NAGA CITY, Philippines – Salvacion “Sally” Gerona, 83, mother of Vice President Leni Robredo, was laid to rest at the Eternal Gardens Memorial Park following the 3:00 p.m. mass held at the Basilica Minore, Home of Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia on Saturday, February 29.
Rodredo expressed gratitude to the people from all walks of life who joined her family in sending off her mother.
“Thank you for joining us [in] celebrating [the] beautiful life that mommy [lived]. We will be forever grateful. It may be hard, but instead of tears of mourning and grieving, let’s smile, smile, smile, and smile as a celebration of mommy’s life and beautiful spirit. So smile to still find joy and to put our best forward,” Robredo said.
Gerona was buried alongside her late husband, Judge Antonio Gerona, and Robredo’s husband, the late DILG Secretary Jesse Rodredo.
“She never missed going to school every single day. She taught in elementary, high school, college, and graduate school throughout her long years of service. Even after [turning] 65, she continued to be a member of the graduate school until she was 82,” Robredo said.
Rodredo said that her mother started teaching at 18.
Cesar C. San Jose, PhD, the dean of the University of Sta. Isabel graduate school, said that Gerona was a faculty member for 45 years.
“She was a woman of extraordinary vision and courage and she provided the inspiration and leadership which helped the then Colegio de Sta. Isabel become the Universidad de Sta. Isabel on August 20, 2001, an institution with a radical voice on poverty and social justice,” San Jose said.
Gerona was hired at USI in 1957 as a faculty member of basic education and served as the area chair of English Communication Arts from 1957 to 1975. She became a college professor and graduate school faculty member from 1990 to 2002.
After retiring from USI in 2002, Gerona continued her passion, interest and service in academic mentoring, research advising, and coaching at the USI graduate school, her “home away from home,” San Jose said. –Rappler.com