Posts Tagged ‘Nova’

Jong’s Call

September 24, 2009

Texting has given me different roles to my friends and batchmates: to one I have become a complimentary subscriber to his forwarded messages and jokes, to some am the batchmate directory and event post master…. But to Millie, the wife of Jong (Jesus Ong), I am her prayer warrior. In fact, my friendship with Millie jelled on the fibers of piety. So, frequently I would receive texts messages asking for prayer for her lectures, presentations, her sons and personal concerns. Then once in a while, to celebrate the bonds of friendship, she would send a text invite over dinner either with her alone or with some other friends of hers and of Jong. Last September 8 however, along side with her usual petition for prayer is a question that had stirred my query minds to gyrate like a ping pong ball hit by a paddle in a swift slicing stroke. Although the question is not a matter of life and death rather it is something that insinuates an opportunity of a moment that close friends look forward to. In my animated SGH-E590 the letters came out flashing one by one “I texted you yesterday regarding dinner on Saturday 7PM. Do you have any suggestion?” To this I answered “Sorry I did not receive any message… A___ is a good fine dining restaurant.” Then she replied “Thanks.” Such a very brief exchange of text message left my CPU (Cognitive Processing Unit) to hang and thereby triggering my LED (Life’s Ethic Device) to blink… should I assume that am invited over dinner or am I simply asked for a restaurant venue? So I turned my  eyes to my FAQ (Frequently Asked Quezonbased-batchmate) Nixon Cabochanpongco for his opinion. Him being skeptical on the fact that such a short notice invitation would somewhat impels me to travel for 3 to five hours along 96 km highway, negate my incredulous assumption. His uncluttered mind that appreciates minimalist Japanese art succeeded to pacify the pendulum motion of the volitive fibers of my cerebrum to finally tie itself to the conclusion that I was simply asked for a restaurant venue thereby pacifying my LED. Yet the following day, the fickleness that goes along with the nature of my gender, charged up my LED and loosen the knots to free off a swing that went knocking down the lettered buttons of my cellphones. Nevertheless, LED lead me send an inquiry of concern regarding the asked prayer but enclosed within is the invisible inked text message (“am I invited to the dinner on Saturday?”) seen only by eyes of intuition. Soon enough vivid letters signifying gratitude over my queries of concern came flashing out followed by an outburst of combined letters showing “Cya on Saturday Dinner!” Immediately afterwards my LED logged off.

Letting Go

In an advance level of the college of virtues, a student will eventually find himself immersed in an environment of bountiful good. Yet amidst the world surrounded with goodness there still comes a time where one gets confronted with indecision. Such did not arise from a sneaking evil that penetrated through the thick fortress of faith, for evil in such university is never an item of choice but an obvious object of rejection. Rather it is the kind of irresolution brought by a choice between two seemingly equal good. One may think that since both ends of the scale are good, a preference to one would do no harm.  But the result of which has proven well that it normally ends up in suffering the pain of losing the other. The lesson of life is then learned that we indeed cannot have all the good things in life. But the virtue of wisdom does not settle for a simplistic favoring of one good from the other, and suffer the pain of loss; it further demands that the choice to be made must pick out the right good. In this stage, the second remedy is to be applied… ”Between two seemingly equal good where one cannot be with the other, the wise lets go of the good that will allow a greater good to happen.” This golden rule enables the eye to set its gaze on a greater good and consequently free the mind from such a crisis of indecision. Applying this principle, letting go of my appointment to a Satuday Open House Event in a beautiful rising elite city in Laguna, became such a painless and easy task. For even if it would be wonderful to have a brief taste of the life of the rich, but there is a long lasting wealth of joy that seeks to dwell in the hearts of those friends who will come to meet each other over dinner on Saturday.

The Dawning of a Get-together

In recording the Saturday dinner event in the calendar of my mobile phone have left the venue slot  unfilled for the SMS conversation with Millie failed to provide me with that information. Once again I pulled out from my resourcefulness to find words to ask the name of the place where the event is to take place. Millie answered that she will text me as soon as she figured it out together with Jong. That was the only time I realized it is a dinner date with a couple. Saturday afternoon came; I pulled my backpack’s wheel to roll along the cemented road of city proper of Tiaong, until I reached the waiting shed where buses stop. Ten minutes passed, the bus bounded to LRT Taft finally came in sight. I raised my arms to wave the bus to stop and it did.  So, I darted my way up and had myself seated comfortably. In no time did I start texting Millie to inquire once more for the name of the restaurant but my message tone remained silent. Nonetheless, I love surprises so I had my hand detached from the phone and pull out the bracelet from my wrist. I then filled the entire length of my travel tracing the beads with Ave Maria taking advantage of the whole stretch of the trip to pray for the concerns of Millie that has been spoiling her day. Hours later the bus parked itself to LRT.   From there, I took the jeep to get to my brother’s house for a stop over. I checked out my phone but still found nothing. So I texted Jong instead and in a short while he replied “Café bistro tomas morato 7pm CU. D ko pa na invite sina Karl.”  only then did it became clear that it is going to be section A-MT90 get-together.  S oon enough I received an announcement from Karl “ Hi Campañero, getogether tayo s café bistro 2nyt 7pm if u r free…Thanks = from doc hesus jong ong” Such made me to laugh a little because of a memory of a getogether organized by Jong last year.

Falling Forward

 “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

-Henry Ford

Although sections are no longer a ranking during our college days, Jong lived up to the image stereotyped to an “A” section. For a span of four years and beyond, Jong has consistently soared the height of flying colors. Hence despite the consideration that Jong is only human; his blunders generates a slight shock wave echoing back with as a tease among classmates that may build up into something quite annoying. Indeed, last year of the same month, the getogether which Jong had been brewing for several months ended up served by her wife in his absence for reasons incongruous to his IQ (for a recap of this event please read the write up in this link This eventually gave rise to a lot of taunting but only for a couple of days, coz Jong who was already tormented for such a preposterous occurrence begged to be relieved of further injury. With fraternal compassion did 4amt90 yahoo shift its attention to Christmas ’08 get together. One year after, Jong who is much of a sport and a man with a successful mind, would have definately  learned from his mistake … hence I laughingly concluded…“perhaps Jong wants to make sure that he has set his foot in Manila before calling out the get together in order to ascertain his presence in his organized dinner party.”   Lucky for me however that am a friend of his wife Millie who in the face of keeping the hidden agenda had booked me for a dinner that Saturday so the announcement came not much as a surprise but like a garnish to a dish…something that enhance the date  I put down the phone thinking Jong has a funny way of showing how to fall forward. 😉

Travel Considerations of Migratory Birds

When my cellphone flashed the single analog clock display at 6:17PM, another text message came from Jong giving the exact information as regards the venue of the organized get together. The message read “Chef bistro tomas morato cor sct gandia. C u.” The correct announcement of the name of the restaurant has finally deleted the slight confusion that rubbed in my culinary s quotient. Café is a concept incorporated in a bistro, hence the name “café bistro” is redundant in nature. Nevertheless, it is an issue that I did not give much of a fuss except that, had it not been corrected prior to the dinner time I will end up looking for a non existing restaurant. So I set out to the street opted for a two ride route: an FX and a taxi instead of taking the LRT , MRT and a taxi. Without getting lost, I arrived just in time that Millie and Jong alight their car. Under a drizzle, we exchanged “hellos” and “how are you.” Shortly afterwards, the waiters had us seated in bright mezzanine that is good for a guests of twenty. In no time did I started with my queries regarding their son and the business that Jong’s father is venturing into. I then felt so much of an advantage for being an early bird because I was able to take picture of the couple and I can converse freely with them in all confidence which would otherwise be deterred by presence of other guests. Taking note of this, we (Jong who came all the way from Palawan and me from Tiaong) ended up concluding that migratory birds usually comes early because they always give allowances for the unexpected and if there is no place for allowances, do it the other way around, like Jong did — announce a gathering at an unexpected time where you are sure you won’t fail your guests expectation. :p




Meeting the coouple prior to the get-together

Meeting the coouple prior to the get-together



Birds Begin to Flock

As time progresses, friends of Jong and Millie started to arrive one at a time (only MT90 batchmates will be mentioned here even if the get-together is not exclusive to the batch). I am extremely happy to see that Michael Lui finaly bring along his wife. It is my first time to see her. Her neon green blouse, exuded out a her refreshing beauty and yet spiced up her otherwise very serene presence.

wife of Michael Lui

wife of Michael Lui

Then came Willy Alba by himself who later explained that he cannot bring along her family because together with his kids, the playful child Willy would resurface and dominate the now adult Willy and would require a prodding to wake up the adult Willy.

Jong and Willy Alba... the glass wall reflected on the side of Jong

Jong and Willy Alba... the glass wall reflected on the side of Jong

Then the full of life Edwin Rodriguez of MT90 section E came in. Although I have not coincided with him in any Medtech activity nor internship back in college, he greeted me as if I am more than an acquaintance and engaged me in a conversation that would tire up my zygomatic muscles from smiling and laughing.

Edwin and Millie... notice Millie is somewhat controlling her laughter here... kasi naman nakakangalay na tumawa

Edwin and Millie... notice Millie is somewhat controlling her laughter here... kasi naman nakakangalay na tumawa

 Then Karl arrived joining the Chinese brothers who had flocked together… he blended well with them with his chinky eyes. Eves dropping, I heard him enumerate the trivial tips he has learned from them…from the cheap lunch deal at Lopez Canteen whose mountainous serving of rice has lethargic effect to the not advisable installation of aquarium in a room of study or else you will fall into a trance and will never get to study at all.

Karl Zafra and Willy Alba in Black Or White

Karl Zafra and Willy Alba in Black Or White

 Finally of the last MT90 batchmates who came is Florante Manahan who always bring along his wife or his son or his daughter. His presence always exudes an atmosphere of serenity unperturbed by the rests whose noise sounded like chirping birds.

sorry for the blurred picture... it takes to know the camera well to get a good picture...

sorry for the blurred picture... it takes to know the camera well to get a good picture...


Boys Talk... di ko na alam ang pinag-uusapan nila dito

Boys Talk... di ko na alam ang pinag-uusapan nila dito


As we grow in number, guests subdivided into two: to my left is the group of Jong composed section A MT90 and to my right is Millie’s friends composed of non-MT90 except for Edwin Rodriguez.   At first I belong to Jong’s group which is somewhat a boys talk, the few topics I caught consists of BIR, technology, one event of a naughty adventure during college days. Yet one topic that I find quite impressive is when Michael Lui relayed how his Thomasian trained conscience objected in embarking into contraceptive device business even though it is a guaranteed way of feathering his nest. He said it is indeed a lucrative product but somehow his conscience finds it repulsive due to what he had learned in ethics subject while in UST medicine.

Jong's group

Jong's group

Soon, another ethic topic caught my attention, but this time the story is coming from the group of Millie. Since am seated beside Edwin, his animated narration of ethics in Medicine had my ears shifted towards his direction and nailed there. There he express his belief on the moral stand of UST against artificial method of conception. In those two topics, I begin to see the mark of Thomasian encrypted in our hearts.

Tickled by a Feather

When the night has gone deeper, the conversation grew lighter. Too light it seems that like a nitrogen gas we burst into long laughter.   By that time, Edwin has successfully engaged even Jong’s group into listening to him. Edwin it seems, is very good in class management for he successfully maintain our attention to him for more than an hour. Who will not be glued to a very entertaining and funny adventure of catching medical student cheating during exams. Nope, Edwin is no terror as a professor but as a proctor in Pharmacology exam he is a relentless as a paparrazi. But outside the exam, Edwin goes back to his being lively, accommodating, enjoyable and special preference to handsome students. Well, that did not come from me, he claimed it himself. He in fact confessed that back in his time as medical students that they would push the good looking men right in front of a gay professor to influence a favorable mood, now he feels standing on the shoes of that professor. Then he started speaking about the dilemma of perhaps almost all of professors/teachers to which I and Karl can relate. Whenever he goes out malling, he has to deal with a lot of guessing game…guessing who is this person who greeting me. Apparently in the mall, there is greater chances of  crossing paths with students especially of a big university to which he is teaching for several years now. But it is less likely that a professor will remember all of them, more so when they are not in their uniforms. Hence, most of the time,  he feels embarrassed within when his memory search engine says “no match found.” Yet despite his embarrassment to himself  his wit can turn a case into one enjoyable encounter. Edwin can make you laugh as if tickled by a feather.

Edwin of Section E making us laugh

Edwin of Section E making us laugh

Everybody’s Birthday

Just in time when I started massaging my zygomatic muscle that started to hurt from a lengthy laughter, the cake brought by a friend were put out of the box. The white snowy frosting looked so enticing that the conversation died down in an instant. Yet, serving the cake was put on a hold because Jong was requested to blow a candle. Although the dinner was organized not for the purpose of celebrating his birthday but rather to sincerely have fun with  friends, Jong acceded to the request. The blowing of candle however was so fast that no photo was taken, so I requested for a repeat performance.  Jong complied kindly. To the re-enactment we sang the Happy Birthday and captured the moment beautifully.

jong blowing his birthday candle... yes isa

jong blowing his birthday candle... yes isa

jong slicing the cake

jong slicing the cake

In no time, the cake was sliced and it  revealed  what lies underneath.  Beneath is a layer of dark chocolate moist cake inter-layered with crunchy sugar caramel. Biting a spoonful is a taste experience of a creamy sweet frosting moistening a bitter sweet chocolate cake with a teasing tacky feeling of sugar caramel crumble. Such a variety of taste and texture compliments very well with the mixture of different personalities brought together by a couple that eventually led to an enjoyable bonding moments . It was like everybody’s birthday.

When we finally call it a night, Jong and Millie gracefully gave me a lift to the gate of my brother’s house.

I Slept Smiling

Despite the frequent get-togethers that section A had, every gathering continues to shed a light into the personality of each one (although this latter affair was not created exclusively for A, and in the presence of one from section E it such a bonus ) It is inspiring to hear that Mike Lui and Edwin Rodriguez despite the passing of years continues to uphold to the ethical foundations established by our alma mater. It is amusing to hear Willy Alba’s playful dealing with his kids and from time to time crack a joke composed of silly logics. It is heartwarming to see a seemingly cold Florante always prefer to enjoy the company of his batchmate together with his wife or kids. I am awed to hear Karl remembers the tips taught to him by fellow classmates even on some trivial matters. Mot specially am deeply moved when Millie and Jong’s gave me a lift from Quezon City to Malate to make sure that I reached home safely, a gesture of their special regard to this friendship. That night I slept smiling.

sayang that the glass reflected the flash... but this is the best group picture we had using my cp camera... nangangamo talaga ang camera... here we asked the waiter to take the photo

sayang that the glass reflected the flash... but this is the best group picture we had using my cp camera... nangangamo talaga ang camera... here we asked the waiter to take the photo


before Willy left

before Willy left

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






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