Pauline Schinazi-Witts was a young girl living in Shanghai with her parents, L. Richard Schinazi, head of the Elizalde Company in Shanghai and mother Ann.
When the city was bombed in 1937, she and her mother were immediately sent to Manila for their safety, only for them to experience one of Manila’s biggest earthquakes in 50 years. Mrs. Schinazi and 10-year old Pauline took up residence at the Manila Hotel but was soon enrolled in Assumption Convent where she was a border. Convent life was indeed quite a contrast to her American School experience in Shanghai.
When the situation in Shanghai stabilized, Ann and Pauline returned home after a few months. However their visits to Manila became regular and it was during this time that Ann developed a close friendship with Mrs. Aurora Quezon, wife of President Manuel L. Quezon. Mrs. Quezon provided gifts to Mrs. Schinazi and among these were the piña dresses “ traje de mestiza” and “balintawak” now on display. A photo of young Pauline wearing the “ balintawak” is also on exhibit.
Pauline is a resident of Walnut Creek, California and a parishioner of the St. John Vianney Church where she befriended Philippine Folklife Museum president, Dan de la Cruz and his wife Lydia.
Pauline has many stories and anecdotes to tell about Manila and the places she visited like Baguio City. Also on display are her dolls, table linens, place mats and napkins along with memorabilia from the 1930’s through 1946. She passed away last June 10, 2011. She bequeathed above collections to her friend, Lydia S. de la Cruz.