ART G. MADLAING: Remembering my mother, Elena Sampayan Gabot Madlaing, 103

ONE OF THE OLDEST FILIPINOS in San Francisco Bay Area, Elena Sampayan Gabot vda de Madlaing (center), passed away at 103. She is shown with a relative, then Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan, and her children Arturo, Josefina, Luzviminda and Salvador and other relatives during their call at the Vallejo City Hall.

As accredited and commissioned  Notary Public and founder of Mobile Signing Services, my beloved wife Virginia Jimenez Madlaing,and I drove to Sacramento, California and submitted notarized documents for apostille at the Secretary of State, Notary Public Section last Tuesday, August 30,  2022. 

While driving  back home to San Francisco from Sacramento, I received a call  from my sister Magdalena M. Sison  (when we were still in Vallejo, California) informing me that our mother just died  peacefully in her sleep about 3:30 pm. I told my sister that my wife, Atsi Trinidad Jimenez Tuliao, Atsi Elisa Subido Jimenez and I were scheduled to visit my mother on Thursday, September 1. 2022.  Instead  of driving home to San Francisco, we proceeded  directly to the home of my sister Josie M. Lewis in Bethel Island where my mother was taken cared by my sisters Josie and Luzviminda G. Madlaing.

My wife and I arrived in the Bethel Island home of my sister Josie and her son Ferdinand Lewis about 5 pm. Ahead of us were my sister Magdalena  and her son Francis M. Sison who drove from Santa Clara, California; my brother Salvador Madlaing and his wife Ursula Talon Madlaing, who drove from San Jose, California; and my niece Emily Madlaing and her daughter Amiah; and Luningning Payabyab, registered nurse and very close neighbor who was assisting my late mother and my two sisters.. All of us watched the lifeless body of my mother and waited until 10:00 pm when the funeral director and staff from the Skylawn Mortuary picked  up her body. Then, my wife and I drove back  to San Francisco and arrived home about 11:30 pm.  It took a while for me to sleep that night reflecting, reminiscing and remembering the colorful, unique and long life and work of my mother.

Yes, my mother Elena Sampayan Gabot Madlaing died peacefully in  her sleep last Tuesday, August 30, 2022, 3:30 pm at the age of 103 and seven months. My mother was the second to the youngest child of my late grandfather Candido Gabot and my late grandmother  Cecilia Mabini Sampayan Gabot who died at the age of about 115.  My mother had outlived all her siblings namely: Segunda Gabot Asuncion, Sebastian Gabot, Claudia Gabot Dimoloy and Silvino Gabot (all deceased).

My mother was the niece of Apolinario Mabini, one of the Philippine national heroes called the “Sublime Paralytic” and “Brain of the Philippine Revolution,” according to my cousin Ruben Mabini (old client with Mobile Signing Services from Hayward, California), who said that adventurous relatives of Apolinario Mabini migrated from Batangas to Pangasinan and married ladies of the Gabot and Sampayan clan.

My late father Emilio Baguilat Madlaing (who died at Laguna Honda Hospital due to lingering illness aggravated by the vehicular accident caused by an elderly driver)and my late mother were blessed with eight children, namely:  Norberto Gabot Madlaing (deceased), Magdalena Madlaing Sison,  yours truly, Josefina Madlaing Lewis,  Dionisio Gabot Madlaing,  Cipriano Gabot Madlaing (deceased),  Salvador Gabot Madlaing and Luzviminda Gabot Madlaing.

After my wife petitioned me to come to America in 1974, I petitioned my parents who  then petitioned my siblings to come to America and subsequently petitioned their spouses and extended families to come to America.  Hundreds were able to come to America as a result of the petition of my beloved wife Virginia for me and subsequent petition of my late mother for my siblings. My late mother lived long enough to see some of her children retired from work like daughter Josie M. Lewis, who retired from Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, California;  Magdalena M. Sison and Dionisio G. Madlaing, who both retired from the Santa Clara County Medical Center in San Jose, California; daughter Luzviminda G. Madlaing, who is about to retire from the Workmen’s Compensation Fund, State of California.

One of the happy memories of my late mother and late father was when they both obeyed the gospel in baptism for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:37-38). They attended regularly the Bible Classes and Worship Services at the GOLDEN GATE CHURCH OF CHRIST  when they were staying with us in San Francisco, California.  My late mother accompanied and walked our young daughters Darlene and Wynema  Joy  to their schools at the Excelsior District in San Francisco, California.

Another very memorable event in the life of my late mother was when she took her oath as a naturalized U.S. citizen in San Francisco. She was one of the oldest naturalized U.S. citizens.

Allso an exciting event in the life of my late mother was when she took her oath as dual citizen on February 12, 2018 at the Social Hall of the Philippine Consulate Office in San Francisco.  At age 99, she was the oldest U.S. citizen who had re-acquired her Philippine Citizenship pursuant to Republic Act No. 9225 otherwise known as the “Citizenship Retention and Re-Acquisition Act of 2003.”

After her oath of allegiance, Consul Carlyn A. Monastrial requested for special picture taking with my mother.  Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. also requested a photo with my mother and  congratulated her saying “Ako Ay Filipino!” The event and the oath-taking pictures with Consul General Bensurto, Jr. were published in the weekly PHILIPPINE NEWS and PHILIPPINES TODAY.

January, 2019 was very memorable month for my late mother. All her children living in San Francisco, Santa Clara and San Jose, California decided to celebrate her 100th birthday at our “bangkag” in our  hometown in Binalonan, Pangasinan. Her 100th birthday was attended by hundreds of relatives and friends from Kiangan, Ifugao, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; children and family members from California, Arizona and Louisiana; friends and neighbors in Santo Nino and Santa Maria Norte  in Binalonan, Pangasinan; relatives and friends from Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City, Metro Manila, Philippines. I was blessed  and fortunate to share the gospel  to the hundreds of attendees and guests with the help of Brent Solis, Minister of DAGUPAN CITY CHURCH OF CHRIST in Dagupan City, Pangasinan and some brethren from BINALONAN CHURCH OF CHRIST in Santa Maria Norte, Binalonan, Pangasinan. The special event was covered and featured in “Balitang Amianan” by GMA TV. It was also featured and published in the weekly PHILIPPINES TODAY.

Through the recommendation and suggestion of Tomas Pulupul, one of my late father’s nephew and former councilor of Kiangan, Ifugao and Vice Mayor of Asipolo, Ifugao, my late mother celebrated her 101st birthday in  Amduntog, Asipolo, Ifugao last January 21, 2020. Her children and some grandchildren  in California  flew back to Manila and to Kiangan, Ifugao together with relatives and close friends from Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City and Binalonan, Pangasinan. The special event was attended by provincial officials of Ifugao like former Governor Eugene Balitang, incumbent board member Joselito Guyguyon, and close relatives  from Kiangan and Baguio City like school principal Joselyn P. Dupingay, Patricia Dimoloy Dulnuan and family; Jimmy and Nancy Bulong and their daughters Liezle and Yvonne P. Bulong, newly licensed and now practicing physician in the Philippines.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, my late mother celebrated her 103rd  and last birthday last January 21, 2022 online.  My youngest brother Salvador “Buddy” Madlaing and his wife Ursula “Remy” Talon Madlaing prepared and ordered Souvenir red T-Shirts for the children, grandchildren and friends. Front of the T-Shirt was the smiling face of my late mother wearing matching hat with the words “Elena G. Madlaing, 01-21-2022  103 Years Old.” On the back of the red T-Shirt Souvenir was the Philippine flag in Victory sign and John 3:16, a very popular Bible verse. Through the magic of modern technology, ALL  children, grandchildren and great grandchildren  of my late mother were able to wear the Souvenir T-Shirt and participated in the singing and  birthday greetings last January 21, 2022 on her actual 103rd birthday.

Those who participated online via Face Time  included: our daughter Darlene Madlaing Gamble, her husband Bryan Gamble and son John Micheal  Madlaing Gamble from Keithville, Louisiana; our daughter Wynema Joy Madlaing Gacusan, husband Benjamin Gacusan, Jr. sons Brendon Madlaing Gacusan, Jeremiah Madlaing Gacusan from Glendale, Arizona; her daughter Josefina Madlaing, grandson Ferdinand Lewis, daughter Luzviminda Gabot Madlaing from Bethel Island, California; son Salvador G. Madlaing, his wife Ursula T. Madlaing, granddaughter Mercyllena Talon Madlaing from San Jose, California; daughter Magdalena M. Sison and her children and grandchildren from Santa Clara, California; her grandson  Voltaire “Ike”  Madlaing, his wife Jane Fronda Madlaing and great  grandchildren from Marseilles, France and Florida, USA; granddaughter Eloisa Madlaing Refugio, her husband and son in Ontario, Canada; granddaughter Emily Madlaing and her daughter Amiah from San Jose, California; son Dionisio Madlaing and his wife Maribel Madlaing from San Jose, California;  my beloved wife Virginia Jimenez Madlaing and yours truly from San Francisco, California; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren from Binalonan, Pangasinan and Baguio City, Caloocan City and Quezon City in the Philippines.

My late mother surprised everybody by singing her favorite songs  accompanied by  her last harmonica performance during her 103rd birthday celebration globally through Face Time online. In fact, while finalizing my column, I just received a Prayer in Sympathy Card from Pol and Lourdes Gadong-Medios from South San Francisco, California which says, “We will surely remember her forever for her HARMONICA Performances! May she rest in Peace! The Medios Family.”

My late mother motivated me to do “her secrets for good health and longevity” namely:1. Regular exercise and walking; 2. Eating regularly fresh vegetables and fruits; 3. Strong faith and complete trust in God’s protection and providence.4. Avoiding Worry 5. Quitting Bad Vices 6. Drinking 8 glasses of clean water everyday. 7. Attending Worship Services & Praying Regularly As her lasting legacy, she inspired me to write and complete my latest best-selling book  “LIFESTYLE FOR LONGEITY” ( 404 pages, available in Hardcover, Paperback and E-Book from Amazon) subtitled “How to be Healthy Emotionally, Financially, Physically, Sexually and Spiritually.” In memory of my late mother, I am giving complimentary autographed copies of the “LIFESTYLE FOR LONGEVITY” to all families  and individuals who will be attending the Funeral and Memorial Services for  my mother to be announced soon. RSVP: Call (650) 438-3531 or (415) 584-7095 or

(ART GABOT MADLAING is accredited and commissioned Notary Public and licensed Real Estate Broker in California since 1981. He is founder of MOBILE SIGNING SERVICES, FITNESS FOR HUMANITY (aka FITNESS FOR CHRIST), and ACAPINOY. Art is active Evangelist with the GOLDEN GATE CHURCH OF CHRIST in San Francisco, California USA.)