SCENE CITY| Fely Yap @ 95

CAN every woman reach the age of 95 and be fortunate enough to celebrate her birthday with family and friends without having to use a wheel chair or a cane? Only very few ladies we know are able to do this with little help from her family or caregiver.

Mrs. Felicitas Yap called us up over the phone to invite us to her birthday dinner on December 27, 2016 at Harana Restaurant along F. Torres St. here in Davao City. She considers us part of her family, being a very close friend of my mother, Mrs. Georgina Roque, a retired nurse who was co-founder of the Davao Nurses Association way back in the 1950s. Mrs. Yap came a little later and was very active in the association whose founders included Mrs. Felisa Vda. De Torres, Iluminada   Santos, Consolacion Ledesma, Estela Hizon-Reyes, Julia Macasaet and Felipa Mendoza.

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FELICITAS C. Yap in her younger days, in a photo from her album

“Tita” Fely is the mother of Maria Morales or Jinky to us, author of the book Bahay Ukit, which featured ancestral houses with carvings which were part of old houses in the Philippines, a feature which has disappeared with the passing of time. Maria’s son, Paul Morales is the Dance Director of Ballet Philippines who came to Davao to celebrate the birthday of his grandmother Tita Fely.

The Philippine Veterans Association of Davao is one organization Mrs. Fely Yap still devotes her time to. She was once a nurse in the USAFE during World War II. She was much a part of the Davao Nurses Association which raised funds for maintaining the Davao Maternity Hospital which catered to indigent mothers and babies. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes also contributed funding for the purchase of a one-hectare lot along corner Ponce and Guerrero Streets, which the Davao Nurses Association acquired through the assistance of the government. Later on, this group of retired nurses, where Mrs. Fely Yap was a very active member, established the Mindanao School of Midwifery, the first in Mindanao.

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FELY Yap with her sisters, Fe Campo-Medialdea, Nena C. Gutana, Norma Campo, Caridad Campo-Marasigan, Thelma C. Lavares and sister-in-law, Cherry Campo

Today, Tita Fely says she did not expect to reach the age of 95, but is very thankful to God that even after her husband, Dr. Jose Yap has passed on earlier, she still has her sisters who gather to celebrate with her. Her children, Maria, Bimboy, Mary Ann and Tessie are happy to have their Mom around to see her grandchildren successfully finishing college and having their own career.

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