Save October 11, Saturday, for our all-day (8 AM - 8 PM) One-STC R&R (Reunion and Recollection).
St. Bernard Parish Hall
2500 West Avenue 33
Los Angeles, CA 90065
The recollection director will be Bishop Oscar Solis of Los Angeles. In keeping with our motto of "Let your light shine," we are opening this activity to all Theresian families and friends. Please invite everyone interested to this grand STC event.
See you all there!
by Lorna Kalaw Tirol
The two women could not have been more different from each other. One was demure and soft-spoken; the other, ebullient and irrepressible. But Tess Esposo Moreno and Marily Ysip Orosa had one thing in common: they have experienced tragedy but have faced it with remarkable courage, unwavering faith and an unfailing sense of humor.
The two women spoke at the forum on “Coping with Loneliness in the Senior Years” last Saturday, June 28. They were joined by a psychiatrist, Dr. Benny Vicente, who heads the National Center for Mental Health.
Seventy-two-year-old Tess is best-known as the charming Lola Techie of the Bayantel TV commercials and print ads, the senior citizen who refuses to be daunted by the latest communication gadgets. She talked candidly about the early breakup of her marriage, how she raised her three children as a working solo parent, and how she filled up “the spaces in her loneliness” and in the process discovered her weaknesses and her strengths.
Blessed with a never-say-die spirit, she welcomed all work opportunities that came her way. She managed export and dive businesses, produced a semi-scientific magazine and a book on Philippine shells and edited another book, Pearls and Pearl Oysters of the World. She also served as auctioneer during events of the Shell Collectors Club. In the course of working in shell and dive enterprises, she learned to scuba-dive and do underwater photography.
For many years now, Tess has been an active volunteer at her parish in Parañaque. She is a lector/commentator at the church and vice president and formation head of the Apostleship of Prayer, for which she has produced eight books. As a church volunteer, she has gone to the grassroots, an experience that she considers “the happiest times of my life.”
“Kaya ko! I can do it!” she said she would tell herself when challenged to learn a new skill. “Go out of your comfort zone,” she advised her audience. Her list of passions reflects the wide range of her interests: plants and flowers, birds, marine life, ballroom dancing, reading, and setting up Bible cell groups.
She drew laughter from her audience with her advice to fellow senior citizens: “We should be rock-and-roll lolas, not rocking-chair lolas.”
Marily ‘s journey
Marily Orosa is a worldly-wise woman who refuses to be daunted by tragedy and unspeakable loss. Widowed twice and the mother of five children, she lost her first husband in a motorcycle accident when she was 40, and her second to cancer six years ago. Each time she picked herself up with grit and aplomb.
One of the country’s pioneers in the graphic design industry, Marily counts the top 100 corporations among her clients. Some years ago she ventured into the publication of beautiful coffee-table books on Philippine arts and culture and history, and has been winning awards for them. She also writes creative nonfiction and has published several anthologies that have likewise garnered awards. Most recently, to mark the golden jubilee of her high school batch (1964), she edited and published Reverie, a collection of some of her classmates’ personal essays.
To hear Marily speak, with wit and humor, of how she has dealt with loss twice, was to be assured that one can move on, given a positive spirit and a deep faith in God. She is unafraid to love again and is open to a third and “best” marriage, after having had “good” and “better.”
The psychiatrist’s turn
When his turn to speak came, Dr. Vicente said amusedly that Tess and Marily had already said all that he himself had set out to say. But he discussed the clinical aspects of loneliness —its symptoms, its causes, its consequences ̶ and suggested ways to deal with it. He also matched the two ladies’ candor by sharing his own experiences of loneliness, particularly after the death of his first wife, leaving him a widower with young children.
The morning’s lesson
If there was one thing the audience at the Wellness forum learned, it was that loneliness is an inevitable, inescapable reality, but it is not a dead end. Rather than giving in to despair, one must, like Tess Moreno, Marily Orosa and Benny Vicente, steel oneself to confront loneliness with faith, determination, courage, AND a sense of humor.