Foreword: During Maria's days at the University of Washington in Seattle, she wrote to her mother Juliana Ylagan vda. de Orosa (Lola Kanang) on a regular basis. The letters are instructive in at least two respects. First, the language she used, which we hardly ever use nowadays. It is extremely polite and respectful. Although we would be writing in English today, the greetings we use to address our parents amount to no more than "dear." The words she used, "kinaguiguiliwan" could be translated as "beloved  mother." The ending is likewise just as profound. She asks her mother for blessings and concludes with "nagmamahal sa inyo" or "loving you." The second area is the fact that this correspondence reveals that Maria and Lola had a business venture importing Batangas handicraft which was resold in Seattle. In one letter written in April of 1919, Maria stated that she was sending $850 or P1,700. Remember that the exchange rate at that time was two to one, a far cry from today's 52 to 1. I looked up family income in the United States during that time and it was around $1,000. So her sales were pretty respectable. Maria was doing this on top of her studies!

So here are her letters, in Adobe format. I apologize for the quality, the paper is frequently yellowed and the ink had bled. Some letters are in excellent shape, some are not. There are some letters that were typewritten. There are a few more letters that I am working on to try to make it more readable and convert to Adobe.

April 4, 1918 (this letter has the ending page missing)

June 16, 1918 Commencement Program where Maria obtained her Pharmaceutical Chemist degree

October 4, 1918

October 4, 1918  This letter is missing one more more pages. It was written to a certain "Tia" and you have to read it!. Tia Mary advised Tia to consume six raw eggs a day for her health! The Tia she is writing to is probably the sister of Lola Kanang since her father Simplicio had no sisters that we know of. 

October 12, 1918  

December 26, 1918

February 14, 1919

April 16, 1919 (typewritten letter, containing the reference to $850 and concern about her younger brother Jose)

Aug. 9, 1919

April 8, 1929    This is a postcard from Tia Mary to my parents, sent while she was on tour in the United States. By this time she has switched her language to English.

P.S. These letters were kept by my uncle Rafael Y. Orosa (Tio Paito) after Lola passed away in 1958. They sat for another 30 years until Rafael passed away and his son Apolinario (Naring) Orosa discovered them and showed them to me. Until then, no one knew they existed. They are in Naring's possession.