Sunday, June 17, 2007
FATHER'S DAY - Mariano Flores Manguerra
Today is Father's Day and I'm remembering my own father, Mariano Flores Manguerra, born March 8, 1894, and died October 29, 1957. He was born in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, son of Pablo Manguerra and Maria Espina Flores. Papa's full-blood siblings were: Pablo Jr., Concepcion, Estefania, and Pura. His father, Pablo, had other children. Papa's mother (Maria Espina Flores) had a brother named Jose Flores, who had a daughter named Mariquita Flores (first cousin of Papa, then). Mariquita married Justice Villamor and they were the parents of the Philippine hero-pilot Jesus Villamor.
Papa was a civil engineer. He attended Valparaiso University in Indiana, and when he returned to the Philippines became a professor of Engineering at the University of the Philippines.
Papa had a first wife, Catalina Abad Santos, who died; they had no children. Papa's second marriage was to Mama (Concepcion Alesna Cuenco). They had 4 children: Maria Victoria, Mariano Jesus, Ana Maria Teresita, and me (Cecilia Catalina).
He had a colorful life: when he was young, he stowed away in a ship to go to America, where he attended Engineering school. He worked for a while in Indiana, and he also worked in South East Asian countries. During World War II, he was in the guerrilla movement in Mindanao. He brought his wife and 2 children with him to live in places like Malaybalay, in Mindanao. His third child was born in Mindanao; a fourth child (a boy) miscarried during the war. I was born after the war.
Aside from being a Professor of Engineering, he worked as a District Engineer in Talisay, Cebu, and later became an independent Contractor building highways in Cebu and in Dumaguete. He had also built buildings in Jaro, Iloilo and Baker's Hall in Los Banos, Manila. The highways and buildings are still there.
Papa died of a heart attack while on a holiday in Hong Kong, on October 29, 1957.
(Photo l-r: Ana, Mariano, Cecilia, photo taken circa 1956)
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is the award-winning author of 9 books, including When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, Vigan and Other Stories, and Out of Cebu: Essays and Personal Prose. She edited four books, co-edited six books, and co-authored a novel, Angelica's Daughters. Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles have been widely anthologized. Cecilia has received many awards, including a California Arts Council Fellowship in Fiction, a Brody Arts Fund Award, a Special Recognition Award for her work dealing with Asian American youths, as well as a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Senate, 21st District, and the Outstanding Individual Award from her birth city, Cebu, Philippines. She has received several travel grants from the USIS. She has lectured and performed at UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension.