Lizares: Conchita R. de Luzuriaga Gallaga joins creator-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Thursday, August 30, 2012
LAST Tuesday, we said goodbye to another lady pillar in the Negros community, Conchita R. de Luzuriaga Gallaga. But as we mourn her loss, we look into some excerpts in her life which overflowed with meaning and substance.
I asked her daughter-in-law, Pilar Bustamante, if she could write a tribute about Tita Conchita and this is what she says lovingly about her mother in law.
“Mami Conchita astonished me as a young bride living with my in-laws. One day I had a big fight with Mike, her son, and blew my top in their home. Then I realized my father and mother-in-law heard it and I was so embarrassed that I hid.
Mami Conchita had me called, and she surprised me when she told me that she wished she had my courage to do the same thing when she was living in her in-laws house.
That incident made me realize that, although she seemed to be a formidable woman to be reckoned with, she had a side which was not apparent.
In all the years I lived in their home, I had never had the proverbial mother- in- law issues. When I asked her about this, she said she wanted to emulate her mother- in-law who was very good to her.
The priest in their homilies used the words, strict, strong, unrelenting, when describing her, which were true. In one homily, she was described as a woman of faith who acted out of love for her Lord, also very true.
This impetus made her always compassionate to others and gave her the zeal to seek souls for the Lord. And you called her an icon, "another icon gone", so true.
The paragon that she was, is motivated by an inner virtue of affectionate sensitivity and warmth coupled with an acute intelligence.
I never felt like a daughter-in-law as she embraced me as part of her own. She would present me to her friends as my daughter who is really my daughter not a daughter-in-law. It would make me feel so loved.
Her daughter, Chita had a special relationship with her – mother and daughter and best friend. Their bond was so special and unique because they shared the same life goals and heritage and they took great pleasure in it.
She taught me how to deal with all kinds of people and I would be at awe on how she could communicate with them. In the farm, she was a mother to her people.
There was an incident that will be forever etched in my memory. There was a farm worker, a dumaan, who reportedly molested his child and she had him called.
She called him to task by a strong right jab on his face. I was shocked but the worker was more shocked than me and stood there in open mouthed stupefaction. Then he cried and I saw that without words Mami Conchita expressed the enormity of his sin and he was so sorry for it.
She never apologized for hitting him but told him that she considered him as a son and that she was thoroughly displeased with him. There never was a report of a similar actuation in the farm after that from that dumaan or from any other.
Mami never threatens nor cajoles anyone to do her bidding. She acts accordingly with decisiveness appropriate to any incidence.
She was also naughty. Every year, especially at Christmas and on her birthday, Papi would be in a quandary as to what to give her. He would think about it for a long time, take her hints and do elaborate preparation for his gifts to her.
Astute as she was, she knew exactly that the present was bought and hidden. On one occasion, he was so excited that he finally found the gift for her and was so pleased with himself and so he hid it.
When the day came when he had to give her his gift, he looked expectantly on her reaction as she opened it. To his surprise, there was nothing in the box that he wrapped so carefully. Then she broke out with laughter when she saw his expression of dilemma and told him that she took the gift out of the box to tease him. Poor Papi.
She gave love for the arts to her children and produced multi faceted artists and heirs to her passion for entertainment. She taught them how to chase after the rainbow and beguiled them with true life experiences. Thus the expression of self came out in acting and producing plays and movies.
She was so loving to her grandchildren who adored her. The pain of her passing is leaving a vacuum in the hearts of her children, grandchildren and even her great grandchildren.
She left with peace but with a sadness in her heart as she thoroughly relished life.”
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 30, 2012.