Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Manang Flygia sent us this picture. It was the picture of Tiya'y Lydia (whoever down loaded this picture is a TECHIE who knows how to format it in TIFF), when she was crowned as Miss Murcia.

It was Tiyo'y Abun (Abundio Z. Arrieta) then a lawyer of Governor Alfredo Montilebano Sr., who first danced Tiya'y Lydia, which ended in a love affair, marriage and a family.

The date maybe December 8, 1934, the fiesta of Murcia, which coincide with the bombing of Pearl Harbor eight years after. Tiyo'y Abun and Tiya'y Lydia being the eldest, brought along the Rodrigazos to evacuate in Libacao, Aklan. The rest is history, which also ended in a love affair between two more Rodrigazo's and Arrieta's. It should have been three.


Dr. Palinar was the husband of Lola Caridad, sister of Lola Toyang.

Anyway, the story goes that the Irwins had 6 or 7 daughters (not too sure) and three sons -- John, Sherman and William (I'm not sure which order according to age). I had both versions as told to me by Lola Toyang and later Uncle John Irwin when we were in LA in 1984. The only survivor until now is Uncle John.

William (Bill) was drafted (or he enlisted) in the army at young age (maybe 19) and together with Tiyoy Dandy they were captured -- hence, they were in the "Death March." It was told that Bill reached the concentration camp with Tiyoy Dandy but died of diarrhea. The story about Dr. Palinar who helped Tiyoy Dandy got out of the prison camp and the Palinar family nursed him back to health in Pangasinan.

It was also told that once upon a time during WWII the Irwins resided in Quezon City (most possibly in the Lucasan's house in San Francisco del Monte). One day the Japanese were going house-to-house looking for Americans. They were past the Irwins house when one of the Filipinos tipped them that Americans reside in the next house. So when they went into Lola Andit's, she told her sons, John and Sherman were sleeping that time to escape. Uncle John was able to jumped out of the window but Sherman was left behind because he had a fever and wasn't not able to escape.. They dragged Uncle Sherman nearby (with some group of Filipinos), asked them to dig their graves and they were all beheaded. He was only 15. It was a gruesome end. Uncle John is now in LA, married to Tiyay Angeles and they have three children-- Michael, Michelle and Cathy. Uncle John and Tiyay Angeles met through Lola Andit since Tiyay Eles was the caregiver of Lola.

Also, Lolo Irwin was one of the first batches of engineers sent by the American government to RP to introduce the "Poso" (deep well pump) that became the family business. Grampa Irwin was also captured by the Japanese and was never found. Lola Andit searched for him and even went to the extent of joining the Red Cross but to no avail.

Uncle Ed Knott emailed to me some more WWII experiences of Tiyoy Dandy which hopefully I'll find time to forward them to you.