February 2, 2020
photos Rex Colina
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Admirable in more ways than one, Mariquita Yeung is an exceptional woman of substance—  genuine in her actions, wise in her words, and giving in every way possible.

Nothing is too difficult or impossible for the founder and chairperson of MSYCFI (Mariquita Salimbangon Yeung Charitable Foundation, Inc.), Mariquita Yeung. She is, after all, a woman with many roles—aside from being a mother, a grandmother, and to his four brothers, both mother and sister, she proudly states that she is also an educator and disciplinarian to her big family. Always ready to share and impart her blessings to others, she is a role model and an aspiration for many. From the pinnacles of society to the indigent communities of her locale, one can hear nothing but praises for the genuinely caring matriarch.

Inspired by her father’s acts of benevolence, Mariquita was raised to be a person for others.  “No one is ever so poor or ever so small as not to be able to give something of himself,” she starts. “This was my father’s life. As a child, I was my father’s little helper. I witnessed all his kindness and generosity to our neighbors. I grew up realizing that our ordinary life in Barangay Curva, in the Northern Cebu town of Medellin was not a hindrance to help. My father expressed his language of charity in different ways: guidance counseling, sharing food, and sharing clothes.” Ingrained in her character, she continues her father’s legacy with pride, helping others and keeping his memory alive at the same time. 

And with all the work that she has done in her community, she feels extremely blessed by God’s grace. Mariquita happily says that her husband Carlos was a God-given gift—one that He saw in her heart and gave her to do more for others. And as the touching story goes, Carlos made her childhood dream to a reality, establishing a foundation he named after her in 1991. It was a warm gesture of love and devotion, which has produced invaluable aid to the local communities and even neighboring locales. In 1998, Dr. James Joaquino, a good friend of the Yeungs, introduced Mariquita to the founders of Operation Smile International, Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee. Through the serendipitous meeting, Mariquita sponsored Operation Smile Cebu for 5 years. And the rest, as she says, is history.

Read the full story of Mariquita Yeung written by Pipo Gonzales in Lifestyle Asia’s February 2020 edition titled, “Exploring Our Island Paradise.”

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