Childhood

[nggallery id=26]

The fifth child of Gerardo (Adong) Angeles and his wife Josefina (Fanny) was born on the 22nd of June 1952 in Davao City in the southern Philippines island of Mindanao. She was christened Rosa Linda.Her parents had settled in Davao in the early 1940s, and later bought a home on the MacArthur Highway in Matina in 1952, just across the bridge from the central business district. The home was of  traditional design for the time: large, two floors, high ceilings, and big windows to let the breeze through.Linda has wonderful, warm memories of living there and growing up with her parents and siblings.Linda’s father was respected as an honest lawyer who would often take on cases knowing he would never be paid. He was enormously fond of siestas (hilata) at any time of the day, and was a legend for his sense of humour, albeit slightly on the corny side (as is expected of Dads). Adong was an outstanding member of the church, meaning he often stood outside during mass. Perhaps he had good reason, as on 19th April 1981, when he was carrying the bible to the altar, a terrorist threw a hand grenade into the church. He was hit in the chest with a piece of shrapnel, and would surely have died had it not first passed through the bible. (True story!)

Fanny was an astute business woman, which was just as well with Adong taking so many pro bono cases. She bought investment properties around Davao in areas that magically became prime commercial districts years later. It was also her idea to construct the Josefina Building along the entire street-front of their property in Matina. Now, on the other side of the MacArthur Highway, is an enormous shopping mall. Adong was fond of reminding everyone that he was the approving officer in the house. Whatever Josefina said, he approved.

Josefina and Adong were always called Nanay and Tatay by the family and close friends.

The bedroom Linda shared with her elder sister Baby was large, light and breezy in those days before the Josefina building arose. It had a view across the trees in the font garden and to the homes over the road.

Linda’s nickname growing up was payat (skinny). She was also quite tall and, even wearing flat shoes, boys found her a little intimidating. Despite this, several boys courted her, only to be rejected for various reasons. One was so traumatized that he switched sides.

Linda was the fifth of seven children. Her siblings are (in age order) Joaquin (Ken), Rita (Baby), Pedrito (Boy), Maria Luisa (Marilou), Carmen (Menchu) and Pepito.Ken and his wife Vangie live in Davao, running the popular Yellow Fin restaurant.Baby and her husband Joe Atienza still live in the family home in Matina and manage the Josefina Building. They have converted part of the home to a very comfortable guest house for visiting relatives.Boy and his wife Del have retired, and now live in part of the Josefina Building which has been converted to a comfortable home.Adong passed away in 1993 and Fanny in 2001.Marilou passed away in 1999 after a long fight with diabetes.

Menchu is married to Frank Blaze and lives in Los Angeles.

Pepito is separated from his wife Marilou. They both live in Davao.

Nanay, Tatay and Marilou are buried in the family mausoleum in Davao cemetery. The mausoleum is a regular stop for the family on Sundays after church.

Since migrating to Australia, Linda has visited Davao at least once a year, usually for Nanay’s birthday. Whenever she visits home she likes to stay in her old bedroom.

It was and still is home for her.

Leave a Reply