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Chicago 2017

Here is a brief update on a mini-family reunion in the spring of 2017.

I met my younger brother in Chicago. We spent some time gettting acquainted and visited Millennium Park - home of Cloud Gate, a public art sculpture also known as the Big Bean!

Cloud Gate

Search update winter 2017

An Update for those who wanted to know more . . .

I found my mother in June 2016 exactly eight years to the day I discovered I was adopted.

Unfortunately, my mother had passed away in 2004, so I did not get a chance to talk to her, but I was able to speak by phone to most of my half-siblings within a few days. I have four. I was the only one adopted out.

And no one knew about me.

My sibs are all really great people and open to getting to know each other, so it has been a wonderful experience. We haven't met in person yet but are planning to do so in the near future.

One of the most important things I've learned about is potential health issues. The other important thing is learning about my Spanish-Filipino family tree. Indeed, my successful outcome would never have happened if one of my ancestors had not recorded his ancestors, and if my new-found second cousin wasn't such a genealogy buff! DNA testing did play a role, but without the meticulously kept records, nothing would have been resolved.

The family is extremely large.

Facebook played a part in helping me make that initial phone call. A Facebook cyber-friend, also an adoptee, helped me make that first phone call. My sibling turned out to be a mutual-friend-of-a-relative-of-a-friend of hers in the Philippines. I made the phone call and in an instant, like a stack of set-up dominoes toppling over, my eight year search was suddenly RESOLVED.

It's been a wonderful ending and a beginning to new relationships with my long lost family. And that is my story. :) 

Hope you enjoyed reading about it!

Mary Ann

Constancia T. Search Update - Sept 2014

My search has taken a disappointing and disheartening turn.

I have learned that the birth certificates I was using to search for siblings were fake.  Other birth certificates I have obtained are also likely fakes.

The time has come to let go of my search.  I feel satisfied that I have done all I could humanly do to search for my mother, Constancia T. Hernandez. 

I am leaving this website active in the hope that these articles or the photos on my Gallery page spark someone's memory and compels them to contact me.

I will also leave my Facebook page active, like a signpost for her and her relatives to see.

Constancia T. Hernandez Search Update - May 2013

Mary Ann Search Mother

By Mary Ann Hernandez Mullen

Here is the story of my search so far.

The search for my mother started five years ago, shortly after the day in June 2008 that I found out I was adopted.

In August 2008, I phoned people who knew me as a child and were still living in Manila (Makati). They were in their 80s.  They remembered that I was "adopted but hadn't been told."  These wonderful old people were surprised to hear that I'd never been told, and now, here I was, nearly 50 years old just finding out!

As concerned friends, they tried to help by asking among the elders in the community, but no one had personally known my first mother so no one could tell me anything about her.

The story they all remembered was: "Mary Ann's real mother lived with the Mullens during her pregnancy so she could have good food and medical care, and then the Mullens adopted the baby when it was born."  Where my mother went after I was born, nobody knew. What her name was, nobody knew . . .

In the years following my discovery, I hired detectives three different times to look for my mother. The first one found out her name - Constancia T. Hernandez - and found my birth certificate.  I'd never had a birth certificate before (that in itself is a long story)!

After I got my complete birth certificate from the NSO with affidavit of illegitimacy, I joined family history forums, reached out to childhood friends and acquaintances from Manila, as well as complete strangers on the Internet who might know anything about the Hernandezes of the Manila area.  I put this search website on the internet about two years ago.

By March 2012, I felt strongly compelled to return to the Philippines during the Spring Break holiday to search.  I was unable to find out anything more.

However, I had a wonderful holiday, met many warm-hearted Filipino people and thoroughly enjoyed being in the country of my birth.  It was the first time I'd been back since 1972.

Throughout this time, I kept searching through various sites.

I phoned people named Hernandez in the Manila area.  My Facebook friends helped me tremendously with suggestions - especially Ms. C.Y. and Mr. S.F.  It was through their suggestions and encouragement that I started my Community Page on Facebook: Help Mary Ann Find Her Mother, which I started in December 2012, hoping to find my mother by Christmas.

I am still hoping to find her, or her surviving family, by Christmas of 2013.

Note: I am not looking for my biological father because I grew up with him. Frank Mullen "adopted" me legally in Canada and raised me. He died in 2006 in Canada, while I was at his bedside. He tried to tell me the truth just before he died, but ill-health stopped him from making himself understood.

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My Story

By Mary Ann Hernandez Mullen

I was born in Manila, Philippines in the late 1950s. I always believed I was the natural child of my Canadian parents, (Joseph Francis) Frank and Lydia (Leda) Mullen. It was not until I was 49 years old that I found documents which led me to the truth: I was an adoptee.

Everyone in my adoptive family knew, but I was the last to find out.

In the 1960s and early 1970s I attended International School (American School) in Manila. During those years, several people would repeatedly ask me if I had an identical "sister," but I would deny it vehemently. I was brought up as an only child and believed that I did not have any siblings. I had asked my adoptive mother several times if I was adopted, but was always told that I wasn't.

My father, Frank Mullen, worked as a manager for Mobil Oil and my mother, Lydia Mullen, was a Russian emigre, a housewife, who played mahjong with the other ladies in her neighbourhood. We lived first in Pasay City and then later in Forbes Park and Belair.

At the very least, I would like to find out what happened to my natural mother, Constancia T. Hernandez. I understand she - and other family members - may have emigrated to the United States or another country. Or they may have remained in the Philippines. Some of you may remember me from school or may even know my true story and my relatives.

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My Adoptive Parents

I was born in De Ocampo Memorial Medical Center in Nagtahan, Sta. Mesa Manila (not Pasay City, as I was previously told) in January 1959. Dr. Enrique Mathias, OBGYN, delivered me.

Pasay City map web

I am now searching for my natural mother, Constancia T. Hernandez, who I believe still lives in the Philippines.

Constancia lived with my adoptive parents at 245 Loring Street in Pasay City (part of Metro Manila).

My father, Frank Mullen, worked for Mobil Oil and was a supervisor of their Pandacan Terminal. My adoptive mother’s name was Lydia Mullen. She was a Russian émigré, as was her friend and my godmother Allice T. Warren.

Allice also knew my natural mother quite well. I have heard that she kept in touch with Constancia long after my family left Manila. Allice moved to Hong Kong in the 1970s.

I recently loaded photos of my adoptive parents and godmother onto the Gallery page of this website. Have a look!

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Malate Catholic Church

Malate-Catholic-Church-webI was baptised in May 1959 at Our Lady of Remedies Catholic Church, known as Malate Catholic Church. The church is located at 2000 M.H. del Pilar Street in Malate, Manila.

The church, one of the oldest churches in Manila, was originally built in the 16th Century by the Augustinian order. The church has been destroyed three times, but each time was re-built.

Amorsolo-Malate-church-web

It is the subject of a painting by famed Filipino artist Amorsolo.

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