In March 2005, Mana Naning Velasquez (second from right) paired with then Mayor Pablo Mejia III to unveil the marble marker for the Biliran-Japan Peace Memorial on the wall of the old Biliran Municipal Building. With her in the photo are (from right) Mr. Antero Junia, Mana Naning's brother-in-law, Prof. Tomoe Shitaba (+) of Tokyo International University in Japan, and a female TIU professor.
In March 2005, Mana Naning Velasquez (second from right) paired with then Mayor Pablo Mejia III to unveil the marble marker for the Biliran-Japan Peace Memorial on the wall of the old Biliran Municipal Building. With her in the photo are (from right) Mr. Antero Junia, Mana Naning's brother-in-law, Prof. Tomoe Shitaba (+) of Tokyo International University in Japan, and a female TIU professor.

Prof. Rolando Borrinaga
BiliranIsland.com

SUNSET IN BILIRAN. In a sense, the passing of Mrs. Catalina “Naning” Tonelete-Velasquez marks another figurative sunset for Biliran. It may seem proper to precede her name with the title of former Vice-Mayor of Naval (for which she did not seek re-election after one term). But this title is miniscule in the entire range and scope of her gigantic influence as a low-key civic leader and private citizen of Biliran Province. Thus, Mrs. is grandiose enough. Mana Naning was one of my key informants in my research and writing about Biliran history and culture. She was a key supporter and facilitator of some of my past initiatives, which I feature in this album of photos. She was also a gracious interview-respondent of various batches of young Japanese whose study tours I facilitated in our province for nearly a decade. She may have gone, but she will be remembered. A glorious sunset always beacons hope for a brighter tomorrow.

My first big story about the war-time history of Biliran town involved the case of Mrs. Corazon "Mana Azon" Nierras-Pajota. The 1999 interview with her was arranged and facilitated by Mana Naning Velasquez.
My first big story about the war-time history of Biliran town involved the case of Mrs. Corazon “Mana Azon” Nierras-Pajota. The 1999 interview with her was arranged and facilitated by Mana Naning Velasquez.
In 2004, as head of the Biliran Historical and Cultural Society among other hats, I spearheaded and organized an art exhibit titled "Sunset in Biliran" in Biliran town. Mana Naning Velasquez allowed the free use of the ground floor of their ancestral home in Biliran town for this activity, the first-ever art exhibit held in Biliran Province.
In 2004, as head of the Biliran Historical and Cultural Society among other hats, I spearheaded and organized an art exhibit titled “Sunset in Biliran” in Biliran town. Mana Naning Velasquez allowed the free use of the ground floor of their ancestral home in Biliran town for this activity, the first-ever art exhibit held in Biliran Province.
In March 2005, Mana Naning Velasquez (second from right) paired with then Mayor Pablo Mejia III to unveil the marble marker for the Biliran-Japan Peace Memorial on the wall of the old Biliran Municipal Building. With her in the photo are (from right) Mr. Antero Junia, Mana Naning's brother-in-law, Prof. Tomoe Shitaba (+) of Tokyo International University in Japan, and a female TIU professor.
In March 2005, Mana Naning Velasquez (second from right) paired with then Mayor Pablo Mejia III to unveil the marble marker for the Biliran-Japan Peace Memorial on the wall of the old Biliran Municipal Building. With her in the photo are (from right) Mr. Antero Junia, Mana Naning’s brother-in-law, Prof. Tomoe Shitaba (+) of Tokyo International University in Japan, and a female TIU professor.
A sunset in Biliran, taken from the wharf of Biliran town in 2005.
A sunset in Biliran, taken from the wharf of Biliran town in 2005

– Prof. Rolando Borrinaga, BiliranIsland.com

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