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Acknowledgements

I heartily acknowledge and give thanks to the Holy Trinity for


all the bountiful graces and blessings that Romeo and I have
received for 51 years. We strongly hurdled the challenges of
life that God bestowed upon us by the loving inspiration and
guidance of our savior and brother, our Lord, Jesus Christ. We
are very blessed with loving children, grand and great
grandchildren who, with my prayers, would appreciate and
cherish the journal entitled,
Faith Full Life, Lifetime God has power without limit.
Memoirs of Romeo and Nena You can do anything with
Rosales. My most heartfelt Gods power.
thanks to, my dearest helpers, When you know God, your
who sincerely devoted their problems will be solved.
time and efforts to making my John 15:7
journal worth remembering.

Romeo Estrada Rosales - My God-given spouse;


Roxy Rosales Mamauag My daughter, planner, and
adviser.
Genevieve S. Rosales - My granddaughter and co-organizer;
Florentina Pattawi Abad - My sister for remembering dates I
needed and partly typed some of my rough drafts;
Muey Saepharn Rosales Grandson, Ivans wife, who
patiently typed my rough drafts.
Rollie S. Mamauag My son in-law, who co-edited this
journal;
David Rosales My very patient grandson, who co-edited,
finalized, typed, and helped arrange the final draft;
And to Rogeniv Mamauag and Debbie Estrada Mair
Mamauag Both made the authentic Rosales-Pattawi family
tree and helped with the final arrangements of my journal.

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 80


My dear ones, I have completed this journey through time with the
Table of Contents hope that you will all develop a very heartfelt relationship with the
Gods Message from My Roses_____________________________________ 4 Holy Trinity, live a happy and peaceful life and be with the Lord when
Early Years ____________________________________________________ 5 your time comes. But remember that the prince of darkness is always
Family Times During WWII _______________________________________ 6 lurking behind trying to make you do evil, which can bring chaos into
Passing of the Torch _____________________________________________ 8 your life. Think fully for the choice is yours. I fervently pray for all of
Education Leads to Success ______________________________________ 10 you, my dear ones that the good Lord will deliver you from the evil one.
Partners in Life ________________________________________________ 11 I mention each and everyones names as I recite the rosary asking our
A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh_______________________________ 13 Blessed Mother Mary to intercede for us.
The Sweet Scent of Heaven _______________________________________ 13
Fifty-one and a Half Years _______________________________________ 14 This is your Mama, Grandma, Lola Nena who loves you all very
Cast Your Burdens Upon Me _____________________________________ 17 dearly, together with your Dad, Lolo, Grandpa Romeo who loves you
Joyful Moments ________________________________________________ 18 all so dearly as well. Always remember what Jesus said. Theres only
Blood is Thicker than Water ______________________________________ 19
one God we worship and adore and
Family Tree Continues to Grow ___________________________________ 19
love one another as I have loved you. (I
Give Me Your Burden ___________________________________________ 20
wish this to be inscribed on my marker.)
The Rosales Family_____________________________________________ 23
Working the on the Farms________________________________________ 26
Farming Pays Off ______________________________________________ 27 My dear ones, the Lord will reward you
Looking for Work as a Seamstress _________________________________ 27 for all your wonderful help in putting
Continuing My Education ________________________________________ 28 together. Mama Mary will intercede for
A New Sacramento Teacher & Kaiser Employee ______________________ 28 you.
Papa Doroteo Visits the States ____________________________________ 29
My Teaching Career ____________________________________________ 30 God Bless!
Filipino American Citizens! ______________________________________ 31
Rol & Rox (aka Rock & Roll) ____________________________________ 32
Making the Way for More Families ________________________________ 33
The Mamauag/Rosales Family ____________________________________ 33
To all, please remember:
My Rosales Boys _______________________________________________ 33
A Visit Back Home with Joel______________________________________ 34 Happiness is not a destination; it is a way of life.
An Extraordinary Proposal_______________________________________ 35 Make every day a happy day.
Joyful Moments ________________________________________________ 36
Eugene and Edens Growing Family _______________________________ 37
Another Trip Back Home ________________________________________ 39
My Son Jimmy and Family _______________________________________ 39
Recollections in Christianity______________________________________ 40

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meaning, Mama, lets just have trust and faith in our Lord. I Joel Starts His Family___________________________________________ 43
Knowing Your Roots ____________________________________________ 43
repeatedly mentioned the words trust and faith in my journal. In Ching and Her Family __________________________________________ 43
terms of money, he would share as long as he had. Anyway, if Unforgettable Times with My Lifelong Partner _______________________ 45
Roming is Spared ______________________________________________ 47
one borrowed and was willing to pay later (this is funny) he Humble Accomplishments________________________________________ 48
would make them write a promissory note! Hehehe! Hindi ka My Filipino Friends ____________________________________________ 49
Pista Sa Ngayon _______________________________________________ 51
makalusot, meaning, You cant escape. He used to say, Mama, Helping Our Kids and Grandkids __________________________________ 53
iccamun, at addan tu manen, meaning, Mama, give because we Romeos Seat in His Mansion _____________________________________ 55
More About Romeo and the Things He Loved ______________________ 59
will have some again. We had our disagreements and Romeos Famous Donts ______________________________________ 60
imperfections, but helping someone who was in need was Romeos Bad Habits ____________________________________________ 61
Never Alone___________________________________________________ 61
indeed a constant perfect act of kindness for us. This is another A Helping Hand _______________________________________________ 61
Inspired To Write ______________________________________________ 63
legacy from my dearest one and only irreplaceable Romeo, your
Birthday Bash in My Hometown ___________________________________ 63
dad, your grandpa. Should it not be for you too? I still do this More Memorable Moments_______________________________________ 64
Mediterranean Cruise___________________________________________ 66
when I can. I like to share the grace and blessings that Jesus has
A Voice in the Night ____________________________________________ 67
given me. I want to use the strength and the life that God gives Bittersweet May _______________________________________________ 69
Home Is Where the Heart Is ______________________________________ 70
me day to day.
Following the Foot Steps of Jesus _________________________________ 71
The Living Word _______________________________________________ 75
You Are All In My Prayers Faith Moves Mountains _________________________________________ 76
Giving Of Yourself _____________________________________________ 77
Before closing Id like to share a short poem:
You Are All In My Prayers _______________________________________ 78
God didnt promise days without pain, Acknowledgements _____________________________________________ 80

Laughter without sorrow,


Or sunshine without rain.
But God did promise strength for the day,
Comfort for the tears,
And light for the way.
And for all who believes in His kingdom from above,
He answers their faith with everlasting love.
-Author Unknown

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Gods Message from My Roses remember what Jesus said, Give me your burden for my yoke is

The roses in my backyard keep me company as I admire their light. And you know what? Jesus was always there to help. Just
beauty, especially when their believe. I recall my great-grandma Emilia who never failed to
flowers are in full bloom. I
take good care of them, for the pray every eveningon bended knees. It was a must for me, a
roses were planted by the six year old, to pray with her. Yes, it was boring for me, but now
hands of my beloved
husband, Romeo, who loved I realize that great-grandma Emilia must have been imploring
them so dearly as well. I talk for Gods help to her and her family like I do now. I am deeply
to them as I smell their sweet
scent and I thank God for relieved for praying is not boring to me now.
creating them for they
Praying fervently, my dear ones, is the best legacy I have
manifest that there is a loving
God. Suddenly, I am aware that God created me too. received from my dearest great grandma. Should it not be for
Im 86 years old now and my mind flashes back to my you too? If you can watch T.V. for three hours straight or play
childhood days when my parents and grandparents took care of
me. I grew up with their tender, loving care similar to the way I Xbox many times during the day or night, would it be too much
care for my roses. I am about to embark on a journey through for you to talk to God for just 10 or 15 minutes at a time? To
my past and I pray the Blessed Trinity will bless my memory to
enable me to recall clearly. Let me begin with this beautiful present to Him your problems and ask for His help? Just talk to
passage: Jesus in private. He will always listen to you. And you should

listen to Him too, right?


Mothers and roses are pretty much the same. They are both Gods
masterpieces - each with a different name. ~unknown
Giving Of Yourself

My beautiful roses inspired me and hastened me to write the My most beloved Romeo, oh yes, he must be smiling now
memoirs of my life. Gods message from my roses:
from up above. He was very supportive when we had endeavors

to do something for ourselves and for our children and


Remember and pray for those who brought you up and those who
took care of you. ~Nena P. Rosales grandchildren. He was always willing to extend his help

physically, spiritually, or financially to whoever needed help

most. He used to say, Mama, ag talec ta la ken Apo Diyos,

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pilgrimage to the Holy Land. So, live righteously for Jesus is our
Early Years
Shepherd, what else do we need?
I was born in the Philippines, Tuguegarao, Cagayan, now
Note: There were places I was not able to go to as advised by
Tuguegarao City, on February 10, 1924. My parents were
our tourist guide, Claudia, due to my physical condition and the
Doroteo Calonia Pattawi and Petra Decapia Rugayan. I was
weather. Claudia was very knowledgeable about the history of
Christened Tomasa Rugayan Pattawi and nicknamed Nena. I
Jesus and the Bible as whole.
was the first born of 10 children. The next two siblings born after

Faith Moves Mountains me, Benedicta and Eugenio, died in their infancy. I remember

my great grandma, Emilia Dela Cuesta Rugayan, mother of my


As I read and reread my journal, I could hardly convince
grandpa, Jacinto Rugayan. Lola Emilia was a very devout
myself that it is worth handing them down to all of you, my dear
Catholic. We had a prayer room where Lola Emilia and I prayed
love ones. This journal is but a simple autobiography in fact;
every day at 6:00 P.M. This was a MUST chore every evening.
highlighting both the joys and sorrows of my life from my
Here I was, 6 years old, kneeling down for almost an hour and I
childhood to my eighties by the grace of God. It is the gift of my
was very bored. Now at my old age, I pray by myselfreciting
Faith and my fervent prayers that has helped me overcome the
the Rosary and hearing Mass almost every day as televised by
most painful of human experiences along the way and
Eternal Word Television Network; not boring to me at all
profoundly inspired me to move on with life no matter what
anymore.
Gods will has allowed to happen. I was inspired by the Holy

Trinity by Gods infinite loving care and I gained courage and I was 5 years old when I went to school at the Sacred Heart

full trust and faith in the Lord. I developed a very heartfelt of Jesus Institution, now St. Paul University. I graduated high

confidence that Jesus will always help me to overcome hardships School in 1939. I started my college education in 1940 at the

or problems that would befall me day by day. University of the Philippines, located in Manila, the capital of the

Philippines. In 1941, World War II broke out and luckily I went


I thank God for giving me a very supportive and loving
home safe and sound. The war brought drastic changes, but my
partner in life, your Dad, Grandpa, Lolo Romeo E. Rosales. For
parents and grandparents were very hard-working and its
all hardships that came across our way, we would always
impact was not as bad for my family. My father had a
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homestead where we evacuated to and the crops raised twelve blessings. (Matthew 5:1-12) The Mount of Beatitude is

provided us more than enough. In 1943, the Japanese soldiers along the beautiful Sea of Galilee. We visited The Holy

were rough and abusive. Parents with teenage daughters were Sepulcher where we paid reverence to the Star of David.

especially frightened. Magnificent Churches are erected on hill tops and could only be

reached by going up and down the steps.


Family Times During WWII
The most impressive and touching experience of my
A friend of mine, Leon Cristobal, would visit me sometimes.
pilgrimage was my chance to witness the tomb of Jesus, which
We were good friends when we were in Manila while he was a
will never efface from the fabric of my consciences. The tomb of
medical student. Leons parents were Domingo Cristobal and
Christ is a marble slab, which marks the place where the body of
Carmen Sillacos, who were good friends with my parents. With
Christ was laid. Despite my physical disability, I was able to
this close relationship, Leon became my ardent admirer, and
kneel down without help and lay prostrate and was able to look
consequently, it led to our wedding in June 1943. I felt safe with
into and kiss the Holy place. Again, I say miracles happen in
my husband from the cruelty of the Japanese soldiers. Feeling
many ways, and I believe.
the need to defend our country, Leon joined the guerilla forces
My pilgrimage to the Holy Land was a perfect spiritual and
United States Armed Forces in the Philippines-Northern Luzon
physical fulfillment for me as I was able to realize the title of my
(USAFIP-NL) for short. American and Filipino soldiers fought
pilgrimage: Following the Footsteps of Jesus.
side by side for the defense of both the United States and the

Philippines. The Living Word

Our daughter Cleopatra, nicknamed Ching, was born One must have a vivid knowledge of Jesus history in order
December 15, 1944. Leon saw his very robust baby and stayed to feel and understand His life and experiences. Read the Holy
with us for a week. Being a guerilla was extremely dangerous. Bible. Cherish, understand and love the scriptures and you will
They were always sought after by the Japanese soldiers. instantly feel what our Heavenly Brother did for us to guide us
Unfortunately, Leon was killed in action in May 1945. Our union to his Heavenly Kingdom. This is what I experienced on my
together was short lived. It was a horrible and terrible tragedy in

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I did not join the group who went around the Masada hills my life. I vowed that I would not re-marry until Ching was

so I just browsed around the gift store of the Masada Museum. I seven years old.

copied some passages from the frames hanging on the walls that The war ended in 1946 and in 1947, war widows were given
are worth remembering: compensation. I was awarded a Purple Heart Medal in honor of

1. Faith is the foundation of all spiritual quest, the root of my late husband who was killed in action. His name was
all teachings and practice, the channel for every benefit
engraved behind the medal. It was awarded to me with Military
and blessings.
2. Truth is the light by which to find your way out of the honors by none other than Leons commanding officer of the
darkness. Turn it on. Guerilla forces, 1st Lieutenant Eliseo Capili, who was the
3. Make it a daily habit to schedule yourself in
husband of Rebecca Abaya Capili, parents of Myrna Capili who
meditation. Express your innermost thoughts and
feelings before God each day in the language you are is married to Steve Rosales Simangan, the nephew of Romeo
most comfortable.
Estrada Rosales. I know now that everything was in Gods plan.
4. Dont be frustrated by obstacles you encounter in your
spiritual journey. They are there by design to increase (The Purple Heart Medal is kept by Ching in loving memory of
your desire for the goal you seek. Because the greater her father.)
your goal, the greater the yearning youll need to
achieve it. While waiting for orders to go back home, we went to
5. Get into the habit of dancing. It will displace Bawan, Solana, which is very close to Tuguegarao. While
depression and dispel hardship.
walking along the meadows I met an old lady picking some
6. As often as you can, take a trip out to the fields and
pray. They will enter your prayers and give you green leafy vegetables. As customary, I took her hand to my
strength to sing praises to the LORD.
forehead for a blessing. She asked my name and my parents

names, which I mentioned. She readily told me, So you are


And I remember my roses again
Etrings (my Mothers nickname) daughter, to which I replied,
We stopped by Mt. Tabor, where Peter, James and John
Yes, Lola. Then she said, I used to breastfeed your mom
witnessed the Transfiguration; Elijah on his left and Moses on
when she was a baby! I was amazed as I embraced and thanked
his right. From Mt. Tabor we went to the Mount of Beatitudes
her and informed her that my mother was sickly. She then told
where a huge crowd followed Jesus and He proclaimed the
me that her husband was also sick from Parkinsons and that he

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had a caretaker. It was time to go home and I was happy to have Andrew, and James and said, Come follow me and I will make

met a very loving and caring mother. The woman I met you fishers of man. Other apostles followed also.

resembled Cabalay Maring Simangan Mamauag, Rollies We went to Cesarea when Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus
mother. She was, in fact, Cabalay Marings mother, Maria or to the cross. Then we travelled to Jericho, the oldest city in the
Lola Iya. Coincidence? No! It was all in Gods plan and I respect world. We passed by the sycamore trees where Zacheus, a tax
the relationship. collector, climbed a tree so he could see Jesus pass by. Jesus said

Note: My Moms Mother, Tomasa Decapia Rugayan passed away to him, Zacheus, get down for now, for today I will dine with
when my Mom was 2 mos. old. Thus, Lola Maria Simangan, a
you in your house.
neighbor, used to breast feed my Mom as customary during their
time. The Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized by John the

Passing of the Torch Baptist, was beautiful. This was where the Heavens opened and

a voice said, This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well


When we finally arrived home in Tuguegarao, our town was
pleased. (Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3) The event had made the
totally turned to ashes. Relatives helped my dad to build a house
river holy to all Christians.
from the remnants of fire. We prayed hard for Gods mercy. My

mom was not feeling very well. There were good doctors but no The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was a very gorgeous and

available medicine for her sickness. She would bleed profusely magnificent church. As I entered, I felt the sacredness and the

which was very scary. If she were strong enough she would go blessings I have as a Christian, a child of God. My eyes were

to church to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion. Then focused on the Christ crucified, who died for us to save us from

one day, my dad and I went to visit the Miraculous Virgin Mary sin. How could I be so ungrateful not to fulfill his

of Piat. I took a dress of mama to wipe at the feet of our Lady of commandment: Love God with all your heart and soul and love

Piat. We prayed and after we finished our mission, my dad one another as I have loved you.

safely took hold of my moms dress neatly folded in an We came across the Dead Sea, so called because there are no
envelope. When we were close to home my dad asked me about living creatures in its waters. It is saturated with salt and
the envelope. I told him that he had it. My dad became frantic contains concentrated chemicals. Roxy, Ching, Biling and I
because the envelope was nowhere to be found. I cried and I told enjoyed washing ourselves in its sacred waters.

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scribes. It is in Jerusalem where Jesus performed many miracles: Papa that our Lady of Piat is very miraculous. Maybe she

making a man rise from the dead, curing the blind, the mute, the wanted us to know that Mama will soon be separated from us. I

deaf and lepers. Because of these signs many people joined and always stayed close to Mama. Two weeks later, she called me

followed him wherever he went. This scared the Pharisees who and I laid her head on my lap. I held her close to me and she

finally condemned him to death. said, Nena, take care of your sisters and your brother. I said,

We visited Bethlehem, the town where Jesus was born. Yes, mama, with tears in my eyes. I prayed to God to give me

Nazareth was where Jesus spent his childhood days with Joseph more strength and courage as I was holding my dying mother in

and his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Cana is where Jesus my arms. I felt her lifeless body stretched out as her heart was

performed his first miracle, changing water into wine at the not pumping blood anymore. My mom died in my arms. I

Cana wedding. We also visited the Mount of Olives - the place prayed, Jesus, help me and take my mom with you to heaven.

where Christ ascended into Heaven and the Garden of My sisters were around crying but my Papa was not. I knew he

Gethsemane, which lies at its foot. This was where Jesus often could not bear to see my mom go, for they loved each other so

went to pray alone to God the Father and where He was finally much and so dearly. There was sadness in the family and I felt

arrested. I had the privilege to stay and pray alone at the Garden the pangs of moms departure more than any of my sisters did.

of Gethsemane since I was not able to go with the group for the My dearest Mama died on November 22, 1947. I was 23 years old

long walk to the hills of Mt. Olive. In the garden there are olive to be a mother of our family my six sisters, my brother and my

trees, some are as old as 900 years. daughter Ching.

It was incredible experiencing Via Dolorosa - Way of School was about to start. Those who had one year of college

Sorrows, the traditional pathway Jesus followed carrying the education had been compensated with one year more, which

cross from Pontius Pilates judgment hall to Calvary where He qualified me to teach. My salary as an elementary school teacher

was later crucified. We saw the Sea of Galilee, a very beautiful was 170.00 pesos. My meager monthly salary was only enough

lake where Jesus performed many miracles and spent his public for dresses, shoes and some school needs. My father was a truck

life teaching. It was here where Jesus called fishermen, Peter, driver for a big company and aside from his salary, he would

bring home cans of butter, cooking oil, canned goods, cheese,

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laundry soap, biscuits and candy from Manila. My grandparents rock of her family. With her integrity and patience, the Lord

were very industrious. My grandfather had a piggery which heard her prayers and rewarded her family with a new home.

would supply us with meat and my grandmother had a poultry Myrna, Steve Simangans wife, helped a lot as a real estate agent

which supplied us table eggs and poultry meat. They had a with the acquisition of their house.

garden of vegetables and grandpa planted some fruit trees. Thanks a lot, Steve and Myn. Eugene and Eden and their
Things were getting back to normal. We were not very wealthy, children, Ivan, David, and Genevieve, including Ivans
but what we had was adequate enough to get along with society girlfriend, Meuy Saepharn, moved to their new residence in
and with the community. My family was peaceful, responsible, Sacramento, CA. Edens third son, Erich and his wife, Angelica
God- fearing and we were never far from the Lord, our Greatest with their children, Jace and Madeline, presently reside in Las
Provider, who so loves us. Vegas. They recently purchased their first home.

We really have to thank the Lord everyday for our life. Lets count Mother Theresa once said, Where there is love, there is
our blessings indeed, for without HIM, we are nothing.
peace. What a powerful message indeed. On August 4, 2010
~Nena P. Rosales
Ivan and Meuy finally got married. God bless and

Education Leads to Success congratulations. God loves you.

At this time, my three younger sisters, Estrella, Florfina and


Following the Foot Steps of Jesus
Leonora were teenagers. The four of us were ready to go to
My pilgrimage to the Holy Land on October 17 - 28, 2009 is
college. Papa was determined to let us go to school and we were
also worth recollecting. My daughters, Ching and Roxy, and my
also ambitious enough to be professionals one day. In order to
cousin, Avelina were with me. We flew from San Francisco on
meet our goals, we had to content ourselves with a very tight
the 17th of October and arrived in Tel-Aviv, our port of entry on
budget. It was a great sacrifice on our part as Papa was
the 18th. Tel-Aviv is the second largest city in Israel. We visited
responsible for our finances. As a war widow, I received a
Jerusalem, which is a very beautiful city full of hills. This is
monthly 50 peso compensation benefit from my late husband.
where Jesus spent the last three years of his life teaching and
With Gods help we were able to accomplish our goals. To make
preaching in synagogues discussing with the Pharisees and
a long story short, yours truly received a B.S.E. course major in

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This trying event helped me gather the courage to go to the Home Economics with a minor in Social Sciences at the Far

Philippines to be with Eugene for spiritual and moral support. Eastern University. Estrella graduated from the Philippine

My most heartfelt thanks to Easter, Nilo, and Mary Ann, Janet Normal College as a teacher but in later years, got her Masters

and Marlon Canillas for all the kind help they extended to Degree at the University of the Philippines. She then got her

Eugene. Remember what Jesus said, Whatever you do to the Ph.D. at Saint Paul University and became a college professor at

least of thy brethren, this you do unto me. God works miracles the Cagayan Colleges of Tuguegarao. Florfina finished a two

in many different ways. I repeat, just have FULL trust and faith year course at the Far Eastern University and later became a

in Him. My heartfelt thanks also to my sisters and brothers in teacher in our town. Leonora finished as a Nurse from the

law, Manang Noring, Ben, and Daling, my nieces and nephews University of Santo Tomas and later became a District Nurse

who shared prayers over Gene and my cousin, Rody who gave Supervisor. Our dad was very proud of us and again I would

Holy Communion to Gene on Sundays. Also, I thank the Aunties say God works miracles in many different ways. The Holy Spirit

of Eden who came to pray over Gene. Your good deeds are guided us unceasingly.

written down in Gods journal, I reverently pray. Last but not


Partners in Life
least my most grateful thanks to Myrna Narag who was the most
As professionals, my sisters had admirers too. Mindful to all
patient and loving care-giver I had ever witnessed. Marissa and
our God-given capabilities, we found our lifetime partners.
Jovi, who drove Eugene to the physical therapy facility 3 times a
Estrella got married to Celestino Tamaray; Florfina got married
week, were a big help.
to Roberto Lauigan; Leonora got married to Mario E. Rosales, the
Presently, Gene is well cared for by his loving partner in life,
brother of Romeo E. Rosales.
Eden and by his sons, Ivan and David and their daughter
What about Tomasa? Well, heres the story... hehehe
Genevieve. He is still disabled, but is slowly recuperating.
Thinking of a partner in life for me? Who could he be? He used
Home Is Where the Heart Is
to shine my shoes (really?). His family rented one of our houses
I remembered when Roming and I would sing Great is thy so we saw each other every day. His parents were Severo
Faithfulness two times in the morning. Obviously, Eden is the Rosales, whom we called Tata Berong and his mom, Estefania

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Estrada Rosales, whom we called Nana Paning. Their children of the family took turns to go to the funeral parlor. Lita had a

were Eleonor, Lourdes, Romeo, Benjamin and Mario. When Christian burial. May she rest in peace and enjoy Gods

World War II broke out, we evacuated to different places and everlasting love.

never saw each other until the war ended. During the war,
Bittersweet May
Romeo joined the guerilla forces where he earned the G.I. Bill of
May of 2008 was a month filled with joy and sorrow. On the
rights. This enabled him to obtain a B.S.E. at the Philippine
16th, by Gods grace, my grandson Erich Rosales and his wife
Christian College in Manila where he majored in Math with a
Angelica brought their beautiful daughter Madeline into this
minor in English. He was also in Manila when my sisters and I
world. The following day my son Eugene, Erichs father suffered
were in college. Romeo used to visit me with all his love and
a severe life-threatening stroke.
admiration. He was a humble young man. Guapo naman. Simple,

and always in Khaki shirt and pants, he was very thrifty and I It started when Eugene (Gene for short) went to visit his

admired him for his traits. To calm him down for his aspirations, friend who was suffering from cancer. On his way back home he

I told him that Id fully accept his love when he would finish a was found by a police officer in the car with his head slumped

course and would have a job. I kept this promise heartily and over on the steering wheel column. The police made the

faithfully. necessary investigations and finally rushed Gene to the hospital

where the doctors discovered that he had suffered an aneurysm.


We were all back in our town with a profession. Favorably
Eden was informed right away, and Gene was operated on. With
enough, Romeo was hired as a high school teacher in
strong faith and trust in the Lord, Eden took the courage to bring
Tuguegarao. He constantly reminded me of my promise to
Gene to Tuguegarao City, Philippines for physical therapy. Gene
marry him once he had a job. This time I could not deny him.
was immobilized and could not verbalize his needs. Thank God
The time came and we had a very simple wedding. It was
Edens mom had an apartment there where she lived with her
performed by a Methodist Pastor. Eventually, however, it was
son, Nilo and spouse, Mary Ann. Eden took care of the physical
ratified by the Roman Catholic Church.
needs and other expenses. Then she went back to Sacramento

after two weeks.

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sisters wedding anniversary someone will die. I immediately A Time to Weep and a Time to Laugh

got up and took hold of the Santo Nino statue, which was close I hate to mention this event, but I really would like my
to my bed. All I could say was, Lord, whatever, but thy will be children and grandchildren to know what Ive experienced in
done. I cried. my life. My dearest Papa did not show up on our wedding day.

Early the next morning, I phoned my sister to inform her He didnt like Romeo to be my partner in life because he was a

what had transpired that night. I told her that whatever will Protestant and Romings Mother did not like me because I was a

happen today, just pray, but go on with your wedding widow with a child. Religious warfare? Who were at the

celebration. We both cried and she said, Yes, manang, wedding as my parents? It was none other than my parents in

especially everything is ready now. I imagined how confused law, Domingo Cristobal and Carmen Sillacos. They were my

she must have been, holding back her tears for fear that the god-parents. I cried on my wedding day, but I was consoled by

children would wonder. the scripture in Ecclesiastes 3:4 a time to weep and a time to

The night before the anniversary date, my sister Lita who laugh. Tomasa P. Cristobal became Tomasa P. Rosales in

came from Manila to attend the wedding was not feeling very August 26, 1951.

well. She was the one who had a heart valve operated on. Her
The Sweet Scent of Heaven
husband Isidro was with her. Since Lita needed medical
Oh yes, just an insert in memory of Tata Domingo. On his
assistance, my niece, Edna, took her to the hospital.
deathbed, one of his sons came to inform me that his father was
At 12:30 a.m., May 2nd 2007, my sister Lita was taken by the
dying. My sister Le and I went to see him immediately. We were
Lord. I was sure the voice I heard was Jesus. When she stayed
neighbors then. We prayed and in just a few seconds, Tata
with us, Romeo and I always paid attention to her needs. But
breathed his last. In that instance, I smelled a very sweet flowery
now she was resting in peace with our Creator.
fragrance. We continued praying and I became aware that what
On the wedding anniversary, Leonora tried very hard to act
transpired was a manifestation. When one dies, only the body is
as if nothing tragic happened. Not one of our family members
dead but our spirit goes to heaven to meet our Creator. The
disclosed that Lita had passed away. The guests never knew
angels with all their heavenly fragrance accompanied Tata
what had happened. After the party was over, all the members

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 68 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 13
Domingo and carried his spirit to heaven. God gave me the watch gladiatorial contests and other sports. It was constructed

grace and shared with me momentarily the sweet scent of by Emperor Constantine the Great, who was the first pagan

heaven. emperor of Rome, who became a Christian in 339 A.D. The Edict

of Milan was a promulgation of Emperor Constantine legislating


Fifty-one and a Half Years
the practice of Christianity and thereby stopped the persecution
Events and accomplishments occurred the duration of our
of Christians. His mother, Empress Helena henceforth built
married life, which lasted for fifty-one and a half years together.
many Christian churches in Europe. There are four hundred
May the Blessed Trinity continue to enlighten the faculty of my
Roman Catholic Churches in Rome alone, one mosque and
memory to be able to recount further. Yes, we had our spiritual
sixteen other Christian churches.
moments, happy moments, sad and drastic moments, which we
Romeo must have been happy to see me in Rome where we
patiently shouldered with endurance having had the full trust
both wanted to go. It took me eighty-two years to realize this
and faith in our Lord whose loving care and guidance was
dream. I always asked Jesus to hold my hand and to give me all
always with us.
the strength needed in the long, long walkswhich He certainly
Jesus says, Just ask and I will give it to you.
did.
A Beautiful Reunion
A Voice in the Night
In 1951, Romeo was assigned as a high school teacher at the
Have you ever experienced hearing a voice while you are
Cagayan High School in our town. I was a homemaker. Our first
sound asleep telling you about something tragic that will
baby, Roxy, was born in December 11, 1951. We lived with
eventually happen? In May 2, 2007, my sister Leonora and
Romings parents. My Papa still had hurt feelings for me and he
husband, Mario Rosales Sr., celebrated their 50th wedding
just passed by our house on his way home from church. I really
anniversary in our hometown Tuguegarao City. I was not able to
had to forgive my father because I hated being ostracized by
attend. On the eve of their anniversary something strange
him. One day I watched my Papa pass by and I went to meet
happened. I was sound asleep when at midnight; I heard a voice
him on the sidewalk. I kissed his hand for a blessing, and told
just loud enough for me to hear. It said, On the day of your
him, Papa, wont you care to see and bless your grand-

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 14 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 67
may God bless each and every one of you. The sound of music daughter? He said, Why are you the one to invite me, this is

filled the room and there was dancing and singing. The surprise not your house? I told him that Roming is with the baby and is

party made me feel young again and it was a very candid embarrassed to see you but he is okay. Finally Papa came up to

experience to be felt in my eighties. the house and Pa Berong met him very cordially. They were

Ching and Roxy and the rest of my family together with my good friends for a long, long time. Then Papa came to our room.

other children and grand children took care of the entire Roming took Papas hand for a blessing then gave baby Roxy to

program to my hearts desire. God bless you all and I love you him for a blessing too. I held back my tears and said that I would

all so very dearly. get some coffee, as an excuse. I prayed, Thank you Lord for a

beautiful reunion. I knew how my Papa loved me and I loved


Mediterranean Cruise
him dearly too. I knew I made mistakes but nevertheless I did
In the same year in September of 2006, Rollie, Roxy, and I my very best to fulfill mamas request to take care of my sisters
went on a Mediterranean cruise to Barcelona, Spain where we and brother and was it not enough to cover my mishaps? Our
had the chance to go to southern France. We were able to see reconciliation was a very healthy one. In March 12, 1953, my
historical places like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the famous baby boy James Jacinto was born. Mama Panings whimsical
Notre Dame church and the Statue of our Blessed Mother Mary. attitude towards me calmed down much to the pieces of advice
It is nine feet tall, gilded with gold, on a hilltop, and is also of Manang Noring and Manang Lourdes and Papa Berong who
called Our Lady of the Guard overlooking the Mediterranean was the most understanding father-in-law I had. Tata Domingo
Sea. We then went to Italy and most importantly, we were able Cristobal, my former father-in-law was just as great and loving. I
to visit the Vatican in Rome, St. Peters Basilica, and the Sistine would rate them with flying As. Who am I to judge? All I am
Chapel, which is highlighted by the magnificent masterpieces of recounting are real facts.
Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and other famous artists.
Although my relationship with both my mothers-in-law was
Despite the crowd, there was a distinct profound silence.
a bit challenging, perhaps because of my high hopes and
Then we went to the Colosseum one of the worlds most expectations, I consoled myself with the fact that no one is
celebrated buildings, where ancient Roman citizens came to perfect, myself included. I should say that no two mothers can

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 66 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 15
stay long enough together. The older mom will always run the 2006. My phone kept ringing with happy birthday wishes. At

household and the younger mom will always concede. I only noon Roxy told me that we were going to a party at 6:00 p.m. to

had to crysad moments. I vowed that if someday Ill become a attend the anniversary date of the Mabuhay Lions Club. So the

mother-in-law, I will always treat them as my own daughter or family party, which we used to have on my birthday, was

son. And with Gods help, I tried my very best. cancelled. She suggested that I wear the long dress she and

To: James Gabriel, Rollie, Wally, Kendee, Eden, and Jessy: Ching had bought for me as a birthday present. Rollie drove us

to the Red Lion Inn. He made us enter through the back door. I
If I had ever hurt your feelings, please, forgive me, and
asked him why and he said it was a short cut. We went up the
perhaps offer them to God.
steps and Roxy opened the door, then I stood awhile because
~ Mama Nena
several guests were already seated. I did not see a sign or a
Ask and You Shall Receive
decoration for the Clubs anniversary. I looked further and saw
My advice for you is to keep an open communication to
my cousin, Edmund Pattawi and his wife Flor, and then asked
sustain understanding within the family circle at times. I want
myself, Why are they here?, because they came a long way
all my children and grandchildren, and my great grandchildren
from Tennessee. I also saw my nephew, Benji Rosales and wife
to remember that in any relationship with co-workers, friends,
Josie from Daly City. Then came Ching, who took me down the
family, husband, wife, and more importantly with God
steps to join the guests, who immediately stood up and began
communicate sincerely and lovingly. Since our family was
singing Happy Birthday. I was astounded and I took a deep
getting bigger in numbers, Roming and I decided to be
breath. Many came to hug me and some came yelling, Surprise!
independent. We rented the ground floor of Romings house. O,
Surprise! I gained my composure and walked around table to
yes, you guys, Roming and I had a very hilarious feeling of
table to say my thank you to everyone.
independence. I had a helper to help me with the household
After the sumptuous dinner, I thanked everyone for taking
chores and to take care of the kids. Soon Papa prepared a big
their precious time to be with me and my family on the
room for us to stay and he finally asked us to move and stay
celebration of my 82nd birthday. It would not be as happy and
with them. We agreed - another family reunion. In 1955, the next
memorable without their presence. I said, I love you all and
baby came. Eugene was born in August 18, 1955. Years went by
Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 16 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 65
know how much we work hard here. I was quiet and I took a so fast and in 1956, Roming was laid off as a teacher. Our

nap, tired from the trip. While I was sleeping, my sisters pitched finances went low but Roming worked as a clerk at the town

in their suggestion. I woke up and the plan was presented to me. municipality. However on vacation, he went to Manila and

Edna, my niece, will organize the whole thing. The party on applied at the Philippine Police Academy. Remember my dear

February10, 2004 will take place in a well known restaurant in ones, that in instances like these, always cling to the Lord. Jesus

Tuguegarao, which can accommodate 150 people. Six favorite is always there to help us. Again, I say what Jesus said, Ask and

dishes were to be served, plus a birthday cake. The expenses Ill give it to you and the saying goes, If a door is closed,

were summed up, and my sisters said, Manang, kayang kaya mu another door will open. Just believe!

ya ta a dollar exchange is 55 Pesos, meaning, Manang, you can


Cast Your Burdens Upon Me
very well afford that because a dollar exchange is fifty-five
Romings acceptance to the Police force in the city of Manila,
pesos. I O.K.d the deal and everyone was happy. The dinner
capital of the Philippines was very outstanding. He was assigned
was set at 5:30 p.m.
at the Mobile Patrol Unit as a full pledged Patrolman. He would
My family members, relatives, and friends and relatives of
be assigned and check in areas of the city just like the Police
Romeo came. It was a very nice reunion. Romeos relative
Patrol Force here in the U.S., riding in a car and with a pistol.
expressed their condolences and thanks to have seen me once
Roming came to fetch me in Tuguegarao and the kids stayed
again after long years of absence. I thanked them too and all the
home with Papa and my sisters who were diligent enough to
guests for joining me in the celebration of my 80th birthday. I
take care of them. I spent time applying for a teaching job in
thanked God for His blessings, but down in my heart I was
Manila. I was a B.S.E. graduate and a civil service eligible. There
saddened for I missed my very dear one and only Romeo. He
were hundreds of applicants applying for transfer. My chances
must have been smiling from up above.
were very slim, but then in an instance I wrote a short message

More Memorable Moments to Mrs. Baluyot, the office secretary, who I believed was in

Many exciting things have been happening as I grow older charge to hire teachers. My message was for her to give me her

day by day. I came home from church on the 10th of February address so I can talk to her personally regarding my case. I

handed her the note and while waiting I implored the Holy
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Spirit to enlighten her mind, and soon enough she handed me Inspired To Write

her address. I experienced that efficacy of prayer if said heartily Writing this journal was a very tough job for me. I had to dig
and fervently is awesome. Remember this: into my subconscious mind to remember dates and events and

Cast your cares upon the Lord, who will give you support. God put them into words that are easy to understand. My dear ones,

will never allow the righteous to stumble Psalm 55:23 if you plan to make a journal, do it now while you are young.

In the evening, Roming, in full uniform, and I went to see Get a blank journal book from the store and just write.

Mrs. Baluyot. Chat, chat, chatand finally she said, Mrs. Dont wait until you are eighty-five years old. Writing your

Rosales, come to the office tomorrow. Ill give you your memoirs as you tread your lifes way is something anyone can

assignment and you can start as soon as classes will open in accomplish. And it is nice to read it once in a while with your

July. family, believe me.

Joyful Moments Birthday Bash in My Hometown

Still on vacation time I went home to fetch Ching and Roxy. In February 9, 2004, some members of the Mabuhay Lions

Jim and Eugene stayed with Papa and my sisters for the Club went to Zambales, in the Philippines for a medical mission.

meantime. Fate was favorable enough and soon my family was Rollie was the founder and charter President of the Sacramento

together. My sisters, Sofia (Ming) and Lolita (Lita) and my Mabuhay Lions Club International in 1979. Since Rollie and

youngest brother, Doroteo Pattawi, Jr. (Jun) came along with Roxy joined the medical mission, I decided to go with them so I

Papa and 3 young helpers, relatives in fact. With an adequate can visit Tuguegarao, my hometown. My sisters and all the

income, we were able to rent a three-story house at 1071 members of the family were very excited upon my unnoticed

Conception Aguila, Quiapo Manila. arrival. To my surprise, my sisters said, Manang, en grande nga

There were eleven members of my family, twelve with Papa celebration sangao y birthday mu sonu umma, meaning, Manang

who was transient. The school age children went to school. (sis), you will have a grand celebration on your birthday

Ching and Roxy went to St. Rita College. My sister Ming tomorrow. You know, everyone expects that if one comes home

finished as a midwife. In June 1957, she got married to John from the U.S. that person has much money. They dont only

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Garcia Mamauag Rosales. From me she learned the three Rs and Ballesteros and they had three children, Elizabeth, Edwin and

all the physical skills and academic requirements for a pre- Edna. They later moved to a nearby apartment.

schooler. I have done this for seventeen years, and so I say that
Blood is Thicker than Water
Nylah is my masterpiece. Yes, indeed, and I am proud of it. She
My sister Lita stayed with us for some time and soon
can read and print her name. She can pray and say grace before
finished school as a cosmetologist. She was sickly. A valve in her
meals. Ronaviv had her tested to see if Nylah was qualified for
heart did not function normally. Once she needed a blood
Kindergarten at St. Roberts School. She passed the test with all
transfusion and I donated my blood, which saved her life. Later
straight As and is now doing very well as a second grader.
she got married to Isidro Paez. Their children are: Ma. Amelia,
To all my grand and great-grandchildren, I still extend my
Elmer, Emmanuel and Felix Mario.
help whenever I can. Sometimes my telephone rings and the

caller says, Mama, or Lola I need How much? I can hear Family Tree Continues to Grow
Dad saying, Iccamun ta masapul da. Addan tu manen,
As for my youngest sister Florentina (Oyen), she finished her
meaning, Give now because they need it. You will have some
B.S. in Agricultural Education in 1962, taught in our province for
again. So I always respond, This is all I can share.
two years then came to stay with us and was hired as an
Payments sometimes came back and I thank the Lord. But elementary grade teacher in Quezon City. She later married
remember my dear ones to share anything you have to anyone in Ernesto Cruz from Hagonoy, Bulacan on December 22, 1971 and
need. The Lord will always repay you one way or another. And was blessed with two children, Jessamyn Allan and Christian
always count your blessings. It should be a joy for you to make Joy. Sad to say, Oyen was widowed in 1994. Soon after, she
someone happy or enlightened at the time they need it most. plunged into business where she earned free trips abroad as a
Ask yourself, Did I make someone happy today? - maybe a Tupperware Distributor. She then met Rolando Abad, a WWII
hug, a kind word, a smile, a helping hand - anything. The Lord veteran. They had a civil marriage in November 10, 2003, which
likes this and will be happy that you did it. It would be a sin of was ratified by the Roman Catholic Church in March 20, 2004.
omission if you did not. Oyen and Rudy live happily here in the States.

My mission accomplished with my sisters? Yes indeed!

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Give Me Your Burden Romeos Bad Habits

But I still want to recount about my brother Jun who also 1. Coming home late and not telling anyone about his
whereabouts.
stayed with us. Roming used to call him Nyoy. He finished
2. Being stubborn.
Criminology and was supposed to graduate in March 1965. But 3. Liked to eat foods contrary to his ailments.
4. He used to repeat and remind people of their errors
he had a civil marriage with Saniata Miguel, a B.S.E. graduate in
every now and then, until they grew tired of hearing of
1963. They later had a son Joseph and a daughter Jocelyn. it.

Roming would frequently tell my brother to always be careful...


Yes this was our loved one our one and only.
always, especially with a pistol. Romeo Estrada Rosales

January 9 is a very special religious day of festivity in Never Alone


Manila, which is annually celebrated in the district where we
After the demise of our beloved one and only Dad, Grand,
lived, Quiapo, Manila. It was always a grand fiesta in our
and Great Grandpa, I am not alone because I know that our
district. People from nearby towns came to pay respect to Hesus
loving Savior and Brother Jesus is with me all morning, noon,
Nazareno rather called the Black Nazarene who was and still is
and night to comfort me and to help me in all my daily needs.
very miraculous. We had many visitors since our residence was
He is our Divine provider and our Divine Physician. Because of
close to Quiapo Church where the Black Nazarene stays.
this, I am inspired more than ever to go on with life and make
On January 10, we still had some relatives and friends over. use of all the strength He gives me as I live day by day. Romeo
In the afternoon my brother and a friend went out for a walk to used to say, Agtalec ca laeng Kenni Apo, meaning, Just have
relax after the fiesta. It was almost midnight when my brothers faith and trust in the Lord. So I am happy to mention my
friend came to me and told me that my brother was accidentally accomplishments after Romeo had left.
shot by a stray bullet. They took him to the hospital
A Helping Hand
immediately. On the phone he was crying and said, Manang,

Jun was pronounced dead when we arrived at the hospital. I Since I have a lifetime teaching credential issued to me by

was dumbfounded and I didnt know what to do. Roming was the Sacramento City Unified School District, I had a one on one

pre-schooler none other than our one and only Nylah Sierra

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Prayer. He led the prayers and sang the songs of praise on night duty so I informed him what happened with Jun. Very,
especially thanking God for His blessings. He also let
very sad moments.
the children read scriptures aloud from the Bible.

9. He extended his immediate assistance, if he was I immediately wired Papa about the tragedy and I assured
financially able, to his children and grandchildren and him that Roming and I would do our very best to bring Juns
gave a monthly allowance of $50 until they finished high
school. He loved to dine out with them. body home. I prayed and it came to my mind what Jesus said,

10. While in bed, he drilled his grandchildren in math and Give me your burden for my yolk is light. I did just this and
geography, and checked their homework at times. Roming was very supportive. The Lord took my brother Jun on
11. He was very tolerant and understanding and used to Jan. 11, 1965. May he enjoy eternal peace and happiness with our
remind me to SAVE!
Lord.
12. We never argued in the presence of our children. If we
ever argued, it was always appeased and forgiven by 12- The following morning we looked for a funeral parlor. We
midnight. Why? You should know the answer. passed by La Funeraria Paz. I asked for the manager and a man
13. He made his three children, Roxy, Jimmy and Eugene, named Andres Penetrante came. I told him that I was Tomasa
marry in the Philippines, which in turn, made it possible
for their in-laws to petition their parents which enabled Pattawi Rosales. To my surprise, he came to hug me and said,
them to petition their children. This allowed our family You are Nena and your father is Teo, one of my best friends.
and extended families, through in-laws, to grow in
numbers. What can I do for you? Holding back my tears, I recounted to

him the tragedy. He said, Hija, (meaning daughter), Ill take


Romeos Famous Donts
care of this. Your brother will be embalmed for nine days and
1. Dont go on credit. If ever, pay as soon as possible.
2. Dont borrow. If one borrows, then they must return it will be laid in a casket. I cried and I hugged him and thanked
promptly. him, like a big thorn was pulled out from my chest. I asked how
3. Dont gossip.
4. Dont discuss religion for there is only one God. much it would cost and he answered, Nena, Im doing this for
5. Dont eat chicken or pork not thoroughly washed before the sake of your Papa. There is no cost at all. I remember what
cooking.
6. Dont be late. Papa used to say, any good thing you do to anybody in need will

always be returned to you one way or the otherand this is it.

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 60 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 21
Papa was always ready to extend his help to anyone who needed 1997 Romeo had a stroke which forced him to spend
most of his time at home. He never lost his senses
most.
and could still drive, play billiards with his
The next day, Roming said we have to see the Secretary of grandchildren, play mahjong, and go to Cache
Creek to play Black Jack or Poker.
National Defense who is Colonel Eulogio Balao, a West Point 2001 On August 26, 1991, Romeo and Nena were able to
graduate and a pride of our town. Papa was a friend of his celebrate their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary.
2003 Romeos health eventually withered, and the Lord
brother. Roming wore his police uniform and it didnt take
took him to His Heavenly Kindom on January 11,
much time for us to meet the secretary. He received us cordially 2003.
We miss you very much Dad!
since we spoke the same dialect. I told him the tragedy that took

place with my brother and the need for his body to be More About Romeo and the Things He Loved

transported to our hometown Tuguegarao. The Secretarys 1. Biking, fishing, reading, playing pool, going to the
movies, going to Tahoe or Reno to gamble.
empathy was superb. He telephoned the company in charge
2. Going camping with family and relatives for 2-3 days.
requesting them to prepare an army truck to transport Doroteo
3. Going to the market and cooking for his family. He
Pattawi Jr. in a casket to their hometown in Tuguegarao,
loved barbeque pork or beef ribs and dinengdeng and
Cagayan. Our two cousins in the army, Rosito and Francisco papaitan (tripe with bile for an accented taste Illocano-
style).
Tagal asked permission from the Secretary to accompany the

driver and also help take turns driving. Roming and I thanked 4. Going to church religiously. First to the Roman Catholic
church, then to the Methodist Church, but as years went
Colonel Balao for his big heart and concern. Now we were ready by, he embraced the Roman Catholic faith.
to take my brother home. My family and some close friends 5. He was also interested in horse racing, especially when
came along with us and oh yes, a four-month old baby named we were in the Philippines.

Joel, born on August 28. The big trip took a day and a half. With 6. He was a die-hard Republican.

Gods guidance, we arrived home safely. The next day, my 7. He loved to dance and took lessons at the Arthur
Murray Dancing School. He used to go dancing at the
brother was brought to church and a solemn mass was Masonic Temple on J Street and on Filipino community
celebrated by my cousin. Rev. Father Cesar Tagal. A big number occasions.

8. He often gathered his children and grandchildren


together with relatives and friends for a Fellowship

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 22 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 59
Mair, late husband of Romeos cousin, Jean of friends and relatives attended the funeral ceremony. May my
Estrada, Romeo, James and Eugene became
brother rest in peace.
oriented and labored in the farms.
1972 With Nena being employed by the Sacramento
Unified School District as a teacher in addition The Rosales Family
to Romeos income from farming, they were
We moved to Manila in 1956 and finally my whole family
able to buy their first home.
With the help of dear friend, Mrs. Leonie Pena, stayed together as one. Years went by so fast. Ching graduated
Romeo was able to work at Kaiser Permanente
from High School at St Rita in 1960. Roxy finished high school at
Hospital for the next 25 years and retired as a
clerk in the chart room in 1992. the Philippine Christian College in 1968. Jim went to public
1974 The Rosales became naturalized U.S. citizens.
school and Eugene was taken home by Manang Noring to study
1975 Romeo petitioned my daughter, Cleopatra
Gabriel, along with her husband and their 5 at the Tuguegarao Central School in lieu of Steve Simangan, son
children. The arrived in 1980.
Cleopatra is Nenas first daughter from my first of Manang Noring who stayed with us in Manila. After Ching
nuptial with Leon Cristobal, a Purple Heart graduated, we advised her to take up Nursing. Much to our
recipient, who was K.I.A. in WWII.
1985 Romeo and Nena enjoyed a cruise in Alaska. desire, something came up. She had fallen in-love with James
1990 Romeo had a heart attack. Gabriel, which led to their marriage in November 22, 1961. They
H was hospitalized at Mercy General Hospital
went home to Tuguegarao to solemnize their wedding at St.
where he received a by-pass and a pace-maker. As
a retired Kaiser employee, his 10-day Peter's Cathedral. Principal sponsors were Dr. and Mrs. Benito
hospitalization, doctors fees, and medications were
Valdepenas. They came back home and stayed with us for some
free of charge!
1991 Romeo and Nena went on a Caribbean cruise. time. Soon Leon, nicknamed Tofy was born. He is my first
It was a frightful experience for Nena because
grandson from my first nuptial. Then came Rey and Hazel James
Romeo had his second heart attack while on the
ship. Gabriel Jr. They moved to an apartment close to us. Anyway
Nena says, Thank God at that moment, an
Ching took up Cosmetology and was a good beautician and
angel, a paramedic, introduced himself as John
and kindly helped Romeo until he was manicurist. James was also a good mechanic. Later on their
hospitalized in Cozumel, Mexico. They flew
family grew up fast in number as Salma came to light. Then they
back to Sacramento as soon as Romeo was
strong enough, where he was confined a
hospital bed for 5 days at Kaiser.

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 58 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 23
moved to Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines, where Our family misses our beloved Dad, Romeo. But I believe

James' mother and sisters lived. that only his body is dead and his spirit went to our Creator for

My youngest son Joel, born August 28, 1965, ten years apart him to stay in His heavenly kingdom.

from Eugene was another God-given grace to me as I was forty Dad, we pray for the repose of your soul.

one years old. This is something I cannot skip. In 1965, my sister Highlights of Romeo Estrada Rosales Life
Lita and I went to a well known Palmist. This was just out of 1926 Born on February 27, 1926
Rizal, Cagayan, Philippines.
curiosity. In fact her name was Nena too. These are the things He was a very handsome Methodist boy. The 3rd of
she told me: five children.
1936 Age 10: Romeo employed himself as a shoe-shine
1. You and your family are going to a very far place and boy on the weekends and was delighted to bring
will sail across the ocean. home a kilo of pork (25 cents) for his mother who
2. Your brother will be hurt or he will hurt someone. was found of tinunu barbeque, or bring home 3
3. When you will be in another country, you will have the pieces of fish for sinigang.
same job, but your husband will have a different one. 1943 Age 17: Romeo joined the guerilla forces in World
War II.
4. You will have 3 or 4 cars.
1945 Romeo was honorably discharged from the military.
5. You will have good business with jewelry. 1946 Romeo enrolled in college to make use of his G.I.
Bill of Rights and graduated with a B.A. degree in
She said finally, Come back to see me when you will be out Mathematics with a minor in English.
1951 On August 26, 1951 Romeo married Nena R.
of the country. I said, Yes, and I thanked her for her service. I
Pattawi. The marriage was solemnized at the
went to church immediately to say, Sorry Lord I sinned. Only Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.
Romeo started teaching Math and English at the
you can tell the future. I tried to forget what the palmist said
Cagayan High School in Tuguegarao, Cagayan
but my brother passed in 1966. Call it the way you want but I and continued for five years.
1956 Romeo moved to Manila and joined the Police
still believe only God is in full dominion of our lifes destiny.
Force, Mobile Patrol Unit.
Lesson learned: leave the palmist alone. Trust in Gods grace and 1969 Immigrated to the United States with wife
Nena, daughter Roxy, and sons James, Eugene
divine mercy.
and Joel.
In 1967 while Roming was patrolling, he stopped by the Arrived and settled in Sacramento in March.
Thanks to the kindness of Manong Gavino
residence of his cousin, Fresnaida Estrada Pangilinan. She told

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members of the family were around praying and singing church Roming that they were leaving for the U.S.A., and she convinced

songs. him to go to the Immigration Bureau to get an application form.

One moment during that last night with Romeo, one of his Roming did not hesitate to get the application which we

great grandsons, Michael Romeo, came to see him. He pulled immediately filled up. I again remembered what the palmist

together the strength to smile and say Big Boy Michael, said. Anyway Roming said, The Lord is the one who planned

combining Michaels name with his other grandfathers all of these things. Then he said, God is so good that He guides

nickname. us in our plans. Our application was filed in June 1967. Roming

communicated with Fresning all the time and said that as soon
Soon after he said, "Mama, saan kayo nga agsangit,
as our application was approved she was willing to provide for
meaning, Mama, and all of you, please don't cry. Then I
us an affidavit of support, which was a very important
whispered in his ear, Dad, you may go now and fill up the seat
document. Her younger sister Virgie, or Jean as we call her now,
that Jesus prepared for you in His mansion," and he said "Yes".
was petitioned by her fianc Gavino Mair. A year and a half
Finally the Lord took our most beloved Romeo, my most loving
would pass and we had to be ready with good health and
and endearing companion in my life.
enough money.
Nylah was the last great-grand baby who used to sleep
Roming intently followed up our application. Psalms 55:23
beside him. He passed away in January 11, 2003. He had a
says, Cast your cares to the Lord who will support you. God
Christian burial and during his funeral rites, the farewell taps for
does not allow the righteous to stumble. In 1968 Roxy
soldiers was aired by Judy Mamauag and 21 gun salutes were
graduated from high school and enrolled at the University of
fired by six soldiers. Romeo Estrada Rosales, a World War II
Santo Tomas to take up bio-chemistry. However, in December
veteran currently lies in peace at the Chapel of the Chimes

cemetery in Marysville, CA. After his death, Romeos first 1968, we passed the interview and we were supposed to leave

grandson, Rogeniv, wrote a special song for his grandfather that for California in 1969. Fresning and Wilfred sent our affidavit of

he sang at the funeral services. support, which was approved by the U.S. Embassy. We were

also required to have pocket money of $300 each when we leave.

Now we notified Papa and my sisters, as well as, Papa Berong

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and Mama Paning. I resigned from my teaching job and so did their marriage and the wedding took place at St. Rose Church in

Roming as a Patrolman. We decided to leave in March 19, 1969 May 11, 1996. Being married at such a young age did not prevent

feast of St. Joseph. Then we had a despedida party. Papa, my both of them to pursue their education. Danniel graduated with

sisters, Papa Berong and Mama Paning came together with close a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science and Ronaviv with a

relatives and friends. Ching and family could not come with us bachelors degree in Nursing from Sacramento State University.

to U.S. because she got married. Oh! Yes what about Rollie, She currently enjoys her career, mostly from the comfort of her

Roxys high school sweetheart? He was there too with his home, as a very successful Case Manager. So now we have

cousins Steve and Aris. But somehow things will come out right. Joseph, Nylah and Kaylan, their children. (Ronaviv, remember to

We boarded the Cathay Airlines at 10:00 P.M. Our trip was recite Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd, and to sing your

peaceful and we finally arrived at Sacramento, CA on March 21, Lolos favorite song, Somewhere Over the Rainbow.)

1969. It was very early Spring and the trees were still leafless.
Romeos Seat in His Mansion
Fresning and Willy welcomed us and we experienced what they
Around the time our great-grandchildrens generation
call jet lag.
began, Romeo's health began to fail because after his heart
Working the on the Farms attack, he suffered a stroke. He did not like to be confined in a

Our trip to the U.S was like a dream. But the dream was real. care home or a convalescent hospital, so he requested Roxy and I

It was daytime in the Philippines nighttime in the U.S. We to take care of him, given her professional capacity as a nurse. I

used to wake up at 11:00 A.M. Fresning did not mind because am grateful to the vision of Roming along this line as I speak. I

they experienced the same. After two weeks, Jean and Manong now enjoy the peace and harmony of a home that he desired for

Gavino, nicknamed Big Boy, invited us to stay with them in their me under Rollie and Roxys care through all these years. Praise

house. Big Boy was a farm worker who worked as a contractor the Lord.

of Mr. Sausa, a Portuguese who owned acres of asparagus fields, Anyway, Roming's health never improved. While he was
tomatoes and also an orchard of apples, pears and plums. Big strong enough, he received the last Sacrament, had Confession
Boy put Roming to work together with Jim and Eugene. and Holy Communion. During his dying moments all the

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to Salma, Hazel and Heintje for their school needs. After Salma Farming Pays Off

finished High School, she joined the Army and is now a staff Roming bought a brand new Volkswagen. A car was more
Sergeant. She is nearing retirement. We bought a car for Heintje of a need rather than a luxury. Working in the fields was big
for him to use to go to his job. Unfortunately, he became sick money for us. Jean, Roxy, and I used to pick tomatoes. Soon Jean
with valley fever, which ails him up to now. Hazel prefers to live got pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl. Then we were able to
alone away from home. Today I sincerely thank Wally for his rent the house of Fresning because they moved to the East Coast.
fatherly concern for Ching's children especially for Heintje. They
Looking for Work as a Seamstress
live together happily as Wally is a good provider which is a

great relief for Ching. I applied to JC Penny to sew drapes and curtains. I was

terribly disappointed why? I was over-qualified. Soon we met


Rodge, our grandson, has a God-given talent. He has a
Mr. Charles Walton and his wife Lucy. They patiently oriented
spectacular singing voice and is an accomplished song-writer
us to the city of Sacramento schools, churches, banks and
and composer. He joined three other singers and formed a
department stores and other important government entities. Mr.
singing group called Touch. Romeo and I paid two
Charles Walton became one of our sponsors when we became
professional agents to help publish their album and their
U.S. citizens in 1974.
performances. Touch performed at President Bill Clintons

Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. in 1997, sharing Then we met Resty and Linda Fernandez who were our

the stage with Stevie Wonder. Rodge is married to Debbie neighbors at 600 Wilson Avenue, the first house that we owned.

Estrada Mair. They have three sons, Michael, Matthew and She introduced me to a manager of the Red Star Agency where

Darius, and one daughter, Stephanie, as well as a grandson, she also worked. This company attached insignias of the City of

Ethaniel. Sacramento onto employee uniforms as well as made

adjustments. When they asked for my resume, I learned my


Here comes Ronaviv. God gave her a gift of life, which she
lesson and did not want to be labeled over-qualified again. So
bore in her early teens, thus marrying Danniel Garcia, son of
I quickly told them that I was an 8th grader and that I could sew
Eduardo and Maria Garcia. All of us, Roxy & Rollie and their
very well. The manager then asked me if I could read and write
parents, Tadeo and Maring Simangan Mamauag consented to

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in English. I said, Yes, sir, and Bingo! I was employed right members and officers of the Fraternity and the nuns were very

away. My salary was $1.75 an hour. much impressed at the grandeur of the occasion.

The second day, Sunday, was solely dedicated to our Blessed


Continuing My Education
Mother. There was a procession while the Rosary was recited.
Meanwhile, I enrolled at the Sacramento State college of
She was crowned by the Emperatriz and Emperador and, young
California now named, California State University of Sacramento
children in white dresses in the celebration of the Holy
(CSUS). I took night courses on Mondays, Wednesdays, and
Eucharist. The community enjoyed the two day festival and
Fridays, from 7:00-9:00 P.M. for professional growth and to learn
kudos to the spiritual Director, Msgr. Raymund Renwaldt.
more of Californias history and culture.
This occurred in the mid 80's and early 90's and the success
In all of my classes, I was the only Filipino; like a needle lost
of the affair put the Fraternity into the limelight. I was president
in the forest. Luckily I was not. While at work I studied my
of the Fraternity for eight consecutive years. Members of our
lessons thoroughly. You know what? All my final grades were
family who represented us in this special occasion are: Joel
marked as PASSED!
Rosales - Emperador Constantino; Rogeniv Mamauag -

A New Sacramento Teacher & Kaiser Employee Emperador Constantino; Erich Rosales - Emperador

During this time, I continued to follow-up on my application Constantino; Khamil Gabriel - 1st Royal Page; Andrea Gabriel-

with the Sacramento City Unified School District. I filed my Emperatriz Sta. Elena; Jesselyn Nilo Rosales- Emperatriz Sta.

resume, my diploma and years of teaching experience in the Elena.

Philippines.
Helping Our Kids and Grandkids
At that time from 1965 to mid 70s school teachers were still
Romeo and I had the obsession of helping our children and
in great demand in the U.S. By June, I knew school would be
grandchildren and to see them in a more secured future. With
starting soon in September. In mid-July, I received a call from
Ching's children I took Tofi and Rey to and from school on
the school district asking me to report to work. Fortunately, I
Saturdays to finish GED, which made them High School

graduates. This helped them find jobs. Help was also extended

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Values in the Sacramento area. Signed: Deborah Ortiz-Senator- was given a substitute assignment as a classroom teacher, on-

District 6. call. I substituted for 2 years.

Then I was elected President of the Filipino Family With the help and loving care of the Lord, things were going

Fraternity, a religious organization. The Filipino Nuns, Religious fine. We met Mr. Ben Pena and his spouse, Leonie, who was a

of the Virgin Mary R.V.M. worked with us officers and members Social Worker Supervisor at Kaiser Permanente Hospital. She

of the F.F.F. in all our activities. Outstanding activity is the helped Roming apply for a job at Kaiser. Soon afterwards,

celebration of the Sta. Cruz de Mayo, May Festival for short. This Roming was hired as a Filing Clerk of the hospital's chart room.

was the main fundraiser of the F.F.F. It is the enactment of Our health insurance was established and we became financially

Emperatriz Santa Elena -- Empress Helena and her son stable.

Emperador Constantino-Emperor Constantine the Great, to look


Papa Doroteo Visits the States
for the Holy Black Cross. It is a history in the year 352 AD. It was
My father Doroteo Pattawi Sr. came to visit us in January
a joint celebration of the crowning of our Blessed Mother Mary
1971. He experienced the grandeur of life here in America as
since May is the month dedicated to her. So, instead of a one day
compared to life in our native land. The beauty of the world
celebration, I made it done in two days. Saturday was the social
which manifests the presence and power of God is worth
part, Crowning of the Emperatriz and the Emperador, who were
remembering. America is one of the richest nations in the world.
clad with gorgeous garments. The selection of the Emperatriz

and Emperador was done by selling raffle tickets. Obviously the God gave America its bounteous natural resources and in

contestants who garnered the most sales would represent the return America is always ready to give a hand to other nations in

Empress and also the Emperor. The Emperatriz, Sta. Elena and time of disaster. Anything that one needs in life is here in

the Emperador Constantino were the most significant attributes abundance. Just work for it. One day I drove Papa in my

in the celebration of the May festival. The coronation and ball in Volkswagen to see historical places and landmarks here in

their honor was held in a prestigious hotel with dinner and Sacramento. Sightseeing for him was splendid for what he saw

dance. Parents, relatives, friends and guests from out of town, was indeed awesome. We went to a department store and he

hesitated to buy anything because converting dollar to peso was

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expensive for him. Anyway I bought him a nice jacket because trophies. It was a big inspiration to our students not to be behind

we were going to San Francisco the next day. their American counterparts. Many if not all of our recipients are

When we went back home, Papa sat down right away and professionals now ... doctors, lawyers, engineers, nurses, you

said he was very tired. I asked him why and he told me that as a name it. In 2004, I was one of the honorees of the F.C.S.V. thank

truck driver in the Philippines, he had to brake often because God for a nice commendation.

there was no police to control the traffic. He said he was scared


Pista Sa Ngayon
the way I drove. But I know he enjoyed our outing. He only
Later in the mid seventies, I was elected the President of the
stayed with us for one year. He left February 20, 1972. Somehow
Filipino Women's Club. I initiated the traditional Pista sa Nayon
his anxiety to see us was quenched. Sad to mention my dearest
which became a fundraiser of the dwindling treasury of the club.
Papa finished his journey here on earth on December 2, 1989.
Some objectives of the club were fulfilled like wearing our
God bless his soul.
Filipina dresses, Barong Tagalog, and serving Filipino dishes

My Teaching Career and delicacies. There was always lechon, of course. Filipino

In 1971, after two and a half years as a substitute teacher, the dances and songs were sung and performed to entertain our

Sacramento City Unified School District called me for an beauty queen. I remember one particular Miss Beauty queen for

interview. There was an opening for a regular teaching position. the Pista sa Nayon, Miss Debbie Mair, now Mrs. Mamauag. Our

They handed all the papers required for my application. Mrs. officers and members, parents, relatives and friends enjoyed the

Lerma, the lady supervisor read my resume, very colorful occasion.

diploma, teaching credentials in the Philippines and my 2 years Recognition and Activities

teaching experience here as a substitute teacher. Out of 12 Sometime in 2004, I received a Certificate of Recognition

applicants, I was the only Filipino. Then Mrs. Lerma told me to from the California State Senate. The inscription: Presented to

see her in her office. I felt shy and my heart was beating fast. She Nena Rosales in honor of your participation in the 2004 Filipino

told me to report to Sierra Children's Center the next day. She Fiesta and in Recognition of your invaluable service to the

asked me if I can handle sixteen students. I told her, Yes ma'am, Filipino Women and for promoting Filipino American Cultural

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(F.C.S.V.). The following weekend, we went together to a I'll do my best. I thought to myself: what is it compared to fifty

Filipino Organizations meeting where I was introduced very students in the Philippines? I thanked her very much. On

cordially. This made me an active member of several Filipino Monday I reported to school and Mrs. Lerma oriented me to the

organizations. Thanks to Manang Loling as I fondly call her. building and to the class assigned to me. I had two teacher aides

Sorry to mention that my dear Manang Loling finished her and two volunteer grandparents. I observed the activities of the

pilgrimage here on earth in the early 80s. May she rest in peace. day and sure enough I was able to handle the class. I imparted

With regards to the Filipino Community of Sacramento and knowledge to these innocent 4- year olds, some Mexicans and

Vicinity [FCSV], Romeo and I became members since 1970. Most Asians who hardly could speak English. Most were well

significant accomplishment was the success to buy a Iot for the behaved and maybe two or three had behavioral problems. They

community, a long, long dream of the Filipinos in Sacramento learned the three Rs while we played. We sang and danced,

since the FCSV was organized. After having served the dined together, studied nature outside and went to field trips. A

organization as a secretary of four consecutive presidents, I was formal lesson only last for forty minutes, which I called the

elected assistant treasurer. I assumed full responsibility of a magic circle. Every day was a busy and a happy one. My yearly

treasurer upon resignation of our elected treasurer, Mrs. Benitez. evaluation by our Principal was very encouraging. Parents

Mrs. Dolores Pizarro, the president at the time, and I patiently appreciated their children's good behavior, the lessons imparted

looked around for a lot to buy, rain or shine. Thanks to Romeo to them and their being ready for kindergarten. I taught for

for driving us around. Finally we were able to buy one which is seventeen years and finally retired in August 8, 1988.

located at the South-gate Dr., Sacramento, California. The long Filipino American Citizens!

time dream was realized. The F.C.S.V. is still working on the In 1974, Roming, Roxy, Eugene, Joel and I became
construction of a cultural center on the lot. Hope it will be naturalized Filipino American citizens. This was a chance for me
realized soon. to change my name Tomasa to Nena. Now, I am officially named

I was also assigned as chairman of the scholarship Nena P. Rosales, as recorded in my Naturalization Certificate.

committee to compensate very deserving students, Elementary

and High school level. Money was given to them and also

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Rol & Rox (aka Rock & Roll) of the parish. We also donated a small amount to the rebuilding

In the early 70s, Roxy was employed in an agency office run of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Weigand sent

by Filipinos, thanks to Father Romeo Pimentel, brother of Leonie us a letter of thanks. [See album]. Up to this year, Im still a

Pena. Roxy was also enrolled in Sacramento City College to faithful parishioner of St. Joseph Parish participating in its yearly

study nursing. activities.

What about Rollie? Rollie was a faithful admirer -long


My Filipino Friends
distance- Sacramento to Manila. Roxy went home to the
It is interesting to note how I met more Filipino friends who
Philippines right after Rollie graduated college and received a
have responsible concern with the Filipino community as a
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. They married
whole. Joel, my youngest son, was only 3 years old when he
in August 6, 1972 at St. Peters Cathedral, Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
needed a baby-sitter. Dora Bajet took care of Joel. I was very
After their marriage, Roxy went back home to Sacramento and
anxious to meet some more Filipinos, so I asked Dora who
Rollie followed her to the U.S. in 1973.
resided in Sacramento for more than 10 years, to introduce me to
Almost exactly nine months after getting married, Roxy gave
some of her friends. She agreed and we drove to one of her
birth to their son, Rogeniv, born on May 2, 1973. Rogeniv
friends house, where a pretty lady welcomed us. My heart was
became the first Rosales grandson. Six years later, their
beating fast for I recognized her. She was surprised when I
daughter, Ronaviv was born on October 30, 1979. They moved
instinctively embraced her. I said, Hi Manang Loling, you are
their family of four to a house of their own yet still nearby our
Dolores Sadang and I am Nena Pattawi, now Mrs. Rosales, your
house.
roommate at Florida Hall Dormitory and we both went to the
Roxy finished nursing in 1978 and finally became a full- University of the Philippines. With her big smile, she said, Yes,
fledged Registered Nurse in 1979. She was hired by Sutter I now remember but the only Nena I know was tall and slim. I
Memorial Hospital where she works still works to this day! laughed and said, I must have grown fat! We first met in 1940
Rollie took courses in Real Estate and became a self-employed and finally we met again in 1969, almost thirty years later. It was
agent for quite some time. Eventually, he went to graduate one of my lucky days. Mrs. Dolores Pizarro was very well
school to study Communications, Human Resources, and known in the Filipino Community of Sacramento and Vicinity
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nice reception. After the blessing, Rev. Father Pol Gumapo, who Organizational Behavior. He now runs his own consulting firm

celebrated the Holy Eucharist asked, "Manong Romy, how did servicing businesses, non-profits and corporate entities.

you do this in fifty years together?" and Roming answered,


Making the Way for More Families
"Father, there is only one Nena. Those who heard Roming's
Rollie acquired his U.S. Citizenship so he was able to
response clapped their hands. My dear ones, remember that
petition his parents, Tadeo Mamauag and Maria Simangan
marriage is a sacred promise between a man and a woman that
Mamauag. By law, Rollies parents were able to petition their
in sickness or in good health, for richer or for poorer ... till death
unmarried children, Lily, Yolanda & Ferdanico. They came to
do us part.
the U.S. in 1983.
I sketched a simple family tree at the end of this journal, so

you will know the relationship our big family has for one The Mamauag/Rosales Family
another.
Roxy & Rollies children are Rogeniv and Ronaviv.

Humble Accomplishments Rogeniv is married to Debbie Estrada Mair, the daughter of Jean

Acosta Estrada Keller. Life is a full circle indeed. Their children


In the duration of our lifetime together, 51 years, you may
are Michael, Matthew and Darius, together with Stephanie Ropp
have known some of the fond times and contributions to the
and grandson Ethaniel. Ronaviv Rosales Mamauag is married to
Filipino Community of Sacramento and Vicinity. I'll just mention
Danniel Joseph Garcia. Their children are Joseph, Nylah and
the best things that we accomplished.
Kaylan. These children brought our family to the fourth
First, I will recall our spiritual activities. We are parishioners
generation.
of St. Joseph Parish at 1717 EI Monte Avenue, Sacramento,CA. I

was one ofthe first Eucharistic Ministers blessed by Rev. Bob My Rosales Boys
Copsey. I only quit recently because my arthritis curtailed my
James (Jimmy) graduated from Rio del Norte High School in
going up and down the steps of the altar. I really miss the benefit
1971. We advised Jim to study Graphic Arts, however, he
of giving the Sacred Host to the communicants. Romeo and I
decided instead went to Florida to work. Eugene (Gene) also
contributed to the availability of the Carillon, the big church bell
graduated from Rio del Norte in 1973. Gene took courses in

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Cosmetology which was a good paying job. He worked at a Yes my dear ones---more woofs to be woven to the warp:

nearby Beauty Salon. Joel our youngest son graduated from Roming and I enjoyed our retirement years taking care of
Christian Brothers High School in 1983. Joel couldnt decide if our grandchildren and great grandchildren. We always tried to
he wanted to attend college. But during this time came our give them a hand, especially with their school needs. We enjoyed
many cars! Each one of us had our own. their company as we baby sat them and helped them with school

work, if needed. Soon we were able to celebrate our 40th and


A Visit Back Home with Joel
50th wedding anniversaries. Those were just a few of our very
In 1975, we went to the Philippines-Balikbayan trip. After
happy moments.
being away for 5 years, going back home for a visit was very

exciting. Only Roming, Joel and I went home to the Philippines. Roming is Spared

Upon arriving at the airport, it was very warm of course. I The ups and downs are part of life. Roming had a heart

remember Joel was so scared after seeing a big cockroach that he attack. I laid everything in God's hands as I had full trust and

started to made him sweat all over. faith in Him, Our Divine Physician and Divine Provider. I

We were anxious to meet all members of our family and prayed to Jesus to lend His heart to Romeo, or to take him home

looking forward to a wonderful family reunion. We went home to heaven. This was my prayer when they were operating him.

to Tuguegarao and Joel wanted to take a shower right away. My Then, the doctor came and told me and my children that Romeo

sister took him to the bathroom and showed him a tub full of was doing well.

water and an enamel cup to scoop the water while bathing. I Within two weeks, Roming This is where full trust and
fidelity for each other is practiced.
explained that there was no shower and no hot water. could walk and we took
And remember my advice always.
He changed his clothes and came to me in the kitchen him home. In Aug. 26, Economy and understanding are the
two basic foundations of a happy and
yelling, Mama, Mama, the house is burning! My sister calmed 2001, we celebrated our
successful married life. Always
him down and explained to him that they use firewood and an 50th wedding anniversary implore the Lord to guide and guard
you as you tread life's way.
earthen stove to cook our food. It was such a big experience for while Roming was in a
~Nena Rosales
wheelchair. It was a very

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 34 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 47
As one awakes, thank the Lord for your life and ask Him to guide my nine year old Joel who had not been back since he was three
you and be with you all day.
and a half years old.
Mama Mary is always there to pray for us.

An Extraordinary Proposal
We also loved to travel. We went on a cruise to Alaska and
The next day we went to visit a friend. We met Easter de los
then to the Caribbean. Happy and sad moments ... Roming had a
Santos, Thelma's sister. Thelma and Romeo were Sunday school
slight heart attack on our Caribbean cruise which was very
teachers at the Methodist Church. Amazingly, Romeo was
frightening. I prayed, and as I laid Roming's head on my lap, a
drawn to a charming young lady, Eden, daughter of Easter and a
miracle occurred. A man named John, a paramedic, came to
nurse by profession. Roming told me that we would ask Gene to
rescue Roming and took him to the nearest hospital in a Jeep.
marry Eden so Eden can come to the U.S. I agreed. Nurses were
Yes, Jesus is always there to help with his unceasing love and
in demand at that time.
care. Believe me- Jesus said "Lay me your burdens for my yolk is
To make a long story short, I made a proposal to Eden for
light." Roming felt better after being hospitalized in Cozumel,
her to marry Eugene. Proposal accepted. I still have Eden's letter.
Mexico for three days. Up to now, I always pray for John
Want to read it? Just ask me. I'm serious. Again, this brings to
because of his unconditional help for Roming when he needed
mind, Psalm 55:23 Cast your cares to the Lord who will give you
help most. We did not
support. God will never allow the righteous to stumble."
continue the cruise. We My dear ones, I advise you to
do away from fatty foods. Fruits and When we went home to Sacramento we explained our plans
flew back home as vegetables, fish or chicken, eggs and
to Gene. He was about twenty years old. Shortly thereafter, I
soon as Roming's milk are very much better for us to
stay healthy. Remember your sent an engagement ring to Eden through our nephew Dodds
doctor confirmed that vitamins and your exercise.
Simangan, Manang Noring's son. The ring was accepted and we
he was fully recovered. ~ Lola Nena
were all very happy. Gene was convinced to go home to marry
Thank God.
Eden. A formal wedding proposal was fulfilled by my Papa
With God's help Roming resumed his job at Kaiser
addressed to Eden's grandpa, Mr. Lope Reyes. Gene and Eden's
Permanente Hospital until he retired after 25 years of service.

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 46 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 35
wedding was on August 14, 1977. Coincidently, August 14 is artifacts. Thanks so much for the love and admiration Wally has

Eden's birthday and August 18 is Gene's birthday. for Ching and her family, especially for Heintje.

Hey! Remember how Eugene stayed with Manang Noring James Gabriel on the other hand is nicely taken care of by a

when he was younger and that he studied at the Tuguegarao very kind Filipino lady named Mercy. Good to mention though,

Elementary School? Eugene and Eden were classmates and also the Cristobal family is up to the fourth generation:

in the school band together where Eden was a majorette and Nena Cleopatra Leon Andrea
Eugene was in the bugle corps. I still have their class picture.
Unforgettable Times with My Lifelong Partner
Who knows what God planned for these two kids?
Now to more of my dearest, one and only, lover, and my
Joyful Moments
soul partner in life, Romeo Roming Estrada Rosales. Roming
Thank God for His blessings. Eden finally came to was fond of taking out his children and grandchildren to enjoy
Sacramento in December 1979. They stayed with us for a while outdoor life on weekends. Parents and grandparents and some
until Eden was able to land a job as a nurse at the Sutter General friends joined the family and sometimes we stayed overnight
Hospital. Gene was busy with hair styling and barbering. In and had a two day vacation.
September 1, 1980, their 1st baby, Ivan Rosales, was born. Then,
For spiritual moments we had family prayer meetings at
David was born on August 24, 1981. Erich followed in October
home, especially in the celebration of birthdays, wedding
24, 1987, then Genevieve on July 12, 1991. With a large family of
anniversaries and holidays. Roming prepared the program and
six, Gene and Eden managed to have a house of their own.
scriptures were read by the children. Roming used to have all
Eden's parents are Mariano de los Santos and Easter Reyes the grandkids recite Psalm 23 - The Lord is My Shepherd. I
de los Santos. Eden petitioned her mother Easter and in due time specifically remember Ronaviv reciting it as a very young girl.
she came to Sacramento in 1985. Church songs were sung. Dinner sometimes included a crispy

Coming or migrating to the U.S. is a big desire of many lechon (pig), Filipino style. Holding family prayer meetings at

Filipinos. The easiest way is to get petitioned by a relative who is home was a very beautiful legacy from our beloved Romeo.

already here. Many nurse graduates wanted to come here. A family that prays together stays together.

Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 36 Memoirs of Romeo & Nena P. Rosales Page 45
Salma, and Heintje except for one daughter, Lea who was left Parents sell their property so their children could go abroad.

behind under the care of my sister, Leonora. As destiny takes its Unluckily, these aspirants are oftentimes cheated by travel

course in ones life journey, James and Ching unfortunately agents. Some went to Mexico, but all in vain. Eventually, they

decided to go their separate ways. Ching took her five children return to the Philippines.

with her. Ching worked as a nurse aid part-time at Mercy


Eugene and Edens Growing Family
Hospital and part-time at a care home for seniors. She had a
There was a chain reaction with Eden's family. Her mom
patient, a Japanese lady named Betty Enkoji. She admired how
petitioned her two sons Robert and Alvin and both came to
Ching (whom she called Cleo - short for Cleopatra) took good
Sacramento in 1993. Easter was employed so she was able to buy
care of her. The term, T.L.C. - tender loving care - comes to mind.
a house of her own where she and her sons lived.
Months passed and Betty requested her only son and
Ivan finished high school in 1998. He worked at a hotel and
bachelor at the time, Wallace Enkoji to take her back home and
recently has decided to go back to school to become an X-ray
to have Cleo take care of her there. Wally, who worked with the
Technician, like his Uncle Joel. Ivan recently married Meuy
State of California as a Computer Analyst, loved her mom so
Saepharn during an intimate ceremony adding to the grown of
dearly and granted her mama's request. Soon Betty told Wally to
the Rosales family. Meuy has been very helpful with the
marry Cleo before she died. It didn't matter to her that Ching
development of my memoirs.
was divorced with 5 children. So Wally courted Ching for
David finished high school in 1999 and started working in a
Some time, and one day he came to visit us at home. We were
call center. He oftentimes DJs for various events and has
surprised when he called us "mom and dad". He then said, "I
recently decided to go back to school and take Graphic Arts.
would like to marry your daughter, Cleo." Romeo said, But
Hes also been very instrumental in helping me with this journal.
Wally Ching is divorced with 5 kids. The conversation carried

on awhile until Romeo accepted the proposal. Cleopatra Gabriel Erich finished high school in 2005. After graduation he

married Wallace Enkoji in March 8, 1991. joined the United States Air Force, the best Air Force in the

world! He signed up for four years. While in the service, he fell


When Betty passed away, Ching took good care of her
deeply in love and married Angelica Mamauag, daughter of
belongings - Japanese dolls, pictures, collections, and beautiful

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Fernandico Didi and Ellen Mamauag. Didi is Rollies younger Joel Starts His Family

brother. They now have a baby named Madeline born in May 16, Joel, my youngest son, married Jesselyn Nilo, daughter of
2008. Angelica also has a son named Jace. Erich is now a Ponciano and Josefina Nilo, a long-time friend of ours on August
reserved soldier with the Air Force and currently enrolled in 27, 1988 at St. Anthony's Church in Sacramento, California. They
electrical/computer engineering making use of his G.I. Bill of stayed with us for a while and then later moved into Jessy's
Rights. parents house. When her parents moved to Los Angeles, Joel

Genevieve is a demure Filipina, the only daughter of Gene and Jessy purchased the same home. They now have two sons,

and Eden and is currently enrolled at American River College Andrew Nilo Rosales born in June 13, 1996 and Jeremy Nilo

taking Nursing, after declining on the acceptance to Sacramento Rosales born in April 3, 2004. Joel is a licensed and certified x-ray

State University. After attending class, she is also teaches piano technician who loves his job. Jesse works with the State as an

lessons to high school students and some ecstatic younger Accountant. At this time Jeremy is a pre-schooler at St. Roberts

cousins. I pray that the Lord will always shepherd Genevieve School and Andrew is a sophomore at Christian Brothers High
for He said in Psalms 55:23- Cast your cares upon the Lord, who School, which his father graduated from.
will give you support. God will never allow the righteous one to
Knowing Your Roots
stumble. With this Genevieve will be a full fledged nurse

someday like her mother. It must be an outstanding joy for each one of you to know

your roots from original six members of the Rosales family who
On weekends, Eden and the children tend to their father and
came to the U.S.A. in 1969 and up to date at the writing of these
take him out. Gene suffered an aneurysm recently and the
memoirs in 2009, which covers four generations.
family shares in the added responsibilities.

To all of you my dear ones - Theres nothing impossible with the Ching and Her Family
Lord. Think POSITIVE always.
We petitioned Ching and her family in 1975 and in 1981,

they all came to Sacramento. James and Ching migrated to the

U.S.A. with their children Leon (Tofi), Rey, James jr. (Hazel),

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When REC began in Sacramento, I would help prepare tuna Another Trip Back Home

sandwiches along with Ching for the Friday dinner of the In December 12, 1980 to January 12, 1981, we went home
retreat. All throughout the years, Roxy was the ultimate REC again to the Philippines-Balikbayan trip. We were very glad to
Mom with her selfless and quiet demeanor, a missionary in her see our love ones once again. We spent two weeks with James,
own right. Praise the Lord! Ching and their family in Baguio where they took us to beautiful

I always pray that the youth and young adults know deeply spots like the Rice terraces, Burnham Park and the Baguio

the importance of a strong personal relationship with the Lord Cathedral with more than two hundred steps up. We enjoyed all

and one another. And that they are constantly aware and the sightseeing.

thankful for all the Lords blessings. Thank God. Joel and Rogeniv, nicknamed Gen-Gen, came with us. We

During the summer of 2009, the retiring Bishop Weigand of went back to our hometown Tuguegarao and had a reunion with

the Diocese of Sacramento gave Rollie a special award for Papa and my sisters and their families. We spent Christmas and

starting REC in Sacramento and for sustaining the movement to the New Year Holidays with them. We went home to

this day. Roxy was equally acknowledged by the good Bishop Sacramento having enjoyed our month vacation with our

for her services behind the scenes as a REC mother. families, the Rosales/Pattawi clan.

REC advisers and staff are presently planning the


My Son Jimmy and Family
celebration of RECs 25th anniversary in the summer of 2011 with
Jim became a Filipino American Citizen in 1984. He also
the reigning Bishop Jaime Soto to attend. All these can be
returned to Tuguegarao to visit where he met Maria Soriano
fulfilled only by the Grace of God, for nothing is impossible with
nicknamed Kendee, daughter of Constancio Soriano and
the Lord. Many members of our family have participated in REC
Aurora Bariuan Soriano. Kendee was introduced to Jim by his
and will continue to do so as the generations grow. My great
cousin, Naomi Simangan Bariuan, daughter of Manang Noring.
grandsons, Joseph-13 and Andrew-16, are scheduled to attend
Naomi is married to Joven Bariuan cousin of Kendee. With this
REC #100 - RECs 2nd and 3rd generation. God is so good.
relationship, Naomi suggested Jim to marry Kendee, also a nurse

by profession, so that she can also go to the U.S. Since Jim was

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self-sufficient, employed by the Dept. of Parks and Recreation, the healing of the family tree. They experienced inner

City of Sacramento and owned a house, he agreed to Naomi's conversion and were touched by the Holy Spirit. The most

suggestions. Jim and Kendee became engaged. Jim didn't stay profound effect of this retreat was in Rogenivs letter to his

long in Tuguegarao. He went back to U.S. to petition Kendee as mother, Roxy, and father, Rollie, pleading with them to start a

his fianc. The petition was approved and in 1985, Kendee came REC chapter in Sacramento.

to the U.S. After a week they had a civil marriage in Reno. Their And so, Roxy and Rollie attended an adult REC cursillo
church wedding was solemnized at St. Joseph Church in August (retreat), which then grounded their own faith in the process.
24, 1985. They stayed with us for some time. Then Charissa Jane Consequently, they were inspired to respond to their sons
Rosales was born in August 1, 1986. Jim sold his house in Folsom request.
and bought a house at 2601 Dorine St. close to our place. After
Recollections In Christianity was started in Sacramento in
some years, Kendee petitioned her parents and they came to
the spring of 1986 by Rollie and Roxy with the leadership of John
America to live with them in 1994. Jim still works with the citys
Havey as director and the cousins as they were called. Salma
Park and Recreation Dept. which he loves to do while Kendee
became director of REC #7; Heintje REC #12, Rogeniv REC #20;
currently works overseas. She comes home to her family every
and some of the other cousins, Jonalee, Mylene, and Maricar,
three months. Charissa has been on her own since she was
also became REC directors.
eighteen and by Gods grace she and her better half, Frank
By Gods grace, the REC movement is often called the best
Ramirez has received a special gift, Mikayla Rosales Ramirez on
kept secret of the Diocese of Sacramento by having touched the
November 17, 2009.
lives of over 8,000 young people from REC #1 in 1986 to REC #99

Recollections in Christianity in 2010. Rollie serves as the lay minister and facilitator and

Roxy, often called the REC Mom, serves by managing the food
A youth leader, John Havey from St. Rose Parish invited
services and coordinating parents and other volunteers behind
Rogeniv, Heintje, Salma, Hazel, Mel, Jonalee, Maricar, and
the scenes. For each REC, Roxy shops for and prepares 5-6 full
Mylene to attend a weekend retreat in Vallejo. The objective of
meals, serving from 75-200+ candidates, staff members,
the retreat, called Recollections in Christianity (aka REC), was
organizers and other volunteers.
the inner transformation of teens, for the salvation of souls and
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