Engracia del Castillo-Mata
Engracia del Castillo-Mata

Obituary of Engracia Sales del Castillo-Mata

Born on 4th of January 1920 to Felix del Castillo (of Spanish decent) a businessman and Guadalupe Sales (orphaned and raised in a convent), a homemaker. Younger of two siblings, Toribia (Toe RIB' ya) the Pharmacist and Grace the Physician they were raised during the depression years and grew up in the Manila region. She graduated from Mapua (MA' pu WA") High School, Centro Escolar (ES' ko-LAR") University for her baccalaureate degree and MCU doctor of medicine. At her graduating year, 1942 WWII broke out and the class was honored their degree inabsencia graduating top 10 of both her class and on the Philippine National Board Exams licensing her to practice medicine. Therefore she was designated physician within the small town of San Juan. At any hour, patients summoned her into their homes, tents, and catacombs to deliver babies in the midst of the Japanese invasion and occupation. Wearing white as an insignia of healthcare worker, she rode on a horse and buggie around the small town, escorted by patients' family members. The Japanese respected her and left her undisturbed as she patrolled the small town attending to her patients. That was tumultuous times, and she was eager to perform her designated Christian duty. After the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese by the American military force friends Jose' & Tita Santiago (pronounced San-ty'-yago). introduced her to Engr. Marciano (Mar'-sy-yano) S. Mata who wooed her into a whirlwind romance. They were married at the St Johns Parish Church Sta. Mesa (MAY'-sa), Manila. The couple enjoyed four years of marital bliss before fostering two girls. Odalee (OO'-dollie) and Virginia Rosario (ro'-ZAR"-yo). Nine months tater, Leni Grace Anne was born. After a five year gap and during a stormy night came Lodi Glori-Ann 7 years thereafter. they fostered Vivian Amor. Over the years, Grace had fostered many children, and young women who were undocumented and who easily adopted her as "Mommy". Grace's public service began in a meager one-room clinic sponsored by the Women's Club of a small town called San Juan. She expanded it into a 10-bed delivery clinic for maternity and childcare. Here, she assisted many women of need. Her advocacy for the fight against abortion, found loving homes for many unwanted babies, three of which she took under her wing. This clinic then became part of the Health care project of the Municipality of San Juan, local government. Her popularity increased over the years through the candidacy and electron of Mayor Estrada (ES'-tra-da) who later became President of the Philippines. Offered a seat in local government several times, she refused the intrigues and complexities of politics. The religious groups invited her into their fold and honored her presence when ecumenicalism was a sinful violation against the Catholic Church. Lourdes Zamora (ZA "-mora) here today present, can testify to her desire to prove that there is only One God and One Holy Church. During her spare hours she taught in the Nursing School of St. Anne's Hospital at Sta. Ana Mandaluyong (MAN'-da-LU~-yung), influencing young minds in the theory, practice and care of patients. She was faculty and medical staff, delivering innumerable babies over the span of almost three generations of patients in her medical career. Continuously attending medical seminars and meetings, she earned honorary lifetime memberships into The Philippine Medical Society, Philippine Medical Women's Association, Philippine Obstetrics & Gynecology, Philippine Pediatrics Society, just to name a few. Her popularity and work reached far and wide that Dr. Fe del Mundo (MOON"¬dough) owner and director of the Children's Medical Center offered her a scholarship to the United States involving her in the program of Family Planning, and a Masters degree at the Ate-neo (AT-te-nay-yoo") {a Jesuit Congregation} University which inspired the creation of a medical and family planning hotline for persons in need of answers to their medical and related problems. Given the position of District Supervisor for the greater Luzon Island, she was assigned to travel to different government clinics lecturing. One of her friends of the Women's Club became Mayor of Quezon (KAY"'-zone) City, the capital of the Philippines, and invited her to work in the Health Department where her political acuity earned her a position in Project 4 Heath Department Clinic where she met Luz Robinson, who is now here with us, still the faithful aide and girl Friday of Grace. She organized mandatory lecture seminars for prostitutes to attend and to conduct health care supervision for them. Also, she organized the mandatory continuing education programs for all government physicians. A couple of years later, the City government assigned her to counsel mentally or psychologically disturbed persons in the communities of the health department. Her friendship and camaraderie to Dr. Romualdez (ROME-wal'-dez), the half-sister of the infamous Mrs. Imelda Marcos (aka 1.000 & one shoes), earned her a diplomatic seat to a trip to Russia in 1972 when it was still known as the Iron Curtain, Retiring her public medical career she joined St. Martin de Porres Hospital, where she volunteered herself and her daughter, Lodi to the service of the under privileged. Here she was offered to counsel "women in crisis", opening a department to assist women. among which rape victims. abused women and women seeking abortion were seen for therapy and treatment. Eventually, she entered the Dominican Laity. Following the death of the Director of St Martin de Porres Hospital she assisted in the move and housing of the Crania Facial Foundation. She agreed to offer her home as out patient clinic for the habilitation and rehabilitation of cleft lip and palate, facially compromised, and neurosurgical patients one such assisted child is the grandchild of Luz. Her career expands over a period of 50 years of public service to the needy and deprived. Overall she was a woman of principle, moral righteousness and prayerful sacrifice to her very last breath. Her strength we shall remember as a woman of action and reaction never stopping to think of oneself, only for others. To the end she never complained of suffering but endured ail for the lord. She has left behind her immediate family (daughters, Leni Grace Anne Mata-Sunico and Lodi Glori-Ann Mata, DDM); foster children (Odalee Mata, Virginia Rosario Mata-Corral, and Amor Tagle); grand children, great grand children, foster grandchildren, foster great grand children, relatives, extended families and friends, here in the United States and in the Philippines. Letter of St Paul to the Romans (Romans 5:5-11) Brothers & Sisters: Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, died at the appointed time, for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, through perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves His love for us In that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now Justified by His Blood, will• we be saved through Him from the wrath. Indeed, if, we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, Whom much more, once reconciled, will we, be saved by His Life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received reconciliation. Signs and Song of Farewell I know that my Redeemer lives, And on that final day of days, His voice shall bid me rise again: Unending joy, unceasing praise! This hope I cherish in my heart: To stand on earth, my flesh restored, And, not a stranger but a friend, Behold my Savior and my Lord. Arrangements by Edwards Memorial Center 253-566-1008
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