Irene was born in 1936 in the Philippines, which at the time was a United States territory. It had been taken from Spain following the Spanish American War, as part of the Treaty of Paris, which also granted the US control of Guam (which remains a US territory today).
Irene's father was Miguel Baldovi. He was originally married to Paula Fagaragan, and they had four children. She passed away, and Miguel re-married Eufracia Gamatero (Irene's Mom). Miguel and Eufracia had four children, including Irene, before he died in 1938 of fever. He had traveled to the next province to buy land when he took ill and died.
Irene does not remember her Dad, and has no photos of him. She was six when the Japanese occupied her province as part of the WWII invasion of the Philippines. She described the following events as part of her childhood:
- Working as a child in the fields to help her Mom earn money to eat. Manually harvesting rice, without any machine for the threshing.
- Hiding from the Japanese whenever a runner(boloman) would warn the village they were coming. She would always carry a pack with some food and clothes when working in the field so it was possible to hide for days at a time.
- Hearing bullets fly by when the Japanese would surprise her village. Having to flee in the middle of cooking dinner.
- The village across the river from her being burned.
- Irene was only been able to attend six years of school, partly due to the Japanese occupation. Her birth certificate had also been burned during the war.
Irene married her husband, Hospicio Tabrilla Corpuz, reluctantly to please her Mom. He was older than her, but her Mom believed it was a good match. Irene initially fled the pressure to marry Hospicio by going to Bagio and working there for a time, but she capitulated after some time.
Irene had three children with Hospicio, who are my wife, Arlene's three oldest siblings. Hospicio went to work in Guam for a few years. After he returned, he and Irene had three more children, one of which was Arlene Baldovi Corpuz, now my wife, Arlene Corpuz Gregerson.
Irene now has 16 Grandchildren. She had never flown until 2007, when we took her to Manila on a plane. She visited us in the United States in 2008 to help care for our daughter, Athena Corpuz Gregerson (born in March, 2008). She came again in 2010.
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This page last modified 2010-11-02