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97th birthday for a beloved mother, Nenita Floirendo |


97th birthday for a beloved mother, Nenita Floirendo

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star
97th birthday for a beloved mother, Nenita Floirendo
Birthday celebrant Nenita Floirendo with her portrait by Betsy Westerndorp de Brias

Celebrating the 97th birthday of their beloved mother, Nenita del Rosario Floirendo, her children Linda F. Lagdameo, Maricris F. Brias and Marisa, with their brothers Tonyboy, Ricky and Vince, made sure to include not only their large family but also an intimate group of close friends. Nothing was left to chance, from a team of medics who provided antigen tests upon our arrival to an enchanting musicale with favorite kundiman and Broadway songs followed by an appetizing lunch that made us go back for seconds and thirds. Many of the guests felt so at home that they opted to linger in the spacious living room and lanai overlooking the lush Forbes Park garden.

Tonyboy Floirendo is flanked by his pamangkins Reena, Cary, JM and Iya Lagdameo

Having known the Floirendos as longtime friends of my parents, I was curious about the courtship of tito Tony and tita Nenita. Linda smilingly disclosed, “Since they were neighbors, Dad courted Mom through my Lola because she was very young then; Dad was 29 years old and Mom was a young 17 years old and had never been kissed. This loving relationship lasted for 67 years until my father passed away at 96 years.”

Looking back, Linda remembered her father as a strict patriarch, while mom Nenita always tried to strike a balance with fun-loving lightheartedness.

Vicky Garcia, Marirose Veloso, Val Eran?a, Rose Policarpio

A valuable lesson instilled in her children was to always keep oneself open to learning. In her 70s, Nenita decided to take piano lessons and proved to be an accomplished pianist — thrilling the family by performing her favorite classical pieces.

Youngest daughter Marissa, an accomplished director and cinematographer, fondly remembers her mom for her generosity, kindness and compassion to family and others in need. She adds, “We love her laughter and humor. I learnt the art of giving from my mom. She wasn’t strict because she disciplined us by example. One of the things instilled in us was that Mom made sure we were polite to people, especially our elders.”

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