every morning like a ritual, she’d tackle the Crosswords, Cryptograms and Sudoku. At night, she’d challenge friends to a game of Scrabble! Her prayer life soared with the Bethesda Healing Ministry, her spiritual family. She embraced the opportunities to be closer to God and extended herself to those needing prayer, care and counseling. Until closely before her death, Mom Saling nurtured disadvantaged children at the Fe Del Mundo clinic who were suffering from leukemia. She never got over losing her youngest daughter, Papat, to this illness and I believe this was her way of coping. She was also Bethesda’s prime speaker on Healing of the Family Tree and did the genograms. I had a super special relationship with my mom. There were no secrets between us. I always tried to understand her in the joys and pains she shared. When Bethesda asked her to speak about herself at their LSS, she made sure to first disclose all the skeletons in her closet to me and my siblings before going public. Through her I experienced unconditional love. When I got sick with Lupus at 16 years old, she was inconsolable. In the1970s, Lupus was unheard of in the Philippines but Mom tackled finding the best doctors and treatment with unheard of ferocity and passion, it made me realize and value the depth of a mother’s love. From her I learned to be strong in my will to live, persevere and always be grateful. Mom was only 38 then but she aged 20 years thinking she would lose me too soon. She had such precious dreams for me: a better adolescence than she ever experienced, live as a happy healthy adult and hopefully develop a deep spiritual life. In my mom, I see a woman who lived her life to the fullest, ever faithful to her family and her God. I am alive today because God continues to preserve and sustain me. . . and because I have a mom who really loved me. ADVICES YOU REMEMBER MOST FROM YOUR MOTHER: “Always interest yourself in whatever interests your husband” and “When we can’t, God CAN!”
Grace Cuevas Fleta’s Mom – Segunda “Sedy” Marcelo Cuevas My mom was born July 10, 1917 in Sampaloc, Manila. As a child she was always asked to participate in the yearly santacruzan in their place because they say that she was very beautiful at her young age. At the age of 29, she got married to Benito Macasaet Cuevas from Batangas. They got married at UST Church on June 8, 1946. They were able to have 4 children and all were born in UST Hospital. They also had their 25th or silver wedding anniversary at UST Church followed by dinner at Club Filipino in June, 1971. In the year 1996 they were still able to have their 50th or golden wedding anniversary and follow by dinner at Shangrila-Edsa. UST grounds has been a very memorable place for my mom. Indeed the love life of Sedy and Itong as they are called was blessed with 3 girls (Mariza '64, Grace '69 and Portia "71 and the 4th a boy Benito Jr.. As far as I can remember my mom is not fond of going out but she goes to mass everyday. She is a domesticated housewife. She is very religious, having always time to pray and recites the rosary. Her being religious made the 4 of us like her. She always pray for our safety. Looking at the other side of my mom, she's a very gentle, generous and soft spoken person. She has her own way of pleasing each one of us. She's great in kitchen too. She cooks simple everyday food and special ones when there is an ocassion. When we were still small, she sees to it that each one of us has a birthday cake on our birthday. She always order the cakes from either Hizons or Estrella Ylagan which I believe is Estrels now. On special ocassions, she always order new dress for us girls from "Angeling" shop of Nina Valencia's aunt. Angelings was known sewing nice children party dresses and I too was able to have her sew my daughter's dresses from 1979-86. My mom has been a great help for me during my elementary and high school years because she always help me with my vocational projects that's why i always got high grades. I won't forget the Spanish veil she made for me. She was very supportive to all our needs. When she was already in her late years, she couldn't go downstairs anymore, she told me that every morning she would seat by the window and see me off for the office and in the afternoon she was seated by the window again to see that I came home safely from work. This was really a very touching gesture which I won't forget. She always include my family in her daily prayers . I really had a great time with her and I thank God for the 57 years we have been together (1949-2006). No one could ever replace her and to you mom- thank you for the love, guidance and time you have given me and my family. I love you very much and this I will always treasure for life.
Hec Forlales’s Mom – Adoracion F. Forlales My Mother, Adoracion F. Forlales, is a remarkable woman. She was born in June 1918 and will be 95 years old on her next birthday. However, it is not her age that makes her remarkable; it is her capacity to love life and to love unconditionally. Anyone who has reached her age has had their share of trials. But what differentiates one person from the other is how they respond to these trials. My mother has always met her challenges head on. Her unwavering commitment to God and her child-like trust in Him is the driving force of her life. It sounds very simple and it is in fact what keeps her strong and vibrant even in her older years. During the early years of their marriage, my mother and father only saw each other when he came home to Romblon while on furlough. He lived in the US because he was a soldier in the US army. He originally came to the US from the Philippines in 1932 and went home to marry a hometown girl. My mother has gone through the shock of my father being shot in New Guinea during WWII. And when the news arrived that my father, having just landed in North Korea, was captured and held Prisoner of War in a communist concentration camp, she had just learned that she was pregnant with me. I was 3 years old when my father was finally released. My mother, my sister and I arrived in the US in 1958 to join our father. And after a brief time together we were again separated. My father was deployed to Germany during the Berlin crisis. We returned to the Philippines in 1964 when my father retired from military service. Life went on. I studied in St Theresa’s and met all of you, my fellow Theresians. My sister and I married and had a family of our own. My mother took care of each of her grandchildren. She bore with us, her daughters, our pain, my divorce, the loss of a grandchild and the death of many more loved ones and friends. And through it all it was her prayers that kept her and her family together. About 4 years ago she moved back from the US to Romblon, our province. Since her move her health has improved. She has severe arthritis and get around in a wheelchair when she is out of the house; but she has no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol and twenty-twenty vision since she had lasik surgery. She is a social butterfly and enjoys attending all the social events in the town. She holds parties to celebrate the birthdays of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren even when we are not there. Many of these celebrations are catered affairs which she organizes. All of our birthdays are announced to the congregation during mass. There is no doubt that she lights up whenever she is in the company of relatives and friends. My mother sewed our clothes when we were young and continues to sew children’s clothes. She now sews the clothes of our helper’s children. She continues to decorate cakes for her friend’s birthdays. She is engaged in the politics of the day. She admits she did not become an American citizen even though she lived in the US for a number of years, because she did not want to lose her right to vote in the Philippines. Her house is a social gathering place where people come to discuss current topics. Last year when I had my car accident, I believe it was my mother’s prayers that saved me. Many who saw the damages of that head-on collision were surprised that I survived. And so when my mother was hospitalized for exhaustion after my accident it is not surprising. It was because she had prayed her 29 hours novena for my recovery!!
IRENE FLORES-REYES’S MOM – TERESA N. FLORES
A TRIBUTE FOR MOM Ever since I can remember, my mom has always been such a busy person, always on the go, caring for her large family of 8 boys and 7 girls. What struck me most during my growing up years was her ability and patience in teaching us the value of doing household chores together and helping out each other. This I value most because it has helped me a lot. When I had my own family, balancing family life and my career wasn’t such a hard task. After all, I only had 2 beautiful girls to take care for, while she had fifteen of us so what I’ve gone through was nothing compared to what she lovingly did for us. For me, she was and still is my guiding light in what I am today and I never forget to thank God for giving me such a wonderful mom.
Lena del Castillo’s Mom – Lillian Fernadez Del Castillo
Lillian Fernandez Del Castillo was born an only child on 7-23-1013 in Jaro, Iloilo. She was married to Jose Godofredo Del Castillo and bore 8 children - Mira, Linda, Isabelita, Roberto, Greg, Carlos, Helena ( that’s me!) and Ramon. Although she was a nurse by profession, she did not get a chance to work because she married right after college and moved to Lingayen. She was very much respected in her community and loved by everyone because of her compassion: for example, the fish vendors in Lingayen would ask her to buy all their stuff so that they could go home earlier. And she would. She did this not only for one vendor but for all of them selling fish or seafood that day when she marketed. My mom is Mama Ling to all of us including her extended family and her friends. She was a disciplinarian but was gentle in handling her temper. Something I have to learn to do. She waited till you simmered down to talk to you. It was enough for her to just give you that look for you to stop whatever you are doing that is not pleasing to her. Mama Ling loved to dance which is why whenever she was asked to sing, she would opt to dance instead. She had a passion to grow cymbidiums, violets and other flowering plants and loved to donate them to those who shared her passion for them. She was a voracious reader and treasured her vast Harlequin collection! She also religiously followed her daytime USA soaps operas daily. She loved going to Vegas and was almost always a winner. She was widowed early, and never remarried because she believed Papa was the only one for her. Instead, she devoted her remaining years to her family. She was spoiled by Papa in every aspect of her life including allowing her to play mahjong everyday -- Once she got into an accident and Papa sent her roses which had to be picked up from Clark Air Base because they were shipped from the USA! Even when she suffered a stroke in 1988, leaving her right side semi functional, she never wanted the people around her to feel like she was a burden to them. She was one patient who was not "makulit” at all. She knew her medications and her medical routine, so she needed very minimal help until her last few months. Mama Ling was an active member of the Legion of Mary and was in church regularly despite her disability. She was President of the CWL of Lingayen at one time.
Leng Gomez Caine’s Mom - Paquita Villanueva Gomez MD
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan” My Mom, Francisca “Paquita” Villanueva Gomez turned 93 in 2012. She was born in Angeles, Pampanga “posthumously” - in other words, she was in my lola’s womb when her father passed. My grandmother raised her and her sister by herself. Lola had a small tindahan in the palengke in Angeles City. But they lived in the household of my grandmother’s sister… so there was an uncle who was a very kind father figure and lots of women folk to make sure they behaved. Paquit always excelled in school, valedictorian in high school, Winthrop Scholar in Med school. I remember testing her by asking her the most esoteric words - and it always blew my mind that she knew their definition AND the Latin derivation! 1942 came and the war sent her away from Manila to seek safety from the Japanese Occupation. She was months away from graduating Medicine at UST. Eventually she graduated magna cum laude. She was on the fast track in her medical career – she had her own small hospital with her brother-in-law and then she met him. Colonel Francisco Mapa Gomez took her breath away (literally, he taught her how to hold her breath swimming)… They got married, and had five girls… My oldest sister Lisa died when she was 8 years old of polio (I was 5) and that left a sadness in her that time did not erase… But she was tough, and if one did not know any better, would never have guessed that this lady carried such a sorrow in her heart. She stayed home to raise us. When my youngest sister reached college, my mom started her medical practice again! Amazing. She practiced way into her 70’s and was always active in the STC family council and later in the barangay of our neighborhood. Her Wisdom Shared: 1. Be careful with words. Once you have let them leave your mouth, they cannot be taken back. They can change a relationship forever. 2.
Always try to be the best person you can be. Never be loud but subdued and refined.
Be frugal. Do not spend what you do not have.
Leng Gomez Caine’s Mom - Paquita Villanueva Gomez MD She always stayed slim. How? She ate like a bird (except for 4 spoons of sugar in her coffee.) She sewed her own clothes and ours when we were growing up. And that was a good thing as money was usually tight. She loved to sew. More that a doctor, she wanted to be seamstress. She learned how to cook from Le Cordon Bleu but was never into food. Although her Kalamansi Merengue Pie (I attach her recipe) is legendary (it is really that all-butter crust that kills!) Now in her 90’s, she has added one more thing to her beauty regiment of soap, water and a rough towel - Retin A. And her skin is still silky and flawless. Oh, she always walked with an umbrella to keep the sun away. I am very grateful to have been blessed with such a mom!
Leng Gomez Caine’s Mom - Paquita Villanueva Gomez MD
Paquita’s Kalamansi Merengue Pie Recipe
Kalamansi Merengue Pie Paintings by Erbu (commissioned by Lani Gomez Somera) 1 1/2 C flour 8 tbsp butter 1/4 tsp salt Ice water 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 4 egg whites 8 tbsp sugar 1 can condensed milk 1/2 C kalamansi juice 2 to 4 egg yolks For the Crust: Mix salt and flour. Work in cold butter with 2 knives. Stir with knives and moisten with ice water. Pat gently into a ball. Wrap and keep in ice box for 30 minutes. Roll out and line pie pan. Prick the bottom all over so it stays flat. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. For the Frosting: Whip egg whites with tartar. Beat in sugar until they hold firm peaks. For the Filling: Mix condensed milk, kalamansi and egg yolks until thick and pour into pie shell (cooled down). Top with merengue. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.
Ma. Lourdes “Lulu” Bangsal Gonzales’s Mom – Remedios Santiago-Bangsal
Of Mothers and Daughters
If there is one truism I can personally attest to because I have lived it in my own life -- it is the tension between mothers and daughters. Do not think that this tension caused some rift between us though; not at all. In fact, it spiced up our otherwise tumultuous interpersonal relationship in the beginning of our lives rendering it most interesting at the end of it. Remedios Santiago-Bangsal, whom I fondly called 'Mamang' was born on March 16, 1920. A true Pisces, she had difficulty taming a feisty tiger like me considering that her other daughter was a docile Libran, who was the pride of our family early on. My sweet and very feminine older sister excelled in the home arts -- cooking, baking and sewing -- home grown talents hardly ever associated with me at all. Why have I gravitated into and pursued the arts myself making it my life long career? It finally dawned on me that Mamang was an original and true Humanities aficionado. Why can I say this? She used to play our heirloom piano accompanied by Papang on his beloved violin. And how the two of them produced such beautiful music together! Thing is, we never appreciated those sessions in the early years when we had to sit through them after dinner in lieu of TV during school nights. She loved to concoct new recipes out of leftovers and present them with a lot of fanfare that eventually brought secret smiles from her brood when they began to realize the effort. She sewed our clothes from bargains she found in Divisoria due to her resourcefulness. And most of all, she loved life itself! This endearing trait of my mom is what a lot of you classmates remember about her the most. Who of you recall being entertained and fed with some home
Ma. Lourdes “Lulu” Bangsal Gonzales’s Mom – Remedios Santiago-Bangsal
cooked goodies forever available at our house?! She was keenly sincerely interested in all my friends!!! Her influence on me is complete. We became the best of friends especially after I got married and begot two daughters of my own. We took time to travel together, went shopping seriously or just bought groceries, tried new grand restaurants on special occasions, ferried to beauty parlors on lazy days or simply drove around town. Do I miss her? Very much so. Another truism lived through -- one never realizes how wonderful a person is until he/she is gone from your life. Thank you for having been my mom. "I love you so much, Mamang."
Madge Sembrano – Mothers Three
Mothers I had three, One passed away Before I was three, Two never married, Raised my sister and me. “Nanay-isms” lit our path Sayings fit for a diplomat Mottos, maxims, truisms Well-lived nay a caveat, Surely created our charism. Only a few are cited here Simply too many to cohere Some are just too common Others one needs to recon.
1. Love one another, do good to those who hate you. 2. Have faith in God. Trust in Him. Everything happens for a reason. 3. Don’t forget to pray. Always carry a rosary. 4. Count your blessings. Thank God in all things. 5. All things are passing. Look at things in the perspective of eternity. 6. Be strong no matter what situation life brings. 7. Be resilient in adversity. 8. Never become bitter, nor ill-tempered or rude. 9. Respect yourself first so others will respect you. 10. Never settle for mediocrity. 11. Stay humble despite you stature. 12. Friends give joy, but it is family who will sticks by you. 13. Be honest at all times, in your thoughts, words and deeds. Never pretend. Be yourself. 14. Be fair and just in your dealings with your fellowmen. 15. Between being kind and being right, choose to be kind. 16. Between wisdom and intelligence, choose wisdom. 17. Simplicity is beauty. 18. Health is wealth. 19. Patience is a virtue. 20. The past is dead. Tomorrow is still to come. Live in the present. Have hope. 21. Treat everyone with kindness and generosity. 22. Be at peace with yourself, with others and with God. 23. Despite success, it is only God who provides happiness and peace.
Madge Sembrano – Mothers Three 24. Serve God, your country and your fellowmen. 25. On top of all these, laughter and humor to embellish these. Character more than possessions, Fear of God than public opinon, Honor more than scorn, Integrity than duplicity. Values, principles and respectability. “Nanay-isms” infused my whole being And pervaded my whole upbringing. And so I must say, I am a product of three, Lucky were we, our mothers were three. Two are in heaven, one still lives with me. She at 90 still strong, healthy and free. I am happy, grateful and glee. All because God gave me mothers three.
Madge Sembrano â€“ Mothers Three
Malen Claravall’s Mom – Dahlia Rivera-Claravall
A TRIBUTE TO A WONDERFUL PERSON As I look back, I am amazed that I was able to make it through today's performance. On February 19, 2007, I lost the dearest person in my life. It happened so quickly and left me emotionally shattered. The world was just one dreadful noise, then suddenly stone cold silence. I lost the energy to teach, the inspiration to choreograph and found myself barely able to mimic the motions of life. I was left without my mentor, my inspiration, my guide – and I felt the loss even more keenly because as she neared the end of her life, my mother had become my child. An extremely refined lady of the old school, she loved the arts, most specially the ballet. She was a great fan of all the students in the Paranaque studio. Every Saturday she was there, without fail, from 9am until sundown, watching all the young ballerinas learn their first steps and eagerly dance for her. Her appreciation of the advanced students’ grueling led to her applause at the end of each session. She never grew weary of observing their efforts.
Malen Claravall’s Mom – Dahlia Rivera-Claravall Now the corner where she used to sit and watch is just an empty space. As I saw my students shedding tears at her wake, I could see that they felt a loss as well and I realized the impact she had on all of them. I remember my first days in ballet school as a four-year old. She and daddy would be there to support me – and support until the end they both did. However, their love for ballet did not blind them to the realities of life. They strongly encouraged me to finish my Accounting degree and take my license. Their wisdom proved prudent when I lost my husband 14 years ago and needed to support my three young children financially. The seed of my great love for dance and my need to pursue excellence, nurtured by both Dad and Mom has borne fruit. Mom, I dedicate this show to you! --- and also to all the parents who have patiently and cheerfully supported their daughters in this endeavor as they walk the path that my parents tread before them. Malen Claravall Director / Choreographer Source: Souvenir Program of Claravall School of Dance (Coppelia & Other Dances) 2007
Tess “Malong” Malolos O’Shaughnessy’s Mom – Naty Inocentes Malolos May 1916 - January 1999
My Mom was the best role model I could ever have. She was gentle but strong-willed -- a career woman who taught me, by example, that I could be whatever I wanted to be. When I was young, she left for the States to take her Masters in Psychology at the University of Oregon. Of course, I don’t remember any of this because I was around 3 years old then, but my aunts tell me that, at the airport when she came back home, I ran up to her and called her “Aunty Naty!” She more than made up for her absence though because my memories of her are very much of a hands-on Mom. Funny, I don’t remember her cooking much. What I do remember is her making sure the household ran well, and that we grew up close to my aunts, uncles and an army of cousins. When I went to the East-West Center/University of Hawaii to pursue my own graduate studies, I think she was as excited as I was. A number of times, I got phone calls at the dorm from Filipinos passing through Honolulu, carrying “CARE packages” from my parents – - filled with goodies from home. I know she wasn’t worried about my grades, but she did wonder why it was taking me a long time to write my thesis. She wanted to see my thesis proposal (‘Uhmmm, I don’t have one’). Okay, how about your thesis outline, she asked (“Huh? Am I supposed to do one of those?”). My Mom had mentored many graduate school students herself, so she jokingly questioned the quality of the university I was in since it didn’t seem to dispense appropriate thesis advice! Finally, she got herself invited to a conference in Honolulu, arrived at my dorm and said, “Alright… let’s see that thesis draft!” I didn’t have much of a draft to show her but did have reams and reams of research notes to demonstrate I wasn’t exactly just taking hula lessons in Waikiki, so she went home semi-satisfied. That was my Mom of the early years…. Many years later, I moved to Montreal where my brother had immigrated, having fled martial law in the Philippines. I fell in love and got married but for double ‘P’ reasons (procrastination + ‘paltik’ ng ulo) I decided I wanted to keep my name and not bother changing all my bank records and government paperwork to my married family name “O’Shaughnessy.” To which my Mom drolly remarked, “Tessie, di ba mga artista lang ang gumagawa niyan?!” Good thing my husband had a sense of humour! When my dad passed away in 1986, we convinced my Mom to permanently move to Canada. It was a huge move for her -- leaving all her brothers and sisters, all her colleagues and amigas in Manila, but she decided she’d stay with us. And life is funny. One week after my father died - and after eight years of marriage and no kids – I got pregnant! We said
Tess “Malong” Malolos O’Shaughnessy’s Mom – Naty Inocentes Malolos May 1916 - January 1999
this little baby is probably my dad giving my mom someone to love – and so my son Michael was born. My mom made it her life’s work to nurture him and fuss over him. Although this little baby with light brown hair looked very much like an “O’Shaughnessy,” he would fall asleep rocked to the singing of “Ating ko pong singsing!” Mommy also shared her love of reading with Michael, so much so that when he later entered Kindergarten at age five, he was already reading about space and super novas. My Mom was an amazing help to me raising Michael as well as my second son Charles. We went on walks together, played with the kids in the park, brought them to the doctor for checkups together. She taught me that spending time with the kids was the best gift I could give them. In Toronto, Mommy also became the surrogate mother for many of our close friends whose parents were back in the Philippines. They loved to visit with her, have long lunches with her and, yes, go shoe shopping! For many years, life in Canada for her was very family-centered. However, slowly, symptoms of illness began to appear. She was diagnosed with a rare Parkinson-like condition (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) from which she suffered for 9 years. Those years were not kind to her, but her faith sustained her and us through the difficult times. Through my Mom’s prayers and quiet prodding, my brother Philip, sister Marissa, sister-inlaw Clarita, and my husband Don and I all went to Medjugorje to visit Our Lady’s apparition site. It was an experience of healing and profound conversion for all of us -- bar none. This gift of faith has been one of my Mom’s lasting gifts to us. I know classmates who tease me, saying I used to give the nuns at STC a bit of a shock asking “Sister, is God dead?” Thanks to my Mom, I don’t ask that anymore. I’ve found the answer. Praise the Lord!
Margaret “Marge” Magsalin Manuel‘s Mom – Delfina “Pinang” Foronda Magsalin
The family picture was taken when I was four years old (standing at right side). Being a pretty mestiza, my mom loved to dress up fashionably. She also had good taste in choosing the outfits we would wear. Her secondary education was taken at St. Theresa’s College, Baguio City. Since my dad was a politician, law dean and practicing attorney, he prevailed upon her to leave her career and be a full-time housewife and mother. He allowed her though to be active in socio-civic organizations like being president of the Manila Jayceerettes, president of the Philippine Red Cross, Manila Chapter, and president of the Catholic Women’s League. Loving my dad unconditionally, she agreed to leave her nursing profession for keeps but she expressed her individuality and leadership through the organizations she joined. The saying “ Behind the success of a man is a woman” aptly applies to her. We felt that she was always behind my dad in all his aspirations. Even though she experienced many challenges in her life including being completely blind at the age of 70, she was steadfast in her devotion to God and her family. We would witness her praying four mysteries of the rosary every night namely one mystery for each child. Our diet was also being closely watched as our good health was her primary concern. In pursuing our dreams, she would always say “The early bird catches the worm” emphasizing the need for us to be hard-working and industrious and to go the extra mile, if necessary. Being a role model, mentor, coach, mother, friend and prayer warrior rolled into one, our mom molded our character and served as our inspiration. We thank God for creating a wonderful mom like her.
Marilou Unson’s Mom – Edith Tanseco Unson
My Mom, Edith Tanseco‐Unson, was born in Catbalogan, Samar 86 years ago. She is a petite woman with an intelligent mind, (she placed 7th in the CPA boards) an admirable perseverance, fortitude and a kind heart. She remained steadfast in her support of my father, at home and in business as well. My mother's life was a succession of obstacles and hurdles. Growing up in a big family, my mother worked very hard to earn her living since her early years. She developed an extremely strong will and the ability to calmly deal with each difficulty and move on from failure. My father passed away 4 years ago. She once told me that their years abroad were the best years of her life. It allowed them to grow in their marriage, to have time to hold hands, to live a life without major responsibilities. She still resides in Vancouver, Canada, a relatively healthy widow, who lost her sight shortly after my father died. She suffers from the dreaded “A” disease, which I view as both a curse and a blessing. One of the greatest privileges and blessings that God has afforded me is learning from women, from my mother, my grandmother, aunts, girlfriends, and many others who have taught me life lessons I would never have grasped on my own. They have, consciously or unconsciously, influenced my decisions so that I am who I am today. But it was from my mother that I felt most loved. In fact the one fault that she, and perhaps any other mother has is loving too much. She was quite protective and I sometimes resented her for not letting me make my own decisions.
Marilou Unson’s Mom – Edith Tanseco Unson As I begin the 6th decade of my life, I feel that I am only starting to know myself and find out who I really am. With all our children living their own lives, I find more time to reflect on how I lived my life and how I plan to live the short future ahead. The precious lessons from my mother are the luggage for me to go on my road to continue discovering new horizons of knowledge, to make my unfulfilled dreams become a reality. I owe my strength to my mother. Her life experience has made me more resilient in the face of every hardship and every failure. As a mother and grandmother myself, I also realize the invaluable gift of life and true happiness. I sum up my relationship with Mommy in the words of Erica Jong, an American author and educator: “My mother wanted me to be her wings, to fly as she never quite had the courage to do; I love her for that. I love the fact that she wanted to give birth to her own wings.” Thank you, Mom for all you have given me!
Ma. Luisa “Marilu” Vinuya Nagrampa’s Mom – Prudy “Mom P” Vinuya
Mom P was an accountant and became the Chief Accountant of the Manila COD department store when it first opened. She was also very active with the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) and held the position of President for several terms. In the CWL, she spearheaded a project in Quiapo where the CWL members taught the mothers of the street children sewing using the sewing machine. For this endeavor, she also successfully gathered sponsors to donate several sewing machines. Mom P loved to instill freedom of movement to her children. Marilu says she herself is lakwachera due to her mother’s influence. Mom P also loved to eat good food and eat out. Marilu recalls that she would list the names of the restaurants she would want to visit in a pocket size notebook. Gathering the family every Sunday, she would then choose the restaurant and after the meal, she would write her critique in the notebook. If the restaurant passed her mother’s high standards, Marilu recounts that the restaurant would surely be visited again!
Marilyn Alcantara’s Mom – Soledad Azcarate Vda. de Alcantara
It has been wisely said, "The closest thing on earth to God's love for his children is a mother's love for hers". This proverb is so true for our mom, Soldedad Azcarate Alcantara or "Choleng" as she is fondly called by friends and relatives. It is not only to her children that she has given her selfless dedication and love but first and foremost, to our Papa, Feliciano and to her numerous grandchildren and great‐ grandchildren. As a wife, her humble submission and love for our father is exemplary and these were well reciprocated by our very kind and loving father, the prefect match for her. I saw her stay up late at night ironing Papa's 'barong' and pants for his next day's Rotary Meeting. She worked hours on end to prepare the most palatable meals for Papa and her children. The house was always tidy and clean as she was a stickler for orderliness, sometimes much to much as she would stay up to, at times, the wee hours of the morning just to keep the house spick and span. By today's standards, she fits the description of and "OC" or Obsessive Compulsive. She did all these though, to make sure the family was comfortable. Mama and Papa's relationship was most enviable as they served and loved each other with all their heart and being. Not once did we ever see or hear them fight. Not that they did at all but they were just so discreet about it. Having been born to a wealthy Chinese‐Filipino family, Mama could have readily asked for the best of everything, something which, to some extent, her eldest sister Amparo, her surrogate mother, provided her. Having spent a couple of years as an "Interna" at the Assumption Convent, a school noted to be a
Marilyn Alcantara’s Mom – Soledad Azcarate Vda. de Alcantara favorite of aristocratic families then and now, she could have demanded a College education in Switzerland or London as a lot of her classmates did. She however, opted otherwise. As a dutiful child of her Chinese father, she gave up College education to help run one of his businesses, a chain of movie houses in San Pablo, Laguna and Lucena, Quezon, something she continued doing for a while even when married to our father who likewise assisted her in the business. Being married to my father changed her lifestyle dramatically as the latter came from a simple and frugal family. It was a shock for her mother to see her wardrobe shrink to basic essentials ‐ no more I‐ Miller or Andrew Geller shoes, no more party dresses good only for one wear. Having been exposed to business at a very young age, and perhaps having inherited the business acumen of her father, Mama was a strong driving force behind her husband. They went to all sorts of businesses from candle making, repacking of beer procured from the Americans during the Second World War, baking Pan de Sal from camote flour when wheat flour was a scarcity during the war, poultry, cake decorating, food catering, restaurant business and producing stage shows featuring Dolphy, Leopoldo Salcedo, Katy dela Cruz and the likes. Without help from the parents, they managed to raise 6 children and support them through College. Their greatest legacy was the education they provided each one of us, their dream fulfilled when the fruits of their labor saw all their children turn into professionals. The start of the 50's saw a big turn in their fortune when Papa, having been a dentist by profession, ventured into the dental laboratory business in Manila. This meant uprooting the family and making the next major move to the big city. This also meant the ultimate sacrifice of saying good‐bye to being a business entrepreneur for Mama. She had a dream of expanding their restaurant business but Papa thought the children should be given utmost priority especially that they needed all the guidance and attention at this stage. Mama is a multifaceted woman with talents ranging from culinary arts, painting, intricate embroidery, gardening, flower arranging and would you believe, ballroom dancing during her younger years or so she claims. A very sociable person, she can relate with anyone, young and old, rich and poor alike. She can develop friendship with even the lowly "magbobote", Mang Carlos, the "mag‐iitlog",Onyang and Nick, the mag‐asawang "mag‐gugulay". Possessing an incredible memory to the day she died at 92, all children relied on her to remind them of anything and everything. She can remember details of past and present events, names and faces of people including their genealogy. Accounting of our house petty cash (by the way, she lived with my family for 15 years) is done to the last centavo. With perpetual curiosity as to what was happening everywhere, she read the newspaper from cover to cover until her 90's and could discuss with anybody the latest news, including the teen‐age idol gossip. Being a very efficient telephone operator, she would lift the phone at the first ring, at least when she was awake, jotted down the names of callers and their messages to the littlest detail. More often than not, she would engage them in conversations. This was the perfect proof that being old does not mean waning productivity. In contrast to Papa, Mama was a stern disciplinarian to her children and grandchildren. Just one look at the kids was enough to keep them in toe. She possessed a very strong and forceful character, not giving
Marilyn Alcantara’s Mom – Soledad Azcarate Vda. de Alcantara up on anything, no matter how big an obstacle. Even in her 90's she was very independent. When women 10‐15 years her junior had permanent attendants, she could almost do anything without assistance. She simply refused to be treated like an invalid. Mama's generosity to her family was beyond all telling. She'd give her last Php100 to any child in need. She had very little needs, however, one of her quirks is collecting junk. Name it and she had it all stored in her various cabinets and boxes. They truly came in handy when any child or grandchild needed an item for whatever purpose. The amazing thing about it was her ability to remember where the littlest item was stored‐‐ a plastic bag wrapped and tied securely with garter, packed within a box and stored within a bag stashed in the corner of her cabinet. Hence, Soledad Azcarate Vda. de Alcantara, the third child of Tan Chiong Say, a.k.a. Pablo Tan Azcarate from Amoy, China and Feliza Geroza from Bay, Laguna, was granted a long life by Our Good Lord until the age of 92, a tremendous grace to our family as she was our hotline to God, what with all the rosaries and novenas she offered each day not only for her family but also for friends and almost anybody who needed intercession. By the way, I forgot to say that one of her greatest wish as a young girl was to er the nunnery. Mama a nun? Fr L‐R: Henry, Karl, Marilyn, Justine & EJ (Timmy not in photo)
Marite Marinduque-Congmonâ€™s Mom Solita Basa Marinduque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
Menci Molina’s Mom – Maria del Carmen Gomez-Arnau
Maria del Carmen Gómez‐Arnau, my mother, affectionately known as MariCar, married my father, Antonio Molina, in November 1950, at a time when travel between Spain, her country, and the Philippines, took over three days by airplane, with numerous layovers. At this time, too, communication was uncertain, mostly through letters that took weeks to arrive, since a phone call was a very expensive—and unreliable—proposition. I recall hearing that my father's Christmas present to her that first year was a phone call to her father in Madrid. MariCar was a very courageous woman. She was the oldest of four children, whom she helped to raise, having survived the early death of their mother during the Spanish Civil War. When she made the decision to marry my father at the age of 30, she not only adopted his life, but also his country, the Philippines. She became a Filipino citizen not only in paper but also in her heart, raising her five children to love and cherish the land of our birth. But she understood what it meant to come from a far off land and the emotional sacrifice this entails. As a result, she was particularly welcoming—with a spirit of true "acogida"—to anyone who was struggling to belong, anyone who might be far from their home. How many times I remember her being on the phone, engaged in long conversations—mostly listening to someone in need of her attendant heart! And as demanding as we were with our various needs, she would go to each one of us whenever we called to her. A funny aspect of this was that on Sundays, she was often late getting ready for Mass—not because she dilly‐dallied, but because one of us was always in need of something, or had come to her with a question or a request. Perhaps that's one of the reasons we, her children, have always known that her love would—and will—always be with us. My mother's constant faith sustained her and gave substance to any advice she imparted. In addition and perhaps more importantly, she offered the example of a life of faith and ultimate trust in God.
Menci Molina’s Mom – Maria del Carmen Gomez-Arnau I do recall a particular piece of advice she had about making decisions in life: "If you are faced with a tough decision and keep wavering back and forth," she said, "imagine having made a choice, either way. And then, having placed yourself in that 'future place', ask yourself if your heart is at peace. If it is, then you have made the right choice." My mother considered "peace of heart" a great value, and she was at peace with herself during her life—most of all at its closing. She died quietly on the eve of All Saints' Day, no doubt eager to be reunited with my father on the same month they had exchanged marriage vows many years before.
Antonio and Carmen Molina, 1950
Milagros “Mila” Guerrerro Barretto’s Moms - Adela Fuentecilla Guerrero and Brigida “Iday” Barbaran Guerrero
That’s me, Milagros Guerrero Barretto, on the first row to the right, at a little over two years of age, with my mom Adela Fuentecilla Guerrero in the coat standing right behind me. A certified romantic, Mama Adela wrote at the back of the photo the place and the date – Mines View Park, Baguio City, Feb. 16, 1954 – indicating that she chose to spend Valentines in the summer capital with my dad Conrado (seated, first row) , her two kids and kin. Little did we know that she would join her Creator three and a half years later at age 31 after complications from giving birth to my only brother while recovering from meningitis. That she passed on just a few hours before my sixth birthday made me the object of extra sympathy. Mama Adela valued Papa and us her children above all. A consistent topnotcher in her elementary & high school days, she eloped with my father and quit studying at UP Diliman to be a full‐time homemaker. She never wavered despite the vociferous objections at the start of her parents and six siblings. My fondest memories of her include her regularly bringing freshly made cold calamansi juice and sandwiches during morning recess for my elder sister Agadel and me at St. Joseph’s Olongapo, with our baby sister and her yaya in tow. She did not want us taking soft drinks and canteen snacks.
Milagros “Mila” Guerrerro Barretto’s Moms - Adela Fuentecilla Guerrero and Brigida “Iday” Barbaran Guerrero A lover of the arts, she enrolled Agadel in piano lessons which culminated in a recital complete with published photos in the newspaper. Up to this day, Agadel plays the piano well. Mama Adela taught me to dance simple ballet steps with “The Swan” playing in the background. She would show us off to visitors – Agadel playing “The Swan” and I pirouetting awkwardly but with the confidence that Mama Adela instilled in me. Her genes live on in me – my love for reading and writing come from her line of journalists and lawyers. And above all, I have inherited her devotion to husband and offspring. Papa remarried in 1960. My stepmom, Brigida “Iday” Babaran Guerrero, was a 27‐year old elementary schoolteacher who happened to be staying in the same boarding house as my dad in the hinterlands of Cagayan province. Papa, a civil engineer, was working on a road construction project and got intrigued by the lady boarder who never left her room except to go to school. Again, as in the case of my Mama Adela, Papa won Mama Iday’s heart despite the howl raised by her family. What, a widower with five young children, a stranger in town, will carry off the sheltered “bunso”! Rumor has it that the reason why we the children were not asked to attend the wedding is that one of our stepaunts may object to the marriage in church during the ceremonies. Mama Iday proved to be the most atypical “madrasta” that she was always mistaken to be our biological mother. She treated us in the same manner as she did her only child with Papa. And to this day, we her stepchildren remember her unconditional love and care for us. Barely a year after her marriage, Papa left for Singapore to manage a port construction project. For a dozen years after, he left us mostly to the care of Mama Iday as he moved from one country to another overseeing dredging and other infrastructure projects for multinationals. And so it came to pass that all throughout my elementary and high school years, only Mama Iday was around to pin my medals at the end of the schoolyear. Thankfully, Papa proudly witnessed my college graduation as he had put up his own construction business in Manila by then. She made wise decisions on the purchase of our own house and on investing the funds remitted by my dad. When Papa passed on in 1979 after a lingering illness at age 57, she continued to be the rock that held our family together through good times and bad. I will always be grateful to the Lord for bringing her to my life – she who gave me away at my wedding, who helped look after me during my difficult pregnancy, who doted on our only child Yasha and who entrusted me with the administration of Papa’s estate and her retirement fund.
Milagros “Mila” Guerrerro Barretto’s Moms - Adela Fuentecilla Guerrero and Brigida “Iday” Barbaran Guerrero In the first photo below taken during our visit to the UN office of my younger sister Marge in Chiba, Japan in 2002, Brigida “Iday” Babaran Guerrero is the woman with the sunglasses. And two years before she passed on, she is shown in the second photo at her home with four of us her children (except our family friend on the extreme left).
Mimi Chuaâ€™s Mom â€“ Gloria Inocencio Chua
Growing up with 7 other sisters and 3 brothers was pretty amazing! There was a lot of sharing, laughter, and, also disagreements. As we each started our own lives, getting married, bringing up our kids- some moving abroad, including myself, there was something that always kept all of us together. These are our parents. Our Mom and Dad were always there for us. They always had a keen sense of what was going on with our lives. They always encouraged us to be the best of what we can, and as we became adults, applauded our successes and guided us with our missteps. Our mother, Gloria Inocencio Chua, was born on April 15, 1922 in Pandacan, Manila. Motherless and the eldest sister of 8 other siblings, she took it upon herself to take care of them with the help of close relatives. She grew up a real beauty and was hailed Miss Pandacan as a teenager. Just imagine being wooed by Ma Mon Luk with siopao and siomai in hand chasing after her in a caritela! We would always laugh hysterically when she would tell us this story. At 19 years old, she met my Dad, a widower with 2 sons, and fell in love. Their life together was not easy. They endured a world war together but lived harmoniously as partners bringing up a brood of an additional 9 children. As the family grew even more, our parents made Antipolo our weekend retreat, and it became our family's meeting place. Our Mom would make sure everything was in order for her children and grandchildren. These weekend retreats were indeed the highlight of our lives as young mothers and fathers, and also the grandchildrens' as well. Mom would be occupied with mahjong and pares pares with her chorum while enjoying the company of her family. I remember she would wake up early Saturday morning having a list in her mind of the weekend menu. No paper list for her! We would leave the wet market content with our bounty of fish, pork and a variety of kakanin. She drives a hard bargain for the tinderas, a trait that my sisters and I inherited to this day. These past 10 years were cruel to my Mom. I mourned for her each time I visited as I witnessed how her mind deteriorated and robbed of precious memories. But most of all, I was sorry that I couldn't thank her enough for her care and love, and tell how much I miss her. People always say you become like your mom. My sisters and I have become like her one way or another. She made us better persons, mothers and grandmothers. Her memories will not be forgotten as we, her children and grandchildren carry the torch of her unconditional love and legacy forever.
Minda Carmen Ruiz-Arceta’s Mom - Elisa Macaraeg Ruiz
Elisa M. Ruiz was my adoptive mom. She was the sister of my dad and she was childless. She waited for years to have me and I am thankful it was I whom my parents "gave away" to be legally adopted by her. Elisa was the second of 6 children and since the eldest was sickly, my mom became the decision maker, disciplinarian, administrator, plus all the other responsibilities given to the "Atchi" of the family. Her decision was final and executory; but she was caring, loving, and sympathetic to her other siblings. She graduated with honors from the Instituto de Mujeres, the first vocational school for women in the Philippines. Because of this, I learned how to use the sewing machine at an early age. The first lesson that I remember most which she imparted to me was about patience. In one of our afternoon siestas, while she was sewing a dress for me, she asked me to untangle knotted threads. So I sat down and after a few minutes I gave up and said: "this is so difficult to do". In a soft and comforting voice, she said: “Darling Girl, (this was how she called me) you have to be patient. Sit down and untangle the threads one by one and before you know, it’s done.” And true enough, after patiently pulling the threads, I got it done. So today, whenever I see a Singer sewing machine and tangled threads in my sewing box, I remember vividly my mom and me during that rainy afternoon in May. Elisa was also a teacher and a guidance counselor; graduated from the UST. She was an advocate of "spare the rod and spoil the child." Her favorite tool to spank me with was the guava twig. She only did this when I was really "bad". Bad was being disobedient. After the spank she would explain to me the reason: "I spanked you because I wanted to drive away the devil in you." Those were her exact words. I was an only child and people thought I was a spoiled brat. She single handedly raised me to be a well-balanced woman. My adoptive father, Dominador B. Ruiz, succumbed to meningitis when I was only 4 years old.
Minda Carmen Ruiz-Arceta’s Mom - Elisa Macaraeg Ruiz
My mom was also funny. I remember she criticized a childhood friend saying she looked like pancakes. Pancakes? And she replied: “It’s because my friend's cheeks were chubby.” She also advised me never to wear green and yellow. Again, I was puzzled and while laughing she said it’s because I would look like a parrot. My mom read this tale/story entitled “The canal of rice” to me when i was about 6yo. It was about a rich Chinese family who lived in a village. Whenever they had their meals, they threw their leftover rice in the canal that flowed downstream. There was a poor family living downstream and every day they collected the rice that was thrown by the rich family. After many years, the poor family became rich and you guessed right... the rich one became poor. So whenever I did not eat all the rice on my plate, my mom would always say, ”hija, remember the canal of rice”... her voice was foreboding and threatening but said in a loving way. My other cousins also knew this Chinese tale and it became a favorite saying at meal times... ”the canal of rice.” She was also a good cook. My favorite breakfast that she prepared was her champorado. Instead of evaporated milk, she would pour freshly squeezed coconut milk. I also loved her prawns with annatto seeds and simmered in coconut milk. That's probably the reason I love food cooked with coconut milk. She was a fashion icon during her time. She loved to go shopping at Aguinaldo's, Berg's, Syvel's and Rustan's in Cubao. She loved those white embroidered handkerchiefs which were only available at Aguinaldo's. She would buy a dozen of these hankies, put each in an envelope with cash and distribute them to her inaanaks. She taught me to moisturize, moisturize and moisturize . I miss my mom so much. She loved me with all her heart and her mantra to me was ”Darling girl, I love you so much too much.” She peacefully succumbed to cancer on July 13, 1982 at the Heart Center. In my own little way, I would like to honor her with this Nanay-ism. 1. Always be honest. 2. Be patient all the time. Patience is a virtue. 3. Don't show a man you love him so much... ayyayay! In other words, be pakipot! 4. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Minda Carmen Ruiz-Arceta’s Mom - Elisa Macaraeg Ruiz
Elisa M. Ruiz (seated), Alejandro Sison (standing) extreme left, with my biological parents, aunts, uncles and cousins
Minda Carmen Ruiz-Arceta’s Mom - Elisa Macaraeg Ruiz
Mom during her chemo days.
Mom Elisa’s Prawns in Coconut Milk Ingredients: 1. 1 k of prawns or medium sized shrimps 2. 1 c of coconut cream or kakang gata 3. Achuete soaked in 1/4 c water 4. Salt to taste 1. Simmer prawns in coconut milk. 2. When prawns turn pink, add achuete water 3. Cook a few minutes more. 4. Add salt to taste.