Patience Zabala comes from a political family, related to President Ferdinand Marcos. As a youngster she won a lot of contests as a Tango dancer and local beauty contests. She was a volleyball champion and in later years won games over her fellow teachers.
In June 7, 1946 she gave birth to a beautiful Eurasian daughter named Mayra.
After her marriage failed she came to the United States in May of 1955 and went to Teachers College at Columbia University. She received two masters; one in education and the other in English as a second language. She also received a PHD in philosophy.
Speaking five languages Patience taught in parochial and public schools, as well as tutoring students in many subjects. The highlight of her life was taking in a black under privilege girl named Dorothy and bettering her life. Dorothy had failed multiple times and the school was about to pass her just to get rid of her. Patience gave her one on one training, taking her to museums, art galleries, theatre’s, broadening her world. She had her own daughter move into her own bedroom and gave her daughter’s room to Dorothy. With Patience’s love and tutorship Dorothy thrived, graduated and become a doctor.
Patience also saved her next door neighbor, when she went to visit and found him on the floor. Calling 911 she saved his life.
Her daughter Marya became a film actress doing movies with actors such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Yul Brenner and Jon Voight. When her mother met plastic surgeon Richard Coburn, she did what every Asian mother does find a doctor for the daughter.
Marya gifted her mother and mother in law with travel. Patience became a world traveler going to every country in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, Every country in South East Asia except China, as it was closed due to communistic rule, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Israel, Greece, The Orient Express from Switzerland to Turkey, The Caribbean, Puerto Rico, The private island of Mustique, Queen Elizabeth 2 three times, Morocco and Lebanon.
While in The Philippians Patience ex-suitor General Fabian Ver, the most trusted military officer of President Ferdinand Marcos greeted the trio, by changing their room at The Manila Hotel to the presidential suite, gifting them with wallets of cash and a limo. When Patience was younger she had rejected him and did so again on this trip.
When Patience became ill, Marya used her knowledge of holistic health to care for her mother, giving her Thanksgiving, Christmas’s, New Year’s and Birthday’s to remember. Patience almost died in March, 2019 due to an allergic reaction to steroids lapsing into pneumonia, but Marya knew her mother would thrive. “She is warrior and a survivor” states Marya who proudly celebrated her mother’s centenarian.
Yesterday Patience passed away at 101 and will be greatly missed by many.