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SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. – When they die, the last wish of a great number of expatriate Filipinos–US citizens or otherwise–is to return home to the Philippines to be buried.

Not so the glamourous Aurora Resurreccion Fabian, age 96, grand matriarch of the large Fabian clan of Gagalangin-Blumentritt, who passed away three weeks ago in Manila. It was her wish to be buried beside her husband at the cemetery of the stars, Forest Lawn, in the Hollywood Hills of San Fernando Valley.

And so it was. Her son Eddie and daughter-in-law Jean who brought her cremated remains home to California in a precious red teak box. Last Saturday, the Fabians of America, including other son Tony (from Glendale), daughter Chita (from Las Vegas), and 40 or more grand and great-grandchildren gathered by Aurora’s alloted cemetery plot to celebrate her life and to bid her farewell.

Pastor Fernando Cinco (Ed’s and Jean’s son-in-law) conducted the religious service while grandson Jerry and Ed spoke lovingly about the Fabian matriarch.
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Businesswoman Cely Luz, whose husband Eddie passed away a few weeks ago in Manila, is gathering comfort and solace from her children who reside in Glendale. Cely flew to the US with her sisters Auring and Doyet Cruz-de la Rosa. Auring and Doyet later on left for Seattle to be with Doyet’s daughter.
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It was a great evening of reminiscing when former Evening News society editor Charing Querol (daughter Cherie is editor-in-chief of Philippine News), former Evening News defense reporter Kris Kabasares and I (former Evening News desk girl) met for dinner the other week.

Charing has been visiting with Cherie since November, but it was only the other week that we managed to get together. Kris brought along a prized possession, a framed copy of the cartoon caricature of the entire–well, almost entire–Evening News staff circa 1970 drawn by Gatbonton. But as we looked closely at the figures (including Felix Bautista, Jullie Yap-Daza, Minnie Montemayor-Narciso, Bobbie Malay-Ocampo, Sonny and Flora [nee Zaide] Valencia, Johnny Mercado, Louie Beltran), we found one figure missing–Charing Querol! "I must have been out on an assignment when Gat drew it," Charing explained.
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There’s a new resident at the Philippine mansion on Lake Street in San Francisco and it’s Delia Menez Rosal. Eleven days into her tour of duty, the new Consul General hosted a fabulous June 12 reception, attended by members of the Filipino-American community and friends like San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

"Rest assured," Rosal said to her audience, "that during my tour of duty, you will be proud to be a Filipino for I am dedicated to promote the best of the Filipinos, our rich history, culture, arts and music and our beautiful Philippine islands."

Rosal also awarded certificates of appreciation to architects Bienvenido Buencamino and his daughter Peach, and artists Dulce Dee, Patricia Yu Vanessi and Ann Marie King.
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Filipino-Americans are getting more politically savvy, the American way. Just last week, prominent Filipinos gathered at the home of engineer Angel Lim to "put their money where their mouths are" by raising funds for San Mateo County supervisor Mike Nevin (a former Daly City mayor and close friend of Filipinos), who is running for state assemblyman next year. Nevin is competing with the daughter of outgoing Assemblyman Lou Papan who vigorously opposed Rene Medina’s Lucky Chances Casino in Colma.
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Given only three days to prepare, organizers managed to bring together an impressive number of influential community leaders, among them, Daly City Council member Mike Guingona (who left a few days later for a family reunion in Manila), Daly City Council member Carol Klatt, Andy Belarmino, Jess de la Paz, Marico Enriquez, Amado Villanueva, advertising executive Greg Macabenta, and businessman Dan Domingo.

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