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Aug 13th
Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park Remembering Perla Maynigo Torres On Her Death Anniversary
Remembering Perla Maynigo Torres On Her Death Anniversary PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Obituary-Memorial Park
Written by Ben Maynigo   
Sunday, 07 March 2010 10:37


I write this note with a mixed feeling of joy and sadness. Joy, because on this month, more specifically,

March 4, 1977, my family (wife Tina, daughter Tanya, Manang Preding) and I, arrived in the United States to start a new life. This was after escaping from the Marcos dictatorship, traveling days and nights by boat, and living in an island in Sabah, Malaysia, for several months, and eventually paroled into the United States as UN-recognized political refugees. Joy, also because on this month, we celebrate the birthdays of those who brought joy to our lives; first of my daughters Traci (March 9th) and Tanya (March 21st); and secondly, of their first cousins, Bri (March 3rd), Kana (March 8th), Hochi (March 11th) and Eugene (March 23rd). This is also the month when Tanya got married to Tim (March 31st).

Sad, because also on this month, in fact, on
March 4, 2009, my loving sister, Manang Perla, died. Ironically, while among all of us in our immediate family, she was one who successfully avoided the dreadful genetic heart disease, she eventually succumbed to lung cancer. Manang Perla, who never smoked, approached life with calm, humor and positive attitude, She was loving to and dearly loved by, her family, relatives, friends, town mates and colleagues. Her significant achievements as a wife, mother, sister, relative, professional and community leader are forever enshrined in our hearts. The tribute, eulogies, and news articles during her funeral attested to this fact. 

Manang Perla’s life intertwined with mine for as long as I could remember. As a young boy, she relied on me and my friends to reserve seats in church during simbang gabi (evening or early morning masses). She was touched when I offered her my earnings, five pesos (P5) as an altar boy at the cemetery during All Saints’ Day blessings, after overhearing her conversation with our mother re college expenses. As soon as she became a nurse, she always made sure that I was always a notch above the others. In high school, I was one of the first to wear “banlon” t-shirts and “converse” basketball shoes which came from her. As an
AFS scholar in Huntington Beach, CA., I was given $14/mo. allowance but she used to send me $20 intermittently to augment it, hence-an edge over the other scholars. 

In San Beda College where students like Ambrosio Padilla, Jr., Antonio Raquiza, Jr., Ramon Bagatzing, Jr. , Carlos Fernandez (son of Sen. Estanislao Fernandez) were enrolled, she managed to level the playing field for me. She used to send me an allowance of $20 a month which in the ‘60s was a lot. This was in addition to what I was getting from my parents who also rewarded me by giving me the equivalent tuition fees for maintaining my full scholarship. Under those conditions, I was able to compete and even ran and won the presidency of the San Beda Supreme Student Council with some of the above-mentioned sons of rich and famous politicians running under my ticket. During graduation, San Beda awarded me the ABBOTT’S AWARD, the highest award for academic excellence and outstanding leadership to go with the Magna Cum Laude honors. Manang Perla provided me inspiration and stability in my academic pursuits. Even in courting Tina who is now my wife, she used to buy jewelry for her. When I got married, she and my other sister, Manang Nelly, contributed dollar amounts sufficient for us to host an impressive wedding reception at the Eugenio Lopez, Jr. residence in
Forbes Park, Makati, Philippines.

She also played a role in our transition to facing the challenges of living the American way. In our first visit to her
San Diego home, she took us shopping for new winter clothes, went on leave and drove us to Disneyland, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Las Vegas and other places. She also managed to counsel us on how to face the up’s and down’s of living in the United States. I understand that she was as helpful to other relatives who newly arrived.

My family and I were lucky to have settled in the
United States partly because of our access to my sister, Manang Perla. While we lived in the East Coast, we were always in touch. Because of her, San Diego was always our favorite vacation city. In fact, she even organized a family trip from California to attend Traci's Yale Graduation. She indeed moved not just our hearts and minds but her community as well.

“What we are is gift given to us by God. What we become is our gift to God.”

PERLA MAYNIGO TORRES. From the Pearly Towers of this material world to the Pearly Gates of heaven, you were a great gift to us by God; and for what you became, you were as great a gift to God.



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Last Updated on Sunday, 07 March 2010 10:44
Comments (5)
1 Sunday, 07 March 2010 13:16
Dear Ben:

We share with you and your family the tribute to your sister, Perla, who as a member of the Filipino-American medical profession, contributed much to making our people look good, feel good and proud of their positive contributions to the United States. Filipino nurses in the United States are our pride and joy. Yes, our Filipino-American community and our people will miss her. May she enjoy the heavenly bliss that she deserves. God bless her and her kin.


Bobby M. Reyes and Staff
2 Sunday, 07 March 2010 16:37
Great and touching tribute to someone dear to one's heart!

Question and probably a mystery: Who and what will be "tribute" that will be written for our very own "space" that brief hypen that separates the year of our birth and the yeara of our death?

For me that is a very calming and humbling thought.. that's why I have become more "spiritual" and more giving (rather than receiving) in the remaining years of my life!

Thank you Compadre for sharing your thoughts on your Manang Perla.
3 Monday, 08 March 2010 05:11
dear Ben,

Mg. Perla was extremely proud of you, that's why you were always a "notch" higher in her heart. Your beautiful words of tribute on her ist anniversary are very touching and she's surely smiling over them. She knew while still alive how you gratefully responded to her unquestioned generosity through your track record of academic/extra curricular achievements. Her sacrifices for you were not in vain. her legacy lives on.
4 Monday, 08 March 2010 10:49
Dear Uncle Ben:

Thank you for the post, and as expected very well written. It's interesting. There's a saying "one never appreciates something until it's gone." That saying has never hit so close to home until the last twelve months. Beginning twelve months ago and even up last weekend's one yr celebration, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming! To me, my mom, Perla, was just Mom. As a nurse, I knew she worked in noble profession--caring for the sick and injured. However, when you add in the numerous other qualities and attributes that you (and others separately) mentioned above, I am humbled and in awe of her.

I, too, share similar stories of never being without when compared with classmates and peers. Except being Perla's son, I suppose I accepted it as "normal." I realize now that wasn't exactly correct. As a result, I gained a quiet confidence and anything is possible attitude from her (and my dad). As a professional, community service leader and individual, her innate qualities may be considered legendary. We all can only hope to live up to similar standards. My personal challenge will be to share and pass on my mom's special qualities to her grandchildren and beyond.

Thanks again! Dean
5 Sunday, 14 March 2010 19:12
Hello Ben,
Me too have been inspired by Manang Perla... she had been my Advisor, mentor, and most of the time, I have to consult her before I make decisions regarding the activities of the Rosales Association of Southern California... in which she established years ago.
Being a non-Rosalenean did not really bothered me when they choosed me to be the President... and still the President up to the present time... Manang Perla was the one who insists that I become a Honorary Member, which makes me then qualified to be the President.
I made it a point that I will take care of the Rosales Association of Southern California ever since... and will take care of the memories of Manang Perla regarding the Association.
Her 1st Death Anniversary was so meaningful to me and everyone, remembering her not only as Fellow Rosalenean, but most of all like a Real Older Sister of mine.
I thank God of knowing her and her Family... and to be like a member of the Family.
Thank you,
Romy & Chit

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