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Jun 28th
Home Sections Obituary-Memorial Park Ester Soriano-Hewitt
Ester Soriano-Hewitt PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Obituary-Memorial Park
Monday, 07 April 2008 04:00

Ester Soriano-Hewitt passed away on April 3, 2008, at 5:40 a.m. She was a founding member of the Asian-American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP), the “Search to Involve Pilipino Americans” (SIPA), and the Los Angeles County Dispute Resolution Program Initiator.

Ester was one of the few uncelebrated and unsung heroines in the Los Angeles Filipino-American community. She was active in community organizing, leadership affairs and civil rights.

She was one of the women in our midst who are brilliant, capable, inspiring and good role models for the young in our community. Their voices need to be heard before it is too late. Over the past few years, we have lost a number of good woman leaders in the Fil Am communities all over the United States. Our Filipino-women gathering on April 12th is an important beginning, so as to gather Filipino women of substance, to assess women power in the community and how we could best harness our resources in order to contribute to a vibrant, strong and progressive Fil-Am community in Southern California. The gathering will remember Ester.

Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D., and her husband, Enrique, sent the following message of condolence:


Writer’s Note: The Delacruz Couple received in 2005 the Peace and Justice Award from UCLA's Asian American Studies Center for the couple's combined body of work on community service of over 70 years in the areas of leadership development, literacy, and civil rights in the United States.“Our dear best friend, community leader, sister, mother of three awesome boys (Eduardo, Robert and Eric Soriano-Hewitt) passed away on April 3, 2008, at 5:40 a.m., three days short of her 62nd birthday. She had helped initiate gang prevention activities at SIPA with Uncle Roy Morales (now also deceased); she was one of the founding members of Asian-American Drug Abuse Program that has helped move drug-addicted community members into a new life of sobriety and no drugs, and in her last decades, was a trained mediator who helped forge a consensus amongst the jury members of Rodney King civil trial and may have saved our city another full-blown civil unrest following that celebrated trial.

“Her middle name was civil rights, mediation and going the extra mile for everyone. She stood for civil rights and was an internationalist who believed in democracy not just for America but for the rest of the world and was one of our earnest, inspiring leaders during the Anti-Martial Law Movement. She was an awesome mediator, an awesome friend who surprised folks on their birthdays (she had an encyclopedic mind who remembered everyone's birthdays) and delayed her recent operation so she can cook greens and cornbread for her 90-year-old mother-in-law. She was most happy when we saw ‘The Color Purple’ at the Ahmanson Theater, proudly walking to the theater with her three sons and her mother-in-law.

“Readers are urged to please say a prayer for the repose of her soul. Funeral arrangements are being made by her sons and the corresponding announcements will follow.”


From Northern California came the tribute from Atty. Rodel E. Rodis:

“The Filipino community in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Northern California join you in mourning the passing of a great Filipino community warrior, Esther Soriano-Hewitt. We knew Esther from the early days in September of 1972 when we formed the National Committee for the Restoration of Civil Liberties in the Philippines (NCRCLP) in San Francisco on the very weekend martial law was declared. Esther was one of the main organizers of the first national Filipino community group to oppose the Marcos Dictatorship. Esther headed the NCRCLP Los Angeles chapter and recruited an amazing group of individuals which included Prosy Abarquez, Enrique De la Cruz and Eric Lachica. Under Esther's dynamic leadership, the chapter held demonstrations in front of the LA Philippine Consulate and sponsored educational forums (fora) all over LA. I will always remember Esther's guts and her principled determination to shoulder on with the NCRCLP despite political pressures to subsume the organization into another. I am sure she showed that same independent spirit and fierce resolve in all her other community activities. She will be greatly missed."  # # #


Editor's Notes: The author, Ms. Linda Nietes, is the owner of the Philippine Expressions Bookshop, the mail-order bookshop dedicated to Filipino Americans in search of their roots. She can be contacted at 2114 Trudie Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-2006, USA, by telephone at (310) 514-9139 or by FAX at (310) 514-3485 or by e-mail Ms. Linda Nietes is a cultural activist. She also owned Casalinda, the first all-Filipiniana bookshop in the Philippines, (Metro Manila,1972-1983) and has provided a home for Philippine writings on both sides of the Pacific.

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Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2008 04:06

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