Guillermina Of A Hundred Years
At the precise moment when Mama breathed her last, there was a sudden heavy rainfall. With the grey skies turning black, the rain was relentless, literally with no letup. In just a few minutes, there was flash flood and vehicles were at a standstill along the highway. The heavens apparently were weeping. The celestial gods were mourning the passing of a woman of substance, a woman I called my Mother.
A member of UP Law Class '41, Atty. Guillermina Serapio Dela Merced Gener belonged to another era. A bygone era. It was a time when the prospect of another world war was brewing. And true enough, just a few days after members of Class '41 took their oath and were accepted to the Roll of Attorneys on December 4, 1941, the Japanese forces bombed Pearl Harbor, signalling the outbreak of World War II.
It was a time when a brilliant, dashing young man named Ferdinand Edralin Marcos was making waves. It was a time when the UP Campus was located, not in Diliman as we know it today, but on Padre Faura Street near Taft Avenue in Manila. It was a time when female law students would not look at the Oblation statue, manifesting the high standards at that time. Or rather, how conservative they were.
Atty Mimi Gener's contemporaries were those made of sterner stuff. To name a few, there were Hermogenes Concepcion and Nestor Alampay, who both became Supreme Court Justices. And who would forget the bright and beautiful woman, Leonor Ines Luciano, who was appointed as Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals? And, later on, contributed greatly to the amendment of the Family Code of the Philippines. And another Court of Appeals Justice, Floreliana Castro Bartolome. There was Mary Concepcion Bautista who became Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights.
Atty. Gener would talk, in several instances, about their sophomore class President, sugar baron Carlos Ledesma, who was, in her own words, a true gentleman. As class Secretary and Treasurer, Atty. Gener regularly coordinated with Atty. Ledesma. She also had fond memories of two classmates who became top-notch legal practitioners, namely, Dakila Castro and Norberto Quisumbing. And there was the longest-serving Governor of Laguna, Felicisimo San Luis. Of course, her story would not be complete without mentioning dear friends Naty Racadio Manalang and Teresita Corvera Siwa.