Thursday, November 2, 2023

Papa Lolo in the 1940s

I was going through some documents Mom left in her cabinet. I found an envelope with the name "F.S. Enrile" on it. I recognized it as my Mom's handwriting and figured it must be papers relating to my grandfather (Papa Lolo). I never got to meet my Papa Lolo because he passed away five years before I was born. 

I only met my Papa Lolo once. He said hi to me when I was 4 years old. We were in Tito Mon's home in San Francisco and I was looking out of the window. If I remember correctly I was probably sulking because Kuya and I were fighting over the thermostat. He wanted it warm, I wanted it cold, haha. Then I saw Papa Lolo smiling at me. I responded loudly and said, "Hi Papa Lolo!". Then I looked back and told my family that Papa Lolo was outside. I was immediately removed from the window. It's only ever happened once again, but with Gabby, my nephew. 

There weren't that many papers. Found a very brittle copy of Papa Lolo and Mama Lola's original marriage certificate, some letters and memos during the Japanese occupation. It was interesting to see how much movement was controlled in 1942. My grandfather was in the military and was probably monitored very closely. 

Papa Lolo was part of the Death March (April 9, 1942). Mom mentioned this to me when I was growing up. She said he saved a comrad from being stabbed with a bayonet. She said that person eventually had a son who eventually became a bank president*. Anyway, from the papers I found it seems Papa Lolo's movements were closely monitored and he had to get clearance whenever he moved. 

The folded part refers to any change in occupation.
(I didn't want to stretch the paper since it's quite brittle already.

Here's a clearance signed by the mayor of Manila, Mayor Leon Guinto. I honestly never knew he was a former mayor of Manila (to think I spent a decade studying at St. Scho!). 

Papa eventually moved back to Pamplona, Camarines Sur and this was acknowledged by Mayor Macario L. Francisco. 

I can't imagine how hard it must have been for the family. Mom said they moved around a lot because of Papa Lolo's rank. I asked her before and she said it was really hard. She said it was a good thing there were soldiers who would help carry their trunks. I did see some of those trunks because Mom had it in the house. Mama Lola also had it in her house in Naga City. They were huge!

Seeing the papers made me think about how God truly plans everything. Papa Lolo was born in the middle of the 1905 pandemic (followed by a cholera outbreak the year after). Then they went through war. Papa Lolo survived the death march. He and the family survived all of that and here we are with children and our children have started to have children too. 

I realized I mention my Mama Lola more than my Papa Lolo here in my blog. That's because I don't know much about him. I only "met him once", so finding old papers relating to him was a nice discovery for me. :)

*Mom's first and only job was for a bank (I hope I'm remembering her stories correctly!). 

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