MARILYNN Doc NARCISA: The Woman That Left Behind Empowerment And Dreams

A beautiful montage for a beautiful woman....

An early morning call to inform of Marilynn Narcisa's passing was like a nightmare. I wouldn't be expecting a friend, Merecyl, to sound like she herself just woke up from a bad dream. "She died this morning..." and I had trouble letting it sink in. There was a deluge of many overpowering thoughts. Did I miss something to even know she will depart from us, her friends, eternally? How? Since the pandemic, we lost touch. There were occasional chat and she sometimes make comments on some of my posts. Other than that, there was nothing unusual to note of anything that this friend is going through. But I understand. She's always private. She was a woman who treasured her privacy and guard her personal life. A gentle soul whose smile on her face is remarkably genuine. 

I cannot remember when our friendship started. In my desire to connect with the rest of the Filipino community, I met a lot of people. Marilynn's presence, attitude and grace made her unforgettable. A woman of impeccable taste for fashion and her passionate love for fashion shows that nurtures young aspiring models was glaring.

She has invited me every time she produces a fashion show or directing big fashion shows, she was so calm and collected manning the show away from the eyes of the audience. She was there and she looked so elegant on her head phone sticking to her head making sure the girls were in cue and on point. Marilynn was unassuming with a quiet demeanor. I don't think she will even tell anyone to dress properly or nicely. She will simply show it during events that "this was the way to wear it." She was elegant, classy and unpretentious.

But it wouldn't be her elegance, simplicity and beauty that will leave a mark on me as a community leader. It was her undying support, unselfish devotion to help a friend. This was her ultimate character that will make her presence felt even now that she's gone.

In 2018, she was a part of a fundraiser for my 60th birthday where she travelled from Toronto to Courtice with Merecyl Cauton for my birthday. Marilynn along with all the other guests participated on the fundraising to feed 300 children in Capiz, Philippines few days before Christmas that year for my 60th.

In 2019, on my first big outdoor festival event, she told me, "I will bring Aisha Penalosa to Durham." That was significant to me because I wasn't expecting someone to offer such help. Aisha Penalosa was in Toronto. She is one of the best fashion designers from Iloilo City, Philippines. Her mother, Jaki Penalosa is a known fashion designer herself.

On that day at Memorial Park, Marilynn and Aisha Penalosa lifted Durham Filipino Fest to the air of success bringing and showcasing dozens of fashion models in Durham Region. It was a gigantic undertaking and Marilynn stayed all through the day, preparing and presenting the fashion show to the people of Durham Region, the first for Durham Filfest. I can see the chaos at the backstage but Marilynn manages it so well. It was a sacrifice she went through on an all day ordeal with Aisha Penalosa to help our organization out.  I haven't repaid it yet...and will never be now that she's gone.

In 2020, before the pandemic restrictions, she was one of the first to arrive at our Valentine Gala for Durham Filfest in Oshawa. Marilynn knows how to value friends even if sometimes, we forgot to pay it forward. Her untimely demise is sad. It truly breaks my heart and to all those who loved her...

Thank you our dear mentor in the art of compassion and generosity. Years will not erase the lessons you left us as we help build our younger generations and the community you silently devote your time, efforts and love.

"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back, 
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of His hand."

-R. Kullberg

Take our love with you wherever you are in the vastness of time and space. We will continue the good deeds you shared to us. Because you will remain a silhouette in our midst.



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