by DR. R. DANTE G.
JUANTA, OAM, JP
Philippine Honorary Consul General
Adelaide, South Australia
The late Aurora Juanta Tuazon and Family. 3 October 2010 (On the right) The late Aurora Juanta Tuazon
with husband Ursulo and children: Ramon and Jane, Jannette and Val, Nelia and Joe, Ann and James. October 3, 2010.
Rehabilitation and reconstruction in the country were priorities in post-war years. But efforts were hampered by an anemic economy. There were not enough jobs available. The price of food and other commodities were far from the reach of ordinary citizens. The price for good education also became prohibitive and restrictive to many families. It came to a point where my parents faced the dilemma as to whether to allow Aurora and me to finish the last year of high school or to defer studies to a year or two until such time the family recovered financially..
Driven by Aurora’s good-natured tolerance and self-effacing nature, she went to our parents and volunteered to give way, rather than to see me stop school. I was in disbelief to learn of Aurora’s decision. She was 4 years almost senior to me, she deserved to finish first, I could wait to take my time later! What Aurora did was truly humble, self-effacing, an unmatched golden gesture she gifted me.
Instead, Aurora helped Mother run the family store in town. The following year, she did part time study, finished secondary education and went on to complete a teaching diploma (Elementary Teacher’s Certificate) and BS in Education. As Mother advanced in age, she gave Aurora complete management of the store.
Uring was a natural PR person. She won over many a customer and made plenty of friends. She knew each customer by name including people from the neighboring towns that frequented her store. With her acumen, store products were diversified, the business grew manifold. In time, she supplied a variety of food items to restaurants, hospitals, hotels and even to military army and air bases situated in the province.
In Adelaide, fellow Filipino migrants including young couples and families looked up to Aurora as a mother symbol, treating her with affection and care. Newfound friends and her former associates in Guagua loved to visit her at home. Kind, generous and soft-spoken as always, Aurora indulged guests and visitors with her fine cooking.
In no way was I left out of her sumptuous treats. Each time Cora and I paid her and husband Orsing (Ursulo) a home visit, I never missed out on my favorite ulam (Philippine dishes) ready on the dining table, let alone, me checking first what putahe (viands) winpots or wok in her kitchen, a habit of mine since my bachelor days. But the better part of it was, Aurora would prepare me the usual pabaon o binalot to take home as bonus!
To her death and beyond, Aurora is remembered with fidelity and love by her family, husband Orsing (Ursulo), children Bong (James), Baby (Jane), Oweng (Joel), Jannette and their respective spouses Ann, Chito (Ramon), Nelia and Val, and by her much loved grandchildren, Ariane, Kaycee, Dillon, Chad, Nathan, Isaac, Jacob and Mikayla.
At the funeral memorial service, I offered my sister Aurora a simple fitting epitaph:
“Here lies a woman blest with a warm heart, generous in words, kind in deeds, borne by her name “Aurora” (Liwayway), a radiant dawn of joy, inspiration, hope and love at early morning sunrise.”
©rdgjuanta Oct. 2013