People

The Last Act Of Love.

Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! Who’s that man in the house.”Son”! My mother said.”Give your Father a hug.” My father! I said. So I did what my Mother told me and hug the man in front of me. It shouldn’t have been hard for me to do. But, I didn’t even know I have a father. I meet him the first time in the summer of 1954. I really didn’t get to know him that much. He was gone before I know it. Mother told me he have to leave for work to put food on our table and we’ll all join him soon in America.

There are 5 children in our Family. The oldest is name Jerome after my father which is typical in our country. Philippines Island. The second to the oldest is Mary. I’m the middle child. They call me Chris  named after Saint Christopher. The forth is my sister Ava and the fifth and last is June our last name is Castaneda. We also have an Aunt that leave with us. We just call her Aunty. She is on my father side of the family. Every body call my Mother by her nickname. “Connie”.

We are a poor family. There are no middle class in the Philippines. Your either rich or poor. We lived in Quezon City. It’s one of the five largest city. The other  cities are Manila, Davao, Cebu and Zamboanga. The Phillippines is an an archipelago comprising 7107 islands. The island are divided into 3 groups. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. There are 171 native dialect but our main language are English and Tagalog. So transitioning to America language was not to much of a problem.

We were living in a big house at one time and have several relative living with us. When mother run out of money. She gave up the big house and moved the family to a small two bedroom apartment. Dad is already gone. Its’ a typical two story apartment made from concrete and slabs. Which have a downstairs and upstairs. The upstairs was divided in to two bedroom. The downstairs was the leaving room and kitchen. There are a row of about 8 apartment connected together. Each have a little backyard that was fence in with an 8 foot high cinder-blocks that gave us privacy. It serve as a shower and washing our cloths more less an outdoor laundry. The one that stayed with Mother was my Aunty.  All other relatives and suppose to be friends left Mother. My Father working overseas is suppose to be sending Mother money to support the family. It was rough going for us back then. I remember growing up hungry all the time. Even to this date. I still fill that hunger feeling. Its’ a feeling that do not go away.

Its’ a mystery to me during my childhood years I never ask or question my mother or aunt what my father do for a leaving. All I remember is we don’t have enough food on the table and the cloths I wear have holes in them that my Mother have sewn a patch to cover the tear. I still remember just like yesterday hearing laughter from classmate laughing at my pant patches as I walk to the front of the class chalk board were I’m suppose to write the alphabet. Which I never was good at academically.

I have a bumpy childhood and was accident prom. I spent bed ridden in a cast from chest to toe on an operation from a hip accident. Were I was hospitalize in Clark Air force in the Philippines. I must have spent 2 or 3 years in the hospital and the only person that ever visit me was my Mother. After I was healthy enough to walk and was sent home to Quezon City. Mother got the news she been waiting for. We’ll finally join our father in Forth Bragg N.C. So in 1958. I was 12 years old at that time when I meet my Father the second time.

Once we arrive and settled in Fayetteville, NC. Dad rented a 2 bedroom house close to Fort Bragg in Fillyaw Rd. off Yadkin Rd. I don’t know how we all fit in a two bedroom house but we did. We later move out of that place and move to a 3 bedroom wooden frame house off Camden Rd. to accommodate the growing family. The family finally bought 3 bedroom brick house with a garage which we don’t use in Dairy Dr. All this time, Mother was working as a helper. Cleaning house, anything to create an income to help out with fathers Military pay. Father was an E4 at that time and the pay was not enough to support the family.

It was in those days that I learned about my Fathers’ military career. Bits and pieces of it anyway. what I learned: He was a Bataan Death March Survivor during World War II. He was station in the DMZ in Korea. He went to the Vietnam War three times. And served in the Dominican War conflict.

When he is not fighting foreign wars. He work as an Architect to supplement his military income. He keep busy but his steady income comes from his Military pay. Which was not enough to cloth and feed the family. There are several building that he help design dotted around Fayetteville. That we know off but don’t know were they’re at.

Leaving with Father is leaving with him but not knowing him. He is a stranger in the house to me anyway. I always go to Mother for anything. Mother keep herself busy working. And it was only thru her effort and hard work that improve our financial standing. She was the one that acquired wealth for my father. She even started a Filipino Club first one in Fayetteville, NC. She also manage to send four of her children to College. She did this without complaining and did it with honest humble work. Since she do not have a driver license. She use the transit bus to go to work and ask people to drive her when she needed to go somewhere special. When I think of my Mothers’ accomplishment she did for us. I’m bless to have a very caring Mother. As for my Father, we were never close like I was with my Mother.

After graduating from High School  All the children went there separate ways. My older brother Jerone move on with his life and started his family and stayed in NC but in another city. The older sister Mary got a degree in Music after that married and leave with her husband in Washington State. Chris (Me) after finishing college went to Washington State work for a Blue Chip Company. My sister Ava after finishing college married a Doctor and leave in California and open her own dance studio. My youngest sister June finished college with a teaching degree and went back to school to get her Master in Education and is now teaching.

My Mother continued working and open a Children Day Care Center. It was very innovative at that time. It’s a first in Fayetteville.  When she past away in 1986. She left all her wealth to my father. She was buried and a simple headstone was use to commemorate her.

My father was at a loss when Mother past away. But a few years later, he re-married to a Filipina woman named Elizabeth. During this time. My sister Ava and her husband moved from California to Fayetteville. Her husband who is a doctor opened his practice. I also came back home from Texas to Fayetteville in 1999. Were my wife open her practice.

My sister Ava’s husband since opening there practice in Fayetteville 1995 became very busy and successful. My Fathers’ wife Elizabeth worked for her and then ask favor to hire her family members. Which my sister oblige. Since Elizabeth family are just getting started with their life. My Father let her stay in one of my Mothers’ property with no rent payment. It’s a humble 3 bedroom brick house with a single car garage. It’s not much but that’s were my Mother started her Day Care and a lot of the neighborhood children grew up in. It was my understanding since she is not paying rent. She will keep the property in tip top condition. That never happen. The house turn into despair needing a new roof, paint and heating and air condition system. This was upsetting to me because when I brought my wife with me to Fayetteville. We could use a house to live in and that would have been perfect for us. Its’ a good thing that my Sister and her husband is generous and let us stay in their house. Till we can get our own house. Which we eventually did.

My Father past away March 10, 2012. He been married to Elizabeth for 20 years since my Mother past away. When the will was read Elizabeth who was made the executor of my Fathers’ Estate. Was left with a house and all the money that my mother worked for. While the new wife is entitled to receive any benefit that my father may be entitled to being a Japanese POW. Reading the will there is about $3,000.000.00 dollars in the bank account not counting the real estate property.

(I want to say that this story may contain some truth but it is mostly false.)

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The 2nd Wife

My Father

After all the acknowledgement from relatives that I have never met and friends that had gather for my Fathers’ departure.  Its’ good to know that what he work for was not forgotten.  General MacArthur said  “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away. And after 34 years in the military  like  General MacArthur.  He fade away his military career and start his life as a civilian.

You see I remember growing up with my father when he was in the military.  I never understood him.  It didn’t help when I’m growing up being influence by the Beatles and Woodstock.  And him fighting in Vietnam coming home to see me with long hair embracing the PEACE Movement and not supporting what he was fighting for.  If the shoe is turned around and  knowing a little about his career in the military. I would feel devastated to see one of my family against what I’m was fighting for.

We join our father in Forth Bragg NC in 1958.  Were he was assigned after coming back hone from the DMZ zone in Korea.  No sooner was he with us.  When he got the called to join the fighting in The Vietnam War. It is fortunate for us we have our Mother (Connie short for Conception) who raised us when father is fighting overseas.

Mother

I remember Mother have to work two sometimes three jobs to supplement my Fathers income. She work very hard depriving herself of personal luxury so we can attend College to improve our status in life. She was so happy when four of us completed College. She never complain. Even saddled with hard work. She has time to start the first Filipino Society in Fayetteville, NC. Thru hard times and good times Mother was there. She created wealth for my Father and introduce him to the civilian life which she know will come when he leaves the Service.  She made it all possible for my Father to enjoy the benefit of her hard work. When my mother past away. My father was so devastated. I remember him saying that he was suppose to go first. Maybe that has change my father’s behavior. It was later in his life after my Mothers past away that he say, “Don’t Worry be Happy” and also re-married to Florinda (Linda) second wife. Who do not know what my Father was like when the Family was growing up.

Esther

  The 5 Children:

Evelyn

Ele and Friend

Me and Rudy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So after reading the Fayetteville Observer that read: (with their Permission granted)

After experiencing the dark evil of war, Jesus Rabano decidedto love life. Rabano, a retired Army master sergeant, died Sunday and was buried Thursday. He was 94.

Rabano survived the Bataan Death March, one of the worst atrocities in World War II. His wife, Florinda, said he became a happy person.

“He loved life,” she said. “Wherever we go, he befriends everybody.”  Mrs. Rabano said her husband told her about brutalities soldiers endured during the march in April 1942. He told her that of 250 soldiers in his group, only 100 survived.

During the 60-mile march, Japanese troops would randomly pick one of the soldiers and make him dig his own grave. They would then blindfold him, make him kneel and cut off his head, she said.

Rabano told his wife the soldiers were only given a ball of rice and a canteen of water for the trip. He believed he survived because he did not eat and drink it all immediately.

“He saved it,” she said. After the march, the soldiers who were still alive had to ride 30 more miles on a crowded train. “The boxcar was so airtight that some soldiers suffocated,” Mrs. Rabano said.

Rabano, who was in the famous Filipino Scouts unit, was released from a prisoner-of-war camp when the Philippines were liberated in 1943. He later served in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Mrs. Rabano said her husband served in Fort Bragg’s 20th Engineer Battalion and helped build a bridge that was the longest in Vietnam at the time.

“He was so proud of his military service,” she said.

After retiring with more than 34 years in the Army, Rabano was a longtime civilian employee at Fort Bragg and became a leader in Fayetteville’s Filipino community. Mrs. Rabano said her husband was an architect who helped design a number of buildings in the area.

Mrs. Rabano said her husband’s two favorite sayings were “Don’t worry. Be happy,” and “Take it as it comes.”

“Those were the two things he always said to everybody, and to me, because I worry too much,” she said.

Rabano’s daughter, Esther Thompson, said she and the other children learned that their father’s strict ways prepared them for life.

“Don’t worry, Dad, we will be happy,” she said.

Another daughter, Eleanor McCroskey, said Rabano was a brave and courageous man.

“I salute you and I love you very much,” she said.

Mrs. Rabano said her husband was a survivor even during the last few days of his life.

“He was fighting for his life,” she said. “He wanted to live, but the Lord said it was time to come home.”

Staff writer Steve DeVane can be reached at devanes@fayobserver.com or 486-3572.
                                                                                                                                    Father and Linda
After reading this article. I can say that yes. Linda the second wife heard this story from my father. But Linda did not experience the hardship that my Father my Mother experienced during World War II. The growing pains and the financial hardship involved raising 5 children while my father is fighting another WAR.
Looking back, I wish I could have learned more about my father. Knowing what I know about him. I’m very proud to be his Son. It’s to late to turn back the clock and it’s to late to Dance with my Father again. But it’s never to late to say I’m so proud to be his Son and proud to his contribution to the Country.
This is how I want to remember my Father.
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One of Those Day’s

I was sitting  in my favorite bar one day and noticed sitting across me is a man who seem to be in a very bad mood contemplating drinking his drink.  Just as he lift the glass to drink the content.  A guy came from nowere took the drink off his hand and drunk it for him and began laughing.  Hahahahaha that was good he said.

Well the man was in disbelief.  He didn’t know what to say and start sobbing. Man felt bad for him and told him, if he felt that bad about it.  He can order any drink on the bar and he’d pay for it.  Well he thank the man for the offer.  While drinking his new drink.  He told him,   Well its’ been one of those days he said.  He start telling this man who drunk his drink.  That today his dog got run over which made him very sad.  Then he went to work and his Boss told him, he was laid off.  So he went home, only to find his wife run off with the Gardner.

So he said I came to this bar about to drink this glass of poison to take my own life  when you drink it for me.

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Japanese Summer Festival

Japanesebaby, originally uploaded by rabano9196.

Don’t need to go to Japan to enjoy Japanese culture. But it’s better if you go. NC State of North Carolina have this cultural exhibit this weekend 7-11-09. I attended only for one reason food. The sun that day was hidden by clouds which didn’t matter to me. I’m determine to have some authentic Japanese food. I also took my camera and took some some pictures of the event. I had a great time. Left with my bely full with great food. The only drawback is they were not serving BEER. Other than that it was a great day.

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The Divorce

Last night I was thinking of my friend. My friend told me her father and mother are divorcing. I don’t know what that mean. She said she might have to leave and move somewhere else and we won’t see each other again. I ask my mother what divorce mean. She said she’ll tell me later. I ask my father what that mean he said, he’ll tell me later. I talk to my little brother he ask me what that mean. I told him I don’t know, but it must be bad and it will make you sad.

I saw my friend again.  She said she will be leaving our school and won’t see me ever again. I’m sad, we hug and cried. Then the two of us went at the school playground swing. We swing and swing. We swing so high our toes could touch the sky. I can feel the sky touch our toes and it tickles. We both laugh and laugh till the school bell ring. It’s time to go back inside the school. I wish we could do this forever. I’m going to miss my friend.

Sad Girl

I’m still sad about my friend. Well I don’t know what to do.  Think I’ll play with my hola hoop. That always make me happy. 1,2,3,4 and 1,2,3,4 and 1,2,3,4

Hula Hoop

Ok! Feel better now. I’m only 6yrs old. I feel happy. But I’m still sad my friend is leaving me wich make me sad.

Smiling Girl

My mother and father still have not told me what divorce mean.  They said     6 years old girl should not think of those things. I hope I never know the meaning of divorce if it will make me sad and my friend sad. I think I’ll play with my hola hop again. Hola always make me happy. My mohter said she’s happy when she see me happy. I’m happy my mother and father are happy. Except for my brother who drink all the milk and cry when there is no more milk. Boys’ I don’t like boys.

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Childrens’ Party

My sister always looking to spread happiness to friends especially their children took them out one Sunday. To put a smile on their Face.

My SisterMy Sister Ester T. 

Girl ListeningHere’s one of the girls paying attention.

Family Smiling BoyCan’t wait for the party to start.

Girl Red DressThis girl is ready to get going before she falls asleep.

KidsChildren are happy reading what type of gift they’ll get.

SisParty went well. But my Sis is happy its’ over. 

OK! One good deed done today. Yea! Glad that was over.

 

 

 

 

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Achievements

Dr. Mieko Tanaka, audiologist and owner of Family Hearing Care, received recertification from American Board of Audiology.  To accomplish the recertification, she has to meet 60 contact hrs. and 15hrs of the contact hours need to be passed by formal testing.

This voluntary certification program requires audiologists maintain the highest professional standards and remain current in the field of Audiology and practice with continued competency. 

Dr.Tanaka

Dr. Mieko Tanaka Au.D (Doctor of Audiology)

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My Hero My Dad

Its’ almost like yesterday when a man walking in our leaving room front door one afternoon was introduce to me by my Mother as my Father.  I was six at that time and I don’t know how I responded to him. All I can recall was he look so tall. Unlike some other people that can remember what they did with their father when they were growing up. My recollection of my Father is a cloud. The only recollection I have of him was he pick me up and gave me a hug and I felt scared. Who is this man who pick me up, smile and laugh at me. He didn’t stay long with the family before going back to what he does for the Army.

We left the Philippines were I was born to join our Father in America in 1959 to start a new life. We settled permanently in Fayetteville, NC. That is when I was 12yrs. of age.

To this day. I steel don’t know much about my father growing up. I don’t know if that would make much of a difference as I grow up.

J. Rabano

J. Rabano

Here’s a picture of him at a younger age. Don’t know when this was taken or his age. Our family never ask those questions’ or ask what he does for a living.

Mother only say, his most important job is to put food on the table. So we don’t ask what he do or when he’ll be back home. Home at that time is the Philippine Island. Because of his work and effort we are born a citizen of the United States of America.

I saw my Father the second time when we join him in the States 1959. Station in Fort Bragg NC. I was 12yrs. of age at that time.

Below is a picture of my Mother and my Father. I don’t know when this was taken. I made this picture showing showing my mother and father together.

My Mother & Dad

My Mother & Father

This is what he did in his life. For Country and Family.

My Dad, My Hero

My Father is a P.O.W. He was at the Bataan Death March. After being liberated by the U.S. (General MacArthur). He joined the United States Army.  Were he was sent to the DMZ in Korea. As if that was not enough for him. He was then sent to Vietnam War zone. Took a break to be with family only to be sent to the Dominican Republic. Then called back to Vietnam again.

He retired and was given a Meritorious Service Medal*Army Comendation Medal (4th OLC)*Good Conduct Medal (7th Award). This is his story for not being home with family. He’s been fighting for God and Country to keep his family safe from harm.

If someone ask me about my father. I tell them. He is my HERO for what he did to keep his Family FREE and FREE from harm. Do I know him? No. But I know the sacrifice he did to keep his family FREE. Which is  good enough for me.

This Sunday (3-4-12) my FATHER joined his Unit in HEAVEN. I’ll miss him but I know he is looking over his FAMILY.

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A Helping Hand to a Friend.

I was talking to an acquaintance who’s down on his luck and thinking how to help him financially. I don’t have allot of money myself. So what I want to give him. I want for him to earn it. When talking to him. He said he like to work as a extra hand. Like painting, small carpentry or yard work.

So Monday I told him to come over my house to do some weeding on the flower bed. He came in early about 8:00am Tuesday.  I showed him what I expected him to do and gave him an estimated time to accomplish the task.

So I went to work feeling good about helping my fellow man. In less than an hr. I saw him coming to my office. I was surprise of course that he could not possibly finished the weeding that quick.

Well, he told me that the work is to hard and said if my Mother was here, she could finished the job in no time. But for him to do it. Its’ just to hard.

Oh well so much for helping out.

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