Remembering Ligaya Chin
The Philippine Times joins the Filipino-Australian community in mourning the passing of Ligaya Chin, 88. We are reposting the article on her tribute and birthday celebration in 2017 by the Filipino Association of Victoria (FAVI).
New migrants, struggling wives and mothers, and even Filipino community leaders should learn from Ligaya Chin. Her strength and resiliency as a person and integrity and honesty as a community leader are worth following and emulating. Her passion to serve is the core of her being a mother and a wife, a psychiatric nurse for more than 20 years, a community leader for more than three decades, and owner of nursing homes in Australia.
Around 200 friends, family members, and colleagues attended the tribute to her being a former President of the Filipino Association of Victoria (FAVI). The tribute, organised by FAVI headed by its Interim President Trevor Crewe, was held last 25 January 2017 at The Lincoln in Toorak, Victoria.
Ligaya was all smiles during the tribute which also coincided with her 85th birthday celebration. She was happy to dance when 12 roses were presented to her one by one by 12 of her friends and son, Terence. Singing in the background were Yolanda Bactol, Yolly Ebanks and Divine Basa. Lily Menzie led the bouquet presentation and toast.
Integrity at its best
Clumsy and always late, that’s what friends and workmates lovingly describe Ligaya when they recall her younger years. But one thing that they can vouch, until now, is her unparalleled integrity shown in her community work.
Her stint as President of FAVI for 11 years was focused on actual service like picking up new migrants from the airport, finding accommodation and jobs for them, giving them advice and moral support, organising functions so new migrants and settled Filipinos and Australians could meet and support each other.
Ligaya also became a Chairperson of the Philippine Fiesta and Chairperson of the Miss and Mrs Philippines Beauty Quest.
In the speech delivered by Lilia Chua, Ligaya’s friend for 50 years now, she recalls how they met in Kew Mental Hospital in December 1964 when they were students doing Psychiatric Nursing and became inseparable.
Ligaya is a unique person, Lilia said: “She is the most resilient lady in the face of difficulties, troubles, hardship and even loneliness.” More than her unique personality, Lilia pointed out the depth of Ligaya’s community service.
“The dedication and hard work she put in these Filipino associations of Victoria and the community at large is unimaginable. She led them with wisdom and integrity meaning she never has to look over her shoulder,” said Lilia also recalling with fondness the happy days when they were young nurses.
Back then, Ligaya would lead the hosting and entertaining of Filipino and Vietnamese doctors.
An entrepreneurial mind with a heart
In the tribute delivered by Ligaya’s daughter, Denise Chin, she hailed her mother’s entrepreneurial mind even at a young age. During her elementary years, Ligaya would sell girls’ accessories to her classmates and food in the market.
Denise traced the history of the family’s venture into the nursing home industry.
In 1987, when Ligaya retired as Psychiatric Nurse an opportunity came up and she acquired a 20-bed Aged care facility, St Winifred nursing home in Malvern. After five years, she again acquired another 60-bed facility, Llandysil now called Edenvale Manor in Essendon. She then expanded the business and purchased land in Keilor East and built a new facility.
In 2005, she constructed another 50-bed facility in Templestowe. Now more beds will be added to the two aged care facilities. Denise said her mother’s willingness to gamble, backed up with perseverance and hard work has been her guideposts. Her uncanny ability, she said, to make the right decisions despite challenges becomes her pathway to success.
Denise expressed admiration for her mother being a hardworking and caring person.
“She used to deliver babies in the Philippines and now looks after the elderly, which is the opposite end of the life spectrum,” she said. Denise is now helping her mother manage their nursing homes.
Ligaya’s life has ups and downs and challenges but it has many facets of blessings and successes. The tribute to her is a testimony that the well-loved nurse, who now owns a nursing home, will continue to be smiling and having a caring heart for others.