Farewell, Manding-A A +A
Straight from Carolinas
Sunday, September 22, 2013
THIS piece for a friend is long overdue and reflects my other side.
I am a member of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL) in Tagoloan town, Misamis Oriental, and I became its president and later vicarial president of units from Tagoloan to Nazareno Chapter.
As president I am obligated to attend monthly meeting with other presidents at St. Augustine Cathedral every month.
This was where I met Generosa “Manding” Chaves, a Catholic leader revered at CWL.
She was the elder sister of former Cagayan de Oro City mayor Pablo “Ambing” Magtajas but was more known among her CWL sisters and family members as “Manding.”
There were stories told that she became the mother of Mayor Magtajas when he was orphaned early in life.
While attending the presidents’ meeting, it is but natural among the presidents to talk to each other and at times the chatter drowns out the presiding speaker's voice.
But one word from Manding and everyone turns silent, their attention focused on the speaker. She would remind the ‘blue ladies’ to listen and commands respect among the members.
She is among the founders of the Mother Theresa Foundation located in Upper Puerto that houses street kids.
I am personally aware that the foundation produced graduates among the street kids and she became their mother.
She was a teacher who eventually became a Filipino supervisor for 40 years.
She has two kids named Neogen and Jojie who are successful in their lives. Manding’s husband Neopolo Z.Chaves was the secretary to the mayor during Magtajas' tenure.
By the way the CWL is a Philippine charitable, religious, socio-economic, civic, non-partisan, non-profit, and non-government organization run by Catholic women who provide the means for members to grow in faith and have the opportunity for organized development work through their united front.
The organization started under the name of Federacion Catolica de Muejeres en Filipinas when Msgr. Michael O'Doherty, then Archbishop of Manila, gathered a few influential Catholic ladies in 1919.
It was only limited to Manila proper but was later expanded to neighboring provinces and towns until it became national in scope.
The first President of the federation was Annie Macleod Kingcome (later became Mrs. Reid) and their first headquarters was a huge two-story building lent by Msgr. O'Doherty, in M.H. Del Pilar, Ermita, Manila.
In March 1928, the name of the organization was changed into Catholic Women's League of the Philippines and a new constitution was adopted. Branches and sections of the league were also formed, like the Junior CWL.
To rise in the CWL ranks just like any other club or groups one must have a back-up from the old guards.
And I have one in Manding Magtajas Chaves who stood for me and became a servant-leader among the CWL.
And I was sad when Suzette Magtajas-Daba messaged me about Manding's passing.
Because my eventual trip to the US happened so fast I was unable to see her before leaving.
But my memories of her, of times well spent with her will always leave lasting impressions.
I enjoyed my CWL family and the spiritual enrichment it gave to me as well as refreshing my Marian values learned from studying in Catholic school.
She has served well and would always be remembered by all.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 22, 2013.