amherst memorial service

Maria Racella Ignacio

Maria Racella L. Ignacio


Saturday, April 6, 2024
9:00 AM (Philippine Standard Time)
Loyola Memorial Park Columbaria
1700 Dr Arcadio Santos Avenue
Parañaque, 1700 Metro Manila
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a Photo of Maria Racella L. Ignacio

Obituary for Maria Racella L. Ignacio

August 4, 1960 – February 2, 2024

Racella Ignacio, our “bunso’” (youngest) was named by our father in honor of our three grandmothers, Ramona, Josefa, and Julia. Our mother nicknamed her Maricel. When she began to say her first words, many asked her - what is your name? Still too young to clearly say “Maricel”, she kept repeating - Atey. We found that cute and we began calling her “Atey”.

Atey was born with a physical handicap - club feet. Our parents, especially our mother, were so determined to do everything possible so that Atey would walk normally the way the rest of us do, which she later did. Our mother sacrificed much to bring that about. We, her children, took turns assisting her by carrying Atey, who was a heavy baby, playing with her as she crawled in her playpen, saw to it that she was givenappropriate care in school, and ensured that she was treated fairly at play. Both her feet had to be in a cast for several months when she was a baby, followed by orthotic braces. Yet, she never cried much nor sought to get attention. When she started walking, she had to wear combat-like boots with steel braces until almost the end of her grade school years. Yet, she never even once complained nor felt sorry for herself. Instead, she was a sociable, well-liked, happy girl with friends both in our neighborhood and in school. She exhibited a healthy confidence, graduating Valedictorian in her elementary school. She was the playmate of Babes at home. Though she could not play patintero, she more than made up for it by playing teks, holen, pick-up sticks, plastic balloon, bunot, and jackstone very well. She and brother Babes loved and played with our pets. Shenamed our black kitten “Baby Bolo”, our duckling “Iyok”, and our goat, she and Lola Julia named “Kanding”. She was En's constant “alaga’ (ward) in school, my barkada when she was in college until she migrated to Canada in 1998, and Met's favorite roommate during our siblings' travels.

Atey grew up to be a simple, good-natured, caring, and kind woman with a great sense of humor, but never allowed herself to be taken advantage of, much less abused. In Canada, she quickly became a productive, well-liked member of society who was genuinely competent at work as an IT Software Developer, later rising to the position of Quality Assurance Manager in a Software Development Company.

Just like everyone, however, she had a few challenges to transcend - physical limitations, as well as gender and racial inequality. Through it all, she remained a caring and kind person who never spoke ill of anyone and quietly bore her burden with courage and an uncommon grace. She was an authentic person at all times and in any situation, never self-promoting, much less pretending to be other than who she truly was, perhaps in keeping with our father's advice: “Never, never, ever to become a parvenu”. Atey also had an adventurous, liberal, free-spirited side. She loved to explore places and took so many beautiful photos of the countries she visited - Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Germany, Greece, Romania, Russia, and Turkey, among others.

She loved to dance the cha cha and twist, good music, intriguing books, and suspenseful films.

Even when already seriously ill, she remained the same - accepting, agreeable, and uncomplaining, tried her very best, and held on to her faith in God. She was fully aware of how precarious her illness had become and that her time was limited. She prepared as best she could for the reward that awaited her by constantly praying, being regularly blessed by an African Catholic priest, and had a long spiritual session with a Filipino Catholic priest.

That was our sister Atey, who we all miss but will surely remain in our hearts for as long as we live...who is constantly a reminder of what a genuine blessing she was to us she has enriched our lives just by being our sister. Knowing how Atey lived her life, we know deep in our hearts where her spirit now resides. Rest in peace and be joyful with God, our dearest, beloved “bunso”.

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In Loving Memory

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Dignity. Respect. Simplicity.