Milton in the Army


Milton Fernan

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Milton Fernan [March 10, 1918]
and Angela Oligo [November 15, 1922]
Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia

Milton Jr
Maria Alejandra

Click here for various family photos.

Click here for photos of Milton's 81st Birthday.

Milton Lepiten Fernan

Milton was born in Bogo, Cebu in March 10, 1918. The youngest of 13 children of whom nine only survived. In 1920, Emerenciana and Pedro Senining (from San Remegio, Cebu) migrated to Labinay, Ozamis Occidental taking her brothers Isagani (Ganing), Clemente (Mente), Milton and sisters Monica (Moning) and Martha with them. Ascion died before the family was relocated to Mindanao. Milton was told his mother died when he was only 2 years old.

Wenceslao Fernan (Bences) was a lawyer when he sent for his brothers and sister so they can continue their schooling in Cebu. The young Milton went to Tejero Grade School from grade one to grade six. His first year of High School was spent at Abellana High School, then the second to fourth years at the University of Southern Philippines.

Milton remembers his nephews and niece being taught piano by Nena, their piano teacher. He was keen on learning piano too, like his nephews and niece. Instead of mocking around or playing marbles, he would sometimes practise when no one was around. He learned to play piano (oido) through jamming sessions with childhood playmates and neighbours like Momoy del Castillo, Francisco Atillo and Carlos de la Rosa. He was not allowed to play the piano inside the house by his sister-in-law, Margarita, so as not to distract the children from learning piano 'properly' (that is, reading scores) most especially when Alejandrina was around.

His repertoire includes Sentimental Over You, Stardust, Tenderly, Laura, It's a Sin to Tell a Lie, The Nearness of You, Sunshine of Your Smile among others.

After High School he went to Lala, Lanao del Norte and stayed with sister Monica who returned to Mindanao earlier and got married. In 1941, he joined in the Fertig guerilla unit and earned a position as Lieutenant. During the Liberation he served in the Army that assisted the American operations in Davao and in Cotabato.

After the war, he applied for a teaching position in Kulambugan District. His co-teacher was Paulino Oligo, brother of Angela Oligo.

In 1957, Milton and Angela decided to 'seek greener pastures' in Cebu. They stayed with brother Pablo (Amboy) in F. Ramos Street until they found a place to rent in Junquerra Street. Melchor and Maria Alejandra were born in Cebu City.

Milton, Lanipao 1949

In Australia

In February 1991, Milton and Angela migrated to Australia to be with daughters Mila, Flora and Maria Alejandra. They have lived mainly in the suburb of Karama since then, tending to their garden and participating in family, community, and church events.

Filipiniana Senior Citizens Group

On November 27, 1992, Milton was one of the elderly Filipinos who attended a meeting organised by LINKCARE Community Option Project. The objective of the meeting was to find ways and means to uplift and enhance the physical and emotional conditions of the elderly Filipino migrants in Darwin, Australia. Milton proposed that the group be named Filipiniana Senior Citizens Group; everyone agreed.

The Filipiniana Senior Citizens Group is an incorporated association of elderly Filipinos coming from different organisations, languages, religions, and backgrounds living in Darwin. Recreational activities such as folk dancing, seniorobic exercises, singing, indoor games take place every Monday.

Milton was the editor of the first 1992-1993 FSCG Annual. That year was the busiest time for Milton since he arrived in Darwin. He painstakingly gathered members' bio-data, organised pictorials, and collated information for the Annual. It was exciting too not just for Milton and Angela but also for every Filipino senior citizen who, as new settlers, often lack or miss the close family unit which we Filipinos are accustomed to.

To quote Tina Black, FSCG's First Vice-President, "FSCG has benefited from Milton's many wise counsels .... one of the reasons they want to keep him in the Management Committee." Again, in 1996-1997 he was elected Second Vice-President and General Marshall/Ceremonial Officer.


Visit to the USA 1995

Milton and Angela visited daughter Aida and her family in New Jersey from April - September 1995. Being an acrophobic, the 20-hour flight from Darwin to New Jersey was the longest and scariest flight Milton has udergone.

Around Australia 1995

In December 1995, Milton and Angela toured key cities in Australia with daughter Flora and son-in-law Eric. This time they took the bus.


Philippines 1998

Milton and Angela went home to the Philippines in December 1997 to visit sons Dodong, Milan, Melchor and daughter Maria Alejandra (who was based in Manila then) and their families. The second reason for visiting home was to pay respects to deceased brothers and sisters in Cebu City and in Ozamis City. As son Melchor who was with them in most of these visits commented, " Papa would stay close to the tombs. Says hello and identifies himself. After saying his prayer, would mumble a few words and says goodbye to whoever he has visited."

Milton and Angela were fortunate that during the1997 visit relatives were there and they were entertained warmly.

At present, Milton declined holding any position with FSCG due to health reasons. He still attends the weekly meetings and get-togethers as Monday is the day almost every FSCan looks forward to.


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