Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Delfin and Estrella Gonzalez

The father of RMG, Delfin Gonzalez, did not finish school owing to the poverty of RMG’s grandparents.  Delfin’s mother, a Chinese mestiza from the Kimbiong clan, wove cloth to contribute to the family income.  Despite his incomplete education, Delfin was recruited by the American colonizers to teach in one of the public schools they were building.  After a few years of teaching, he decided to try his hand in helping manage haciendas outside Bacolod, Negros Occidental.  

At the haciendas, Delfin would recruit workers and toil close to them under the sun.  When he transferred to another hacienda, most of those workers would follow him.  Delfin would take breaks from his work to return to Jaro.  It was during one of those breaks that he met Estrella Jover Maravilla.

Before she met Delfin, Estrella was busy earning a living as a teacher and raising her five siblings, Jose, Juaning, Hector, Loleng and Anita.  They were orphaned in their youth with the death of their mother, while their father abandoned them to be with another woman.  The courtship of Delfin and Estrella was short, and he promised that he would also take care of her siblings.

Estrella was a pious woman who prayed the rosary and went to church regularly.  Estrella taught and required RMG and his siblings to pray the Angelus at noon.  After supper, the family would be on their knees to pray the rosary.  Throughout the years, praying the rosary would be a devotional practice of RMG.  During the summer, the house of Delfin and Estrella became the meeting point for lay leaders to settle the details for the Flores De Mayo which Estrella helped organize.

Estrella would share the household food with the workers of Delfin.  And when he came home at noon for lunch and then siesta, he would lay his head on her lap while she plucked away his white hairs.  He would thus fall into a restful sleep.

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