1: Each Christmas, may the loneliness we feel be replaced by the joyful memories we have of mom in years past. Hopefully this book will help us remember those memories. I invite you both to add more so that if any one of us gets sad we can go to this book and turn that sadness into a smile. I love you both! And Merry Christmas! Love, Ivy
2: She was a friend
3: May your Christmas be blessed and joyful, she is with you always in spirit. Amen. Ligaya Gabriel, she is whom I know when we were going to HOLLAND in 1970-73. I have known her as a quiet, decent and ever make trouble from anybody. Having said this, describing her as a very private is a very nice person. Loving in nature, we call her “Gay” and she called me “Lola Helen”. We got all our popular names from our roommates. There were 10 girls in total for each houses and we live in a three bedroom at 19 Princess Christina Straat. Two girls were given our duty to tend to like cleaning, cooking and do our laundry. Every week rotations and that served as our obligation each has their task to do. Jovita Felizardo, Linda Gomez her two roommates and they were in one room. The rest of the girls namely Pricilla Manuel, Remedios Fernandez on the guest room and the large bedroom consist of 5 girls were Teresita Neri (your moms best friend), Teresita Concepcion, Mila Divina, Leonida Cawagas and Helen Medina (Lola). Our life began when we went to Holland as 60 girls at 19Princess Christina Straat and 10 girls has been added to join us in Wehl and they also live at PRINCE BERNHARD STRAAT they came from Amsterdam group. The adventure we have had started to get to know each other and everyone enjoyed life in Holland. We have our adventure, fun time together telling tales, sing and also perform folk dancing from Euro Vision and got the opportunity to be in the limelight and on stages. Our group goes places like Germany and around HOLLAND to perform and tour around Europe was among the top priority where we can take pictures see the breath taking views and all of experiences like meeting other nationalities especially from all over Europe like Paris, Italy,Venice, Switzerland, Austria and Heidelberg. Then another adventure came when we got separate ways as I lived in Toronto, I have missed all the 69 girls and yet we migrate to Canada. I have also missed the big day when Gay got marry.Then you came along and did not see you and your brother too. Later you have moved to Vancouver, only then when your mom and dad came for a short visit here in Toronto. And once see her then with you dad. Gay is very pleasant, she has full of life and most of the time serious in every Angle when it comes to business, very professional. She shows a good example of a woman. I will always missed Ligaya, with her genuine character and as a true friend and Kabsat. I salute you. In my heart I KEEP YOU AS A GIFT FROM GOD. Merry Christmas to you. -- Helen Medina
5: Me & Mom | At first we didn't know each other, but as time passed by, we made friends with almost everybody. Everytime I see Gay, we exchange greetings, she call me Manam Dema (Madam Dema) and I call her Lingaya (ligaya) were like ngongo, coz' there's a nice dutch lady working in their department who call them (Lingaya) your Mom and Ligaya Cater Damen known as Maria . We see each other sometimes at work, when there's a group meeting (mostly everyone is in pajama) coz it's time to go to bed and our social worker will call an impromptu meeting at the social hall, when there's a party or special gatherings for Berghaus Employees. After 3 long years this young lonely homesick ladies immigrated here in Winnipeg, some in Toronto & Vancouver. We didn't see each other all the time because were too busy with our work. One time I saw your Mom in a party, she told if she will get married here in Wpg. I will be one of the Godmother, but it didn't happened she got married in the Phils. When Fred arrived, I think it takes only a year and they moved from Wpg. We didn't see each other for quite a long time, maybe 20 years, until we had a 25th reunion in 1995 here in Winnipeg. Everyone had a good time. sometimes I still watch the video tape and you're there Ivy, dancing with your Dad. We had a happy time again on Rosahlee's wedding in Calgary in 2001. One summer day after the wedding, your Mom called at Linda's (Robles) place. I was there and were able to talk what happened to your Mom and Dad I should say business. In 2007 Mark Robles got married, were able to see each other again, the following day your Dad pick me up at my Sister in Laws place and I went to your house. We were so happy reminiscing all the things we did when we were in The Netherlands. there was your Mom, Linda, Ethel and me. Then in 2009, I heard from your Tita Rose that your Mom is sick, I called up your Mom, nangumusta and she told me that she has lung cancer, sabi ko kaya mo yan at magdasal lang tayo gagaling ka rin, and told her about our plan to have a reunion here in Winnipeg in August of 2010. Once in a while I'll call her, keep on talking and laughing. She said she would really like to come here for the reunion. Then comes the reunion kahit na maysakit naalala pa rin ang mga groupmates niya na pasalubungan ng 2 boxes na blueberries. I put all the blueberries in plastic bags and everyone got a share of what your mom and dad brought us. During the reunion I saw your Mom, so happy to see everyone, talking, hugging & laughing. The following night were all in our basement with our groupmates, everyone was happy,singing, laughing and crying and some of the girls keep on embracing your Mom and dancing with her. esp. Leona Tolentino. The following morning before they left for Vancouver, we had breakfast at Pampanga Restaurant, with your Mom, Dad, Tita Linda, Tito Tony, Tito Arman and me.and that's the very last time I saw your Mom. l call her sometimes in the last few months of her life, but most of the time she's at the hospital already. All I can say is your Mom is a very strong, wonderful woman, a very caring & loving wife, mother and a very good friend (can't help but cry when I'm writing this short memoirs of her). I know she's in heaven with our Creator and still watching your family whom she love very much. -- Dema Ducut
6: She was my cousin
7: I guess it was not much funnier as we had younger and older relative relationship. Your Mom was very protective of us, the younger cousins. That every time, the male cousins go out for a "gimmick" (your modern day word), she will come with us in pants and hat just to make she looks like just one of the boys. I am also very proud to tell you that she was the "very first" relative/cousin to set a trend that farming is not always an option. You see, before, if you are strong enough to work in the farm, you stop your schooling and help out in the farm. That is why we have many relatives in our age that did not even finish high school because they have to help out in the farm. I was the second one but I just followed her example not because I don't like farming but I am very clumsy/whimpy working in the farm. Unlike your Uncle Boy who was very efficient farm worker. As you already knew, I can tell a lot of stories about your Uncle Boy because I am his favorite older cousin bully (hehe). This is for your Auntie Cora. You probably noticed that your Mom and your Auntie Cora always have little bit struggle doing the cooking especially the dishes after dinner?. I guess both of them just wanted to please each other. That is a traditional Filipino ways as host and visitors. But we, husbands, like that very much because we don't have to do chores. --Zosimo (Ike) Gabriel
8: She was my cousin-in-law (and a clean freak) | The only thing I can remember is her trait. I think she and I are similar in some ways when it comes to cleanliness. It seemed like we have certain standards which other people might think too much. Have you heard of the phrase " two birds of the same feather flock together"? Long time ago, we were in a hotel and I had to make some coffee. I saw the coffee machine and instead of just putting the filter and adding the ground coffee, I had to wash the coffee machine where you pour the water in. Then your dad saw me and he laughed and said "Oh you are like your Ate Joy magkamaganak nga kayo." I was inclined to wash it because it looks so dusty and dirty - neat freak Ha. Hehehe. Also when it comes to washing dishes, I do not trust other people, same as your Mom. Sometimes I have to wash it again if I did not like the way they washed it. This was long time ago now I have loosen up and changed a bit. --Cora Gabriel
9: I remember that every Canada Day, we used to have a BBQ in your backyard at your house and everybody would just hang out there and relax. Spend time with family and friends. And Ate Guy would make bibinka (sapin-sapin). --Emma Gabriel | She was my sister-in-law
10: She was my Lola. | The things that i never forget about Lola is that when she goes to Tim Hortons for coffee or snack she always brings back donuts for me, and she always gives me nicknames almost each week. The most thing i can never forget about her is when she laughs she makes everybody in the room laugh too and when she laughs she fills the whole house. I can never forget her heavy footsteps upstairs. Now, it's so quiet i kinda missed it. --Joshua Catabay
11: Me & Mom | Sometimes when Ian or I would come home, mom didn't hear us come in because she was washing the dishes. I remember we would we would yell "Hi Mom!" and she would jump up and then while she was yelling back at us for scaring her we were laughing our heads off. Ian scared her more often than I did, though.
12: She was my auntie....
13: Well the first time i met her was in Philippines....and my first impression was she look so much like mama but the short version...i was on grade school that time and thinking that i hope she's my mama pretending to be someone else. I will never forget those time when we're new here in cCnada she was so supportive and she even told us to watch ELMO because thats where we learn how to speak english. And Every july 1st (Canada Day) we are all together because of her, she always makes effort for everybody. we miss her so much! -- Nette Gabriel Urbien | I remember when Auntie Guy used to pick me and Charleen up after school and then we would come back to your house and toast blueberry bagels and eat them with Philadelphia cream cheese :) :) :) yum!! Also, I remember this one time when we were at your house, your mom told us this story about how when you guys still lived in Calgary (I think) and then Kuya Ian was really sick and apparently he saw a "white lady" and was calling for her and reaching the ceiling or something like that. That story REALLY freaked me out for like, a week or something. --Chandelle Gabriel
14: Your Mom and I worked 2-gether at the finishing Dept. Of Berghaus. We spent talking and laughing our heads off. We enjoyed teasing the Dutch people around us knowing that if we laugh about them they wouldn't know it anyways. U'r Mom was a good person. I'll never 4-get her. -- Maria Damen | She was my friend and bridesmaid
15: "There is no friendship, no love, like that of a mother for her child." | I remember the way mom would talk about her adventures in Holland. Even though we heard the stories many times before, I still listened because she was always excited and laughing when she was telling them to us.
16: She was my second mom | My fave story of your mom (oh good god there is so many things i remember) but i will never ever forget her voice ...SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!! LOL! No one can call my name the way she did!!! I miss her so much, I cant even tell you but i will always always remember how she was another mom to me and she used to always watch me around the piano! "SUSAN what are u doing!" lol
17: My other fave thing was when she would phone up and say you guys were coming to visit and how mom had to make pancit cuz u were coming. And how that one time when your mom and dad and my mom and dad kept asking us if we were drunk on my moms baby potatoes from the garden LOL Oh I remember the first time your mom "tssst" me lol and I came lol and everyone started laughing @ me! Lol!!!!! BUT the one thing i will always remember the most is how she was just so much larger than life considering how short she was !!!! and that she always treated me like i was hers we were all family!!!!!! I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!! AND I LOVE YOU MRS SEBASTIAN !!!!!!! --Suzy Filipek
18: She was our Tita
19: What I do remember is when Shaq lived in Vancouver with us for a few months last year and we went to visit you guys last November. Tita Guy and Tito Fred welcomed us like we were long lost relatives or something. (I didn't expect them to even pretend to remember they knew who we were, but that's okay...I wouldn't have remembered if I was in their shoes). Tita Guy carried this remarkable aura with her. She was full of smiles like how a mother looks at her newborn for the first time. I knew she was a strong woman because she never looked tired, stressed or worried about anything. The funny story about our visit is when we were eating and she was talking to Jason and he had food in his mouth so he held his hand up like he was coughing and (he sometimes has weird mannerisms that I get annoyed of) shrugged his shoulders up and down repeatedly and bobbed his head back and forth. Tita being the caring woman she was jumped to her feet and said "You're choking! I'll get you a drink!" I told her he's weird and he just eats like that but she still got up and got him a drink. I remember when we took those pics she wanted to hold Isaiah but he was heavier than he looked. Finally Tito Fred gave in and let her hold him. It didn't last long but it was way too cute how she gave him back in a panic. As we were leaving she kept her dominant "Aunt" position telling us to take care. My heart melted as we left because I can never comprehend why she was put in her situation. We grew a deep fondness for her even from that short visit. She had such an impact on me that I felt like she was an Aunt I had known my whole life. Tita Guy I'm sorry I didn't know you sooner but I am thankful for the time we did spend with you. We pray that God can grant Tito Fred, Ivy, Ian and the rest of us the strength to carry on until we meet again. We love you and you miss you deeply. -- Sharon Mariano
21: She was my friend | What i remember about your mom is that she was a good friend who was easy to get along with. I always felt that we had a lot in common, we spent a lot of our time together talking about our children and she always spoke very proudly about you and your brother. She always put her family first and was very strong minded. I have good memories of us all playing 41 together. The fist time i met your mom was when i was still learning how to play 41, but she was never really a gambler:) and always stopped playing before she lost a lot of money:). I remember your moms good sense of humor and sharing many laughs with her. -- Annie Luthra
22: She was our neighbor and friend | My favorite story was about the time your mom taught me how to make pancit. She took careful time to explain everything! I was so worried the first time I made it that I didn't even want your mom to try it !! Your mom stood in the middle of my kitchen and announced from now on you make pancit!!!!!!!! --Josephine Filipek
24: "A lucky few have a mother like you. Mothers are flowers in the garden of life." - Thomas Fuller
25: She was Mrs. Sebastian, my second mom | I remember meeting Mrs Sebastian for the first time...I was very nervous and sweaty, looking back now I had no reason to be. Mrs Sebastian had let me into her home on a regular basis and always made sure I was well fed and felt comfortable. I remember looking forward to my birthday cause she had always made a point to make chicken pancit & coconut dessert, even when she was tired. she also made the best tuna casserole!!! A story that comes to mind when I think back takes me to a time when Ivy was in japan and I was visiting Mrs. Sebastian and the family. After eating and chatting I proceeded to exit the home via the stairs with Ian following behind. My clumsiness led me to slip and fall all the way down on my rear end (thank goodness it was carpeted then)I could hear Ian holding back laughter and making sounds on every stair that I hit. I then heard Mrs. Sebastian yell "what happened?", Ian asked if I was ok... then proceeded to laugh out loud ( I would have done the same). Mrs. Sebastian then came to the stairs and also asked if I was ok, I was fine, just embarrassed, however she didn't laugh after but asked if I was going to sue her, Lol. I obviously said no..and then she proceeded to laugh, it was quite funny to hear her contagious laugh. I know exactly where Ian and Ivy get their laugh from. I love and miss Mrs. Sebastian very much, the world is in short supply of people like her, Respectful, funny, loving, caring, responsible, hard working, considerate and well balanced are just a few of the many traits of Mrs. Sebastian's personality. -- Aabid Pirani
26: I remember her very contagious laugher. My favorite story of your mom and my moms adventures was when she made my mom go see The Exorcist. My mom was soooo scared. Your mom and my mom shared one bed and they were all about to sleep when your mom started to shake the bed freaking my mom out. Then she hears your mom laughing. My mom was so mad LOL! That is why mom has never watched a horror movie since. -- Lesley Enriquez | She was my Ninang | (and a joker)
27: She was my Tita | I remember her healthy eating and how she uses fresh veggies in her sinigang as well as her famous saying "Booang!" --Rosahlee Enriquez Umapas | Mom's cooking was hands down the best. It's a skill that I wish she gave to both me and Ian, but instead, Ian is the lucky one! =) I always remember the sound of her cooking - the fan would be on and she would always be singing a song. But she would only know a few words of the song and then sometimes she would hum the rest or make up her own words.
28: She was my best friend's mom | Every time I called to talk to Ian and your mom answered, she asked who it was and I said "David", she said who and I said, "Dave", and she would go ahhhh Santa Clause. She would then yell for Ian to pick up the phone and say it was Santa Clause. I laughed every time she did this cause I could hear everything from the other end of the phone. -- David (Santa Clause) Tape
29: i remember seeing her driving the van, and i remember the way her whole face changed when she smiled. i also remember her hair. i always thought she had gorgeous hair. You have her hair, you know. (i hope that doesn't make you cry!!!) and she was very, very generous. i ate a big Filipino meal at your house once and she kept offering to fill my plate. --Lauren Faulkner
30: She was a wife,
31: a mom, and now......
32: ...she is our angel. | "My special "angel" in life. I was honored to be called your "adopted" sister. Thank you for taking care of my mother so lovingly. I will miss you very much. Hugs from Gail & Gary" - Gail Corrigan