My Beautiful, Wonderful Mom
Beautiful Helen Limjoco
My fabulous, wonderful, beautiful mom.
I am blessed to have an extraordinary mom, Helen Belflower Limjoco. She has been there for me through the worst and the best of times. From her, I have learned that anything is possible if you just go for it. When mom sets out to do something, it gets done. No task is too daunting for my mom. Mom is 94 years old this August, 2020.
Mom is a breast cancer survivor, in remission for more than 30 years, and my inspiration! Up until a couple of years ago, she drove herself to the store when needed, in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, where we have all moved to. She is still so independent. For my mom, there is nothing she cannot do if she sets her mind to it. When I feel weak and insecure about doing something, I think of how my mom just jumps in feet first and gets the job done, no matter what it is.
My mom is very strong willed, kind, and generous to a fault. She is also very witty, and sharp tongued. She likes to “cut to the chase” as it were. We love to banter and make snide remarks, sometimes humorously aimed at each other. Without her unconditional love and support, I would not be the woman I am today.
Mom was born and raised on a farm in Oklahoma city, Oklahoma, USA. During World War II. She was one of the women who worked for the Douglas Aircraft Plant to rivet airplanes for the WWII war effort, like Rosie the riveter. I guess this helped her to become the handy gal she always is till today. She's always trying to fix things herself.
She met my Filipino fly boy father, (Batch 1942B, of the Philippine Army Air corps training at Luke Air Force base, in Arizona) while she worked at the checkout counter there. He was smitten, but that is another story. She married him, and just after the war, she flew to the bomb riddled Manila, Philippines with a 3 month old infant, who was my brother. He was Pan American airlines youngest babe to fly at the time. My dad came on a US Navy Carrier months later.
When she arrived at dads’ home town in Batangas, Philiipines, they lived at the ice plant grandpa built in the mid 1920’s. She learned to manage the office and also was the cashier for a time until she learned to train her replacements.. This is where she taught me how to count the money when people bought ice, on a huge manual key punch adding machine. She went on to do so many other things. She engaged in several business ventures, from hair salons, a travel agency, gas stations and, when we moved the the US, she took business courses and was a hospital administrator in Hollywood, but being a senior myself, the name escapes me. I’m sure she will enlighten me when she reads this.
She did these things and many more, in between taking care of my dad, who retired from the Air Force for health reasons He was stay at home husband for most of my adult life. During all of this, my dad never forgot his military fellows. He and mom solicited donations from hospitals replacing their used medical equipment to utilize their budgets for newer models. Together they shipped 10 full sized containers of medical gear to Philippine Armed Forces hospitals, like Camper Crame Hospital, Villamor Air Base etc. Items were large ceiling mounted X-ray, and dialysis machines, electric hospital beds, IV units and everything in between. They did this for a decade, flying to Manila to receive the goods accompanied by Air Force personnel to make sure it all got to the proper place intact. They finally received the honor and recognition they deserved from Philippine President Joseph Estrada in 2000.
Mom was the first female entrepreneur role model for me. She had the patience to teach me how to any thing I wanted to know about daily life. She would read to me and gave me kid encyclopedias, phonograph record stories (45) to expand my mind.
She has lead an exemplary and extraordinary life. Overcoming cultural divides, she has moved in and out of every social circumstance, and life’s tragedies and triumphs with supreme grace and aplomb.
Mom, I love and adore you now and forever,
Helen Limjoco 1946 - Quezon Province
Helen Limjoco in the 1950's
At my great aunt's (Lola Amparing Arguelles de Villa) beautiful home in Malate. I remember this dress she wore, red velvet with white flowers on the bodice. I thought she looked like a Goddess that night! My mom's hair was natural blue-black, and it shined like an oil spill in the sunlight, green, blue, magenta...it looked like a rainbow.
My mom would read me bedtime stories when I was a child, was always with me when I was sick, which was a lot, and encouraged my creativity.
Ramon Limjoco 89th Birthday party
Mom with Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal - 1963
My father sponsored a trade fair, the first of it's kind in Batangas Province, as founder and President of the Batangas Chamber of Commerce. My mom was introducing the President Diosdado Macapagal to the local illustrati.
Helen Limjoco with Palawan Governor Baham Mitra - August 16, 2010
Mom will turn 91 this Aug. 23rd! She still does her own chores and cooking! This was taken at Badjao Seafront Restaurant.
Helen Limjoco- Aug. 16, 2010 - with US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr.
At Badjao Seafront Restaurant in Puerto Princesa Palawan with our electric Tricycles. The Ambassador was gracious enough to put up with us asking him to pose with us! Such an affable gentleman. He did take a liking to them and he would let us take him for a spin next time he's in town.
At Badjao Seafront Restaurant Aug. 16, 2010
US envoy, Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr., turned-over 4 new patrol boats to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This was at the luncheon at Badjao Seafront Restaurant honoring him and other VIPS that attended the ceremony.
Front left to right: Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr., Diana J. Limjoco, Mayor Edward Hagedorn
Back left to right: Palawan Governor Baham Mitra, Helen Limjoco, Dave Dewbre
Mom and Dad with then Chief Of Staff PAAF - General Angelo Reyes
In Nov. 2000-Receiving the medical equipment donations from my parents, which they personally packed up carefully to be donated to the Philippine Armed Forces Hospitals.
My parents - Helen and Ramon Limjoco
with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the Gonegosyo book launch, Feb. 2009, 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs, which I am in.
Dad's 90th Birthday dinner! Sept. 5, 2009 - My brother Randy and his family surprised us by showing up unexpectedly!
Front row left to right:
Kathy Limjoco Sison, Ramon A Limjoco, dad's daughter-in-law, Cecile Carrion Limjoco, son, Randy Limjoco, wife, Helen Limjoco (our mom), Diana Limjoco holding Alysha, grandson, Kenny Carrion Limjoco, great grandson, Marken Limjoco, and in back is Dave my hubby.
It was raining so hard, we surely didn't expect them to drive 2 hours in a deluge, so we were all so thrilled and appreciative they braved the weather!
Another photo of dad's 90th birthday
Front row left to right:
Grandson Kenny Limjoco, husband, Ramon A Limjoco, daughter-in-law, Cecile Carrion Limjoco, son, Randy Limjoco,
Back row: left to right: granddaughter Kathy Limjoco Sison, mom,
Helen Limjoco (our mom), Diana Limjoco and in back is Dave my hubby.
My mom will really love to read your comments. She does know how to surf and do email too!