by Lady FELE MANN
Alita Mayol Montecillo
ALITA MAYOL MONTECILLO, known to her many friends in Darwin, Australia, as a woman of substance due to her intelligence, humility, courteous manner and professional appearance, is from Cebu City, Philippines. Her simplicity, mixed with elegance, is easily gleaned when she talks or expounds a topic that interests her like arts, health, beauty, culture and language. She speaks English and Japanese effectively, having studied Japanese language course at Casuarina Secondary College in 1993 and graduated Year 12 “O” levels in England in 1983. In the Philippines, she finished her elementary education at Mandaue Central School, studied at Gullas High School and graduated in Criminoology at National Manila University in 1982. Alita took night classes in Massage at Casuarina Senior College in Australia in 2011 -2012 which she found very useful and which added to her “granary of knowledge and experience”.
Many who know Alita very well in the Filipino community describe Alita Montecillo as an amazing lady who has trodden the intricate paths of life - full of challenges, hardships and sacrifice. Fortunately, she was gifted by God with patience, fortitude, strong determination and fighting spirit that won her through the trials of everyday life. And because of her rare character traits worthy of emulation, I was determined to feature her inspirational life story. It’s an intricate task that is not an easy one but it’s something well worth satisfying/gratifying because it gives people the rare chance to testify God’s blessings to them - which alone is the source of our every victory.
“Good morning Alita, thanks for accepting my offer to be featured.
I hugged her as she enthusiastically ushered me inside her beautiful home in Jingili during the interview” Her embrace was tight and loving. When I looked around the yard, it was surrounded with vegetables, fruit trees and beautiful plants and flowers. It’s an awesome environment that inspires peace of mind and quiet.
“Come on in Mommy Fele, you’re most welcome a.” Alita’s smiles were sweet and welcoming. She calls me Mom, like the others, whom I have helped in their critical times in my capacity as the President of the Filipino Club Darwin, President and Permanent Ambassador of TMI Global Australia, Northern Territory Commissioner of Oaths, Interpreter and Translator (NTITS) and as a Civic community leader. I always felt gratified whenever someone calls me “Mom” like Alita as a gesture of deep gratitude for whatever help I have done for them when they most needed help.
“I know you’re very busy but thank you kindly for making the time,” I lovingly patted her shoulder. “Who can resist an opportunity like this, Mom? It’s an opportunity of lifetime!” she gladly commented. Her beauty radiated when she showed excitement.
“Okay, before we start the interview, would you like to eat first and taste what I have cooked for you; it’s your favorite foods - rice, adobo, laing and vegetables cooked like your favorite pinakbet” she showed the table already ready to be served.” After I smelled the sweet aroma of foods that made me hungry, I managed to resist as I wanted to start and finish the interview first before enjoying the foods to my heart’s content.
“Okay tell me something that makes you different from anyone we know, including your many friends!” I smiled while looking intently on her face that became reflective. “Good question for a start” she smiled. “Modesty aside, I think it’s my extraordinary courage which God has bestowed on me that sets me apart from many of my friends. Life’s furious pace can be overwhelming and problems can be all consuming. Even if we do our best to solve the problems, they seem to become bigger and bigger, especially when one problem comes one thing after another till we feel the urge to retreat because of the dilemma waiting to explode. When this happens, I immediately face fears by placing deep faith in God’s ability to deliver them away from me. It works wonders indeed!” While explaining and gesturing her view points, I noticed her eyes were misty with tears while her face clearly showed great gratitude to God for supporting her in all her trials.
Alita explained her points further when she told that she won 3 difficult cases in court some years back which included two property settlements from previous marital relationships and one civic court case. The Judge in court found her completely innocent of the slander case motivated by a known troublemaker and in 2 cases the Judge has awarded her significant property settlements that can well support her and her family for a lifetime. Alita’s victories in court were attributed to the surpassing God’s grace in her, her ability to reason out convincingly during the hearing - plus the genius of her Barrister and Solicitor who fought for her case brilliantly.
While recapitulating the incidence in her court case, it suddenly flashed in my mind what other people were saying about Alita- that she is a very generous young woman who shares her blessings joyfully especially to the poor people and those in dire need. She believes in the saying “God loves a cheerful giver.” And so she spontaneously and cheerfully gives, not grudgingly or under compulsion. She possesses an attitude of grace wherein she gives from what she earns and God gives back an abundance of His grace in return.
Alita’s son Justin
Alita and Fele.
Alita and Eva.
Alita and Eepe.
During the no holds barred interview with Alita, she honestly confided her 3 failed marriages, which even if it pained her so much, had given her stability in life materially after the legal settlements in court. The ex husband has claimed Alita did not have any right to their marital properties but the court clearly found it otherwise, and awarded her as the winner in the court case. Alita was slandered by a troublesome woman who was jealous of her successful status in life, or with some hidden agenda but did not succeed; her detractor learned a bitter lesson instead. Alita also experienced utter disappointments of friends whom she thought were sincere but actually have double faces which were finally discovered.
“Can you please share your family life history to our readers to have a clearer view of your inspirational life?” I asked her to which she immediately complied. Her parents who lived in Lapu Lapu in Cebu City were Marcos Mayol (deceased) and her mother, Victoria Mayol, is 80 years old. Her siblings are Belen Mayol, married, and who works in Saudi Arabia as business car dealer, Cora, an achitect in the Philippines, Diza, a primary school teacher, and a brother, Efren Mayol - a welder in the Philippines. Alita has a son from a former marriage - Giro Khoda, 33, married with a very cute lovable daughter. He presently works as a Technical Engineer in Taiwan. She also has a young handsome son who lives with her in Darwin, Justin Williams, an intelligent and loving 14 year old son who is in year 9 studying at Darwin Middle School. Justin is well versed in computer work and in anything high tech. He is Alita’s treasure and a big comfort to her.
Alita’s qualifications and skills are impressive. The summary of her qualifications and skills are too long that I selected only a few of them to save time and space.
She had 31 years experience in the fashion and retail industries in the Philippines, England and in Australia as a co-proprietor/fashion designer in her own successful retail business that supervised over 10 staff members. Her job includes monitoring stock levels, determine the layout of fittings and merchandise, receive payments for goods - Cash, EFTOS and Credit cards, cash registers and banking, preparation of daily report, among many others. She worked over the years in many department stores as sales assistant - Kimberly Fine Diamonds in Western Australia, St Vincent de Paul’s Society, Strandbags Group Pty Ltd, Ed Harry, Zellows Travel Goods, Jape Furnishing Superstore among others. She supervises training of staff, provides excellent customer’s service and ensuring high standards, deal with customers queries promptly and effectively. She excels in the use of modern cash registers, electronic tills, keyboard skills, customer relations, team leadership and new employee’s orientation. Her best assets are her physical and inner beauty, professional look, and is always very well groomed. People find her very attractive an well refined.
At present she works full time in a very busy shop at Casuarina Square called STRANDBAGS that sell expensive, beautiful and classy bags and other things. She is well respected by her big bosses for her managerial skill and dedication to duty. Her work performance is above par according to one of her workmates.
Is Alita happy in life? She has her own problems and frustrations, which we all have, but even when she experiences life’s trials and disappointments, including love and marriage, she was able to survive it all through constant prayers and a deep abiding faith in God. She visits her family in the Philippines regularly giving them financial and material assistance that make their life much more comfortable in contrast with the their humble life before. Poverty is no longer an issue in her family in Cebu which she was able to surmount through the grace of God, hard work, commitment and dedication, and a fighting spirit which proved to be her “saving grace” in every crisis that comes to her life. In grateful gratitude to God for the good fortune that landed on her lap due to God’s abounding grace, Alita shares generously God’s richest blessings to the poor and destitute in Cebu city, especially now that an earthquake of gigantic proportion has damaged the city almost irretrievably. Until now Cebu is still in a state of calamity, disaster and emergency. The sudden calamity in Cebu and Bohol which left so many people homeless and starving is totally heartbreaking to everyone most especially to Alita whose heart is overwhelmed with compassion for them.
“What are the other trials and hardships that tested your faith, patience and endurance? I heard that you were diagnosed with breast cancer last year one month after your father died, is it true?” Alita’s face saddened. “ It’s true, Mom, but because it was in a very early stage, it was treated quite quickly by Dr. Mignomette Tamayo, MD, FRACGP, through chemical tablets. Because it is in Stage 1, my doctor is keeping an eye on it for 2 to 3 years or even more years. She gave me the strict order not to be stressed at all and to adhere to positive thinking all the time. As we face discouraging events in our lives, the danger of self pity lurks, but not for me. I don’t allow myself to indulge in self pity as it is a distractive element. Actually, I feel so much better and with God’s consistent and abounding love for me, coupled with my fighting spirit, I’ll win this again hands down like the 3 difficult cases I won in the court of law. I trust God implicitly.” Alita’s face and smiles were full of confidence.
“That’s great and highly commendable!” I suddenly exclaimed admiring her virtues. “For no matter how hopeless or discouraging our situations might be, God has the strongest ability to bring eternal hope and peace to our lives when we need them most. And we know that He will never fail or abandon anyone who hopes and trust in Him!”. I wondered to myself how I was able to say those words automatically with intensity and fervor coming direct from my heart.
Alita’s goal in life is simple and not asking too much. So long as she keeps being a blessing to others by sharing and giving generously to those in need and that her children and family are happy and successful, her happiness is complete. She admires honest people who are loyal as friends and who stick to their friends for better or for worst, in good times and in bad times. Her happiest moment was when she had a cute and lovely granddaughter who adores her very much and whose hugs and kisses are enough to comfort her in her moments of disillusion and sadness.
Alita’s message which she sincerely wants to share to all Readers: BE A ROLE MODEL IN EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD AND NOBLE. IN OUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE, WE HAVE TO TRAVEL DOWN THE STREETS OF DISAPPOINTMENTS AND FAILURES, BUT WITH THE GRACE OF OUR LOVING GOD AND OUR FIGHTING SPIRIT WHICH HE BESTOWED UPON US, WE CAN CROSS THE BRIDGE OF SUCCESS BEAUTIFULLY.”
WOW, with a very interesting and bursting interview like I had with Alita Mayol Montecillo, who has crossed the “Bridge of Success Beautifully, it’s no wonder that after her interview, I savoured the best and most enjoyable lunch which is both memorable and unforgettable!