Alfonso Cayabyab Gundayao was born in Malasiqui , Pangasinan, Philippines, on November 25, 1930. He was the 2nd and last surviving child of six siblings (Juanita, Lourdes, Jose, Salvador, and Soledad). Alfonso’s nickname was “Ponching” amongst his family and friends. Alfonso enlisted in the United States Navy in January 1955 at the age of 25. He was first stationed at the US Naval Station in Midway Island and, throughout his naval career, was deployed on a tankard, two destroyer ships, and an aircraft carrier. He completed his last and 10th assignment at the US Naval Construction Battalion Center in Port Hueneme, CA. He retired as a First Class Machinist Mate in 1980. Thereafter, Alfonso was employed in the US Postal Service in Ventura County and retired after 17 years.
Alfonso met the love of his life, Teodorica “Dori” Domingo, when Dori saw a picture of him and sent him a copy of the University of the Philippines collegiate newsletter. After 10 months of courtship through letters, they married on August 25, 1956. They had five kids (Allbright, Kathy, Jenniffer and Filmer) in the Philippines and their last child, Leizl, in the US when he was assigned to the Point Mugu Naval Air Station. Alfonso was a devout Catholic. He and Dori built an amazing prayer room which is filled with treasures (statues of Saints and the Virgin Mary, Divine Mercy, and Infant Jesus) from around the world, and opened their home for prayer gatherings. He traveled the world through pilgrimages, having touched all seven continents. He was a hard-working husband, dad and grandfather, taking care of the garden, cars and fixing everything around the house. He loved to cook for his family, especially breakfast with his famous homemade potatoes and fried rice. He also loved to dance and watch action and military movies. His kids and grandkids will always remember his two favorite expressions “oh by golly” and “outstanding”!
Dori passed away on May 29, 2022, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 9 years ago. Alfonso is survived by his five children and their spouses: Kathy and her husband Bob Touake, Allbright and his wife Emy Gundayao, Jenniffer Gundayao, Filmer Gundayao, and Leizl and her husband Jeff Mendiola; his 10 grandchildren and their spouses: Kristine and her husband Brandon Duff, Kimberly and her husband Eli Blond, Jason Gundayao, Dante Gundayao, Malia Gundayao, Drew Gundayao, Zoe Mendiola, Noah Gundayao, Nia Mendiola, and Kai Schaefer; and his two great grandchildren: Emorah Urbana Blond and Aria Teodorica Duff.