Posts Tagged ‘4amtust90’

Re-bonding: AMTUST90 Christmas Get-together

January 3, 2009

REBONDING: AMTUST90 Christmas 2008 Get-together


Part 1:  Blessings Despite Global Recession


After Hacienda Escudero Get-together, life has become tough for all of us… there is on going global recession, economic slowdown affecting even the small businesses and stress… so much stress, because if you are lucky enough not to have been fired or is the one who fires, you end up with so much work to do because someone has to take over the work of those who were laid off.  Yes, that is how it has been and is still is… good thing  4AMT90UST has a guy who remains to be single until now and in a stable financial position, a couple who has no dependent, a wonderful food caterer and a Beauty Products Tycoon whose birthday falls within the month of the December.  With all of them around the Christmas Party get-together became feasible.  Donyalamat despite single was not spared from such unfortunate fate… by November the very much available spinster who can make it to an impromptu get-together, begged off for the first time, when Karl called one Thursday afternoon to be present for a meeting that evening.  With more oddity did things seems to turn out when Donyalamat responded to one of yahoo group messages saying that she does not want to give more suggestions because she ended up receiving assignments of whatever suggestions she gave.  Poor Saint K, who has just fairly recovered from Pit Bull Bite and a series of anti-rabies vaccines, was left to his own to decide on how to stir the wheels.  Yet, the spur-of-the-moment meeting turned out a success…Joyfully could spare a time to organize with Don Alvin the games of the party; Alvin whose birthday he is celebrating 2 days after the event, willingly sponsored the cost of everything; Jaquiline Mariano willingly accommodate the venue and catering services; and VP Karl remains to be the CEO of AMT get-together. The Christmas reunion started to take shape… and from time to time e-mails or SMS updates us of probable attendees, wanted CD’s of 80’s music hits, yet  the best of all the announcements made is the finding of Malou Nery. 


Part 2:  Pain is Good


December 1, a holiday, an unexpected happened.  Donayalamat made an SMS broadcast to all MT90 doctors in Manila, announcing her need to see an Internal Medicine specialist, who despite the holiday will hold a clinic.  This is because she is suffering from severe gastric pain (the details of which is another story).  The result of the broadcast lead to Donyalamat being admitted to Chinese General Hospital… a threat that this may make her incapable of attending to the much awaited Christmas Party get-together…this would mean there will be no immediate photo essays… and consequently no written detailed accounts…As a result of much thinking…she kept silent about it hoping that in a day or two she be released.  But such a health crisis turned out to be some kind of a blessing after all because Don Alvin, the non-replying deadma to Joyfully’s text messages responded to Donyalamat’s panawagan. The conversation that transpired between the wireless unit implicitly gave an assurance that he will be attending and keep his word.  Mikel Lui on the other hand who also responded to Donyalamat’s panawagan gets to be reminded of the upcoming event which apparently has already slipped off his mind since he has been failing to check on his e-mails.  And finally, Willy the pogi who became my endoscopist in Chinese General Hospital, although gave no assurance of his coming expressed his desire to support in his own little way.  After having been discharge from the hospital, it all the more proved that such a misfortune is infact a fortune because she found a reason to be relieved of duty to report for work and have enough time to make the surprise certificate awards. 


To this case I remember the tenor voice off Ma’am Aligada reverberating in Physiology class… “Pain is good”… Yes folks, Dan Brown’s Opus Dei Albino is no original version of such a phrase…


Part 3:  SURVIVOR Challenge


Yet at times when the rain comes it pours…After the certificate awards were made Donyalamat’s printer got busted and so are the rest of the town’s internet café.  Seeking for a solution, Donyalamat tried to phone in Jaquie but the cell phone directory got mixed up as well and get into the line of Rick Pascual’s.  Midnoon came, Donyalamat decided to leave Tiaong to give her enough time to get to the internet café in Manila to have the certificates printed.  Hence, she put on the bed her red travel bag, packed her clothes, her ten inches lap tap and her magic sing.  Soon she finds herself pulling a huge red bag into the bus.  Two hours passed and the bus has only reached the middle of the South Luzon Expressway in the middle of a heavy traffic.  Donyalamat regretted the fact that she failed to heed St. K’s warning that on such a date most companies will also be celebrating their Christmas parties and so expect that the roads are packed.  But in such a time, the situation is already irredeemable left only with the hope that by prayers it won’t get worse.  At four o’clock I am in Mantrade, but the efficiency of MMDA made the bus driver to drop me off 20 meters away (actually I don’t really know how long meters is… nevertheless the walk was very long) from the MRT station.  Hence Donyalamat looked like a laid off OFW pulling a language along the busy street of EDSA crossing the entrance way of Dasmarinas and finally squeezing into a cramped elevator of MRT station.  In a minute the door opens and Donyalamat jumbles amidst the crowded line of the station, scuffle with the heavy red laguage to bring it on top of the guard’s table, scamper into one of the pouches, desperately looking for my value card buried among her other things and finally grapple with the rollers to make it through the space between the train and the ledge.  By the time the train reached Guadalupe, Donyalamat scooped out her SUN Cellular phone hoping to join the car pool but Karl did not pick the phone.  Upon alighting the train in Ortigas, ring came from Karl and was told that the meeting place is in Robinsons.  Having already gotten out of the station, Donyalamat dropped the carpool plan and once again scuffle with the heavy travel bag down the long stairway of Ortigas.  Reaching the street is another battle, because the bumpy sidewalk of Edsa Central is such a hurdle for the bag’s rollers.  Moreover, there is another meters long of a walk to get to the jeepney or FX terminal.  Upon reaching the placer, there is however a long cue of passengers waiting, this made it compelling for Donyalamat to go back to the main road and comply with a non-meter, contact fare taxi.  But such a deal turned out to be worth paying after all, for the driver took the non busy inner roads except for some few major intersections.  Had it not been for the confusion with which gate to take, we would have arrived very much in time.  At the gate in front of Jacq’s house, I saw Malou Nery, the early bird, passing through the gate.  After paying the driver, I pulled out my travel bag and get into the house.  Jacq, the gracious host gladly welcomed us and had us sit in the living room.  Donyalamat on the other hand pleaded Jacq to have the awards printed.  Despite the deficient colored ink, Donyalamat and Jacq make do with whatever is available.  Few minutes later Karl called to announce that Ms. Jacinta Cruz opted to be picked up in Ortigas station instead and might want to join them… stoically Donyalamat answered that she already reached Jacq’s house. 


Part 4:  Let’s Get Lost (Nat-Geo Adventure)


After all the certificate awards had been printed, Donyalamat found St. K and Leah Illada-Vasquez already in the function area.  With Leah, Donyalamat engaged a conversation regarding complimentary concerts tickets in Araneta.  A few minutes later the car pool of Joy Ramos-Igarta, Hector, Dennis and Ms. Jacinta Cruz arrives.  The coming of Ms. Jacinta Cruz, Ma’am JC as we fondly call her ignites the engine of the event.  Her spontaneity and gaiety could not resist to utter a showbiz remark as regards Donyalamat’s curly hair.  Such became an impetus for a conversation of updating, intrigues and name guessing.  Shortly afterwards, Donyalamat faces another struggle… the battle of making it on line.  After several trial and errors, James Lugue finally made it through the YM.  The camera however always gives the warning sign that the server is not available hence a web cast get-together was not achieved.  Soon St. K’s phone became busy for a live voice GPS (global positioning system) or shall we say PPS (Pasig Positioning System).  The girls, on the otherhand, crowd around Ma’am JC to show her the year book and some of Jacq’s well kept class cards and ID memorabilia.  It was there that we came to see the proof of the existence of the much argued existence of a glass and metal of recognition awarded to the class officers.  Then from Ma’am JC are updates of how the classroom looks now… the PowerPoint system of teaching, the online exams, the online report cards…etc…etc…etc.  Shortly afterward Rick-JC Huang Pascual Family arrived, followed by (if my memory serves right) Nante and daughter, then Rowena Lim-Sylato and then the already very much lost FF-Rachel Evangelista Pantaleon family with Pinky. 


FF’s arrival is the point that the party turned to full gear…hilariously announcing his frustration of driving passed  several gas stations yet finding no CALTEX landmark that Karl kept mentioning on the phone… while continuously terrified by his gas meter descending to the big E mark as he go back and forth looking for that such elusive CALTEX station.  As FF started to make the whole house reverberate with laughter, Donyalamat from time to time receives text messages from Judith Mendoza Torda saying where they have reached.  After an hour of updating their position, Donyalamat finally received a call from her and another live voice PPS is made.  Soon Judith arrived riding with Emily Carbonel-Dy family.  This is followed by Don Alvin.   With the growing number of people, the passing of hours and the stress of finding their way, everyone started to get hungry and so Karl was called to give the dinner a go but he in turn motioned to Donyalamat to lead the prayer.  Donyalamat, who although had come up with several write up compositions, had  ceased to be original and opted to be very doctrinal/liturgical as regards prayers and so she recited the usual grace before meal taught in the Catholic Schools. 


Part 5:  JC POWER


Dinner time becomes more cozy and relaxing.  The entire group divided into smaller units for a more personal updating.  Donyalamat finds herself seated in front of Miss Jacinta Cruz which consequently gave Donyalamat an overview of her condition:


Ma’am JC is a breast cancer survivor.  The discovery of such came about when one day noticed her upper arm becoming abnormally larger.  When she had herself checked, they found out that her lymph node has become exceedingly large perhaps overwork for something.  Hence further laboratory work up was made… and what came out is the appearance of a crablike mass located in each side of her breast.   This necessitated her to undergo mastectomy and chemo-therapy— the effects of which we have seen in the photo shots captured by Mayette Andia.  But now she has fully recovered… radiating the usual JC POWER we all are familiar with— her newscaster voice, her crisp laughter and her being so GAME is once again captivating.



Part 6:  The Sight of Ma’am JC


As we progress with our meals, Dr. Vic Balcita in his car arrived. Ever since the 4amtust90 yahoogroup was born he became very active in the first few days posting pictures of his family as well as a few memorabilia of Medical Technology year. But for whatever reason unknown to us, he abruptly became very silent.   Hence, his arrival brought out cheers from all of us.  FF, a stand up comedian of the get-togethers threw a celebrity look alike joke on Vic which bring out more smiles from all of us as we welcome Vic.  Vic exchange handshakes and the sight of Ma’am JC made him sit across her, beside Donyalamat.  Immediately, Vic inquired about Miss Sandra Sy who according to him, he owes gratitude for helping his cousin get admitted to University of Santo Thomas.  For Vic the Christmas get-together became an opportunity to finally find a way to thank Miss Sandra Sy. 


In a little while, Michael Louie arrived.  He was shown where Ma’am JC is seated, and to everyone’s surprise he uttered “Uy pare!” and hence, everyone laugh.  Michael apparently missed the sight of Ma’am JC and saw Don Alvin who is seated beside her… perhaps, failing to recognize or is not expecting Ma’am JC to be present.


Part 7:  Beauty Secrets


Moments later Rachel Evangelista-Pantaleon, Rowena Lim-SyLato and Rosalee Eng-Doctor came to the table.  Vic stood up to give the three gorgeous ladies a comfortable place to dine, while he take his turn towards the buffet table.  Donyalamat ended up seating beside Dr. Rosalee Eng-Doctor.  Immediately, Donyalamat commented on how slim Rosalee has achieved.  Pinky (that is how she is fondly called) then replied that such is the result of taking care of kids.  To Donyalalmat such is an unexpected answer…when most of the women’s angst on motherhood is getting fat out of pregnancy or for normally ending up with having to eat their kids left over food, Pinky’s motherhood is at the contrary… hers are two kids who loves eating— a good slimming tool.  Then, Ma’am JC gave a complement on how Rachel kept her Miss Thomasian Pharmacy shape and look over the years despite giving birth to three boys.  Rach in modesty replied that she actually gain a pound every year.  FF on the other hand still standing continues to bring the whole house rolling in laughter… making Donyalamat think “you will definitely stay young with someone who keeps your entire body oxygenated through laughter”— no need to have an Oxygen treatment.  Then on the table Donyalamat spotted a big bun of yummy ensaymada.  To this Rowena Lim-Sylato,  Weng (as we call her) commented she made it herself and got the recipe from the internet…then she added that after the board exam she started attending culinary short courses for which Donyalamat remembers they even coincided in one of Sylvia Reynoso classes.  With the death of her husband she is left to fend for herself and her two sons, hence along side with her employment based income with a computer company, she revived her pastry business.


Part 8:  Photo Sessions


After everyone had taken a wonderful meal catered by Jacqueline Mariano-Raymundo, before some bid their goodbyes, a class picture was called for.  Hence, all section A MT90 pose and gathered round Ma’am JC for a group picture.  After a few clicks from mobile phone cameras, digital cam and handy cam, the two section E MT90 hubbies: Ric and FF were called to join.  Once again few clicks and bursts of flash lights filled the air.  Then the boys left and leaving the girls dominate the photoshoot.  After the beauties the hunks took over the show.  FF continued with his funny stints ending up with wacky shots of the men—- boys will be boys.


Part 9:  Practical Exam


  1. Uric Acid Level Test


Soon the start of the games was announced.  All were called to participate except for Donyalamat, Leah and Rachel.  They were exempted from the game because they were in a dress.  This made them a passive spectator.  But Donyalamat wouldn’t settle for being simply passive, hence she asked for a camera to capture some images of the game.  When all are set to move, the game was revealed—Pass a pillow.  The procedure is to clamp the pillow in between knees and pass it on to the neighbor’s pair of knees.  It was such a knee wobbling challenge… a Uric Acid Level Test.  In this, if Donyalamat remembers right Dennis and FF won.


B.  Stool Practical Exam


After receiving their prizes, the boys are called and handed out a mound of fecal model covered with a yellow orange gelatinous matter.  The procedure is for the boys to lick the gelatinous matter out of the fecal model until it come out clean—Donyalamat prefer to call it a Practical Stool Exam.  In few minutes, Ric Pascual signaled done and he turned out a winner.  FF who is non stop with being a stand-up comedian, teased Ric in having the edge over the rest due to the fact of absence of the sense of taste and smell.  The very sportive Ric in turn, responded with asking FF “how does it taste?” 


C.  Spirometry Practical Exam:


After the prize has been awarded by Don Alvin, it is now the girls turn.  Each were handed out an elongated rubber tube, closed in one end and with a white liquid inside… it is one of the contraceptive device.  Each is to blow the rubber and whoever made a biggest balloon wins the game.  Within a minute the two JC’s: JC Huang-Pascual and Ma’am JC proved to have blown the biggest balloon.  Here both the JC defy our expectations. JC Huang-Pascual who we knew as a very reserved lady actually has a great pulmonary force; while Ma’am JC who has just overcome breast cancer has proved to have a powerful lungs.  After which, once again Don Alvin handed out the prizes to both JC.


D.  Pinoy Idol (Belting Out Game)


The next game is for the kids, for which Joy’s nephew, Rachel’s, Leah’s, JC’s and Jacq’s kids participated.  The kids are to say Happy Birthday Tito Alviiiiiiiiiiiiiin!!!! Whoever says the longest wins a prize.  When the time records were compared, the nephew of Joy Ramos-Igarta showed to have sustained the longest greeting.  Don Alvin, the birthday celebrant, took delight in such a game that aside from the gift prize, he handed out  a five hundred pesos bill… what a SANTA CLAUSE!!!


E.  The Iron Chef (Tortang Talong Game)


Then St. K and Joyfully drew out some lots in pairs for the adults to play another game.  After they have come up with a number of pairs, the guys are handed out a long eggplant while the girls are given an egg in plastics.  Each will tie a string around their waste unto which hangs either the egg plant or the egg.  The pair is to swing the object against each other.  Whichever egg did not break becomes a winner.  In this game Donyalamat fail to record the winners.  Nonetheless, once again Don Alvin handed out the gift prize.


By this time two of medical doctor businessmen had already lef claiming that they are to pick up their wives and bring them home.  These are:  Dr. Michael Lui who is in Medical Supplies Business and Dr. Vic Balcita who is in the Real Estate Business.


F.  Alphabet Practical Exam and Got It! Group Game.


After the paired and individual games, St. K and Joyfully divided the group into two.  This time Donyalamat is part of the game.  For this, we were told to complete an alphabetically arranged things.  In this game we scoured through our things and head to complete the alphabet.  After Joyfully audits the line of things, the group of Donyalamat won and finally received a gift-prize from A.R.M Skin Essentials Corp. to bring home.  Then again, we were re-grouped and engaged into another game called GOT IT!  It is a modified bring me game where the group are asked for some thing or asked to show some thing.  But the modification is that they have to give it to their runner and then the runner will give it to the barker who will shout GOT IT!!!  This time Donyalamat’s group lost.


G.  Rated R18


When everyone is already tired and would like to sit back and relax.  Don Alvin begged for another game for which there is no more drawing of lots but is in accordance to his predilection.  He carefully picked the singles and demure females.  Then from the door came out an ashtray decorated with a sculpture that is rated R18, bathe in condensed milk with two white marshmallows floating.  Leah, a value conscious mother immediately announces to the kids to go up the balcony and play there.  The kids reluctantly yet obligingly followed.  After all the kids had gone up, St. K and Joyfully explained the rules of the game….the participants were to lick the condensed milk and eat the marshmallow without touching its container.  Whoever finishes first, wins the game.  Everyone laughs at such a sight except for Donyalamat who frowns from beginning to end… not out of anger but having to undergo something she refuses to fathom.  Nonetheless, her sportive spirit dominated and so she went on with something she finds hideous.  Later, Judith signaled a bottoms up, followed by Malou and believe it or not the frowning Donyalamat… the rest couldn’t finish for they are already bloated with gas out of laughter— hence the name Laughing Gas Practical Exam.  Malou, the second to finish, on the other hand lost her voice due to the sticky condensed milk.  Yet, for Don Alvin there are lots of prizes to make up for a fainting voice of Malou; to put back the smile to a frowning face of Donyalamat; and most especially to award the most determined winner, Judith… and for the rest who accumulated gas in their tummy, there are enormous beauty products waiting for a someone to carry them home.


Part 10:  Purification, Petition, Requiem and Thanksgiving


After the Rated R18 game, St.K distributed a small white thin candles.  The candles are tied with red and green ribbon and a tag in which is written:




December 6, 2008


Thank you for making it.

God Bless you & your family











When all have received a piece, a lighter lit one and from this one the fire candles are lit one to the other.  All fell silent until St. K recited the following:


Whenever two or three are gathered in your name we know you are with us.

Heavenly and Merciful Father,

We love you and we thank you.

Thank you for having made this day.

Thank you for making this affair possible.

Thank you for having reconnected and re-uniting us.

We pray that we may someday be complete and many to share the happiness and warmth.

Thank you for the precious gift of time.

Thank you for our safe journey.

Thank you for the countless blessings you have showered upon us—our careers, our businesses, our family, our home, our abundant nutrition and health, our education, our loving parents and siblings, our friends, and numerous mentors and many many more to be thankful for.


We would also like to pray for all our other classmate who weren’t able to join us in this special affair.  We pray that they are safe and doing well, particularly those abroad and affected by the financial crisis.  Please guide and protect them.


We also pray for our departed classmate and friend Michellle Miguel, our batchmates, and teachers who have gone ahead.  May they be blessed with your abundant mercy and compassion.  May their souls rest in peace and let your light shine upon them.


Special Blessings to Alvin and other December celebrants: Rach, Weng, YY, Joy F., Tech and Vicky.  May they be blessed with good health and continued success.  We pray for safe delivery of Alvin’s wife, Joy and for the mom of Ellani who was just admitted in ICU.

We also would like to offer a special prayer of complete healing of Ma’am JC.  We pray that you  continue to use her as an instrument of our infinite wisdom.  In molding youth to shine for your greater glory.  Please give her the gift of courage and strength that she may do your most Holy Will.


For they year to come, we thank You for the gift of Life and Time.

Thank you for the gift of love and sharing.

To God be the glory. Amen.





After that solemn moment the birthday cake is brought to the middle.  Don Alvin, the main celebrant and sponsor of the Christmas get-together were called to stand in the middle followed by other celebrants Rach and Weng.  To them we all sang the happy birthday song.  As to blowing of the candles, all were hesitant to give a beautifully Christmassy colored cake, a shower of amylase rich fluid… so as far as Donyalamat remembers, the candles were pulled out of the cake and blown.  Since, everyone were already filled with so much food on the buffet, only a slice was taken out for a taste and the rest were brought home.  To this point, Ma’am JC made her adieu and if Donyalamat’s memory serves her right along with Emily Carbonell-Dy family, Judith Mendoza-Torda, Nante Manahan with daughter and Malou Nery.


Part 12:  Salamat Doc


What comes after the cake celebration?… Don Alvin took out his box of beauty products and started his public service beauty consultation.  From such unassuming corrugated brown box are kits of skin whitening toiletries; anti-wrinkle toiletries; lotions; skin toners; and beauty soaps.  As Don Alvin carefully fish out those wonderful products to distribute, thoroughly did he answer Sheryl Cosim-like queries of Rach—explaining how things are applied along with the miracle that it does to the skin.  While the free beauty medical mission was on going, Ric Pascual and Leah Illada-Vasquez’s husband were seated on a monoblock at a distance cradling their already empty bat kid   who dropped to slumber on their chests.  At about two o’clock in the morning the Hung-Pascual, Illada-Vasquez and Evangelista-Pantaleon family along with Rosalee Eng-Doctor call it a night.  Don Alvin, St.K, Weng, Dennis, Joyfully and Donyalamat stayed behind with the owner of the house Jacq Mariano-Raymundo.


Part 13:  The Buzz


As the night gets deeper and the morning approaches, the wind becomes cooler and cooler but the gathering gets a lot more cozy and warm where the conversation lead by our celebrity-doctor-businessman classmate Don Alvin.  The conversation rolled from the inside story of Don Alvin’s showbiz life, went back to his Medical Intership experience and jump forward to his life as a Cosmetic Manufacturing Tycoon.  So we had a scoop of the roller coaster relationship of a noontime show host with a popular host of a morning medical public service—the drama of jealousy, of disloyalty, of violent fights, of gun chase, of moving on with a wrong man, of lending money…; then the infamous PG journalist, who in a press conference ordered her PA to have all the food items in the showcase packed, charge to the host; a sexy star exploited by her manager mother; and of the law suit filed against five star resort hotel for not complying with the contract and serving an embarrassing styrophore cake.  Then the conversation shifted to Alvin’s medical internship funny moments: his Flor de Luna y Balderama moments; the terrifying moment with a very exacting and toxic Senior in UST and the Rustom-like revalation of one of the drunken co-interns.  Later the conversation traveled through his “Big Boss” ordeal: the great conspiracy theft case; the chop-chop steward; and the death threat… Until the clock strikes five o’clock and Don Alvin’s mobile phone signal a ring.  Apparently his wife calls to remind a Holy Mass they will be attending before they travel to Tagaytay.  With that, he bid his farewell and we are all left wishing him safety for his long drive with the family to Tagaytay.


Part 14:  Super Six


When Alvin has left, six remained seated on the round table: St. K, Dens Bas, Joyfully, Weng, Jacq and Donyalamat.  It was only then that occurred to St. K’s mind the awards that we missed.  Yet, the party is not over, so the certificates can still be awarded and the rest be posted in Yahoo Groups.  For those present the following awards were given:


Bi-furcation Award — Joy Ramos-Igarta for giving the Y-junction road a medical term “bi-furcation”

12 GB Award – Rowena Lim-Sylato which is supposedly 16 GB for promoting Acer’s 16GB flash memory stick.

Silent Mode Award-— Denis Bascon for breaking a record of 27 missed call last February get-together.

Heart of Gold Award-— Jacq Mariano for hosting and catering the February and December get-together

PBB Award –— Karl Zafra for being the kuya of 4AMTUST90 and it also stands for a Pit Bull’s Bite award. 

Natatanging Dakilang Manunulat Award –— Nova Alcantara for coming up with a very detailed write up of the get-togethers.


For the rest the following awards are posted in 4AMTUST90 yahoogroup:


Lost and Found Award— Malou Nery for the last one to be found so far

MaAGA ang Pasko Award-–Willy Alba for having achieved an Aga Mulach popularity in Chinese General Hospital

Guess Who and Concert Queen Award-–Leah Illada-Vasquez for the difficulty in recognizing Dennis Bascon during January get-together and for being a short notice broadcaster of a  complimentary concert ticket available in Araneta Colliseum.

Decadang Love Team Award-— Rachel and FF for need not explain why

GSM  Award (Geographically Single Male)— Jesus Ong for the reason he himself claims

18th Birthday Award— Don Alvin Matulac for footing the bill of the December get-together as his birthday celebration.


Dual Sim Card Award— Michael Lui for his amazing demonstration of the Dual Sim Adapter which he did during the get-together in Korean Restaurant

Kuya Kim Matang Lawin Award –— Lindsay Lucban for Jungle Joe Subic promotion

Digital Video Craze Award-— Nante Manahan for posting a neck breaking video of the China Town Best Foods get-together

Allergic Toxic Award-— Estraelita “Rama” de Leon for declaring that she will no longer make it to the other get-togethers because she will be tied up with Endocrinology Training in St. Luke.

Saturday Clinic Award-— Rosalee Eng-Doctor for her Saturday Clinic a factor that prevents her from attending previous the get-togethers

Saturday Class Award-— Ellani Alfonso-Roldan for her Saturday Class which made her incapable of attending the previous get-together

Subic Rose Award-— JC Huang-Pascual for reason you will find in Titanic Fidelity write up.

Kering-keri Award — Judith Mendoza-Torda for her transformation from 4 inch spray-net emulsified hair to very flat straight hair.

Yaya’s Day Off Award-— Malou Torres-David for her Nanny’s day off sched coinciding with the Pampangga get-together

StaFr Complex Award-— Emily Carbonell-Dy for her claim that she never overcame her stage fright

So NYSF Award (So Near yet so far)-— Vic Balcita the reason for not making it to any get-together.

DIY Award-— Grace da’Lag for her surname changing from da’Lag to Yousef.

Avid Reader Award-— Joy Fernandez-Ramirez for she is an avid reader of get-together write ups

GPS Award (Global Positioning System)-— Cecille Lagmay for having achieved the greatest number of finding our classmates.

Pirates of the Carribean Award-— James Lugue for his Luxury Cruise Work Adventure

GG Award (Gawad Guru)-— Mayette Andia for her teaching prowess

HIBUK Award (Honey, I Blew Up the Kid)-— Nonee Gatchalian-Carter for giving birth to a huge kid.

FWD Award (Frozen Web Delight)-–Yette Santos for having achieved a frozen webcam broadcast during the February get-together

ICAW-ICAU Award (I care about my work, I care about U)— Cherry Flora—due to her profession

LSD-PAT Award (Lucy in the Sky of Diamond-Philippine Anti-Piracy Team) for having acquired the Druggy alias and for spearheading the anti-piracy discussion in yahoo group.

My Son YM Award (My son in Yahoo Messenger)-— Jennifer Segismundo for her icon frequently flashes that she is on line but it is actually his son who is using the internet.

MFAC Milk Award (Melamine Free, Rich in Vitamin A and Calcium)-–YY for always inserting the melamine joke in YG discussions.


The rest, they are yet to be found and known.


After the awards has been given out… a few conversations of plans for future get-together, of how others behaved and mis-behaved in class… then Donyalamat quipped “aren’t we the same group that stayed until sunrise during the February get-together?”  With this everyone gave a brief laughter and decided to take a few snaps for documentation.  After a few convincing of where the lights should be… the shots still came out dark.  Nevertheless, the super six came out recognizable and is good enough for reasons of posterity.  When the light of the day begins to defuse through the sky, super six shook hands and parted ways… to which Dens Bas uttered “it was such a great moment of re-bonding!!!” 


Upon reaching home, Donyalamat dropped dead sleeping…her mind stopped in a slumber of no pondering.





Puno’t Dulo: AMT90 Octeber Get-together

October 23, 2008


Part 1: Cost Cutting



Cost cutting is economic trend that linger nowadays, be it in the manufacturing, corporate world or home economics.  Consequently, this brought about the creation of multi-tasking, 3-in one, value meals, event-coordinator, wedding coordinator, Call-text unlimited free cell phone plan, and Real Estate Open House-Holy Mass-entertainment event…etc.etc.etc.   The effect is a cost and time effective system.  So after a wonderful experience with Hacienda Escudero – Landco Open House-Harana event, Donyalamat  immediately thought of incorporating MT90 batch get-together into the next open house.  Hence, when my broker informed me about the tentative date for the next Open House- Puno’t Dulo event, donyalamat immediately send SMS messages and posted the announcement of the tentative get-together to  MT90 and 4amtust90 yahoo group.   The reactions were quite varied:


·        Jong thought that the whole thing is an original production of mine.  donyalamat however would not want to take credit for something that is not mine so donyalamat have to reveal that it is a promotional activity of Landco.


·        Joy Ramos-Igarta thought it was Villa Escudero.  Good thing  have already posted my write up of the wonderful Harana Experience and pictures that gives clarity to the confusions.


·        Mon Carmona begged off sadly because he is committed to a convention.


·        Nixon Cabochanpongco informed me that he can’t be present because he is out of town.


·        Aldrin Nadres also replied that he can’t make it because it is his cousin’s birthday.


·        Ricky Deang only responded with thanks.


·        Dennis Bascon gave a negative reply due to distance.


·        Judith Mendoza gave a positive reply.


·        The rest remained in silence, perhaps undecided.  Nonetheless, the last listing will still be on the 15th and they have enough time to think about it.


So, donyalamat let go of my cellphone from my hand to freely hang around my neck, logged off the computer, paid my internet usage dues and left the café.  That ends the announcement date.


Part 2:  Follow-up



            Follow-up is one of the necessary steps taken by any organization in the field of hospitality.  They follow-up their suppliers/sponsors so as to be updated of the latest promotions, sale or freebees and follow-up their clients/members so that they commit or they keep on coming back.  Hence, during the seminar, Donyalamat asked my broker for the confirmation and the details of the program and gladly she handed me the invitations.  So while am taking my snacks during the seminar, in haste did Donyalamat send SMS messages of the details and the final date for listings of guests.  Soon enough Judith confirmed her coming and informed me that she will be bringing her two kids along.  This was then followed by Joy Ramos-Igarta saying that she is bringing along her husband, her sister and nephew. With two sure coming, Donyalamat knew that the get-together is set to come.  Donyalamat immediately have them listed and so was handed down two beautiful invitations of Puno’t Dulo.  After the seminar, Donyalamat took advantage of free WiFi at the café where the seminar was held to post the details in MT90 and 4amtust90 e-group.  Afterwards, Donyalamat put off my computer, check my cell phone for replies, texted in the calendar for dates of follow-up, paid my coffee bill, left the café, and hailed a jeep in order to go home.  The following days prior to the last day of listings were merely checking cell phones and e-mails for late replies and inquiries.  The 15th of October came, the final date for the listings, another SMS message was sent and Donyalamat received the following replies:


·        Judith Mendoza-Torda would like to add her two other kids and a yaya in the list.

·        Willy Alba texted the dates that he will not be around and requested not to text him on those dates (ang taray!!!!)

·        Jong expressed once more his regrets.

·        Emily Carbonel texted she is not coming.

·        Ellani apologized she couldn’t make it.

·        Rylan Flores declined.

·        Joy Esguera expressed her thanks for the invitation but could not make it as well.

·        Sonny Boy Guevarra also declined but asked for Judith’s number.

·        Ricky Deang, my faithful text mate, inquired only for who is coming.

·        The rest— dead ma


Part 3:  Sunshine


            One of the best marks of hospitality is versatility, which is always to have something to accommodate changes.  Hence, despite the RSVP’s, catering industries has always been resourceful on late notices.  True enough, when Donyalamat texted Joy Ramos-Igarta, she replied that her sister and nephew could no longer make it and added that Karl Zafra would like to come but he has some important matters to attend to.  Such late notice does not call for much resourcefulness, for two guests dropping would only mean there will be extra food for two.  However, the day before the event, I received a text message from Karl Zafra requesting me to buzz him once Donyalamat get on line.  Such gave me a bit of an alarm, wondering what type of message cannot be texted that needed a chat for it to be relayed.  Nonethess, Donyalamat kept my cool and replied positively.  Minutes later, Joy Ramos-Igarta texted me, asking for Dennis Bascon’s number for she will try to convince him to come since Karl Zafra is coming along.  This made me jumped off my bed for their names were not listed.  Yet to be a good host, Donyalamat gave the number as requested and kept my concern to myself.  Then like any other event coordinator, immediately set to action in order to iron things out as soon as possible.  So, in no time did Donyalamat make it to the nearest computer café, buzz Karl Zafra and soon we are into a voice chat.  So indeed he is coming.  Teasings of estates and villas cross the wires as well as inquiry of time travel.  Then finally the remedy is to be revealed to him, he will take on the slot of Joy’s sibling who withdrew but whose name was already listed.   And when Karl inquired for the name Donyalamat answered SUNSHINE.


Part 4:   Global Positioning System (GPS)


Donyalamat is awake quite earlier than the usual for there is such a great thing ahead of me.  Donyalamat kept awatch of her cellphone for any calls incase Joy Ramos-Igarta and Judith phoned in for any directions or announcement of their arrival.  At seven o’clock Donyalamat texted Joy and Karl which part of the road they have reached and Karl replied the end of SLEX.  So Donyalamat figured out that they are expected to arrive an hour and a half later.  At quarter past eight, Donyalamat received a phone call from Karl asking for directions.  DONYALAMAT tried to be clear as regards their exact location; along the conversation Karl quipped “Joy said a ‘bifurcations’ whatever that means.”  Laughingly DONYALAMAT answered “always take left turn in any bifurcations.”  Then he uttered going to San Pablo, DONYALAMAT corected  herself saying take right road of the bifurcation if you are already in San Pablo. The he uttered motels along the way and laughs, DONYALAMAT laughed along.  DONYALAMAT said you will run pass of Rock Point to your left, then the arc, then Hacienda Escudero to your left, then Mc Donalds to your left then gasoline stations and bridge… when you see Sioland, turn left to the road before it, then run pass two intersections and watch out for the third house to your right with Taekwando streamer and after which is Gaudete Study Center.  Soon DONYALAMAT heard from the other end of the line Gaudete Study Center.  So DONYALAMAT said, “stop right there and am coming out of the house.”  DONYALAMAT went down and there DONYALAMAT found the KIA of Joy Ramos-Igarta parked in front of the school.  DONYALAMAT opened the green gate and soon they got in the compound.  They all alighted, gave each other a welcome hugs and kisses.  Thanks to Sun Cellular unlimited call and text, that we get a cheaper means of global positioning system.


Part 5:  IPV


It was a bright sunny morning when Joy, Hector and Karl arrived.  After such a long distance travel the trio must have been so tired, so DONYALAMAT had them seat at a mono-block set table while DONYALAMAT wonder about how Judith with four kids and a yaya will fit in Joy’s KIA.  It did not dawned on DONYALAMAT, for she was expecting that Karl will be bringing his car.  Unfortunately however, Karl’s car stalled and so he was left with no choice but to join the Ramos-Igarta couple.  Donyalamat’s mother immediately came in sight to welcome the group.  Joy and Hector immediately showed their courtesy and got engaged in a conversation with her.  Karl who was short of sleep remained beside the kubo, seemingly finding it quite beckoning.  Few, minutes later, donyalamat’s SUN Cellular line gave an incoming message signal from Judith, so DONYALAMAT gave her a call.  She then announced that she has reached the jeep terminal and are positioned right in front of the Waterproof water station.  In a jiff DONYALAMAT turned her gaze to her mother to asked if we  she can allow the use of a car and she obligingly offered the IPV.  “What ddoes IPV stands for?” Karl asked.  “I did not bother to know” DONYALAMAT answered.  Then they started a guessing game.  Karl quipped, “the V stands for Vehicle.”  Then Joy, Hector and Karl wondered if IP stands for Inter-provicial, DONYALAMAT turned a deaf ear for she is never interested with cars, rather she asked Karl if He can drive for the group.  Despite the sleepiness, the Saint of the new era agreed to drive.  Everone then happily hopped in the long L300 and Karl jokingly asked Joy and Hector for jeepney fare.  Set to drive, Karl verified with my brother in-law as regards the manual gear and Joy immediately gave a taunting (wala pong English sa word alaska kahit duon sa cool link na posted ko, so it is not cool after-all).  Karl on the other hand immediately explained that the metal markings on the gear have been totally erased.  DONYALAMAT looked into it and WOW it looked like a bright shining armor; mark of a vehicle that has served the family well and so are the several school children of Tiaong, IPV after all do not deserve my disinterestedness.  Soon, Karl managed to back up from the garage and rolled away to the water station.  When the group reached the intersection, at the right side stood, Judith, her four kids and the yaya.  It was quite a wonderful sight, for such a petite girl can manage to ride up a jeep with her four bouncy kids and a Sun Cellular line phone addict nanny (no offense to you Judith… that is the bleak side of Sun Cellular).  Judith, who only two months short to take a year of trying to look for a classmates on the net is finally beaming to see the group face to face in IPV.  Together with the kids and yaya they  immediately boarded the van whose full name is Isuzu Passenger Van (Karl there goes the answer to the query).

Part 6:  My Favorite Things-Song in the Sound of Music, St. K Version


After five minutes, we enter the grandiose gate of the 500 hectares estate.  The guard came to meet us and so we showed our twin invitations.  Passing through, we had a view of the wide coconut plantation of Tiaong and after a few turn about of the concrete street and within the untilled portion of land the resort clubhouse came to sight—Plaza de Palmeral.  In the site were already group of people wearing green planting Palmera trees at the ground of the Plaza.  Karl made a few more turns and so we get into the parking lot.  Under such a burning heat of the sun, the warm bonding of AMT family alight the vehicle and headed off to the entrance for registration.  At Plaza de Palmeral, DONYALAMAT immediately shifted from MT90 get-together organizer to a real estate agent mindset.  DONYALAMAT set out to the registration table and was given a blue sticker of Hacienda Escudero and food stub.  Joy, Hector, Judith, her kids, and the yaya followed and they were given the food stub and the green Hacienda Escudero sticker.  After a few minutes, Karl came registered under the name of Sunshine was also furnish food stub and a green sticker.  In no time afterwards, DONYALAMAT lead them to the function hall and picked out a table near the buffet.  At the right side DONYALAMAT saw a hotdog stand, so DONYALAMAT inquired and was informed that it is included in the food stub.  Delighted, DONYALAMAT instantly announced the group for such a wonderful treat ahead of us.  Then another delicacy came in sight, DONYALAMAT saw a sales agent licking an ice-cream, who upon my inquiry willingly pointed at the position of the cart.  Like any other hotel trained staff, DONYALAMAT informed the group right away.  Quickly, like any mother, Judith gathered up her kids to line up for such a superb sweet frozen delicacy.  Not before long, within the searing heat of El Niño, everybody got refreshed, rejuvenated and energized.  The Mendoza-Torda kids are up to their toes again, bouncing and lively.  Karl in his shades and still quite sleepy, sat back and relax at one of the tea tables along the hallway looking at the view of coconut plantation with Mount Cristobal and Mount Banahaw backdrop.  Later, we joined Karl, while Hector started taking photo shots.  In a while, Karl finds himself beside Gwen and Bernadette so he started entertaining them with guessing of favorite things.  DONYALAMAT can see how the girls were having fun with the game and it seems like watching the male and Filipino version of the Sound of Music.  Then DONYALAMAT heard Karl started guessing their pet names uttering “Cleng-cleng, Pling-Pling, Beng-beng…,” then the tactless and loud mouthed Nova made a better of me that DONYALAMAT cracked “Karl, are you reminiscing your past?.”  That phrase seemingly reverberated all over the hall that mortified the poor St. K.  Regretful of my mistakes, DONYALAMAT simply went silently back to simply listening and observing. 


Part 7:  A Tip for Girls on Long Time Waiting


Then came the man who got me involve in Real Estate as well as the broker, so DONYALAMAT introduced the group to them and exchange of hand shakes.  Moments later, the Holy Mass started and all the guests gathered up in the function hall.  The gospel was about taxation (yes, it is implied in the Gospel).  Then the Holy Communion came and it was enchating to see Hector, devout fully followed his wife to make a snapshot as she partakes the Blessed Eucharist.  When the Holy Mass ended, we begin showing the plans of Hacienda.  As we progress along, we were cut when the buffet line set to motion.  People lined up like string of pearls, as me and Joy became like owl twisting our heads looking for Karl.  When finally Karl appeared, He opted to line up for the hotdog.  So we proceed with the procession.  From the buffet, we scooped out fish fillet, barbeque and fried rice.  Upon getting back to the table, DONYALAMAT heard there is a salad counter, so Joy and DONYALAMAT hurried towards it and found ourselves along with middle ages to senior scampering to the bowls.  Then the very opinionated Nova uttered, you can really tell the age range by what people eat.  Finally, DONYALAMAT have my turn and caught myself shaking the French dressing squeeze bottle.  None was left, and DONYALAMAT will have to bear with undressed lettuce salad.  For Karl however, the hotdog sandwich is not yet served.  Joy on the other hand set out to the water station while DONYALAMAT swiftly went into the iced tea counter.  Karl’s hotdog sandwich however is not yet done.  Then DONYALAMAT saw Joy back into the Salad counter, a hint that salad was replenished, so in haste did DONYALAMAT approached the table to get my salad plate again to finally get my bare salad dressed.  Yet to my delight, DONYALAMAT did not only find the French dressing filled up but there were also corn kernels and pineapple tidbits. Happily DONYALAMAT spooned out the fruits from the bowl and enhance my lettuce salad.  Hector then joined Karl’s face begins to light up for his hotdog sandwich is soon to arrive.   Joy eventually took the camera from her hubby, Hector joined Karl at the hotdog counter and finally the hotdog sandwich is served for Karl.  Judith, on the other side, after settling her kids food, finally left them with the Sun Cellular nanny and joined the seniors and ladies with the salad.  When all has gone back to the table, Karl stood up once more and went to the ice tea counter.  Armful, Karl got four pieces of drinking glass, bent down the cooler and scooped out ice.  When all were filled, he lined up for the gallon full of tepid tea.  Hector remained waiting at the hotdog counter.  For my part DONYALAMAT was only left wondering at the potion of such a sandwich that guys despite the long time waiting could still maintain an interest (so girls, that is a tip).


Part 8:  Toying Around with the Camera


After our meals, we started to scour through the multi-paged photocopy of Landco projects.  My broker, quickly handed out her green clearbook in which are the original colorful version of Landco plans.  Then Judith started to asked some questions.  DONYALAMAT being quite new to the business, called on my recruiter for help.  He, responded obligingly while DONYALAMAT carefully listen, trying to learn the trade.  Karl on the other finds himself beside Gwyneth once more and started to play tick tack toe with her (hmmm… magaling na yayo Judith, pwede ng pampalit kay Sun Cellular yaya).  When familiarization of the place ended, we all set out for a souvenir photos.  That was the fun part of the entire event: for Hector had a grand time with his camera, for Joy to see her husband enjoying his hobby, for the Mendoza-Torda kids to play around the pool area, for yaya to have more time with the cell phone, for Judith to see all her kids having a wonderful time, for Karl’s eye on the lady in black and finally for my chance a Ruffa Gutierez pose which turned out a flop for the pictures showed that DONYALAMAT needed a lot of trimming, but good thing Judith covered me in one of the snaps.  The best is when the four AMT bask on the lounging chairs lined along a trellis covered boardwalk beside the pool.  It is an image of AMT90 enjoying an excursion.  But when it comes well directed photo shoot, the best is a snapshot of  three Mendoza-Torda daughters and the unica hijo gathered around a basket of three dark balls and a white large shell—fantastic parallelism.  Toying around with camera ended with Joy and Karl starting another guessing game of what the three round balls could be.


Part 9:  Puno


Tired and drained after much toying around and guessing the unknown, we finally reached the end part of Puno’t Dulo event, but not the AMT90 get-together.  Hence, the entire gang decided to wheel back to Donyalamat abode.  Yet prior leaving Hacienda Escudero, Filipino custom of buying pasalubong liven up the spirits.  The AMT gang swarm around the espasol booth and started to haggle.  There our bargaining skills were put to practice.  From 40Php, the gang was able to buy it only for 25 Php (if DONYALAMAT remember right) with the reason that we will buy in numbers, so that seller need not have to bring their goods back to their home anymore.  After such a successful deal, the gang rode the IPV and off we go.  While on the road, being in the front seat Donyalamat brief St. K with a cheap fruit but low maintenance and high yield per anum of coconut plantation per anum as compared to expensive fruit but high maintenance and lesser yield per anum of mango plantation and the financial security that coconut gave the macro-economic units like the haciendas prior to land reform.  It was realy the Puno ng Buhay during the Commonwealth time. Then the coconut tree conversation was cut in order to show Karl the lanzones tree within the Hacienda Escudero.  Donyalamat cleared out to him that Lanzones bears fruit only once a year and particularly on the month of September.  That only means his craving for such a fruit will have to wait for a year to pass.  Then Donyalamat added that lanzones grows well together with coconut tree.  Thus it served as an inter-crop for coconut plantation in order to maximize the spaces in between coconuts.  Lanzones farming is one of those that called for armed farmers.  Such, is due to harvesting culture.  Since the tree bear fruit only once a year, the produce is consequently highly valued by its grower.  Unfortunately however, it became a custom that any fruit that touches the ground can freely be picked up by anyone.  A trick of sneaking and shaking the tree by night were then developed by astute hired harvest men.  The following day, these hired men could freely pick up the fallen fruits from the ground and sell it by grams to domestic consumers.  With such a trick, it resulted to great amount of loss of income for the grower, so they growers resorted to firearms to protect their yield.  Sad to say that such a system lead to some events of relatives killing each other (by the way farm owner, grower and harvest man are not one in the same person, but are individual human beings).


The Puno conversation ended when the gang reached Sioland- the fast growing grocery chain in Quezon. 


Part 10:  Lolo St. K


Karl parked IPV in front of Sioland and went down to buy some stuffs, while the rest waits inside the van.  In that period, the Mendoza-Torda kids started to become rowdy and pleaded to eat the espasol.  We tried to reason out with kids that we are near the home base and they could freely eat the native sweets with ease.  However, the kids demand seems un-negotiable that Judith gave in.  Still waiting, the kids started to move around again, talking with such great energy, with thick accent and a volume that echoes inside the van.  The very intuitive Donyalamat started to speak out her observations again uttering “Judith, your kids are true blue Batanguenas.”  Then came in St. K with plastic bag full of chips and two bottles of soda.  Karl once again get hold of the wheels and drive us to Donyalamat’s dwelling place. 


Upon reaching the homebase, Donyalamat immediately head straight to the school playground to check if the place can be used by the Mendoza-Torda kids.  Then she proceeded to the porch to receive the rest of the gangs.  Everyone took the monoblock seat and started to open goodies.  There, it was revealed that true blue Medical Technologist Mother she regulates the habit of eating of junk foods due to UTI incidence.  The kid spoiler lolo instinct of Karl then was set to motion.  He told the kids that now is the time to indulge in the enormous junk food and sodas because back home it is forbidden.  Then bantering followed of how nice it is to swim in the pool under such a hot weather.  But it only made the kids resentful for the smart mommy did not bring any swim wear or changing clothes to prevent the kids for insisting-an excellent device of disciplining.  After having nibbled through a bunch of various spicy and crunchy chips, as well as after having been refreshed by the cold sparkling sweet soda, the kids went off to the playground, AMT girls moved on with the conversations, while the sleepy, tired, kid spoiler lolo Karl went to the Kubo and sleep.


Part 11:  Puno’t Dulo


When the kids were already tired of playing, they went back to their mother and went back nibbling the lolo Karl’s treat.  Karl, invigorated after a catnap got up and join the chit chats.  The topic was the Puno’t dulo of everyone present:


·        Puno’t Dulo of 4AMT90 Yahoo Group


Making a year ending cleaning up of phone directory, Donyalamat started texting her friends verifying if the numbers still exist.  St. K gave an affirmative reply.  With that we started to YM conversation and St. K mentioned the positive  experience regarding his high-school get-together.  From there Donyalamat cooperated in giving out contact numbers and e-mail accounts of classmates in touch with her.  After which 4amtust90 yahoo group was formed.


·        Puno’t Dulo of  Finding Joy Ramos-Igarta


Joy is not difficult to find at all because after graduation Donyalamat frequently visits her in Heart Center after she gave her catechism classes to Philippine Science High School.  Then as time passes, careers and profession changes which brings along change of residences.  It is a good thing that cellular phones came into existence and became very affordable.  So Joy and Donyalamat although less frequently, kept in touch.  The coming of the get-together in Viajero, all the more helped us coped with changing numbers.  Next personal meeting came when they met at the wake of Mrs. Arce where Joy is now Leilani Joy Ramos-Igarta.  Once again an update of new numbers.  After a few years, we met again through 4amtust90yahoo group.


·        Finding Judith


When Cecille Tracker had finally exhausted all the means of tracking through the net.  Donyalamat continued the search.  On August 7, 2008 Donyalamat opened her less active e-mail account in lycos, and there  she found an announcement from Eskwela regarding messages in inbox.  When she opened the account, she was startled to see the name of Judith Mendoza-Torda appeared.  There she read “hi! do u stil remember me? judith mendoza now judith mendoza-torda. just registered a minute ago kaya la p ko pics.hope 2 hear from u soon…” dated September 22, 2007.   A current of excitement was wired through my nerves that DONYALAMAT immediately reply was made telling her of the AMT90 e-group, of the get-together that had passed and my contact numbers.  Then when Donyalamat checked the Judith’s profile it marked that the last time she logged in that account was October of 2007.  Regretful yet hopeful, I decided to announce Judith’s close to discovery to St. K and through the e-group, yet we are only left to pray that Judith will open the mail soon.  Since then my lycos mail becomes active hoping to receive a reply from Judith.  Months passed and James’ get-together was conceived.  On my way to Pampangga, DONYALAMAT have a stop over in Manila for business matters.  As a side trip, DONYALAMAT stopped by PGH hoping to find Judith, but DONYALAMAT was told that she had resigned and moved to Lipa, Batanggas.  The update signal a close to finding her because it only means that she is based here in the Philippines and is 45 minutes away from my home town.  Then, to gain more value for my trip there, DONYALAMAT asked where DONYALAMAT can possibly get her contact number and DONYALAMAT was told to go to the gas station—hehehe DONYALAMAT mean blood gas department (did DONYALAMAT get it right Judith).  There DONYALAMAT waited for thirty minutes until the lady medtech arrives from rotation.  The lady asked for the reason of my inquiry so DONYALAMAT introduced myself and after establishing my credibility she gave out a smart number and Sun Cellular number.  Right after DONYALAMAT gave a call, but all DONYALAMAT heard is the voice recorder saying the number is not attended while the other number gives me a disconnected tone.  DONYALAMAT got partly upset yet remained optimistic that someday Judith will be found.  So Donyalamat proceeded to Pampanga. After the Pampanga and Subic Event,  Donyalamat once again tried her luck with Eskwela and wrote Judith for an invitation to the e-group and sent her the link to the album.   After some time, Donyalamat received an YM alert via mobile phone announcing an invitation from Judith Mendoza-Torda.  In no time did I accepted the invitation and immediately switched to my WAP to catch her on line.  There we had exchange of phone number and soon we are wired through Sun Cellular unlimited call.  The whereabouts of Judith is now known, and soon she is in the e-group.

After such conversations, time has finally declared it is time to go.  The gang entire gang stood up and tidy up the place.


Part 12:  Cherry on top of the Ice Cream

Departure is another simple organization.  How much Donyalamat wants the entire gang would want to drop the Mendoza-Torda family directly to their home but is conscious that it would be tiring for the driver to go forth and back Lipa-Tiaong.  So the plan of having Joyfully give them a lift through her KIA to the jeep terminal was arranged while the two boys stayed behind to be picked up this time when Joyfully comes back.  The trip went smoothly and the Mendoza-Torda family most probably had filled up the remaining empty seats of the jeepney that is cued to roll.  Coming back, the gang bid each others adieu.  Donyalamat, walked back the patio and found all things back in places uttering “very well mannered guests.”  Thank you SMS were sent and the Mendoza-Torda kids put the “cherry on top the ice-cream” reply:

“ We had so much fun and so much food.  Thank you for the wonderful day J Gwyneth madette angelica and jb”

Once again, Donyalamat is left with a lot to ponder about.


Part 13:  VAT

With the birth of burdensome Value Added Tax is the proliferation of Value Added Products in order to augment the ever depleting buying power of Philippine peso.  Foods can now be ordered on line with free deliveries, insurance is now tailored into savings with variables, real estate is now packaged with resort facilities and services, mobile phones now come in with radio, camera and internet access and so on and so forth.  So are humans who conceptualized it all ended up multi-talented, multi-tasked, multi-hired, multi-role played, multi-aliases…etc…etc…etc:


Karl Zafra whose aliases evolved from VP to St.K and now lolo K; whose job shifted from Medical Technologist, to Farm Administrator, School Manager, Restauranteur and now School Superintendent-Farm Administrator in one; whose role changed from eldest son to bread winner (since his father died) to house care taker (hehehe…wala na akong ma-isip e); whose relationship with AMT90 evolved from Vice President to 4amtust90 yahoo group creator-owner-get-together event organizer-PRO-Section A hotline; whose personality metamorphosed from silent introvert to an outspoken-taunt promoter extrovert; whose speech changed from American twang to very deep Filipino vocabulary…etc…etc…etc…


Joy Ramos-Igarta who is known to us as simply Joy R, now is fondly called Joyfully; whose profession shifted from Utra Sound Technician (tama ba yun) to Ultra Sound Technical Sales Representative-Customer Service and Consultant (did I promote you?); whose work place changed from a laboratory to the streets and airways of Philippines; whose role evolved from friend to girlfriend and now wife-friend-girlfriend to Hector; and lastly who was once our poetic cheerful AMT classmate to poetic-joyfull-taunt promoter-coordinator-driver of AMT90.


Judith Mendoza, known to us as little angel is now Judith-Mendoza-Torda the little angel with four cherubims; whose employer changed from Kidney Center to PGH and now San Antonio Hospital; whose hair evolved from emulsified black hair to rebounded-tinted hair; and whose role changed from a sweet single to a smart friendly disciplinarian-barkada-medical technologist mother.


Amidst the fast changing and rapidly increasing cost of living such are the kind we made ourselves to be – Value Added Thomasians






Titanic Fidelity—“A-E” MT90 Get-together

October 20, 2008

Below is unedited write up of the get-together that happened last Sept 14 at Subic=D>….  this is another leisure writing ( no rules, no structures, simply playing with your mediums., and in this case words) -B

Guys, I love what came out of this work so I hope you will read until the end even if it is very long….


Titanic Fidelity



After those sweet confection treats, we were left rejuvenated and energized. James family and I am now ready for a Titanic Adventure.  But before everything else, together with the entire Punzalan clan, we paid due respect to the Great Holy Provider.  Although my phone is in a silent mode in respect to the Holy Banquets my attention were interrupted with 8 consecutive attempted calls from one batch mate.  Alarmed by such odd calling behavior, I attempted to catch the 15th call, but nothing came out from the other end.  Puzzled as I was, I tried texting back with queries of concern and even attempted to call, but nothing was answered and I was left in oblivion.  Nonetheless the show must go on and so after the Holy Mass, we went back to the house for a good breakfast.  James, situated himself beside the kalan and made the batirol de tsokolate espresso (tama nga bay un?), it is a whip of thick chocolate drink.  After having taken the wonderful Filipino breakfast, I sip in the superb heavenly taste of a nutty hot cocoa beverage, concluding the journey of chocolate adventure.  Perked up with such a delightful liquid we were all the more invigorated for a trip ahead of us.  So when all got organized we hop in the car and James steered the wheel.  The trip was a pleasant travel through a verdant carpet of grass and hilly terrain.  Along the long stretch of a pass through, our journey was never a bore, for James spiced it up with a few a repartees, teasing his cute lovely bunso and from time to time his three dalaguitas, while Liza laughs along demurely.  I on my part took the pleasure of remaining as a spectator.  We arrived early, so we texted JC, however, she replied that their kids has just arrived from biking and still pending to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Hence, we hang around the Board Walk, and later took a road tour of the forest hoping to see little monkeys that Jaime’s youngest hoped to see.  Along the way, James took on a tourist guide role.  He told us that when he was still a medical representative to the place the skies would be darkened by flying bats that crosses the sky.  Now however, no bats can be found for they have been terrified by the sprouting raucous constructions.  Shortly afterwards half passed a branching road, James spotted the signage of the jungle forest where monkeys would likely be found, so he took the abrupt turn and traffic enforcers apprehended us.  With a few begging and appealing for understanding, the police then gave us a release.  So we headed off through the Jungle and Environmental Survival Training Camp (JEST CAMP) and what came in sight is a wooden veranda structure perched atop the overhang affront towering forest trees.  Assuming that it is a café, James parked the car and we all climbed up balcony.  Upon setting our feet up the balcony we were welcomed by staff fully geared up for rappelling.  In no time, we were shown the map and shown myriads of adrenaline rush adventure.  Apparently there were group of foreign men hanging and rappelling down the 60-foot tree, head down or what they call the Australian style.  Then a scream reverberates from the woods where we saw a woman soar from tree to tree suspended on dorsal position from a cable 450 feet long and 100 feet high.  This they call Ultimate Adventure or simply Superman.  Thrilled with the sight, James offered the girls to give it a try.  The two older ones chose the Ultimate Adventure.  The third in the order of birth would have wanted superman but she is still too small for the gear belts.  Good thing she could fit in the cable chair so she took the Cable Car Tree Top Adventure.  Short of cash yet silent about it I opted to stay at the café simply to relish such a great family bonding sight.  James youngest on the other hand was clamoring to also be given the opportunity of an adventure but she is too young and too small for it so James and Liza pacified her with picture taking activity and sweet caressing.  A little later James asked me to pose for a snap shot and the image came out with a man behind rappelling down the tree upside down, all smiles and waving.  After a quarter of an hour, we saw the eldest already bounded to the cable and wheeze!!! she plummeted across!!! Then the second to the eldest followed.  The two girls took each other pictures while I scamper with my N90 hoping to catch a picture of this wild explore.  In vain did I make it?  Nonetheless, there is so much ahead and more to savor, that is too much for technology to capture.  Then, we hang around waiting for the third born to come back the home base.  After approximately 216,000 seconds have clicked away and no third born daughter has yet returned so everybody became squirmy bored of waiting.  Another thirty 360 degrees turn of the second hand and everybody started to look into the map board and only then did we get to realize that the Tree Top Adventure is a 220 meters long of slow cable ride trail. “No wonder it is taking that much time,”  became a common hum.  A few more minutes’ lapse and the third born child soon emerged.  Everybody sighed in relief, all smiles and the doting father starts taking more pictures of his most adventurous daughter.  Just in time, JC then texted that they are on their way to Vasco, the restaurant where we will dine.  All stepped into the car and rolled all the way to Vasco.  The soon we reached the place and alighted, we saw the Huang-Pascual Family at the entrance of the restaurant.  Seeing us, they all went back to welcome us and exchange handshakes.  It is clear from Ricky’s face that he is delighted to see his former classmate Liza. Then we all went in the restaurant and sat beside a long table.   I would have wanted to take pictures of all the wonderful articles of the restaurant but neither do I want to miss the conversations of the Huang-Pascual and Punzalan-Lugue Family, so I chose to stay and simply listen.  As the kids are already hungry and so are we, we called in the waiter to hand us the menu.  Someone insinuated a T-bone steak but shied away, yet the well mannered Ricky gave a positive response and commented that he would also like to have a T-bone stake.  So the hesitations faded in the sunlight that James and I ordered for such a grand steak.  The rest of the girls pick their choice.  While waiting for the food, the conversation started with the Tree Top Adventure of the girls.  James, while talking, his hands unconsciously toy around with the table bell— a customer device to call the waiter.  As expected, the food server came, and James blushingly apologized.  Then the conversation shifted to the Luxury Liner, to batch rumors, to get-togethers that had passed, to showing pictures of the James Birthday… etc, etc, etc… but my eyes carefully watch the tender paternal affectionate kisses that Ricky showered over his daughter.  I couldn’t grasped such a sight of a man whose image far back then was devoid of any fatherly inkling but rather quite known for being a ladies’ man.  Then came in the scanned yearbook topic, which became one of the most amusing one for James had JC’s son read the write up of his father.  Then we chuckled at the query of JC’s son asking her why is it that at the end they said of Ricky “so ladies beware”?  Ricky smiled with a reply; “I don’t know who wrote that.”  Well, the JC-Ricky combination is indeed a surprising one and so is the James-Liza as well as the RJ-Cielo.  Of these three couples the common denominator is the “chick boy” marrying the silent demure girls.  Of course that makes me an odd girl out.  In this kind of conversation, what is the place of a single unmarried girl— well, again is an spectator.  Who else have the time to record, document and publish these event but someone whose hands are not tied… so voluntarily I remain.  But unluckily the Hung-Pascual Romance never surfaced the tête-à-têtes rather the chat moved to the neuroblastoma common to the two MT90 Section E.  Liza Punzalan one time noticed unevenness of her jaw, when she had it checked she was diagnosed to have ameloblastoma— it is a benign tumor of the mandible, with unknown etiology.  Her seatmate Ricky Pascual on the other hand was diagnosed to have olfactory neuroblastoma.  What is common to this EMT90 seat mate, as I try to follow the conversation, is this type of tumor eats the bones away. Liza, her jaw while Ricky his upper nasal bones (tama ba yun?) So both necessitated medical surgery and bone implants.  JC, due to the rarity of Ricky’s case of only around 600 occurrences around the world and no clinical trials for it, had opted to take him to US for the cranial operation.  James on the other hand, he being in a prestigious pharmaceutical company during that time, chose to bring Liza to Makati, Medical. 


Dramatic, but still amusing, James narrated the line of big time and expensive consultants that attended to Liza.  He recounted how the medical staff wondered at the long digits that James would have kept in the bank account to be able to afford such a big time line up.  But none has charged him for any professional fee; because apparently they are the doctors that James had covered as a medical representative.  Not even the anesthesiologist who is only an acquaintance, for the non-charging line up is indeed intimidating.  Then there is this ETNA that tries to escape from its obligation, good thing there is a doctor friend who with a letter make the company comply.  The travail of such an operation was never a miss in the very sales trained speaking prowess of James.  The story came out quite vivid that I almost come to tears.  Liza has been implanted with titanium to replace the bone that had eroded and that made it difficult to eat.  James, making sure that Liza gets the necessary nourishment tried to spoon feed her.  But Liza with the painful mandible had not wanted to take any.  This has became such an emotional feat for James and the daughters. 


Then the conversation shifted to Ricky.  For whatever reason, that time, Ricky had already left the table, so JC related the trials that went their ways.  She described quite vividly how she had no other way but to really seek moral support from few people she knew in such a foreign land.  Fortunately indeed, Filipino nurses are everywhere in the world that she gets a warm acceptance in the hospital and with such, she got to stay beside Ricky. After the operation, she was immediately told by the doctor that the operation went less bloody that what happened in Manila, yet when she relayed it to Ricky, he commented that he saw four units of blood (if I remember it right) having transfused into him. Ricky had a titanium implant to protect separate the brain from the nasal cavity and bone mimix implant (or bone graft bay yun JC?) to replace the eroded cheekbones.


Then the kids start becoming jumpy that we decided to continue the get-together in Huang-Pascual residence.  But before getting into the car, we pleaded one of the standers by to take a photo of the entire group.  The image came out with cheers except the mischievous faced of little Pascual boy.  The sky started to drizzle but unalarmed we move on our journey.  We reached the house after passing through a long serpentine road along the hills.  The house is a duplex structure used to be a domicile of an American military officer.  We went in that simple architectural structure and we are immediately got dazed with the wide screen television, in front of which a neighbor playmate of JC is’s son playing the Wii.  Ricky immediately offered the Lugue’s girls to give the Wii a try and one who is very much a third born without vacillation gave it a hand.  The Pascual kids were so kind enough to patiently teach the neophyte how the virtual game goes.  As the air is cooling we were offered coffee.  I took a sip and my senses perked up with the charming taste of vanilla coffee.  Then leche flan is served, its cream saccharine taste mirrors the sweet warm welcome given to us by the Huang-Pascual family.  Soon the kids has grown tired and the sky started to dim.  Once again we take a few more snap shots, and then we bid each other adieu.  Outside the house is a downpour, so one buy one we scamper under an umbrella and jumped into the car.  With age however, comes along is the failing memory.  The intricacy of the road to the Huang-Pascual Residence fail to give an impact into our brain cells that no one could remember the way out.  Ricky and JC all willingly lead the us out.  Amidst the downpour we cut through a zero visibility pathway.  Soon enough we reached a gasoline station that James is already acquainted with, the point where we can take off independently.  JC rolled down the window and said goodbye with a requested me for an SMS mobile number of Liza.  After we separate ways, I immediately heed to JC’s request while Liza asked me to dictate JC’s number.  Off we go back to Pampangga.  Hardly had we gotten out of the gate of Subic, James little girl dozed off like a log.  The adults on the other hand carried on a conversation.  I could not utter anything but marvel into the thought of the fact that both couples are an A-E pair.  Liza immediately quipped that RJ-Cleo is likewise an A-E duo.  Then my mind immediately flashed a query of FF-Rachel combo and Liza replied with 90% possibility.  Moments later my mind wonder into the curiosity provoking, juicy rumored pair which I naughtily asked Liza who in turn responded with a giggle giving 100% affirmation to the “A-E ness” of such an odd yet proliferating kind of partnership.  Shortly afterwards the car reached Dau.  To the terminal, I stepped out of the car and boarded a bus back to Manila.  The way trip back home is another moment of pondering.


Cell, we were taught in Biology is the basic building block of human body.  Yet some has mutated and multiplied, becoming one of the most internally destructive tissue, corroding the very skeletal system of a human body, medically known as blastoma and simply known as cancer.  This internal monster has find its way inside some of us, threatening the life of its bearer and an earthquake to the ones that surrounds them.  Thanks to Titanium, an unassuming metal that was never a celebrity in Periodic Table nor did it exist in our Balancing Equation exams, is unknowing to us then of its high strength, low weight, outstanding corrosion resistance and that twenty years later later, it will bring remedy to what blastoma will destroy and give back life to the hope that was fading.


Blastoma, proliferating in an  era of a fast corroding family bonds, could had bullied the the Huang-Pascual and Punzalan-Lugue family, but  the stronger and mightier Titanic fidelity to the promise of “in sickness and in health”  has successfully outwitted it.    





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