’60 B.S. ZOOLOGY
Olongapo City is the place where my parents made a home for their six children. I’m the fourth child, born in Cavite City. Graduating as Salutatorian from Olongapo High School, I entered UP as an Entrance Scholar. I wanted so much to be a lawyer, but got roped into the pre-med program. By my 3rd year, I knew I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor. I begged my parents to let me off the hook, and promised to marry a doctor instead. Graduating in 1960 with a B.S. major in Zoology, my professor in Parasitology, Dr. Carmen Velasquez got me my first job as assistant to the principal of UP High School.
I then went on to Bremerton, Washington as part of President Eisenhower’s People to People program. I attended Olympic College where I took a year of business courses.
After I moved back to the Philippines in 1965, Mario and I got married in the Church of the Risen Lord on the UP Diliman campus. I worked for the Bureau of Fisheries and then went on to teach Zoology courses and UE and CEU up until 1966. Mario and I then moved to the US, where I taught Biology in Baltimore and took graduate courses in Johns Hopkins University until 1971 when I retired from the workforce to care for my children.
Mario and I met in one of our zoology courses. UP was the setting of the romance that bloomed between us. It is under those flaming orange fire trees that we fell in love, dated and made the commitment to be together. After graduation, he decided to go to medical school and I went on to pursue my own career. After he graduated from the University of the East, he taught Physiology for a year at his alma mater. We got married in 1965 and decided to come to America in 1966.
Our two children, Dimark and Marni were both born in Baltimore. Mario joined the US Navy after residency and was assigned to the Naval Academy Hospital in 1972. Life inside the academy sold us to Navy life. Other duty stations included Subic Hospital, Philippines, where our daughter, Deena, was born and delivered by her dad. We were also stationed in Naples, Italy where we were able to travel all over Europe. We soaked up the cultures of the different countries where we stayed weeks at a time. This was an education in itself. And we thank the Navy for such opportunities that expanded our horizons. Our favorite pastime was traveling. We were lucky enough to visit all the major cities in Europe and much, much more. We ended up back in San Diego once again, where Mario worked at Balboa Hospital, and finally retired from the Navy in 1993.
From there, we decided to go East one more time where Mario joined the OB-GYN Medical Staff at NMC, Portsmouth, Virginia. This afforded us to see the East coast up and down and stay in places where we could not afford when Mario was a resident. It also gave us a chance to enjoy east coast life where we lived in a beautiful home on the Chesapeake Bay. Here, we spent many days going fishing and crabbing and enjoying all the things Virginia had to offer.
Retirement in San Diego
In the winter of our years together, 42 as a married couple and 7 years before that, we are still together and are now residing in one of the most beautiful cities in America—San Diego, California.
We were blessed with three wonderful children, Dimark, 40, Marni, 36 and Deena, 30, who are all successful in their chosen careers. We also have three beautiful grandchildren: Aria, 5, Noah, 3 and Justin, 1 (and a grand-puppy, Wylie.).
Mario spends much of his time playing his guitar and singing. What more can one ask for? God has been good to us. We are very grateful and pray that He continues to shine His face on our family. We have fulfilled our goals and ambitions. No regrets here!