Elena Ledesma (Silva) was born in Jaro, Iloilo on May 18, 1928, to Juan Ledesma Ledesma and Magdalena (Nena) Jalandoni Javellana. She was the first-born of five children.
Juan’s family started sugarcane plantations on Negros island in the early 1900’s, funded in part by loans from Nena’s father, banker Julio Quimbiong Javellana. In 1932, Juan, his father, Julio Villalobos Ledesma, and other investors, founded the Negros Navigation Company.
"Elena's Letter, April 19, 1997"
Mom’s letter to Angela on 4/19/97 regarding the trip
No wonder Quezon was eagerly waiting for Dad when we reached San Francisco, checked into two suites in the Huntington Apartment Hotel on June, 1937. I was 9 years old then, but I clearly remember Daddy speaking with President Quezon and saying we had just entered the rooms and right away he called the President because the late MLQ, Sr., had a note brought down to the front desk so when Mr. Ledesma checked in with his family, he could read it right away, so he told the President, he would go up to this room in half an hour, giving Daddy enough time to see that Mommy, we four children, Conchita Cuenca of Bacolod who received a free trip, all expenses paid by my parents, just to cook for the two maid who took care of Tesie and Nene, Nana and Christine, myself, Mom and Dad. Although my parents could tolerate American food, eventually we all wanted Filipino food, especially and linuto ni Conchita, who was a dear friend of my parents for many many years and was Mom’s travel agent, till C retired....
I just saw the portion of the new TV movie “ROYAL WEDDING” with Fred Astaire and Jane Powell on a cruise ship to London from New York to attend the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip, who is now England’s queen for many years and doesn’t seem to relish to relinquish her throne to Prince Charles who has such a famous (inserted) infamous life with Di and can never let go of his long-time mistress – sin-o gani ang iya ngalan? Oh, si Camilla. There was a portion of the trip on board where there was a storm which reminded me of the typhoon we encountered on the APL SS President Hoover in 1937 when we went to San Francisco and stayed in the Huntington Arms on Nob Hill. I’ve lived on that Hill, in a Shelter, encountered a lot of adventures, like sprayed twice on the face with blue paint in Santa Elena Avenue, Daly City. (gibberish)
There is so much to tell and I most certainly do not understand this typerwriter. Look at part or most of the previous line before the word “There” and you can see what I mean. Daw my ghost ining typerwriter that makes me sooooo many mistakes. APL will be absorbed, merged or sold to another big firm and I hope they keep the title AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES – that was a wonderful firm doing business especially in the Orient. Their trips from Manila to San Francisco took 21 days but well worth it. There were stops in Hongkong, Shanghai where I was forbidden to go down and see the sights with Mommy and Daddy because I was a naughty child, but Christine, who was always the goody-goody went with them kay mabuot cono, they ate in restaurant and that same night she had a very bad case of diarrhea, that she couldn’t hold it and would have an “ACCIDENT” in her panties. Banta ko wala matunawan sa caon all the lauriat – that’s what Nana said it could be, so it was liquid diet until she nothing more liquid to put out under, that she was able to come out to play with all of us. We were many children during that trip and we had a childrens’ playroom and a childrens’ dining-room up to 12 years old, when we were allowed to eat in the formal dining rooms with our parents and all the older people. I was 9 then, Christine 7, Tesie 4 and Nene barely 2 years old, which was why we had Titay Yaya for Nene and Daling Villasor for Tesie. Titay was Cristeta Paredes from Barotac Viejo and husband was Vicente (Cente) Paredes. From Shanghai it took several days to reach Kobe, where we could have spent one whole day and maybe the night, then Yokohama, same schedule, then on to Tokyo – in Japan, we could make side trips by rented limousines or taxicabs to go to other cities close by like Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya – the driver will know where and the sights to go to, then several days from Tokyo sailing to Honolulu where we had two days and one night to see the sights. You can use the President Hoover as your floating hotel so as not to spend for a hotel on short but Dad booked us in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue, and we had Waikiki Beach to play and roam around in, rented a limousine so we could see all the sights. The two yayas had Tesie and Nene on their laps, Conchita Cuenca and Nana came along, too. Mom & Dad had me between them while Nana and Conchita had Christine between them, then 4 or 5 days more to San Francisco. We saw porpoises, dolphins and whales during all those 5 days, going along, keeping pace with the ship. There were so graceful and beautiful!