Padilla: Thank you for condoling with us during our hour of grief

SINCE our eldest daughter Maryjayne Ling May passed away last March 21, this month in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, my wife Consuelo Sol and yours truly and other members of our family received messages of sympathy and condolences from old acquaintances, relatives, and friends from many parts of the world.

We are deeply appreciative and gratified for remembering Maryjayne either as a classmate at the St. Louis University Girls High School, a Pangkat Silayan and Igorots on the Road trouper, a nurse graduate at the Baguio General Hospital School of Nursing in 1987 or as City Tourism Director of the City of Baguio from 1990 to 1999 before she finally decided to pursue her nursing career overseas.

Her first nursing job was at a hospital in Chicago. She bought a house in Dolton, the state of Illinois, where her family stayed for more than a decade before transfering to Nevada for greener pasture.

Sol and I, visited them at least, every two years while in Dolton. Those trips courtesy of Ling May, gave us the opportunity to be with them and the chance to visit other beautiful and historical places in America.

It was on our second trip to Dolton when I was invited to join BSA Scout Troop 107, thanks to Tom Floreck, a committee member of the troop adult leaders. With the inspiration of Scouter Dave Shade, I joined the Boy Scouts of America, Order of the Arrow, Michigamea Lodge 110 as a member and then later on, was granted life membership in the Honor Society.

At least, 20 days before Maryjane said her final goodbye, her younger sister Marisel and her niece Doctor Katrina journeyed to Nevada to be by her side. Beside her final hour were his sons Miggy and Luigi and his wife, Sol's relatives from USA, Beth, a Pangkat Silayan trouper and the Mandapats.

When Marisol and Dr. Katrina came back home on March 23, they immediately phoned us and shared every bit of information about "Ling May," who departed after a painful yet courageous fight against cancer. Many times, Marisol recalled, she told her how much she loved her mother and I.

Marisol added, that it will take about a month or so before the cremated remains of Maryjane can be brought back home for proper spiritual-religious services. Certainly, this is another agony on our part that we have to undergo. We are hoping and praying that the good Lord and Mama Mary will be with us all the time.

Last Sunday, we celebrated also Palm Sunday Mass at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna. It was very well attended by friends of Maryjane, our relatives and loved ones and Mama Mary devotees of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna led by Wifredo and Brenda Layson and family from Urdaneta City Pangasinan, Raffy Estocapio, Jaime and Glo from Tuba, Benguet, all shrine's project committee officers. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Alejandro, the Shrine's and NCCB Spiritual Adviser. Marieta Luspo, the better half of retired Gen. Van Luspo, a PMAYER was there too.

She was, during her college days, one of the most active and graceful folk and highland Igorot tribal dance trouper. Educator Ambit Leal and youth welfare administrator-leader Mariane de Castro were also with us at the Shrine. Mariane is also an active member of the BARP Foundation Board of Trustees like myself.

May I say with pardonable pride, that the Leyson family are very special benefactors of the Shrine of the Brown Madonna. The truth is, this family all the way from the Urdaneta City are in the front line not only as Mama Mary devotees but very generous in the maintenance of the Shrine along Km.7, Asin Road.

Last Sunday, after the Holy Mass, the Leysons also hosted a merienda in honor of Maryjane. We are grateful to the Almighty Lord for giving us such wonderful people who are both "caring and sharing." May the good Lord and Mama Mary bless them everyday, for a happier and longer life.

Finally, here is wishing everyone, a Happy Easter Sunday! Happily our son Fritzgerald, Lea and their family were with us for the Semana Santa Celebration.They are back home in Taguig City. God Bless!
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