In addition to Salamat, the words Kaginhawaan and Pagkakaunawaan, translating to Comfort and Understanding, are among the beautiful words of the Tagalog language we’ve learned with the help of Arsenio and Mercedita Alzona. It’s important to know that Mercedita is lovingly known here and among her many friends as simply “Ditas”. Arsenio and Ditas are very active members of the Filipino Community all around and beyond Du Page County, in addition to serving as Eucharistic Ministers and on the Ministry of Consolation at Christ the King Parish in Lombard. They have a passion for the “Celebration of Life.”
According to Arsenio, “Bob Staalduinen is one of us. He knows and understands how our community grieves, and he grieves with us. He understands us because he’s one of us”. Ditas adds, “the Filipino celebration of life means sharing a big and important meal together. Bob joins with us in the celebration. Our community loves and respects him.” Most important she shares, “He likes my cooking!” Actually, everyone likes Ditas’ cooking from the staff at Knollcrest to all of the friends and family who attend the visitations. When Ditas shares her culinary gifts with the community, it truly is a Celebration of Life.
“Learning the customs of ethnic families is nothing new to being a Funeral Director”, states Bob Van (as he is commonly referred to), “funeral homes have been serving ethnic communities from the very beginning in neighborhoods in the city. As the suburbs grew and the melting pot expanded, we experienced the true richness of serving many different communities and faiths and it’s made us better directors, better ministers, and better people”. He quickly adds “the delicious food is a marvelous benefit in serving the Filipino Community”. It is!
The Filipino community is just one of the area’s diverse ethnic cultures that has found a high level of comfort and understanding from Robert Van Staalduinen and his staff at Knollcrest.
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