SERVING THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY SINCE 1993
FEB. 9, 2019

COVER STORY

COVER STORY

Lessons on Love... (cont.)

 

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Rosalinda Antonio is another senior who takes care of her parents in their mid-90s. “It is physically and emotionally stressful. I am the only one taking care of my parents because my siblings all live in the mainland.

“My father has Alzheimer’s disease and must use a wheelchair. My mother had a hip replacement but is healthy. My mother is not able to help with care for my father much. But she insists that dad stay at home and not be sent to a care home.”

Antonio says she cares for them because they took care of her. “It’s time to repay what they did for me. They might not live much longer so I give all my support to make them

happy. I give them unconditional love.

Antonio still works and gives around-the-clock care as best possible. She wakes up early to do chores, goes home every lunch break to check on her parents, and watches over them after work.

Giving up career to care for children.

Eva Soriano grew up in Honolulu and moved to California after graduating from the University of Hawaii. She majored in marketing and got her first job at a business college in Irvine. A few years went by and she eventually became Director of Admissions and Marketing at the college.

“I loved my job and career and couldn’t imagine back then that I would give it all up to raise my children full-time,” said Soriano.

“When I had my first child, I still worked. My husband and I got some help with a nanny. When we had our second child just three years later, my husband and I decided it would be best for me to stay home and care for them. They were 5 and 2 when I left my career.

“Many years later, my oldest is now at UC Berkeley majoring in Biology with hopes of becoming a doctor. My other daughter is a senior at a private Catholic school.

“While I loved my career and doubted my decision back then, I felt like my children really needed me to be with them. I have no regrets and would do it again.

“Giving up a career to raise a child might not be the right path for everyone, but it was right for me. I did it all for love,” said Soriano.

Eva is now in her early fifties and says she realizes her prime working years have passed. But she is not ruling out entering the job force at some capacity.

Helping her single-parent daughter

Mercy Agustin of Waipahu is a grandmother who is helping her daughter, a single mom. “My daughter is having a hard time financially. It’s difficult to see my daughter suffering from anxiety and stress. I worked for a care home but decided to quit my job so that I can help my daughter by caring for my grandson full-time.

“This allows my daughter to work full-time and fix her life. Now, my daughter, my grandson, and I are living together in an apartment my daughter purchased.”

Agustin’s grandson is now in kindergarten and she still watches over him.

“You will do everything for your children, no matter what it takes,” said Agustin. “I have no regrets quitting my job because of all the good times I had the chance to spend with my grandson since he was three months old. These are precious moments. No amount of money can replace that.”

Leaving country, family, and friends to be with husband

Mylene Corpuz of Waipahu remembers how love brought her to a new world.

“Back home in the Philippines when I was single I had a good job, good family and friends. I left it all to be with my husband in the U.S. Every Filipino’s dream is to come to America. When my husband petitioned for me to join him and start a family, I did not hesitate,” said Corpuz.

“Leaving my loved ones back home, especially my parents was one of the hardest moments in my life. I have very close family ties with all of them. I think of them every day since the day I left to come to America.

“But it was worth it. I have my dream of building a happy family. I found a good job here. My husband and my in-laws are all nice and supportive. I am able to support my families back in the Philippines, even helping some of my cousins go to college and have a better life.”

Rosario Guillermo of Honolulu also recalls the time when she left the Philippines to join her husband. “My son was very young when my husband left to go to Germany. He started to grow up knowing him only in the pictures. I wanted to leave to be with my husband to keep our family together. At the time I was offered a scholarship to pursue my Master’s degree but I didn’t take it.

“It was hard adjusting to a different environment and way of life. But it was all worth it. My son bonded with his dad. We had great experiences being in a foreign country. Eventually, we all moved to the U.S.

“Challenges in life are bearable when you are with your loved ones. Being together helps us get through ups and downs. Being together makes a big difference,” said Guillermo.

Teaching love to kids, Castillo became a donor

Music teacher Christopher Castillo changed the life of Cyehnna Lasconia in a remarkable act of selflessness.

Cyehnna contracted E.coli, a day after being born. The infection left her with a dysfunctional kidney and she was on a transplant list awaiting a match for a replacement kidney. She suffered from seizures and without a healthy kidney, she would have been on dialysis for a lifetime.

Castillo met the Lasconias at a family party. At the time, he was just coming off a disappointing experience of attempting to donate bone marrow to a child. But that child passed away. Castillo offered to help Cyehnna and donate his kidney.

“I teach my kids to make the world a better place. What better way to show that commitment, than to do this?” said Castillo.

Soon after meeting for a first time at the party, they underwent a successful surgery. Since then, the two share a deep bond and enjoy a wonderful “uncle-niece” type relationship even though they are not blood relatives. Cyehnna was given a gift to live out a healthy life; Castillo taught his students how love can make a difference in bettering the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Love shows itself in a myriad of ways, most usually in relationships that require work and responsibility. Rekindling the “passion” in a loving relationship is what many couples do for Valentine’s Day. But the month of love could also be a celebration of all loving relationships. Happy Valentine’s Day! e

 

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