Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mama's Homegoing

Eulogies of Jose Mari and Jennifer Agnes 

Hello everyone.  My name is Jose Mari, they call me Jiji for short.  I am the second child of seven siblings.  I would like to thank you for coming over to symphatize with us at this time of grief during the loss of our matriarch. 

I am not very good at this.  I am a doctor but I am not a good public speaker. I was tasked to share with you the life of our mother.

Severita.  Why the name Severita?  I don’t know if anyone of you has met or heard any other name by the name of Severita.

(taken inside Lolo Inggo's mansion with Lola Ising and Mama)

Domingo Medina, Our Lolo Inggo, hailed from Taal Batangas.  He migrated and acquired properties here in San Carlos.  He became the 2nd mayor of Nabingkalan, later  known as San Carlos City just before the outbreak of the 2nd world war. My  grandfather built a mansion at Hacienda Medina along the Ando-on river.  According to the tumandoks here, parties were held here every weekend.  Friends and other hacienderos during their time came to their lavish gatherings to see for themselves our Lolo’s collection of singing birds, exotic preserved animals, sculptured busts and other unique and unusual effects.   Lolo’s first wife was Severa Atienza.  They bore one son, Antonio, who studied law at the Silliman University.   He was known to be a walking dictionary who, unfortunately died young.  Severa also passed away.  Lolo was lonely.  He eventually married, Anecita, or Lola Ising.  Lola  Ising bore him two daughters, Inday Daku and Inday Gamay.  Inday Daku was named after Lolo Inggo’s first wife, Severa, thus, the name Severita, meaning small Severa. Tita Gamay, Mama’s only sister was born blind.

Mama was fondly known as Inday Severita, or Inday Daku, or Manang Inday.  She is lovingly called Lola Rita to her grandchildren.

Mama and Tita Gamay were raised in an affluent environment.  Then when the war broke, the Japanese soldiers destroyed the mansion because it was known that Lolo was hiding guerillas.  Lolo was devastated that he died of consumption.

Mama grew up without a father and an absentee mother. She was sent to live with the sisters in the Colegio de Immaculada Conception along Gorordo and Mango Streets in Cebu City.  She then proceeded to study college at the University of San Carlos with a degree in Commerce, majoring in Accounting.

(Mama's graduation at University of San Carlos, Cebu, with a 
degree in Commerce, Accounting major)

During her college days, she had many suitors as she was not only beautiful at the outside, my mother was demure, graceful, soft spoken, well groomed which made her very attractive.   But she fell in love with her prince charming, my father, who was not only persuasive, but Papa was excellent in academics and was top of his class.  Not only that, my father also topped the board exams.  But more than this, Papa had three degrees, Professional Mechanical Engineer, Professional Electrical Engineer and a licensed Sugar Technologist.  Mama thought, he was the man of her dreams.

So they got married in August 1, 1959 in this church where I am standing.  Mama bore him 7 children.

Papa was then a brilliant junior engineer in San Carlos Milling Company that he rose very fast in ranks.  Mama had always been behind every successes of my father.  Papa was very proud of Mama,  his crowning glory.  Papa having a high rank at the central and Mama having owned properties,  the family belonged to the circle of the affluent. Both of them were very active in church and social gatherings.  They were very well known to the city of San Carlos.

Mama lived the good life.  She had no pretentions, she was a true, genuine person.  She had everything:  She was a collector of expensive perfumes encased in a glass cabinet. She was a fashionista, always updated with the latest trend.  She was looked up to by her peers and contemporaries. I remember she had this wardrobe full of signature apparel like Louis Vuitton, Channel bags, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bally shoes .  She had all these but she remained humble.  Even if she rubbed elbows with the elite, she never looked down on the lowly.  She was never “mata-pobre”.  She had a soft spot for the less privileged.  I remember when she would buy groceries and clothes for the “obreros”. Each one had a loot to bring home during Christmas.  She was very generous  without expecting anything in return.  She was loved by her own peers because she was a true friend and she was likewise loved by the people of Hacienda Medina because she looked after their needs as well.

I remember Mama was very vain.  Every Sunday, the whole family would go to church to hear mass in the morning.   It took her too much time to get ready.  I remember vividly as she was sitting in front of her dresser, she had this large jar of Ponds cleansing cream and a roll of tissue paper. She applied this cream on her face generously and wiped it off with the tissue.  This would take several repeatitions.  When we finally get to board the car, she would always be ready with 7 pieces of 25- centavo coins to give to each one of her children for the  offering, then we would occupy one whole pew in the front.  Papa was seated on the left side of the pew and our youngest, Janice on the farthest right of the pew.  There was no other arrangement. 

Mama had this “manto” or veil over her head and this cord on her waist being an active CWL or Catholic Women’s Leaguer.  Her trademark was a clutch bag and a   white hankerchief in her hand.  After the mass, we board the vehicle.  Papa would get into the driver seat, all of us siblings settled in the car, Mama being the last to board but would not be able to get in right away because she would find her friends and start a long conversation. After 30 minutes of “chika”, we siblings would have a slight relief because side B of the long playing album is about to commence.  This will take at least an hour.  She loved to talk.   And thats what makes her so lovable!

She was a stage mother to all her children.  She only wants the best for all of us.  She made sure we finished and completed our degrees.  Papa wanted all of us to become doctors, each having a specialized field and he would build us a hospital.  That was our father’s dream for us all.  But as fate would have it,   I was the only one among my siblings that became a doctor because as my mother would put it, I was the  most obedient. My dream was to become a physicist as I was excelling in the field of Mathematics.  But then, I had to be a doctor.  Because of my achievements, I was rewarded a gold Rado Diastar wrist watch.   I also remember that we had to take Inday Jenny to dance the hula live in the studios of RPN 8 in Sum-ag.  She would move heaven and earth do anything for her children.   She was that determined.

Before I end this, I would like to say that Mama lived a full and contented life.  Though Mama had her share of failures, grief and misfortunes, she remained strong to the end. 
We love you Ma.  You will always be in our hearts.

--------------- ooooo00000ooooo ---------------

My name is Jenny, I am known as Princess Jennifer  by the old folks and friends of our family here   in San Carlos.  I am the fifth child amongst  the 7 siblings of Federico and Severita Salvador.

First of all, I thank everyone, our relatives and friends for your presence during this difficult time.  Your condolences meant so much to us.

Second of all, we siblings, from our eldest: Manong Jojo, Manong Jiji, Manong Jules, Manong John, Jeffrey and Janice, should all take a bow for the loving care we gave Mama.  We all went beyond the call of duty.  Even those of us who are living abroad, we are all very involved in Mama’s well-being.

My Mama, known as Inday Daku or Inday Severita or Manang Inday to many of you, lived a full life.  My most persistent memory of Mama was one with so many friends and so well loved.  If I go around this city of San Carlos and saw the old folks, I’d introduce myself as the daughter of Inday Severita and immediately, I am recognized.

(Mama, me and my sister Janice)

When I was young, she was my stage mother.  She took me to learn singing lesson, ballet dancing, piano and guitar lessons, voice lessons, speech classes, jazz dancing, ballroom dancing, cooking, sewing,  everything and anything she could offer to enhance my skills and talents, she did it as she was a well-rounded woman   herself.  I wish I had half of her energy.  She was all over the place to make sure my every performance was  enjoyable to the people.  She loved showing me off do the hula dance or sing a beautiful ballad in a party or fiesta.  I was always on the limelight.  And there from a distance as I perform. with eyes so bright and proud, my Mama was clapping and cheering for me.

(Mama putting on a medal of honors, Grade 6,
 at the Colegio de Sta. Rita, San Carlos City)

A few things about Mama amazes me. There’s seven of us siblings that she had to look after and had  managed to ran a house, a busy household, and operated the  hacienda by herself  and still kept her composure.  I have not seen her stressed although she was a big shopper and spender, I presume that was  how she was able to cope with the many demands surrounding her.  Inspite of her busyness, she was an active participant in religious events,  social clubs, and  parties here in San Carlos.  I remember watching her in awe for hours, my eyes never left her  as she was getting herself ready for an occasion.  She always looked magnificent in her gown or dress.  Her shoes were  always matched with her bag.  And I always wished  that I had Mama’s beautiful face.  She had lovely eyes, shiny beautiful, wavy hair, elegantly chiseled nose.  In a crowd,  I honestly say her beauty always stood out from the rest. 

Mama’s very essence was that she had an emotional heart.  She  was a woman very much in touch with her feelings.  She never pretended, she was always true and not afraid to speak out her mind.  I knew how she felt about things because she tells me anything and  everything.  I was her confidant, and she was mine too.

I learned so many things from Mama, I learned that marriage was for life, and for better or for worse. I think that perspective is something many of my siblings share. She was a perfect example of a loyal and faithful wife and helpmate of Papa.  Papa was very successful in his career because Mama was behind in all my father’s endeavors.  She was very prayerful.  She couldn’t begin her day without  having to read her novena and prayer book.  She was a giver.  When she had money to spare, she would give it fully and freely to us and to those that needed her help.  She had helped so many people earn a degree by sending them from high school to college. Now they are professionals in their field.  She also sent some of our house helpers to sewing and cooking schools.  During the wake, they come to me and were very grateful to Mama for giving them education and hope.   When she visits a friend, a comare or compare, she’d always have a cake or gift in her hand to give.   She loves making other people happy.

When I was married to Bim in 1991, Papa and Mama migrated to the USA and I always receive gifts, cards and love letters from her.  When Papa passed away in 1997, she came to the Philippines for good  and lived both in Bacolod and San Carlos.  She continued to write to me love letters and sent me beautiful cards.

(Papa and Mama in California, USA)

Whilst in Bacolod, I had very pleasant and intimate memories with Mama.  We read a pile of old letters and greeting cards together she kept for years!  She loves to keep a heap of memorabilias including newspaper cuttings and the like.  We browse old pictures which she kept in an old biscuit tin.  She points to faces of people, most of them I hardly knew but acquainted enough as she reiterated life stories vividly.   I remember how her eyes lit up when she foretold me about the festive parties she attended to with Papa and the numerous  fiestas she was invited to crown a queen or host a party. We get lost in our conversation that we forget about lunch.  We shared the same size shoes.  We shared the same size dress!  I love her expensive make-up then she gives me some too!  We loved the same designer bags and most of the time, I borrow hers and not returning it but that never bothered Mama.  She was generous with her things.  We shared secrets together and we vowed to keep them.  There were also times when she just talked out her regrets and frustrations and gave up living.  She eventually suffered depression towards her last years.  But I know in my heart, she loved Jesus above all else as she shared her devotion with her Redeemer, Lord and Savior. 

While Mama may not be here in the flesh and the certainty that she is now with the Father in heaven, gives me peace.  Mama loved her children too much to a fault.  She will always be in each of our hearts. So much of the person I became can be traced directly to Mama. In a way, I am the walking embodiment of Mama. I am beginning to realize that I am becoming so much like her,  as we all are, my siblings.  Because while we live, she still lives on as she is not just all around us, her children, she is a part of each one.  

For me, she is not gone. She is in each breath I take. She is in every step I take.  She is in my failures and successes.  She is integrated inside me. Knowing this I can accept her passing. I am relieved that her suffering is at an end and enjoying her sweet fellowship with our Creator.

I would like to share my brother Jules’ message: “Seeing the multitude coming to Mama’s wake and funeral, I realized that so many loved her.  With this impression, even in death, Mama made herself bigger than life.”

In closing, I would like to share with you a poem I have written in dedication for my beloved Mama.

Your face has been on my mind,
A smile I have seen a million times,
The day was long, then night then morn.
I knew that soon you will be gone,
I closed my eyes and imagined
Clasping your hand so warm in mine.

Oh how I wish I’ve stayed with you
One last battle you could not fight,
Now a photo I look at to see your smile,
Hoping that you could stay for a while.
Wished I heard your lovely voice
But even this too, I had no choice.

But loving memories I'll always keep with me,
Your love in my heart for eternity,
My heart breaks that I never said goodbye,
To understand why, I can but try.
By His grace in heaven you'll wait this moment on,
Til God, our Creator, too, brings me HOME.

Goodbye, Mama.  Until we meet again.
My love with you always.


May 10, 1933-Nov 4, 2012

The Magnificent 7 
Salvador- Medina Siblings
borne to 
Federico and Severita Salvador