Family History fascinates me. Behind the pictures that we keep are stories of real people whose lives touched ours before and continues to do so as we journey in this life. Not all people are fond of telling stories. I know of people close to me who doesn’t like “looking back” for sentimental reasons. I know how sadness feels and I respect that. However, there are more reasons why stories need to be told and why stories have to be shared. One – they inspire. Two – there are lessons to be learned. Three – there are lives to be recognized and celebrated. Four – it helps to know the past to prepare for a better future.
This is my Mama Cora’s family.
My grandfather’s name is Filemon Ortiz Villanueva and his father, Maximo Villanueva, came from Bais, Negros Oriental while his mother, Juana Ortiz, came from Sibonga, Cebu. He was a Banker and worked for Philippine National Bank until his retirement. His last assignment with PNB was as Branch Manager in Butuan City in the early 80’s.
My grandmother’s name is Felipa Okit Apoong from Kalasungay, Malaybalay, Bukidnon. She was a school teacher and a very excellent homemaker! In 1967, the year I was born, she earned her Masters Degree in MLQ University in Manila and that’s something I really find very extraordinary!
They were blessed with 5 children (and I find this very interesting) and they named them alphabetically hahaha! The eldest is Almaco, then Benjamin, then Corazon, then Douglas, and the youngest is Ernesto.
Almaco, also called Boy, was a Surgeon/Physician. He finished his medical degree in UST in Manila. He was an Army reservist and served in Jolo Sulo in the 70’s. He was appointed OIC Mayor of the Municipality of Malaybalay in the early 1980’s. He married Juliana Alaras from Balayan, Batangas, and they have 5 children: Maritess, MaLeah, Ivan, Ana Marie, and Almaco Jr. He also has a son, the youngest, Heinz.
Benjamin or Ben is an Architect and a Civil Engineer. He married Atty. Florentina Ramos, an Ilokana, and they have 5 children: Azalea, Althea, Zabdiel, Zaniah, and Avesta.
Corazon is my Mom and she is a Commerciante. She finished her degree in FEU in Manila. She married my father Alejandro (a very handsome Police Officer) and there are 3 of us: myself, Charina, and Carla. And she’s very beautiful in this photo!
Douglas was a lawyer and he finished his law degree in San Beda. He married Fay Sanchez of Aloran, and they have 5 children: Dian, Che, Dave, Sary, and Anthony.
Ernesto is now living in the US. He married Julieta Li and they are blessed with 4 children: Enrico, Justine, Erwin, and Julliene.
Most of us children now have our own families.
I have 5 amazing kids and someday, it will be their turn to tell their children about me and their Dad, and also stories about my parents, my grandparents, and all my great-grandparents who lived a long, long time ago. It would be heartwarming to watch them beyond the veil and know that the stories they will tell the future generation will include the little, seemingly insignificant details of our life stories now that in reality are the things that make our family unique and interesting.The summer camps we’re doing in the farm; the long walks we take in the malls to burn all the calories we’ve consumed earlier or to give space for the incoming sumptuous dinner; the unplanned, random short visits we make to my parents home in the middle of the week just because I miss them; the movie and tv series marathons we do at home (The Grim, Suits, Masterchef Australia, My Kitchen Rules, GOT, etc); the numerous community service projects we so love to participate in; the long road trips we take to anywhere interesting when we have extra money to spare; the annual Temple trips; and the simple but meaningful activities that we do every single day. These are life’s simple threads of happiness that binds us together and we want our future generations to know all these, and hopefully continue to do as a family, because they are what makes life meaningful.
This is my story. How about you? What’s your story?