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Mamerta delos Reyes-Block, WW II guerilla fighter
(Reprinted from the Washingtonp Post)
By Adam Bernstein

Mamerta Block, 98, a native of the Philippines who fought against the Japa-nese occupation of her homeland during World War II and later was director of a house for international visitors in Washington, died March 11 at her home in Alexandria. She had cancer.

      Mamerta de los Reyes was a native of Cabiao and a graduate of La Consolacion College in Manila. As a young woman, she was a reporter for Commonwealth Advocate, a monthly magazine in Manila that her family owned. She also was involved in a women's suffrage movement in the Philippines.

      When the Japanese began their invasion of the Philippines, her family became swept up in events. Her second husband, Pedro Blanco, who joined the Allied forces retreating to the Bataan peninsula, died shortly after he was captured. Her father and two brothers also were killed in fighting.

She agreed to help the guerrilla forces but was caught.

      "I was six months pregnant, my husband was just buried, and they took me to Fort Santiago in Manila," she told The Washington Post in a 1991 profile. "I was tortured for three months."

      She said she escaped when her torturers mistook her comatose body for dead and was removed from the place in an ambulance with three corpses. When an attendant heard her heartbeat with a stethoscope, the ambulance driver took her to a church hospital, where doctors saved the baby.

      She continued to do intelligence work in Manila until Gen. Douglas MacArthur helped liberate the islands. In the late 1940s, she settled in the Washington area while working as a special envoy of the Filipino Guerrilla Veterans Legion, seeking money for Filipino veterans, war widows and orphans.

      Starting in the early 1950s, she spent two decades as director of the House on Nineteenth Street, a place for visitors.

      She was a former president of the D.C. Federation of Women's Clubs and a member of the National Press Club. She wrote a memoir, "The Price of Freedom: The Story of a Courageous Manila Journalist" (2003).

Her first marriage, to Alfonso Mata, ended in divorce.

      Two children from the marriage died: Wilfredo Mata in the late 1970s and Manuel Mata in 1995.

      Survivors include her husband of 59 years, Isaac Block of Alexandria; three children from the first marriage, Nestor Mata of Manila, Beatriz Bartolome of Fort Washington and Emerita Capito of Tampa; two sons from the second marriage, Florentino Blanco of Manassas and Pedro Blanco of McLean; a daughter from the third marriage, Aida Gordy of
Alexandria; 25 grandchildren; and 36 great-grandchildren.

Jose L. Santiago, 95
Jose L. Santiago of Washington D.C. died last February 2005 at the age of 95. He was born in Cadiz, Negros Occidental, Philippines.

      He is survived by his wife, Oki Young, daughters Cynthia, Erlinda and several grandchildren. He is the eldest brother of retired Maj. Elino Santiago of Skokie, member of the Veteran Post #509 in Chicago.

      Mr. Jose Santiago graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Civil Engineering. He took his masters degree in Management Engineering at Feati. He was also an undergraduate in B.S. Architecture at Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila.

      He was connected with the Department of Defense under the Chesapeake Division of Naval Facilities Engineering Command. He was a structural engineer of Tippetts-Abbett-McCathy-Stratton in New York. He also served as a project engineer in Korea as well as in Israel.

      A memorial service was held in his honor last February 17 at the First Alliance Church in Washington, D.C. His remains was cremated as requested.*

Bernardo A. Villarin, 90
Bernardo A. Villarin, Sr. died on March 23 at the age of 90. Surviving him are his wife Gertrudes de Leon-Villarin, their children Helen Wysmierski (John), Mila Bensing (Ray) and Bernardo,Jr.(Emma), their 7 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. A wake was held on March 26 and 27 at Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home, 6150 N. Cicero Ave. in Chicago. Internment was at Rosehill Cemetery following a mass at St. Hilary Catholic Church on March 28.*

Leonila R. Barquez, 88
Mama Nila as Leonila Rabano-Barquez is fondly called by her loved ones, passed on at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago on March 23. She is survived by her daughters Josefina B. Almonte (Ric), Luz B. Bilag (Wilfredo) and her son, Mark (Yolanda); 17 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren and her brother Jose Rabano (Ester). She was preceded in death by her husband Jose and her two other children, Betty Encinas (David) and Romencio (Naty). Mrs. Barquez was born in Oas, Albay. She migrated
to Chicago in 1972.

      A wake was held at Colonial-Wcjciechowski Funeral Homes, 8025 Golf Rd., in Niles. Burial was set at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines after a memorial mass at St Lambert’s in Skokie on March 29.*

Juana Cruz-Bautista, 81
Juana Cruz-Bautista died in Bloomington, Illinois after a lingering illness. She was 81. Mrs. Bautista was eulogized as a very loving, caring and helpful individual by her brother, Felix and by her grandchildren.

      Born in Guguinto, Bulacan where she was a business owner, she migrated to Chicago to join her children. She preceded in death her husband, Jose and her siblings Jose and Clarita Cruz.

      She is survived by her children Jaime, Jose, Jr.,Joselita, Angelita Intal, Robert, Larry, Elvie Intal, and Myrna.; also by her brothers and sisters, Pedro, Felina Augustin, Amelita, Guillermo, Fortunata, Felix, Teresita dela Vega and Damaso.

      A wake was held at Salerno-Rosedale Funeral Home in Roselle. A memorial mass was celebrated at St Matthew Catholic church in Glendale Hts., followed by the burial at Queen of heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

Pedro B. Adriatico, 81
Pedro B. Adriatico, a retired teacher in Bangued, Abra where he was
born, died on March 13 in Elgin, Illinois.

      A prayer service was held in his memory at Laird Funeral Home in
Elgin. His remains were flown to his hometown on March 21 for internment
at Lagangilang Municipal Cemetery.

      He is survived by his wife Rosa, his children Rev. Jerome Adriatico,
Chito, Sonny, Bert, Nestor, Victor, Marcel and 12 grandchildren.

Justice Francis Garchitorena, 67
Former Sandiganbayan Justice Francis Garchitorena passed away February 25 due to a bout with cancer.

      According to media reports, Garchitorena had been confined at the Makati Medical Center for six weeks while undergoing medical treatment. He had been diagnosed as having brain tumors last month.

      The magistrate, who had been 67 years old, was a noted anti-Marcos activist and took to the streets after the assassination of opposition senator Benigno Aquino in 1983.

      At the anti-graft court, Garchitorena had presided over the corruption trial of ousted Pres. Joseph Estrada.

      He retired in October 2002 after he admitted he could not meet the Supreme Court's deadline for him to dispose of the backlog of cases at the Sandiganbayan First Division, which he chaired.

      He was married to Vicky Garchitorena, the former head of the Presidential Management Staff under President Gloria Arroyo.

      Born on January 8, 1938, in Kobe, Japan, he held the position of presiding justice of the Sandiganbayan from 1986 until 2002. As presiding justice, he inspired his subordinates and colleagues with his wit and was known for his integrity and professionalism.

      In an editorial, the Manila Bulletin wrote: “Throughout his service until he retired, he steered the anti-graft court through its most different phases, taking charge of a number of celebrated cases. When he left the Sandiganbayan, he was lauded for his decision by his peers and other jurists who asserted that in his work, the late Presiding Justice Garchitorena activated the doctrine of delicadeza.”

Sherwin S. Panlilio, 31
Sherwin S. Panlilio died last March 24 at their home in Wheeling, Illinois. His lifeless body was found by his mother, Lilia Panlilio late Maundy Thursday after she came home from work.

      Mr. Panlilio, single, went to Northern Illinois University business school. A former resident of Skokie, he graduated from St. Lambert’s Parochial School and from Niles North High School. At the time of his death he as working at IMS in Morton Grove.

      Aside from his mother, he is survived by his father Carlito, and his sisters, Aimee and Iby.

      A two-day wake was held March 28-29 at Kolssak Funeral Home, 189 S. Milwaukee in Wheeling. Memorial mass was celebrated at St. Alphonsus Liquori Church and the burial followed at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery in Niles March 30.