Proud love-child of World War II
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
LAST week, the annual celebration of the
historic Lingayen Gulf landing of the Allied Liberation Forces led by the
Americans headed by General Douglas MacArthur was held at the capitol ground in
Lingayen last January 9. I wished I was there again like in the past to watch
the activities because my beloved father (Jesus Rivera Garcia) was one of the
68,000 combatants of the allied forces who fought alongside with the soldiers
of U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Philippines to liberate Luzon
(especially our province) from the Japanese forces. But my hectic schedule that
day prevented me from making it this time, particularly to solve some glitches
in the coming San Fabian town fiesta cycling road race scheduled on January
January 9, 1945 is unforgettable to me because it was the day when my Mexican father first set foot in the province. According to my father, in his letters to me during my adolescence, he was with some hundred U.S. fighters after invading San Fabian and my town Mangaldan, when they built a ‘casual camp’ here in our barrio Buenlag and met my mother. And as many had expected, they fell in love and cohabitated for at least seven months. My bachelor father left my mother after the war to fulfill his government duties and I was born three months after the war. Fortunately, despite being unmarried, he acknowledged me legally as his son, petitioned me to migrate to the United States and my first dream to see him personally was fulfilled. The rest is history.
While I’m a son out of wedlock, a love-child, I’m proud to say that I could be one of the luckiest love-children having been a three-time champion in the sport that I loved most (cycling) and gave multiple laurels to this province of my birth. Yes, I’m a product of World War II like many others. In fact, my father even bragged to some sports reporters when he was interviewed upon my migration in Pharr, Texas on April 23, 1978 that he was the only soldier during the war who produced a national champion in the Philippines. Well, he might be right.
My father died on April 13, 2000 at the age of 79 and I was not able to pay my last respects because for still some unknown reason I was informed of his death only two weeks after his burial. When I asked my brothers (father side) why the late advice, they explained they could not locate my phone number including that of my son Jazy’s. That’s life. And so be it.
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My big congrats to all the winners and the people behind the success of the two categorized 2019 Lingayen Cycling Challenge that was conducted last January 6 that started and ended across the President’s Hotel at Maramba Boulevard. Participated in by 43 riders, it was sponsored by Excellent Noodles of Alex Billan and businessman and avid sportsman Charlie “Atong” Ang. Believe it or not, it was my namesake and little-known Jesus Garcia of Sta. Maria, Pangasinan who topped the sub-master division. David Jugo of San Fabian won the grandmaster category. See you again in San Fabian on January 12.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. PROVERBS 16: 19
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