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About Calixto de los Santos Magsaysay
Lolo Calixto died from the shelling of Manila during the Liberation in 1945. He was at their home in San Juan when he was killed. At that young age, he was a successful farmer, businessman and trader. He and our grandmother had 12 children, some of whom had already attained their college degrees at the time of his death.
He was a visionary farmer and trader. A friend of the family, Roman Fabunan, told my mother how, as a young boy not yet in his teens, he followed my grandfather around learning about farming, dealing with tenants and even trading. They would go to far-away Cagayan to buy livestock and take it back to Zambales to fatten and re-sell. Tata Roman said he learned all he knew about farming from my grandfather.
A diabetic all his life, my grandfather required daily insulin shots but that didn't stop him from living a very busy life. During the Japanese Occupation, he sent his family to Zambales but continued farming in what is now Cubao in Quezon City. He told my grandmother how there was very little to eat and leased a parcel of land around the area so he and his men could grow rice. People would beg him to give them rice to feed their family and paid him in whatever they had. There were many times, he just gave them the rice. It was also this time that he ingeniously fashioned a charcoal-fed truck which he used to transport goods from Zambales to Manila. According to my grandmother, he saw the potential of this route, and planned to open a transportation line between Zambales and Manila after the war.
He was a strict but loving father and a very good husband who spoiled our grandmother.