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I was walking when I bumped into Anna Gonzalez and her daughter, Madelynn. They were volunteering at the Sanctuarie de Notre Dame de Lourdes. Anna is a nurse and they reside in New Braunfels, Texas.
Charly Rousset and Gina Lat Rousset (Bay, Laguna) own Asian Delices Food. The sign at the door says: Gina vous accueille et vous presente sa cuisine des Philippines. Tout est fait maison. (Gina welcomes you to try her Filipino food. Everything is cooked fresh in her kitchen.)
I was at Asian Delices Food, when Liz Marasigan Fishburn (Malolos, Bulacan), Christopher Duñes and Linda Harley came in to order takeaway. They live in Orlando, Florida.
I enjoyed the company of God’s friends: Sisters Angie, Arabella, Rona, Venanci, and Zenaida. Based in Rome, Italy, they are members of the Servants of the Lord or SSV.
Deosol Miguel Almazan (Quezon City) was one of the volunteers who assisted me when I was immersed in the piscine at the Sanctuarie de Notre Dame de Lourdes. He is a chef in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
When I came out of the building of the piscine, I met Madrid-born and Spanish-speaking sisters Aisline and Norlien Escanilla. Aisline is fluent in Tagalog.
Friends Edna Aguelo Ballesteros (Carmen, Bohol) and Mary Ocio (Tagbilaran, Bohol) had a reunion in Lourdes, France, after 45 years.
Sisters-in-law Mary Grace Dadula Carpio (Cebu City, Cebu) and Jessamine Madayag Dadula (Carmen, Bohol) were visiting from Nice, France.
Rosario Padlan Rullamas and Grace Adan were visiting from London, England. They are originally from Mangatarem, Pangasinan.
Mayette Tolibas (Macrohon, South Leyte) and Amy Sales (Batangas City, Batangas) were visiting from Paris, France and Maine, U.S.A., respectively.
I “Pinoyheard” Omar Hidalgo (Marikina City) talking to his cell phone. Based in the Lourdes area, he was on his way to meet Pinoy friends from Paris, France.
I met fellow Chicagoans: Ronnie Perez (Pinamalaya, Oriental Mindoro) and Dolly Engracia Perez (Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat.) Working in home health, they live in Lincolnwood, Illinois.
I felt blessed to have spoken Ilocano with the following in a holy place like Lourdes: Romnick Lumabi (Quirino, Isabela), Imelda Orizal Lumabi (Mallig, Isabela), Angelina Flores Leal (Mallig, Isabela), and Hazel Puyao Lumabi (Quirino, Isabela). Imelda is based in Paris, France, whereas Romnick (her son), Angelina (her friend) and Hazel (her daughter-in-law) were visiting from the Philippines.)
Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., Positively Filipino correspondent, writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog versions.
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