April 20, 2024

“The world became a little brighter 90 years ago on the day you were born, and your light has burned brighter with each passing year.” Happy Birthday, Atty. Moises Cating! I borrowed the quote from Sally Painter.

How do you describe a nonagenarian whose accomplishments can fill the pages of a book? He was a Baguio Builder Awardee in 2009 and has received a  hundred or more local and international citations.

Brian and Juan Diego Cabral, Zeny  and Mos, Ally, Mitos and Maya Cabral.

A short tete-a-tete with his lovely wife, Zenaida Camero Baptista, for short “manang Zeny” revealed they have been married for 62 years and was blessed with five children, all professionals now: Steve, Gary Randall, Sharon, Armand Voltaire “Rocky”, and Monica Therese or “Mitos”. They have  13 grandchildren and were fortunate to have very loving and caring daughters-in-law,  Arlene, Lani, and Mariceland sons-in-law, Brian Cabraland Roberto Lim.

“Throughout the many accolades my dad has received, a true Baguio boy, he remained unassuming. He always reminded us to be humble, kind, generous and God-fearing,” says youngest son Rocky. “We were fortunate enough to be beneficiaries of his wisdom and advice. His stories and jokes made us all shake with laughter.”

Brian and Juan Diego Cabral, Zeny  and Mos, Ally, Mitos and Maya Cabral.
Left to right:  Sharon, Dominique, and  Amanda Lim, Zeny and  Mos Cating,  Roberto and Spencer Lim.

Manang Zeny fondly recalled that she and young attorney  Mos met when she was a fresh Commerce graduate who worked for the late Atty. Alfredo Lamen, then governor of the Old Mountain Province.

Manong Mos was then a struggling lawyer. He handled land registration. Their offices were  proximate to each other. The beautiful Ilocana from Narvacan, Ilocos Sur soon captured the heart of the lawyer from Atok, Benguet. They had a whirlwind courtship and married after six months. “He was always very kind, patient, generous and above all tolerated me.”

The Baguio Association of Restaurants: Seated: Atty. Mos Cating, Aaron Cating, Zeny Cating, Amelie Cating, Edna Anton, Auring and  Des Bautista.  Standing: Steve Cating, Atty. Erdolfo Balajadia, Arlene Cating, Olive Balajadia, Nicole Pataleta, Rocky and  Maricel Cating, Armand Cating II, Gary Cating, Stella de Guia, Janet Lu, Lani Cating, Vicki Clemente, Emma, and Pete Siapno.
Seated: Pete Siapno and Gladys Vergara. Standing: Emma Siapno, Gary and  Lani Cating, Janet Lu.
Seated:  Amelie, Rocky and  Aaron Cating. Standing:  Nicole Pataleta, and Maricel Cating

Youngest daughter Mitos had this to say, “Age is just a number after all. That’s  one of the things I’ve learned from daddy,” and she continued, “to always be positive and hope for the best. His sense of humor and having a positive attitude towards aging have also made a difference in our lives. Daddy has taught us to always be thankful for all that comes our way, both troubles and blessings. He was always the quintessential role model.”

Two thirds of the life of manong Mos were devoted to community service. He served, founded, and was an active member of many organizations. He was founding member of the Baguio Water district. From 3,000 connections in 1975 it dramatically increased to 30,000 and was awarded as “Most Outstanding Water District” in the entire country.

He was appointed by former President Fidel Ramos to the Local Water Utilities Administration and secured funding for the expansion of the water system in Baguio. You might as well call Mos the “ Wonder Water Man.”

He co-founded the following for the blind: the North Luzon School for the Blind, Bahay Pagasa for their livelihood  and the North Luzon Association for the Disabled. He either co-founded or was a member of organizations like the Baguio General Hospital Advisory Board, the Philippine Military Academy Foster Parents Association, the BB Picag, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines Baguio chapter, the Jaycees International, the Lion’s Club, the Baguio Golfers Association,  the St. Vincent Knights of Columbus, among other civic organizations.

Gaby Tino, Arlene and  Steve Cating.
Vicki Clemente with Edna Anton and Zeny Cating.
Left to right: Janet Lu, Nicole Pataleta, Maricel and Rocky (Amelie on his lap), Aaron and Armand Cating, Stella de Guia, Zeny Cating, and Emma Siapno. Standing: Pete Siapno.

In 1973 , manong Mos started two restaurants-the now famous  Solibao and Ganza Restaurants. He also managed gas stations. He helped in the first Grand Cañao celebrations in the 70s and the Papal visit in the 80s. His law practice spanned  46 years.

I might have been cross-eyed reading all his accomplishments.  I might have also skipped or missed some of the items  as they were too numerous to be mentioned. 

By and large,  I salute a man who has contributed much of his time for a better Baguio. Let me end with a quote from manang Zeny,  “The past two years had been quite a challenge, but I was blessed spending this time with you. I have lost count of the number of Korean telenovelas we have enjoyed together. We could not go outdoors, but you brought the outdoors to me,   with your beautiful orchids. I have lived 62 years of my life with “my Mos” and I cannot live without him.” Like a fine wine, you got better with age. Happy birthday, Sir!