Pioneering Teacher Loline Lualhati-Reed Laid To Rest In London
Melissa Legarda Alcantara
|Loline Lualhati Reed, 1942-2015 CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS|
LONDON — A beloved Filipina pioneer and teacher, Loline Lualhati Reed, who dedicated her life to promoting international relations with the Philippines and improving the lives of Filipino migrant workers abroad, passed away at the age of 72. Her funeral took place here in London on June 16.
After suffering a brain aneurysm on the evening of May 25 2015, Loline slipped into a coma and did not regain consciousness. She was transferred to hospital and placed on life support while doctors searched for possible transplant patients, because she had wished to be an organ donor.
In the morning of May 27, when it became apparent that no suitable recipients could be found, due to her rare blood type for the UK, the hospital withdrew Loline’s life support. She passed away peacefully and without pain, surrounded by her immediate family of husband Kenneth, children James and Diana, and her son-in-law Nicolas.
Following Loline’s passing, Kenneth told his children, “She had a good life, a good death, and we all got to be there.”
Loline was born in 1942 in Taal, Batangas, at the ancestral house of her relative Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo. She was one of the original members of the Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company of the Philippines and later taught at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila.
|LAR (fourth from left) with Bayanihan, Theatre du Paris, January 1962.|
In 1967, she married Dr. Kenneth Reed, an Australian micropaleontologist, at Malate Church, before moving to Lagos in Nigeria, where he worked for an oil company and she worked at the Philippine Embassy. Together the couple had two children, Diana and James, who are both based in the UK.
Loline was widely regarded for her invaluable contributions to helping Filipinos establish themselves in Europe, and especially in Britain. She was known for her passionate work as a board member of the Global Filipinos Diaspora Council, as president of the Inter-Cultural Society of London, as chairman of Welcome to London International Club and chairman of the Overseas Women’s Club.
Loline also co-founded the Filipino Women’s Association in the UK, and was instrumental in establishing a chapter of the English-Speaking Union (ESU) in the Philippines. Loline and her husband, Kenneth, hosted student participants at their own home when they came to compete in London ESU contests.
In the 1980s, Loline initiated and actively participated in campaigns against Philippine sex tourism and the trafficking of women and children. Through these campaigns, she became acquainted with the founding members of OFW charity, Kalayaan, in its fledgling days. Six years later, as the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship loomed, Loline was one of the two people who inaugurated the “Vote Aquino” campaign in Europe.
Loline’s tremendous accomplishments for her country did not go unnoticed. In 2006, she was honored with the Banaag Presidential Award, closely followed by the Nicanor Reyes Medal for Outstanding Work in International and National Service from the Far Eastern University of the Philippines in 2008; she received the Hall of Fame and CAPA Awards from the Philippine Women’s University.
|Lualhati Reed (in front) with Bayanihan, Itik-Itik at Winter Garden Theater on Broadway.|
Loline’s daughter, Diana, set up a Facebook page in tribute to her mother’s memory. Hundreds of family, friends and acquaintances shared moving and personal memories of Loline, the warmhearted Filpina woman who touched their lives.
“I first met Loline when she helped organize ‘East Meets West,’ a concert featuring Ballet Manila,” wrote one family friend. “She worked very hard and was always very kind… A true lady and patron of the arts… a loving mother [and] a devoted wife… Thank you so much for the so many lives you have enriched just by knowing you.”
A fellow alumna of Far Eastern University recalled how Loline “would always find time to visit or help her alma mater whether by helping prepare current students to compete in the English Speaking Union or sponsoring expeditions to study the Tamaraw [in Mindoro].”
A former student praised Loline’s dedication and patience as her high school teacher. “Our class was very fortunate to have the then Ms. Loline Lualhati as our teacher in Literature,” they wrote with fondness. “She was a very good, understanding and accommodating teacher, that’s why she was well loved by her students… Ma’am Loline, I know you are happy where you are now. It’s been a great opportunity to have known you. Thank you, thank you.”
On June 17, 2015, Loline’s friends and family gathered at the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception in Mayfair, London for her funeral. A tribute event in her honor will be held in London later in the year.
Melissa Legarda Alcantara