Our beloved mother, Paz Mauricio Agcaoili, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, January 2, 2021. She is survived by her children Rita Lezama, Luis Agcaoili, Carina Leong, and Joy Agcaoili, grandsons Christopher Lezama and Matthew Lezama, daughters-in-law Therese Agcaoili and April Fenall , sons-in-law Glen Lezama and Roland Leong, sister Soledad Mauricio and brothers Ed Mauricio and Reynaldo Mauricio and sisters-in-law Lillie Mauricio, Eleanor Mauricio, Dr. Gertrudis Agcaoili, Dr. Lourdes Olivares-Agcaoili, and Paz Geraldes Agcaoili.
Paz or “Ching” among her family and friends, was born in the Philippines on October 18, 1925. Her parents, Vicente Mauricio, Sr. and Lourdes Nuncing, raised her and her 3 sisters and 4 brothers in a family compound in Pandacan, Manila. Growing up, she was a tomboy who loved to run with boys and climb fruit trees—especially guava trees. Incredibly smart, she got top honors in elementary school and placed second in her entire high school graduating class.
Ching went to the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus where she earned her Law Degree with honors. She became President of the Women’s Club and led the prestigious “Cadena De Amor” parade, a yearly campus festival held at sunset where the university seniors in their white gowns carried and passed on a vine of cadena de amor—the floral signature of Diliman—to juniors in pink. In law school, she met her future husband, Avelino (Slats) Agcaoili. Ching and Slats both worked for the Department of Justice --Ching for the Undersecretary of Justice; Slats would rise to be the third-ranking lawyer in the Department.
In 1975, worried that Martial Law would curtail their children’s future, Ching and Slats gave up their careers and migrated to the United States. They settled in Daly City, California, and reinvented themselves. Ching worked as a secretary in a law firm, worked part-time for the Post Office, and as a secretary in Pacific Bell’s Legal Department until she retired. In 2001, Slats lost his battle with cancer.
To know Ching was to love her. It was a joy to be in her company. She was fun, funny, and liked to make people laugh. She also had a kind heart. She lived by her favorite saying-- “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
She will be remembered for her silk floral arrangements. She learned Ikebana, the Japanese art of floral design, in school during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II. Memorably, she hummed and whistled as she worked on her floral creations.
She was wise and practical and could be counted upon to give sound advice. She enjoyed traveling and was a voracious reader. She was broad-minded and could envision possibilities. She was her grandsons’ biggest cheerleader. They adored her and she them.
Unfortunately, dementia dramatically changed her life. Once a vibrant and intellectually curious person, the disease affected her ability to conduct the activities of daily living and to remember simple things like her name. She was fortunate to be well cared for during her illness. Amazingly, despite dementia, her impish nature prevailed and she continued to make people laugh.
Our mom is like yesterday’s sunset—a glorious display of light before it sets. She will be forever missed, but she left a trove of cherished memories. Godspeed, Mom. Until we meet again.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
To plant a tree in memory of Paz Agcaoili, please click here.