The Heart of a Mother, The beloved Sr. Ana Melocotton, R.A.

by Riz Boncan Marsella, Class ’70

“Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life.”
— Proverbs 22:6.

“The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.”
— St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Mother Ana. She was our beloved Mistress of Class for Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Grades, and for First, Second, and Third year of High school. 

To High School Class ’70, Mother Ana was not only a teacher, she was also our school mother who marshaled us, daily, to do well in school.  We spent all eight hours of our school days with Mother Ana. We spent more hours in a day with her than our own mothers. I dare say, it was Mother Ana who had the better part of our days, five days a week! It should come as no surprise then that she was extraordinarily instrumental in instilling in us good moral values, and the importance of growing up to be good Christian women. No doubt, for all those years with her, Class ’70  is bonded to Mother Ana, forever!

Today, her religious Sisters, teachers, the staff at Assumption, and friends call her Sister Ana. To Class ’70, she will always be “Mother Ana.” My former classmates and I have had a difficult time making the name switch!  To us,  Assumption Old Girls, Mother Ana is and will always be a “mother”. She is more of a friend now but always first, a mother.

Mother Ana was a superb History teacher. She taught with energy and passion! From the beginning of class until the the bell rang, she would mesmerize us with fascinating historical accounts. She taught pacing back and forth in front of the class; she wrote important names of people, places, dates, and a time line of events that spanned the entire 20 ft of the blackboard! At the end of class, the blackboard looked like a wall of graffitti! (’twas a mess!) But, we did learn our history lessons!

I live in Northern California now but when in Manila, I enjoy visits with Mother Ana as she continues to be a wonderful role model and a cheerleader. I love her!

Let me share with you some thoughts from former classmates about Mother Ana. I hope they give you a clear picture of the woman we all love.

Cindy Pratte-Giebler:

Mother Ana's primary task was forming the characters of young girls and instilling in them good moral values. As a student of Assumption from kindergarten to college, Mother Ana was someone that I could relate to during those formative years. I remember her as kind, gentle, and passionate in her mission. She was a consistent disciplinarian. She also encouraged us to volunteer for the less fortunate and accompany us to places like the Elsie Gatches Village where we would teach Catechism. I have passed many good values to my children that I’ve learned in Assumption, especially under Mother Ana.

Cynthia Corpus Pangilinan

Mother Ana was one of my anchors during my formative years in school. She is now witness to the fruits of her labour for the many students whose lives she touched. We all have become better persons, better children of God and better Catholics because of Mother Ana’s guidance, support, love, patience and tolerance. Mother Ana has become a permanent fixture in my life and continues to be of value to me, spiritually. We are blessed to have her in our lives.

Penny Ocampo Galang

A beautiful tradition that I learned from Mo. Ana was the Advent Crib ( I am not sure what she called it.) To help us prepare our hearts for Christmas, Mother Ana would set up an empty wooden crib in the classroom and we were encouraged to put a piece of hay for every sacrifice that we offered to Baby Jesus so that by Christmas, it would be filled with hay for him to lay on. I continued this practice with my children and now with my grandchildren.

Stella Gomez Franco:

Mother Ana always took me for who I was. She was kind and she never made me worry about my class standing from grade school all the way to high school graduation. She allowed me to be, and she respected my choices. She always gave me a ribbon, and finally an academic medal in high school.

Irene Yang Lim:

I have been an Assumptionist from Kindergarten to College. I grew up in a Protestant home but was not baptized. With all gratitude, it was in Assumption that I received the Sacrament of Baptism which helped me become a good Catholic. Mother Ana prepared me for Confession and Holy Communion. I remember she told me to recite a shorter prayer for penance instead of the long Act of Contrition. I will always treasure Mother Ana’s guidance in my spiritual life.

Suky Lim Lammoglia:

From when I was only in grade six, Mother Ana would always give us space to think for ourselves. She did not push her beliefs but instead, she nurtured us to become what we were capable of becoming. She gave our souls time and space to blossom. She didn’t insist, demand, or coerce¬— she simply led by very gracious example.

Au Magsaysay del Prado:

It’s hard for me to change my mindset from calling our Mother Ana as “Sister” Ana. To me, she will always be that figurehead who epitomized the love that only a mother could give. I distinctly remember private, one on one conversations with her in Herran. To this day, her words ring clear and steady: “We are not of this world. We are simply travelers who are destined for a greater and more glorious life of eternal bliss.” I am thankful that we now have these Zoom encounters where Mother gets a chance to continue to inspire us

Patty Ampil de Leon:

Mother Ana was only a few years older than us. I remember her mellow voice. Being an Ilonga, she never sounded threatening. She was always sweet and loving. She cared like a mother who loves, no matter what. I guess that’s why she struck our hearts deeply.

Sandra Garcia Escat:

During my Herran years, I looked upon Mother Ana as a second mother. As a boarder in Herran, I had very little contact with my parents. I was more in touch with the nuns in school, like Mother Ana, who played a very significant role in my growing up years. She would task me to improve my grades, and ask me to work on overcoming my negative attitude. I’m grateful she took the time to correct me! I still strive to have a more positive outlook in life when I recall Mother Ana’s words!

Carmen Beech Villegas:

Mother Ana — she was always at our backs, and at the same time, she was one step ahead of us! With much love, I say, Mother Ana is our Guardian Angel here on earth!

Tesa Jalandoni:

Mother Ana’s presence of calmness and stability was and is her quality that reminds me most of God’s presence in my life. Her beingness speaks for itself and is the witness for Him.

Marijun Ignacio Mallari:

When you mention Assumption, the first thing that comes to my mind is Mother Ana. Since she was our Mistress of Class for so many years, she is a big part of the memories of my youth. When my dad was sick and I requested for prayers, I remember that Mother Ana was one who prayed for him. And several other times when I needed prayers for myself, I would run to her to ask for prayers. Those prayers were granted!

Ruby Urbano Tongco:

Mother Ana and I worked together in San Lorenzo for a few years. She was college President and I was AVP for Administrative Affairs. Working with Mother Ana was exciting and rewarding. She would encourage me when I would encounter challenges at work or at home. She would say, “You are in your ‘Lent’”. Then, she would remind me to look forward to "Easter"! I have learned from Mother Ana that no matter what life throws at us, we can overcome!

Marina Magallanes:

It was a big adjustment when I moved from Assumption Iloilo to Assumption Herran on my 2nd year of high school. From a small city to Manila and a boarder at that, I felt unsure of my new surroundings. Mother Ana, made me feel at ease by mentioning that my sister was her high school classmate in Iloilo. I immediately felt safe in the midst of a huge campus filled with strangers. So, yes, Mother Ana is like a mother to me!

Noney Jacinto Los Banos:

Mother Ana was the epitome of finesse as she patiently dealt with our early teen idiosyncracies especially mine. Looking back, I realize that those motherly abilities she demonstrated (while she herself was still a young woman) has played a prime influence on my personal parenting skills. Grateful for you, Mother Ana!

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