The Enduring Love of Linda (Salvacion) and Gil Carolino…a lesson for Valentine’s Day

A Lesson for Valentine’s Day…

 

The Enduring Love

of Linda (Salvacion) and Gil Carolino

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

In marital companion ship, compatibility is crucial to make it enduring, in order for it to resist the threat of various temptations that could erode the relationship. Following the Chinese feng shui of relationships, both parties cannot be positive or negative. Either should be positive and the other, negative so that continuous motion is assured. The companionship should not be stagnant and this is is possible if the two “forces” are pushing or pulling each other. The forces are necessary for the couple to move on. But, it does not necessarily mean, that while one of them is good, the other one should be bad. What is meant here is the aspect of “giving way” to the other every time there is an uncalled for clash.

 

The test for the endurance of relationship also comes in times of needs – financially and physically. Some couples call it quits when they find difficulties in maintaining their affluent ways if one, or worst, both of them lost their job. There are also stories of abandonment when one of the parties got sick with incurable disease.

 

What happened to Linda and Gil is one for the record of marital relationship. Both seem to be on the right path as they reaped success after success since the time they started to build a home for their happy family. Gil began his career as a young CPA in Philippine Airlines, to become the youngest manager of the said airline. Linda was also a CPA but did not stop as such for she pursued her other love – Law. Despite their having three children, she endeavored to finish the course and being intelligent, passed the Bar with resounding success. Her feat gave her a a distinct mark when she worked for the Supreme Court where she was given an award, “Outstanding Award in the Practice of Law” for having won cases three in a row. A researched material that she completed was also used by the Philippine Senate against the former Chief Justice Renato Corona that led to the latter’s impeachment.

 

On the other hand, Gil was having a heyday with his smooth sailing along his airline career. From being a Manager of a Division that handled planning and marketing, and later product development, he moved up to become a Regional Vice-President, particularly, of Southeast Asia. It was at this point when Linda was already showing signs of weakness that was thought to be just an ordinary ailment. Meanwhile, their children grew to become successful in their own chosen career.

 

Millicent (Miyen), a successful CPA, married to Elmer Lobusta, and both blessed with children: John David, 15; Anna Therese, 13; Mary Catherine, 10. Miyen and Elmer are chapter Heads of Singapore Couples for Christ, while their children are members of Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ….the whole family serves during the Mass.

 

Kristine, married to Joseph Eric Mendiola, a computer technologist and team member of Japan’s hybrid car program, and blessed with children, Karmina, 16, who can read and write the Japanese Hiragana and Kanji alphabet; and, Jose Enzo, 12, an American citizen for being born in America.

 

April Ann, married to an Indonesian, Denny Han. April is a product of the Philippine Science High School and Ateneo from where she graduated with the course, Management Engineering and had an initial stint in Indonesia where she met her husband during one of the assemblies of the Singles for Christ. Their children are Tala Elizabeth, 5, considered a miracle baby being born prematurely at six months, thereby spending almost 3 months in the Neo Natal ICU…now a bubbly child, she attends nursery in Singapore with no trace of the harrowing experience as an infant. The youngest is Yumi Gabrielle, 17 months.

 

Despite her deteriorating health, Linda, did not show any trace of discouragement, especially, with the constant encouragement from the family. It came to a point, however, that she had to stay in bed more often, and during such crucial moments, Gil showed his resolve to stay by her side to attend to her needs. He finally resigned in 1998 as trips to the hospital had become frequent. In October 2009, Linda became totally bedridden after being diagnosed of degenerative nerve syndrome that affected her other organs.

 

Hospitalizations and medicines practically depleted the financial resources of the couple. Whatever savings they had were spent for the frantic desire to save Linda whose days were cheered by their children and their grandchildren. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, Linda gave up her struggle on October 10. Despite her emaciated state, her face is still a picture of graceful beauty without any sign of pain. Both Linda and Gil endured the challenges by hurdling the obstacles that they encountered along the way, as witnessed by their children and their husbands…lessons that they have surely learned.

 

Worth quoting from Gil is his life’s guiding inspiration as it makes him believe that …”we draw strength from everyone…and what keeps us going is also our strong and unwavering faith in the Lord….that we keep the trust, knowing that HE knows best….that we might be beset with problems and trials almost endlessly, but we never should never despair because we know that God loves us…we should try our best to fend off anxieties…as, God is our shield”.

 

Asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, “I would like to be remembered as someone who will sacrifice my own comfort to be able to give happiness to others”. He further added, “… people see me as “kuripot” (tightwad), but they just don’t know that I try to save every centavo I can because I want to give something to anyone whenever they come to our house for help. I don’t want to see them unhappy – poor relatives, poor neighbors, poor parishioners, poor countrymen, who got struck with calamities year-round.  Had I not sacrificed my own comfort, I would not have had anything to give them. And, I could not have managed my beloved Linda’s monstrous medical needs – as I would not want our children sacrifice for us…for as long as I can still manage it.”

 

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Pagmamahalang Walang Hanggan (para kay Linda at Gil Carolino)

Pagmamahalang Walang Hanggan

(para kay Linda at Gil Carolino)

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Madali ang magpakita ng pagmamahal

Napakadali ring mag-alay ng mga regalo

At ang magpahiwatig ng tinitibok ng puso

Subali’t mahirap ang tumupad ng mga pangako.

 

May nangangakong pipitas ng mga bituin

Nang sa kandungan ng nililiyag ay maialay

May pangakong katumbas naman ay buhay

Mga pangakong halos kanilang iwinawagayway.

 

Subali’t iba ang namuong pagmamahalan

Sa pagitan nina Linda at Gil na napakatibay

Katatagan nito’y ‘di nangangailangan ng suhay

Dahil nakatakda sa kapalaran nila habang buhay.

 

Pag-ibig na walang hanggan ang natupad

May namayapa man, ang naiwa’y nangako

Na ano man ang mangyari, hindi siya susuko

Matindi man ang sakit, iindahin ng kanyang puso!

 

Ang walang hanggang pag-ibig at pagmamahal

At walang katumbas na makamundong yaman

Alay ni Gil sa nag-iisang Linda upang patunayan –

Ang nakaukit sa puso niya ay kanyang pangalan!

 

The Staunch Resolve of Gil Carolino to Succeed and Persistence to Bear Ordeals

THE STAUNCH RESOLVE OF GIL CAROLINO TO SUCCEED

AND PERSISTENCE TO BEAR ORDEALS

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

The first time I saw Gil Carolino was when I joined Tours and Promotions Division from an outlying initial stint in Tablas station (Romblon) upon employment with PAL. Our offices were housed in the same building, the PAL Administrative Offices Building (today, PAL Data Center) at the NAIA Terminal 4. Our offices were later transferred to the 5th floor of the Vernida Building along Legazpi St. at Greenbelt Park of the Makati Commercial Center. His simplicity was such that he would regularly wear casual attire most often, instead of the long-sleeved barong tagalong or polo barong that other managers did. On weekends when we reported for overtime, he would come attired in running outfit and it was only later did I know that he was maintaining weekend running regimen as part of his regular workouts for marathons.

 

His ringing voice and laughter would break the monotonous air in the office, making his person standout in a group despite his lanky physique. He belonged to the so-called “ Paloma Boys”…the brains behind the conceptualization of the airline’s domestic operating policies, and who were often convened by the late Ricardo G. Paloma. With him were the former PAL President, Avelino L. Zapanta, Joe Clemente, Ed Guatelara, Jovy Jovida, Vic Bernardino, and Bert Aguirre. Later they were joined by the younger set of “Paloma boys” such as Gary Cruz, Guy Cruz, John Fortes, Reggie Constantino, Edgar Lim, Harry Inoferio, and those who were summoned occasionally from their stations.

 

After earning his CPA, he joined Philippine Airlines as an Accounting clerk. Not long after, in 1972, he was absorbed by the Marketing Department, becoming the youngest manager in the whole organization of the airline. To sum up his phenomenal rise from the ranks, he headed: Domestic Marketing Planning, Corporate Budget, International Sales Administration, Marketing Support and Customer Relations, and finally as Regional Vice-President for Southeast Asia and Australia which he held for 6 years until his early retirement at a young age of 51 in 1998. His wife was already bedridden due to rheumatoid arthritis since 2009 when he retired.

 

To keep fit at 69, he still plays whole court basketball three times a week. During his younger days, he was a full 42-kilometer marathoner, during which he participated in the prestigious Honolulu Marathon in 1980 and 1981. He was also an active member of the PAL bowling team, played in the inter-department basketball tournament, as well as, coached the Market Planning basketball team.

 

Only during very rare occasions such as “reunions” that our paths have met, thanks to Nora Jovida who sacrificed her widowed time to be at the center of our pool. It was when the story of Ed Guatelara’s story came out that their group which I have intruded became more cohesive. It became known as “Kitakits Group” whose sole objective was to provide assistance to Ed Guatelara who is bedridden until now due to complications. The group attracted the attention of other sympathizers so that in no time at all, its effort was enhanced by other donors to the cause, such as Dave Lim, Tina Bacaltos, Gladys Cruz, Walter Pollentes, as well as, the Manila Domestic Station and Cargo groups.

 

What amazed me was the regularity of the assistance sent by Gil despite his having a family problem which is attending to Linda, (Atty. Erlinda Salvacion, recipient of a plaque of Recognition for her outstanding achievement in the practice of Law, from CJ Artemio Panganiban) his wife who has been bedridden since 2009 due to the paralyzing rheumatoid arthritis. Only few of our colleagues in Philippine Airlines are aware of this. He confided one time, that despite the depletion of their conjugal fund, his faith in God has not wavered. The SSS disability pension of his wife has done a little for their sustenance, though, his pension which is less than eight thousand pesos a month provided a little more for their daily survival.

 

It was only when I read comments of Gil to my facebook blogs about the struggle of the impoverished people did I know that he, too, went through the same harrowing experience. In another comment, he narrated, his disappointment as regards the inutility of the government to come up with policies that would lessen the burden of the people, as he recounted how their family would toe the line at the Philippine General Hospital hours before the sun rays broke the horizon, in order to be ahead of the rest, in their desire to avail of the government’s health program. In another comment, he narrated how he and two siblings would walk their way to their school, the UP at Diliman, Quezon City, from their home at San Andres Bukid, Pandacan with only coins jingling in their pocket for fare…not even a single centavo for a piece of candy to momentarily stave off hunger. Meager food would only fill their grumbling stomach when they came home from school….after a good six to seven hours of fasting!

 

Despite all those trials until today, Gil is thankful to the Lord that he and his wife, just before she got sick, are able to provide their children with enough to see them through their future, foremost of which is their education, as they got nothing else to give them as their legacy. The couple’s children are:

 

  • Millicent (Miyen), a successful CPA, married to Elmer Lobusta, and both blessed with children: John David, 14; Anna Therese, 12; Mary Catherine, 9. Miyen and Elmer are chapter Heads of Singapore Couples for Christ, while their children are members of Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ….the whole family serves during the Mass.

 

  • Kristine, married to Joseph Eric Mendiola, a computer technologist and team member of Japan’s hybrid car program, and blessed with children, Karmina, 15, who can read and write the Japanese Hiragana and Kanji alphabet; and, Jose Enzo, 11, an American citizen for being born in America.

 

  • April Ann, married to an Indonesian, Denny Han. April is a product of the Philippine Science High School and Ateneo from where she graduated with the course, Management Engineering and had an initial stint in Indonesia where she met her husband during one of the assemblies of the Singles for Christ. Their children are Tala Elizabeth, 4, considered a miracle baby being born prematurely at six months, thereby spending almost 3 months in the Neo Natal ICU…now a bubbly child, she attends nursery in Singapore with no trace of the harrowing experience as an infant. The youngest is Yumi Gabrielle, 16 months.

 

Worth quoting from Gil is his life’s guiding inspiration as it makes him believe that …”we draw strength from everyone…and what keeps us going is also our strong and unwavering faith in the Lord….that we keep the trust, knowing that HE knows best….that we might be beset with problems and trials almost endlessly, but we never should never despair because we know that God loves us…we should try our best to fend off anxieties…as, God is our shield”.

 

Asked how he would like to be remembered, he said, “I would like to be remembered as someone who will sacrifice my own comfort to be able to give happiness to others”. He further added, “… people see me as “kuripot” (tightwad), but they just don’t know that I try to save every centavo I can because I want to give something to anyone whenever they come to our house for help. I don’t want to see them unhappy – poor relatives, poor neighbors, poor parishioners, poor countrymen, who got struck with calamities year-round.  Had I not sacrificed my own comfort, I would not have had anything to give them. And, I could not have managed my beloved Linda’s monstrous medical needs – as I would not want our children sacrifice for us…for as long as I can still manage it.”

 

Until now, Gil is inspiring those who know him since PAL days….and that includes this writer.