Laughing Medicine

Part 1:  Balik Classmate


Looking for him via his name will only leave you frustrated as there are so many John Joseph Ledesma living in Bacolod.  This fact, James Lugue can testify under oath even perhaps before the Senate and can firmly say before them “been there, done that your honor!”  Hence after exhausting all our means in searching for the rest of classmates to no avail, we abandon it to the hands of time.  Indeed, after several earth’s rotation, some of the yet missing classmates started to find us instead.  In approximately three months after Judith Mendoza-Torda found us, John Joseph Ledesma succeeded in his search.  Thanks to WordPress blog site that makes the names of our classmates searchable under the search engine.  Hence, when I opened my major e-mail account, and browse through several mail, one caught my eye “John Joseph Ledesma left a comment in your blog.”  To this, I immediately click on the item to open the mail and click onto the link to automatically log me in my blog account.  True enough, John Joseph left a comment in two of the photos of the Christmas Party:



Submitted on 2009/01/16 at 11:40am

hi rach, weng and pink. Wish I was there. Still looking good after all these years. Miss You all!


Submitted on 2009/01/16 at 11:34am

Hello to everyone. Rosalee and weng used to copy from me. Wish to see all of u! Miss you all! hope you still remember me.


Upon reading, I immediately went back to the announcing mail.  In there the e-mail address of John, so without further a do, I texted Karl Zafra and gave him the address.  Immediately, Karl invited John Joseph to the group and soon become a “balik classmate.”


Part 2: Came Back to Life


Having John Joseph back in the circle brought cheers to most of us, because ‘ ei! The treasurer is back!!!’   Once again the 4amtust90 yahoo group came back to life.  The posting of messages became a time of teasing (about his speed as well as who is the fastest to pay) and updating (as regards his where about).  Then came the imac hullabaloo… what is this?  Oh! John Joseph don’t know how to upload the pictures to the site.  Then another one?  Huh? He lost all the mails?  Hmmm… this only happens to John Joseph. 


Although in writing he declared to have speeded up in his ways but the giving out of his cellphone numbers declared otherwise.  Sigh!!! Karl has already given out his number and twice I did for him to get in touch with us, but it landed on deaf ears… or shall I say blind eyes as it was written in mails.  This only leaves me wondering as to how a get together with him can be organized if he indeed make it to Manila (as pre-announced in one of his posted mail).  Once again, we leave it in the hands of time.


Part 3:  Mysteries Revealed


Indeed, some mysteries are revealed in time.  Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:12 am, an e-mail announcement posted:


I will be in Manila on Feb 24 ………

Hopefully i can see some of you guys (if your sked permits) on that evening somewhere in Makati area (I stay in Legaspi st.)  near Greenbelt mall.

My cell no. is 0917********


So, indeed he has a cellphone and his number finally revealed.  I chance upon Karl being on line and so I asked if he is calling on a get-together but he responded that he is waiting for John Joseph’s notification.  Soon after that conversation, Karl posted a message addressed to John Joseph as regards organizing the group.  That leave me only waiting for the SMS broadcast.


February 24 came and no broadcast, so I texted John Joseph for the need to confirm the meeting since I will be coming all the way from Quezon Province.  Then he texted back using his SUN cellular number— “So, he has a Sun cellular number after all—another revalation!”  Taking advantage of the 24/7 unlimited, I called him.  From the other line I heard a very familiar voice of 19 years ago (counting starts from third year).  He has indeed picked up speed in speaking.  After a short exchange of hellos and how are you’s the conversation has to be cut in order to broadcast the short notice get-together.  As soon as we cut the line, I started texting everyone.


Part 4: Responses 


As soon as messages were sent, Karl Zafra immediately replied:


“I could follow sa resto.  Did you send the group text na”


To this I replied yes.  Then the other messages came:


          Emily Carbonel-Dy –  Can’t make it. Tnx 4 inviting.

JC Huang-Pascual – Would love to, but I’m sad to say I cant come L have fun.

Joy Ramos-Igarta – Sayang. I have an appointment tonight.  Wala bang for tomorrow night? ÜÜ

Judith Mendoza-Torda – Sayang I wont b able 2 make it. F tom sna. Pls say hi 2 john for me. Tnx


Considering that such an opportunity to meet John Joseph Ledesma in Manila is quite rare due to geographical distance of Bacolod, I committed myself to pursuing the get-together even if it will only be the three of us because nevertheless a picture posted in yahoo group will be a delight for the rest of the classmates and for some batch-mates who might knew him.  So I set off to ride the bus on the way to Manila from my hometown Tiaong.


Part 5:  Uncertainty in Time


I arrived two hours earlier in Manila, so I went to my brother’s place yet to put down my backpack and to take a few rest.  An hour later, John Joseph called confirming the get-together event.  I called using SUN cellular but the line is quite weak so I resorted back to texting.  It so happens that he is already in the doctor’s clinic and his mother is on cue for the laser eye operation.  I confirmed the coming of the event.  He haggled for two hours delay due to the uncertainty of the time by which his mother’s operation will start and end.  I begged off to say that there might be classmates who had not replied but may come at the time set.  So, I suggested that I will simply hang around Greenbelt to  meet the others who might come.  To this, he agreed.  Aware that it may take a much later for the get-together to commence, I took my supper at such an early time.    At 5:30 PM, I went to ride the Light Train Transit and the Metro Rail Transit.


Part 6:  Long Time Waiting


Knowing that the get-together will not begin at the scheduled time I decided to stop over the food stall where my former student is working.  To that stall I killed time by taking a soda.  Fifteen minutes later, my ambulance ringtone reverberated from my bag.  I scooped out my mobile phone and heard on the other end Karl asking who has confirmed.  I then revealed that only him confirmed.  To this we both laugh and then Karl assured me he is going to catch up at the restaurant.  After that, I put back the phone into my bag and on my foot walked to look for the Starbucks landmark John Ledesma has mentioned.  After asking and going around the greenbelt I finally found the Starbucks and the condominium he was referring to.  In Starbucks, I then decided to kill time again.


At Starbucks, after getting my refreshment from the counter, I texted John that I have arrived.  John then responded that he has just arrived at the condominium and requested to give him half an hour to refresh himself.  So, I decided to wait by checking 4amtust90 yahoo group.  There I was updated of recently posted teasing messages from my classmates in response to John Joseph’s messages. 


Part 7:  Meeting


Half an hour past, a knock on the glass wall was heard and upon shifting my gaze to the source I saw John Joseph waving.  I waved back and motioned for him to come in, to which he complied.  Upon coming in, we exchanged welcome greeting.  .  Then he looked into the mini-laptop and mentioned the much discussed topic in yahoo group – his ordeal over posting his pictures in the site.  From my interrogation, it was then that the root cause of the problem became known… he was trying to drag the photo file from his PC to the yahoo site— a procedure that can be done from memory stick to PC.  To which, a little chiding I gave and then bring his attention to the computer.  As I was about to teach him the procedure, my mobile phone rang.  Although the name registered that appeared is that of Karl Zafra, I heard a woman’s voice, Rowena Lim-Sylato.  She then announced that they are about to park.  After that phone conversation, I decided to pack up and John Joseph motioned that we wait for them outside.  Upon coming out of the café, we however walked continuously far from the café, so I told him that we might miss them, to which John Joseph seemed to have not heard me.  When we reached the driveway of a mall, I spotted Karl and Rowena on the other side of the driveway.  I told, Joseph about this and he attempted to cross the grass island, but backed out.  So as not to let Karl and Rowena walked further away from us, I then called on the name of Karl loudly.  To which they immediately saw us and so convened at the crescent road. 



Part 8:  All about Joseph


The meeting of Karl and John is the start of male bantering.  The boys made fun of each other as we walk in search of a place where we will dine.  Soon we all consent to take our meals at Big Buddah.  John Joseph expressed his preference to sit outside but Karl motioned that temperature is cooler inside, so we agreed to take the indoor table.  After placing our order, John begin to relate his story.  He narrated that did not appear in graduation because he contracted measles.  According to him, few days before the graduation, he was with his friends in Antipolo.  One of the girls however felt the night was chilly so as a gentleman he gave out his jacket to her.  Unknowing to him however, the girl has just recovered from measles and is definitely at the stage where she sheds off what she had been nurturing.  So when they parted he successfully got his share… crimson rash upon the skin.  Fast forward… he got a job in a bank and worked for one and half year.  After, he went back to the Bacolod, there he met the girl he is to wed and fathered to three.


Part 9:  Side-splitting Memories


Part 10:  Laughing Medicine


I once heard from a friend this phrase “Sa Ilo-ilo walang nagmamadali.”  I shall say, this also holds true to its neighboring town Bacolod, for John Joseph Ledesma was known to us as the “speeding turtle.”  Slow as he might seem, yet, his lifestyle of ease became such a valuable attribute to which the whole section A had placed their trust as when it comes to money.  For the entire three years John Joseph Ledesma served as the most realiable, trusted, efficient, patient and funny class treasurer and collector (no wonder, after graduation he finds himself employed in a bank company).  Nineteen years after, when all computer technology has speeded up from kbps to mbps and now gbps, John Joseph access of memory acheived bps. But unlike computers where at such rate you are rendered infuriated, John Joseph leaves us laughing the whole time.  Thanks to age that humor for John Joseph became effortless.  And such laughter he roused makes this one forwarded message true:


Laughter is a unique medicine that

places our problems in perspectives,

Relaxes our tense muscles,

reassures those around you and

helps you to enjoy life.


John Joseph that night is a nitrous oxide, a laughing medicine.


3 Responses to “Laughing Medicine”

  1. Karl Says:

    hi nova. as always, very well accounted ang get together (censored too…wala yung part na tinawag ko syang congressmans from long distance view crossing the grassy knoll at pagdating up close and personal…. ano ka ba john, pastor ka na ba ngayon…mukhang may prayer mtg tayo ngayon)…..well done. sorry if only few pictures were posted due to john’s limited picture experience.. ..shy daw sya, hahaha)…….but come to think of it….kaya pala nagpakita si john sa atin…..upang mapasama sa lamyerda mo at magkaroon ng solo “detailed account” sa yahoogroup.. ……anak ng showbiz talaga itong bacolodian ‘to. but hey….its john..oks lang yan..paid in full ang sumptuous dinner…thank you sir john…. i think it was the m.s.g. that made john tell his funny stories….and the margarita that made us laugh …..kahit corny mr. polymedic (sorry….private joke to those who failed to attend and dont undertsand). ….thanks to the 4 cups of coffee, i got home safely.


  2. John Joseph Says:

    What a memory Novs! If I had that memory siguro topnotcher na ako like Weng.

    With your talent pwede kana maging author ng libro or scriptwriter. (Local version of J.K. Rowling or Carlo Caparas)

    I suggest we can make an Indie film sa 25th year natin. Hahaha!

    Joy R. anong title and theme natin? Karl sino characters natin? Ang producer yung mga batch natin from America. Si Weng syempre ang accountant.


  3. phyclesheella Says:

    Great site this and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂


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