Showing posts with label anne mariquit oppus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anne mariquit oppus. Show all posts

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wincie turns 75, shows no signs of slowing down

Scene: Sylvia Dagami-Fortich posted on Facebook about Tindogi Tagbilaran: "If it's not worth fighting for, it's not worth much at all." "Do not be afraid to proceed forward doing that which others object to or doubt will work or imply that you're crazy to even imagine accomplishing. This is an important way to pick up your cross in following Jesus (Matt. 16:24). The only thing to fear is going against God's will by choosing inaction. When we
have to stand up for an idea that we feel inspired by the Holy Spirit to do, we have discovered a cause that will make a significant difference." For the love of our only home city, all of us who consider Tagbilaran our HOME, should stand up to protect her from everything atrocious and dreadful! For many, fighting is a hard and scary thing to do. But when you are fighting right in your own backyard, for your own self and those that you love, fighting becomes much easier! For even if others think Tagbilaran is just "a" place, for us this place is "HOME" and worth fighting for! YOU are a true Tagbilaranon if you stand for it! TINDOGI ang atong TAGBILARAN!

SceneFormer city councilor Anne Mariquit Derikito-Oppus also shared on Facebook her sweet memories of the old Tagbilaran: Now, it can be told. My love story started with a "Can I walk you home"? From a party at Gee Garden"s Hotel, a young officer from the PMA came up to me and asked: "Can I walk you home?" and so we did, with one of my bff's - Grace del Rosario-Lumayag and the late Zacarias Lumayag in tow, and the "Fall in Club" discreetly doing the same. Anyhow, a year or so later, I gave my "YES" near the Causeway along Tagbilaran Bay, and it was when the moon was so bright. All two separate occasions, in the late evening and so peaceful, then. On hindsight, I ask: Can I do the same now? Like, will I be brave enough to walk the streets of my beloved city without fear, or will I even allow my own kids to stay late, out? To many, it’s a resounding "NO"! Thus, I call on all Tagbilaranons to be vigilant, and do our share. Let us, please, ensure we have a Tagbilaran, even safer than when we found it, for our children. Until and unless we have it, then we cannot rest!

Erstwhile Tagbilaran City Councilor Anne Mariquit Derikito-Oppus
 with her hubby B/Gen. Louie Oppus, the director of the Firearms 
and Explosives Office
 (FEO) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Courtesy: Anne Mariquit Derikito-Oppus
Back then, the students of Bohol National High School (now Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School) called her as the “most terror” teacher in school.  But parents and colleagues put their thumbs up on her as the teacher who disciplined and molded good students and citizens during her time as a teacher.

“She was very passionate on her job as a teacher,” recalled Rowena Jala. “We were well-behaved in school. She didn’t punish students even those who were naughty at school but she taught the students to behave and respect.”

Her students also recalled that she had a remarkable strong voice.  “It was very loud and clear even without a megaphone during a mass playground,” said Arlene Pisquera. “She had a photographic memory. She could memorize all the family names of the students.”

Wincesa “Wincie” Balatero Espejo Araorao has had earned the respect of her students, co-teachers and friends.

Teacher. Mother. Disciplinarian.

Wincie is all that — and more.

Wincie’s four children regard her as a woman who has shown, through her honest and earnest ways, the real essence of hard work, talent, grace, generosity, "integrity," and most of all, faith in God.
Wincie is the eldest child of Hilario Araro Espejo who served as Teniente del Barrio (Barangay Captain) of Cogon in the late1950s and Josefina Mercader Balatero, valedictorian of Saint Joseph Academy (now Holy Spirit School) in the late 1930s, who, when orphaned early, was left to care of her two brothers, and eventually got married to Hilario.

At 75, Wincesa Espejo- Araorao shows no signs of slowing down. 
As the founder of  Bukang Liwayway Dance Troupe, her favorite dance is Binasuan.
Seeing the example of modest, simple living of her parents, Wincesa grew up understanding the value of hard work, persistence and faith in God during the time when life in Tagbilaran was so simple and tranquil.

Graduating from Tagbilaran City Central Elementary School and Bohol High School Class of 1956 while dabbling time between studying, helping her parents with the carenderia at the “Pook Pantalan” and taking care of her six younger siblings, she proceeded to take up Bachelor of Science in Education – Major in Physical Education at the University of Southern Philippines as her fallback from the nursing course which was her original choice that was hindered by financial constraints.

At USP, she was a gymnast, organizer, founder and first president of the USP Banikanhon Dance Troupe and almost made it to the Philippine Swimming Team when she won gold medals for breaststroke and backstroke during the regional elimination, but she opted to be near her family in Bohol rather than go to Manila for the swimming team.

Following college graduation, she taught in Marawi, Mindano, then came back to her home province to teach Physical Education at her Alma Mater, Bohol High School where she was founder, choreographer and adviser of the Bukang Liwayway Dance Troupe (BLDT), celebrating its 35th year this year. The BLDT, sticking to its thrust of being a folkloric group, became the training ground for prospective members of other performing groups in Bohol like Diwanag Dance Theater and the new breed of Physical Education teachers and choreographers.

She became a politician’s wife when her husband, then Philippine Banking Corporation executive Derclo Reparatp Bongoyan Araoarao, won as Mayor of Panglao in the 1980 elections and served as local chief executive till 1986. One of the greatest milestones of the BLDT was becoming the grand champion of the province-wide “Hadla nga Bol-anon” folkdance competition in December 1986 via the “Kuratsa-Kuradang” entry which she choreographed, giving the group a chance to join the regional “Sayawit Festival” in Cebu City representing Bohol Division, where the BLDT performers won the grand prize, besting other contenders from Cebu City and other top-ranking school divisions.

Years earlier, she also trained and coached Bohol male and female gymnasts who figured in the regional level and later, sent to the Palarong Pambansa and made it to the top three finish. In June 1987, she was Summa Cum Laude while earning her Master of Arts degree from the University of Bohol.

By a sudden twist of fate, she was ushered to the land of Uncle Sam to find greener pastures.

The performing artist in her made her join the 2nd Annual Philippine Folk Dance Festival held at Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University, New York City with her favorite “Binasuan,” a dance of skill, where she was the only solo performer in the competition. She divided her time between earning a decent living in NYC, spending time with family and serving as Eucharistic Minister at Saint Ignatius of Loyola Church. At 75, she is content with God’s blessings of love of family – her children, Fiel Angeli Gabin, Information Officer of the City Government of Tagbilaran, with Jerome, Cielo and Renji; Reparato Anthony, a nurse at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, with Shiela and Reesie; United States Army Sgt. Ann Claire Young of Raleigh, North Carolina, with Jabron, Jalen, Jayla and Jordy, and Coeli Marie, a web designer in Zephyrhills, Florida, with Alex, Sethie and Chloe.

“The one thing I can’t live without is prayers – communicating with God is the most basic part of my existence,” said Wincie.

Unlike most women, she’s not embarrassed to reveal her age—75 on Sunday, that is today (Sept. 28), 26 years of which have been lived- and how! in educating people- and 25 years living in the United States.

“Am I afraid of growing old?,” asked Wincie. “I am certainly not afraid of growing old. I am ready when the time comes that God calls for me.”

Now 75, Wincie is enjoying her staycation between Tagbilaran and US. She can avail of the privileges (discount in drugstores, restaurants and other places).

Even if she doesn’t look 75, that is.

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