September 27, 2023

Norma lived her life to the fullest. Born and raised in Mexico, Pampanga where her passion for perfection and excellence in true Kapampangan sense was honed, they migrated to Baguio City and had established the Musni music store along Mabini Street.
Along the way, she crossed paths with the ever-dashing Cadet Filoteo Arevalo at the Philippine Military Academy during a ring hop ceremony she attended, chaperoned of course by her mother and sister Cora.
So, the story goes that after the first dance, Filo fell head over heels with her and in one swoop of his magic wand convinced lola Corazon to allow her to marry him immediately after graduation. Thus, in the afternoon of the day he was commissioned, they exchanged I do’s at the Camp Allen Chapel.
Aside from her reputation as a glamorous lady, she was a deeply sensitive, warm, intelligent, and forgiving human being. She laughed a lot but kept the pain to herself. Sometimes she was misunderstood because of her glib tongue. “Tak-nay-da-na”, Tak-sya-po, tunking etc.
She was passionate with her Christmas house lights that were lit every year without fail for over two decades now. I remember her telling my wife during the Covid-19 crisis that she would continue with the Christmas lights to inspire people and let them know that there is light amidst the darkness. Every year after her demise, I am sure she would be hovering around to make sure that those she left behind will continue her tradition of fostering cheers through her Christmas lights.
In the years that we have known her, we enjoyed the benefit of her motherly counsel. She was never patronizing and had a way of regaling her audience with her anecdotes and stories and their escapades with her Filo during their heyday.
Like all of us here on Earth, she was not perfect and had her weaknesses but she was a good and gentle woman. Her gentle reminder was to forgive, reconcile and be one as family.
With her passing, she will surely be missed but we have not really lost a dedicated mother and outspoken loved one for as she goes to enter the pearly gates of heaven to enter her appearance before the Supreme Father, she bears with her a prayer from all of us here for a united, healthier and happier clan.
Knowing her, she will seize the opportunity to be of further guide to all of us by acting as our celestial defender in heaven until we face our own time too.
As we share our burden of grief with daddy Filo and the family, let us take comfort in the thought that from now on we can count on her as our advocate in the heavens.
Her memory will live on forever in our hearts and souls. She has lived a good life; we know she is in a peaceful and happy place. Life seems to be getting harder for us mortals, but as you, mommy Norma would say, “Enjoy life”!