Salustiana was born on June 8, 1926 in Tolosa, Leyte, Philippines. Upon arriving in San Francisco, she had lived with close friends in Merced, Mountain View, and finally settled in San Jose with her late husband, Valentin P Sabado, after he served in World War II. After his passing, she married Juan A. Agra, and later, Sotero D. Panis. Salustiana and Sotero spent the rest of their lives in San Jose where they would raise their children and see their family grow.
During Salustiana's time in California, she became a member of the Filipino Community of Santa Clara County in 1959 where she would be an active member for several decades. She was one of the pioneers of the American Legion Post 714 Auxiliary where she served as treasurer. In addition, she was one of the pioneers of the Tolosanians USA and was often asked to dance the Kuratsa, a Filipino traditional Dance of Courtship, at their annual fiestas. She also became a member of the Agooinians USA. Salustiana was the first lady of the 1st and 2nd Filipino Regiment for over 13 years while her late husband, Sotero, was president. In the early 90s, Salustiana and Sotero's involvement and hard work would lead to receiving a Humanitarian Award from Santa Clara County.
Those who had the pleasure of knowing Salustiana knew of her delectable Biko, a traditional sweet, Filipino rice dish, that she made countless times over the years. She also made huge efforts to sell raffle tickets in order to raise money for the multiple organizations that she was a member of.
To many, Salustiana was known for her hard work, dedication and diligence and was even recognized by city mayors and officials. During the hundreds of events she was a part of, whether it was a meeting, party or a group trip to Reno, she was always one of the first to arrive to help set up and one of the last to leave to help clean up.
Salustiana is survived by nine children (Lillian, Marilyn, Marvin, Johnny, Rosemary, Priscilla, Sotero Jr, Gloria, and Robin) along with twenty grandchildren, forty-two great grandchildren, and five great, great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by husbands Valentin P Sabado, Juan Agra and Sotero Panis, son Valentin V Sabado, daughter Norma Esoto, and grandchildren BJ Sabado, Shawn Ray and Christina Myers.
Salustiana was not only a pillar in the Filipino community, but the matriarch of her family. What brought her the most joy was seeing her family together. Her legacy will continue to live on through the hearts, memories and lives that she has touched over her 96 years of life.
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