Herstory, Part II
This is the continuation of “Mom’s Herstory,” as printed in the November issue of Pacific Island Times. It is an honor to have a glimpse of the life of Antonia A. Mabini, as printed in her mass booklet.
“In the late 1970s, mom started working as a housekeeper taking graveyard shifts. With her help, many family members entered careers in hospitality. Her coworkers, who many became dear friends, would describe mom as a ‘hard worker and quick on her feet.’ Later promoted, she would often wonder why she was selected for management positions, considering she had only an elementary education,” After over 20 years of service, mom retired as an assistant executive housekeeper at Guam Hotel Okura (Lotte Hotel today.)
“Before and after retirement, Mom continued to help her family, and often found herself busy at home cleaning, sewing, or cooking. She stayed active in the community, including with the Guam Batangas & Southern Tagalog Association, Samar Association and Tamuning Senior Center. She enjoyed traveling, visiting family and friends stateside, and often stayed in her other house in Balayan where she visited with close friends and families. She did not mind traveling by herself, always bringing along ‘pasalubong’ gifts.
“In all that she did, mom displayed her enduring qualities: industrious, generous, compassionate and caring. It has become apparent that she was passionate about ensuring her family was provided opportunities that were not available to her during her younger years. This included the love of parents, a stable family, home, nourishment, music and education. Mom’s humble beginnings and perseverance throughout her life continue to inspire her children, grandchildren, and others to strive for success, happiness, and to continue the important tradition of a strong and loving family.”
Antonia A. Mabini, fondly called “Onie” or “Tita Onie,” married Larry Mabini who was a widow with eight children. They had two more children. The blended family includes Jan, Shirley “Sam,” Deli, Jerry, Irene, Lillian, Lucy, Eddie, Cora, Emmanuel. Lillian, Cora and Emmanuel, along with her husband, greeted her above.
Mrs. Mabini’s life story exemplifies resilience, perseverance, gratitude. Especially during a time when the entire world is challenged with the effects of a pandemic, these attributes motivate us to move forward.
As an orphan, her family stepped up. Her brother welcomed her into his humble home, a tiny nipa hut. She was included and loved.
As a girl, her resilience stepped up. She found treasure in what she had. She collected and recycled used glass bottles. She washed and ironed people’s laundry. She sold vegetables. With her earnings, she bought a few pencils and sheets of paper.
As a girl, her love for life surged. She was motivated by hearing piano music from houses as she walked to school or work. Her determination to have her children learn piano resulted in two daughters being pianists.
As a person with a cleft palate for much of her life, her community stepped up. Dr. Ernesto Espaldon and his wife, Dr. Leticia Espaldon performed reconstructive surgery, taking care of the cost of the operations and treatment.
As an adult, her sense of community blossomed. She was an active member of associations where support systems helped families celebrate life. The presence of many at her funeral mass radiated the love she shared.
As an adult, her sense of responsibility flourished. She worked hard in the hospitality industry where she eventually retired as an assistant executive housekeeper at Guam Hotel Okura.
During our re-entry into life - in the world of work, school, community, Mrs. Mabini serves as a role model. We start with what we have. We make things work. We realize and appreciate opportunities. We work hard. We take one step at a time.
As well, we determine, what have we done as a family member to help another? As a community member, how have we contributed to support systems?
Mrs. Mabini’s resonates with the love, joy, and peace of Christmas. Merry Christmas to the Mabini Family and each of you. God Bless!
Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.