Daughter’s Piety

The latter half of my March seemed to be loaded with events of A-MT90 get-togethers. I was already booked for March 18, 2009 with Alvin Matulach together with Judith Mendoza for a product knowledge class with A.R.M products and March 26, 2009 for Rock for Reason concert— a fundraising gig for Franz Pantaleon, son of Rachel and FF, when Joy Fernandez Ramirez posted this message last March 17, 2009:

We have a family get together on my sister’s birthday on March 29 at 11:00 AM luncheon in Max’s Scout Tuazon. You are invited. Hope you can make it. E-mail me before March 26 if you’re coming. Or, Karl or Nova can text the no of classmates coming after the March 26. My cell no in the Phil is 0919*******.
Hope to see you. Come early so that we can chat a little bit. We are going to the province that evening.

This news of her coming back to Philippines brought in great excitement for me for among all get-togethers we had, this is the first time with someone coming from abroad.

Part 1: Joy F’s Breaking News

Three days had passed and I found myself in a bus again going to and from Manila. Tiring as it may seems with the age that we are now getting, yet meeting Joy F. is something I refuse to miss. This is because among all overseas 4amtust90 members, she is the most active member. From the moment she joined last January 8, 2008 she never failed to make her presence felt. Her comments in fact would be an occasion of taunting and teasing, contributing to the life of the e-group. Among the taunting and teasing is her none vegetarian advocacy eighteen years ago. Yes guys! It is not a typographical error… when some women sought slimming salvation in strict vegetarian diet; she was a NONE vegetarian bona fide. So fanatic was she to the point of provoking rebellions from her enemies, making such a nightmare a news item written in the year book Inter Nos.

The next news breaking record made by Joy F. is the performance that rocked MT90 males. During the practices for the Drama Fest, Joy F’s acting lacks an impact that will definitely put her viewers to sleep. But when finally the spot light stared widely at her, she showed off her shoulders eliciting whistles and woos from MT90 male audiences. Such elicited reaction is a success enough to convince us that her role as a whore in a very Catholic theater is well performed. Although not awarded as Best Actress, hers is the Best Acting that A-MT90 will never forget.

Part 2: Enjoying Our Differences

Chime of bells interrupted my recollection of Joy. My text reflexes then made me scoop deep into my bag to fish out the device that kept me connected. Joy F who is not used to Philippine text lifestyle had her sister text me the function room where I am to meet her. I looked out of the bus and saw that it had reached Makati, so I replied with the information of my location. Thirty minutes later, when I have just gotten out of the bus, another message set the chimes to a play again. This time however, coming from Judith:

“Hey nand2 n me ksma ko n sister ko. Me p lng and2. San n u?

So I texted back that am on my way and to proceed to Mercedes Function Room. She the replied that they are already in the site of the event. In a few minutes my taxi, without getting lost finally made it to the site. I was immediately welcomed by Joy F, with a big hug and a wide smile. Her sister likewise greeted me with a great smile and making reference to my unforgettable curly hair. Then I was lead to the table where I saw Judith and her sister seated. Judith immediately revealed that Alvin is sure to come because from there they will be riding with Alvin for another seminar. This started a conversation as regards the write up of our previous get-together with Alvin. Joy F. however was still busy welcoming her guests, so I kept Judith and her sister busy by showing her through the cell phone the website where I posted the write up. This was however interrupted with by an incoming call, yet when I pressed to answer I heard Alvin’s voice from the other end but was immediately cut. Then came in another ring but only once as if the call was canceled, so I thought Alvin might be outside already. When I went in search for Alvin, I saw Karl Zafra in the main dining room of the restaurant, standing behind a glass window, with all smiles stacking money into the wallet while looking onto the function room. I then motioned for him to get in and he simply nodded. I then proceeded to look for Alvin but he was no where in sight. So I went back to Judith and she told me that Alvin called again to say that he is on his way. I then responded that Karl has arrived but have no idea why he is not yet joining us and is taking time in the main dining room. While waiting for the rest, I resume my conversation with Judith and her sister as regards Glinda Masajo, who was a classmate in first year but shifted to dentistry. It was confirmed that the number I have is the correct number of the lady dentist now. Shortly after wards, Karl finally entered the room. He was lead to our place and Joy F. introduced her husband. When Joy F. had left, Karl asked us for the name of the husband to which we could not answer. Later, Karl managed to converse with him despite not knowing his name. When Joy F. and her husband once again got engaged in welcoming the relatives, Karl kidding, commented that he will have Alvin sit between him and Joy F’s husband to be at the forefront of English Communication challenge. Soon enough when Alvin arrived, Karl indeed made him sit beside Joy F’s husband. A little later, lunch is already served and as soon as Joy F. joined us, she was immediately teased about her none vegetable diet. To which she replied that she now eat vegetables. Then another message brings the chimes to life. It was Rowena Lim-Sylato, asking if we are still in Max. I then replied yes and she responded that she will be coming to see us as soon as she finds the place. The soon she arrived and joined us, we had our group picture taken.

At Max Timog, with Joy Fernandez-Ramirez

At Max Timog, with Joy Fernandez-Ramirez

It was kind of tricky then, because Joy F. has to juggle between attending to her relatives and to us. Nevertheless we managed to mingle a little yet too bad for me since am seated at the farthest end of the table I hardly catch up with what Joy F. and her husband is saying. All I managed to hear is the teasing she gets from her husband as regards chat that “You are not a teen ager anymore…” To this we chuckled. Then I asked Karl why he took much time in the main dining room of Max before he comes over to join us. He then told us that his car broke, but since he has appointment in Bulacan that he cannot cancel, he decided to hail a taxi and hire the driver for the whole day. The man complied willingly and he was surprised at how trustworthy he (Karl) must have looked for the driver let him get down in Max without asking for a down payment. For Karl, it was such a very easy way to escape paying the taxi if he happened to be a bad man. Nevertheless, in consideration of the man he bought lunch for him and that explains his lengthy stay in the main dining room. With such a story I cannot help but be awed with such kind of heroism. Judith and my approximately 96 km travel from the province is no match to Karl’s strong will to get there. Then the conversation shifted back to Joy F. it was quite noticeable that she speaks with the accent most call center agents are now sporting. Karl could not help but blurt out “I used to speak that accent you have now. I am now hearing it from you.” Such comment carries a reality of one factor that raised our eyebrows back in June 1986 when we were just introducing ourselves. His was a Fil-Am accent so crisp that type cast him as a snooty one. This image was further added when he mentioned the high-school he came from. Now, the world seemed to have turned all upside down. Karl now is very much a tagalong speaker with deep tagalong vocabulary while many of our classmates now speak the accent that once intimidated us. Life indeed has a way of changing people and with it we learn to enjoy our differences.

Part 3: Piety to Him Who Nurtured Her

The briefness of the get-together left me shortchanged as we really haven’t got much time to enjoy the company of Joy F. Moreover, that time her attention was on a tag-o-war between us and her relatives. Nevertheless, it was worth attending for such a short time we had a glimpse of her familial love and concern they have with their kin. In that gathering, I get to witness the enormous amount of effort his aging father exerted to get his wobbly knees to dance despite looking so awkward, so as to give joy to his son, daughters and grandchildren. On the other hand Joy F. in her piety responded with eagerness to record such cheerful outward manifestation of her father’s dealing with his old age. A week later, when I have come to meet Joy F. again in University of Sto. Tomas she mentioned that while they were in Nasugbu, they carried the old man down the cliff. From then I know Joy F. as a daughter who will never forget her roots, a manifestation gratitude to him who had nurture her, mark of her deep piety towards her parents… compliance to the word of God:

[Eph 6:2] they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is [1 Tim 2:3] acceptable in the sight of God.


With Joy Fernandez Ramirez at UST

With Joy Fernandez Ramirez at UST

Joy F. scanning the changes in UST

Joy F. scanning the changes in UST


Joy with Husband

Joy with Husband

The Arc of UST

The Arc of UST

Arc of the Angelic Doctor

Arc of the Angelic Doctor

2 Responses to “Daughter’s Piety”

  1. WILLY S ALBA Says:



  2. Joy F Says:

    You are so kind and generous of your recollection. Hat’s off to you my friend. No one can blog better than you.


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