New uniforms at work help long-lost sisters find each other

·4 min read

AFTER years of being colleagues at work, two government employees have discovered that they are long-lost sisters and it is all because of uniforms and the contact-tracing efforts of Lapu-Lapu City Epidemiologist Grace Mary Chan-Carungay.

Medical Technologist (MedTech) April Arado Pausal, 40, and her 62-year-old midwife sister, Elizabeth Arado, are both workers of the Lapu-Lapu City Health Office (CHO).

The two did not know that they are sisters until their meeting on Tuesday, May 24.

“Awkward and happy kay wala na ko magdahom (because I am no longer searching),” said April to describe her feelings when she met Elizabeth.

For five years, they had been colleagues, seeing each other during official gatherings, among other tasks, but April’s married name hid their connection.

Elizabeth was also very emotional in their surprise meeting since her father told her about her siblings before he died.

April was in a series of mixed emotions when she met her biological mother and when she met Elizabeth.

The trace

On Monday, April 23, 2022, April was able to trace an employee bearing her father’s surname through the list of employees and their uniform sizes. Carungay also saw this name and “contact-traced” Elizabeth.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan allocated funds for new uniforms for employees for his new administration.

The city epidemiologist already suspected that they are related since they have the same story about their father when she asked them separately. She then arranged a meeting with the two.

The next day Tuesday, Carungay called April and Elizabeth to the CHO.

The two were surprised as they were sometimes tasked to do contact tracing and now they are being traced. They were just told to report.

When the two finally came, Carungay introduced them to each other.

The meeting

It was a very emotional meeting and everyone was touched. CHO employees who witnessed were in tears.

Elizabeth realized that she finally met the sister her father asked her to find.

Her father Percival, before dying in 2012 at 82, confessed that they have siblings from another family and asked Elizabeth to find them.

April is assigned at the CHO office, while Elizabeth is assigned in Olango Island.


They are both daughters of Percival Arado Sr. but from different mothers.

April said Percival is married to Elizabeth’s mother.

Elizabeth remained single and has seven siblings from her mother.

April’s mother Amelita bore three children from Percival: Teodorico, who recently passed the bar and is now a lawyer, April, and Marlyn, who is a teacher.

Amelita raised Teodorico and the boy eventually worked his way to college and to law school.

Life became too harsh for Amelita and harder when she was pregnant again with April.

Amelita met Praxedes while aboard a ship from Butuan City to Cebu. In their meeting, she offered her child to Praxedes.

At that time, the couple had an adopted child and two biological children.

Being the town’s midwife, Praxedes agreed and Amelita lived with the couple in Cordova until she gave birth to April.

The revelation

Years went by, April attended elementary and high school in Cordova and pursued college studies in Iligan where the couple has relatives.

When April graduated college, Praxedes revealed to her that she was an adopted child.

At that time, Amelita was visiting the couple and Praxedes introduced her to April. Both of them cried.

“I had mixed emotions then, nasuko ko. Pero kinahanglan nako dawaton ug tun-an ang paghigugma,” April said, describing her feelings with Amelita.

She was angry with Amelita who left her to the couple and why her mother did not sacrifice to raise her.

But Amelita told her that time that she just wanted her to have a “maayong kaugmaon,” that is why she offered her to the Arong couple.

April’s younger sister, Marilyn, is adopted by Jesus’ sister.


And true to Amelita’s dream, all her children are now professionals: a lawyer, a MedTech and a teacher.

“Natandog sab ko ni mama (Praxedes) with more nako gi-appreciate ang iyang efforts on us,” April said.

She said Praxedes is a very protective mother and reprimands everyone in her childhood years who attempted to bully her for being an adopted child.

April never experienced being bullied.

“Kuntento na ‘ko sa akong nadak-an, wala na ko magdahom, kay gihatag na nila (Praxedes and Jesus) ang tanan, ug wala na koy gipangita pa,” April said.

But later, she realized that there are still others from another family who also loved her that much.


Elizabeth and April planned to visit their late father’s grave together soon.

On Friday, May 27, Elizabeth invited April over dinner, with the former’s two remaining siblings from her mother. (PR)

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