CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Marcela “Lily” Ledesma-Puyod @ 96

MARCELA “Lily” Ledesma viuda de Puyod is, indeed, an amazing woman who has attained a rich and rewarding life through all these long 96 years.  And that is truly God’s gift of life.  Tita Lily would readily tell you that it is her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who are the real sparks of her life, who are vital in igniting her fighting spirit.  All 10 of her devoted children serve as her motivation for achievement in her ever intrinsic desire to be the ideal God-fearing mother.  Yes, she’s honest to admit that she’s not a perfect mother and neither are her children as perfect as she’d want them to be.

MOMMY Lily at 96

MOMMY Lily at 96

      Mommy Lily has always enjoyed being a self-sacrificing woman of her generation.  She was known as a multifaceted and multi-tasking wife having many talents to make great use of.  The grand dame was always the pillar of strength of her dear departed husband and their loving children. It is no wonder then that her children remain so loving and devoted to her.  Indeed, Mommy Lily is an inspiration to hopeful and struggling young wives of today’s modern and complicated times to strive harder and continue to dream.

     Emerging from an affluent youth in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental, Marcela Abeto Ledesma was the sixth child of Judge Mauro Ledesma and Marcela Marañon Abeto.  She was born on June 21, 1921, to a family of prominent lawyers and politicians.  Her own mother was active as a church leader and a conscientious social worker and thus, became her guiding inspiration in life.  It was while studying for a Bachelors degree in Education at the University of Santo Tomas that she met Federico Puyod who was 9 years her senior and who was then in the College of Law.  They fell in love, were separated by WW II, only to meet again after the Liberation.  The couple professed their undying love for one another and finally got married in Mandurriao, Iloilo, on May 3, 1947.  The wedding ceremony was officiated by Fr. Capalla, the uncle of Davao’s Archbishop Fernando Capalla.  Indeed, Dick and Lily’s love story is a fascinating one suited for today’s telenovela.

    Nevertheless, despite the limits and restrictions of the time, spirited women like Mommy Lily consistently worked to give value to other people’s lives.  She took pleasure and pride in her reproductive and nurturing role as mother to her 10 healthy children namely Sonny, Myrna, Dayday, Bing, B-Yen, Jojo, Sylvia, Sonya, Jackie and Mao. Her nurturing motherly tasks sustained generations of Puyods with her own brand of tender and loving care.

     Mommy Lily bravely claimed spiritual and moral authority as matriarch of the Puyod clan when she was widowed in 1985, drawing on her religious and ethical traditions which helped empower her.  Her patience, sacrifice, and honest hard work paid off.  Mommy Lily ably provided her children and grandchildren with a sense of being protected from forces beyond their control; thus giving beauty, value and power to their lives.

THE PUYOD Clan of Davao celebrating Mommy Lily’s 96th Birthday

THE PUYOD Clan of Davao celebrating Mommy Lily’s 96th Birthday

     Only Mother Lily knows the God-fearing values she has inculcated in the hearts and minds of her children and grandchildren.  She and her late husband taught their children well about the Golden Rule:  “To treat everyone the way they want to be treated themselves.”  She says it is what is important to her, for, after all is said and done, no one is in a position to demand that he be given the material wealth he has amassed on this earth so that he can take them to the afterlife.

     Mommy Lily has enjoyed the good life.  She literally sang and danced, and appreciated art while she could.  She travelled with her family around the world and visited various parts of the country as well.  She has always been the perfect hostess as she enjoys entertaining family, relations and friends like a true, charming Ilongga to this day.  She kept herself busy in several civic and religious organizations like the Zonta Club 1, Ikebana International-Davao Chapter, Serra Club, CFC-Handmaids of the Lord, and the Divine Mercy when her kids were all grown up and demanded less attention from her.

     On the nostalgic evening of June 23, 2017, the Puyod clan were once again happily reunited and joined hands to celebrate Mommy Lily’s amazing 96th birthday with relatives and close friends from Davao’s prominent families.  The Flowers & Rhythm-themed birthday party feted for Mother Lily was held at the Ikat Ballroom of the Seda Abreeza.  The celebrator looked regal in a bold red gown with matching ruby jewelry as she was surrounded by her lovely daughters donning floral printed cocktail dresses.

    Everyone enjoyed a sumptuous buffet of Continental cuisine.  After dinner, a program was presented with the enthusiastic participation of the Los Amigos Trios, the St. Joseph Chorale Ensemble, Mauro Puyod, Puyod daughtes and in-laws, Puyod grandchildren and great grandchildren, and Edward and Kristine Puyod.    Indeed, a lot of enthusiasm was shown especially by the Puyod performers for the love of Mommy Lily.  It was truly a beautiful picture of one big happy and united family.

     “I have everything that I need.  I don’t desire anything else.  I am happily contented that I have 10 children who love me very much. God, in His Divine Mercy, has blessed me with so much more than I could ever imagine in my whole life,” said the sentimental matriarch, Sra. Marcela “Lily” Ledesma viuda de Federico Puyod, as she thanked everyone who came to greet her a Happy 96th Birthday.

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