FATHER-AND-SON BONDING: IS IT BECOMING A THING OF THE PAST?

bistek-race-bonding

[A touching FATHER-AND-SON bonding–as Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista tightly pressed Race’s left shoe’s toe box and outsole together, to insure that the foot-gear would not conk out once again. This unwanted snag happened  while Race and his Legit Status Dance Team were doing some practice backstage as they were awaiting their call on stage as they were excitedly intent to display their terpsichorean skills at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum  in November 2015. And this was following their bagging the FIRST Runner-Up WIN (Varsity Division) at the 2015 WORLD HIPHOP INTERNATIONAL CONTEST in San Diego, California in August 2015.]

 

It is good that in the ATENEO, a Jesuit-run educational institution in the Philippines, particularly in its Grade School and High School classes, a Father-and-Son bonding (which usually is a whole day affair) would invariably be held, once at Grade School and another in High School. Such practice indeed has tremendously helped the fathers in connecting with their sons.

During one Father-and-Son bonding affair which I attended with my son Anthony during his HIGH SCHOOL stint at the Ateneo in Loyola Heights, Quezon City; my friend Francis Lim, who eventually became Managing Partner of the top-caliber ACCRA Law Office and thereafter, President of the Philippine Stock Exchange; served as Lead Parent-Moderator.

 

[Photos of my son Anthony; with the top right photo together with me]

And one session during that whole day affair is for the sons to describe their fathers. I do not know whether it was really part of the program or an insertion maneuvered by Francis, to add humor and fun to the affair. And amidst the laughs of the sons and the guffaws of the fathers, certain fathers were described by their sons as uxorious husbands who are so fondly submissive to their wives, while seeming hecklers among the more rowdy fathers shouted in unison: “TAKOSA” (i.e. the term TAKOSA is a corruption of the Japanese term YAKUZA, which denotes an intrepid and plucky member of a mafia-like organization in Japan; while TAKOSA actually is an acronym for “TAKOT SA ASAWA”, roughly translated in English as: “AFRAID OF ONE’S WIFE”]

 

francis-lim-photo

[Here is a photo of the suave and debonair looking Atty. Francis Lim of the topnotch law firm ACCRA, who with his gracious wife Eddy (my former colleague at ALLIED BANK), dotingly love their children. ]

 

Back to this FATHER-AND-SON bonding thing. …Indeed, many father-son experiences are at times fraught with inelegant and uncomfortable silence or of antagonistic arguments and truculent bickering.

However, every father and son deserve quality time together, which is why certain striking episodes of FATHER-AND-SON bonding ought to be displayed and narrated for eventual emulation by others.

And here is my story…

Race Matias is one of the most skilful hiphop dancers of the Legit Status Dance Team. In fact, it was Race who I think skippered the SILVER MEDAL win of the Legit Status-Varsity Team when it competed in the 2015 World Hiphop International Competition (“WHHI”) held at the Harrah’s Resort in San Diego, California from August 1-9, 2015. I am much attached to the Legit Status Team as it is being coached by the innovative and skilful terpsichorean, Vimi Rivera, my eldest daughter’s (i.e. Shayna) beau. It was also the team which my THREE (3) daughters [i.e. Shayna, Cheska and Alee] joined particularly the Legit Status Megacrew Division Team  which competed in the 2015 WHHI, landing thereby as 4th Runner-Up in a field of over 57 participating nations.

 

legit-status-at-whhi-stage

[The LEGIT STATUS DANCE TEAM (Megacrew Division) at the San Diego 2015 WORLD HIPHOP INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION.]

 

Research shows that an average dad spends just 56 minutes a day with their son. And with work pressures and the race for financial independence “crescending”, half of modern dads believe that father and son bonding is becoming a thing of the past.

It was good that during the preparations for the 2015 WHHI, the parents of the Legit Status team organized themselves together and worked hard to raise funds to finance the trip of the 45-boy-girl team to the U.S.A. The methodical and masterly orchestration done by my hardworking friend Zaldy delos Reyes who was elected to become the Over-all Coordinator, proved truly opportune. Indeed, Zaldy marshaled the combined resources of all of the Legit Status’ parents into approximating the group’s defined goals. And one among  the most supportive parents were Mayor Herbert Bautista and Eloisa, Race’s Dad and Mom.

But what truly amazed me was that in one performance where Race together with the Legit Status team displayed to the Philippine audience (after their 2015 WHHI trip) their award winning hiphop dance routine, a heartwarming father-and-son bonding scene happened.

It turned out that Race’s foot gear, perhaps wearied and tired due to too much leaping, springing, hopping and jumping; literally conked out, as the toe box and the out-sole got disentangled from each other. And the shoe actually Race’s left shoe seemed like a hungry puppy with its mouth gaping as the toe box and the out-sole created an ugly rift which was slowly inching unto the mid-sole.

And Mayor Herbert Bautista, the amiable and ever-helpful alderman of the erstwhile capital city of the Philippines; and who is Race’s loving Dad, proved not only as a helpful mayor but even a more helpful father.

Thus, using a roll of masking tape, as time was then of the essence, the dance performance time inching near; the benevolent, supportive and ever-helpful Mayor Herbert Bautista sprinted unto the venue’s backstage and quickly maneuvered to fix Race’s left shoe.

Truly, indeed, we are all a busy type of people, but no matter how packed one’s schedule is, it is important to set aside time to be with one’s son.

We all know that raising children is the central experience of life, the greatest source of self-awareness, the true fountain of pride and joy, and the most eternal bond with a partner. We know that being a father is life’s fullest expression of masculinity and nurturing one’s son is a further profession of one’s own masculinity. And bonding time with one’s son must never ever become a thing of the past.

race-with-teammates

 [Race with his Legit Status team mates, composing the LEGIT STATUS VARSITY TEAM which won the SILVER MEDAL at the 2015 WHHI, dancing the night away at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.]

THE BASIC FLAWS OF THE FILIPINO

 

 

 

 

better-philippines

[The theme/motto “BUILDING A BETTER CONNECTED PHILIPPINES” was adopted by a telecommunication firm which has opted to market its products in our country. Let us all try to adopt this attitude of staying “connected” and let us always be connected with each other by promoting harmony, shunning discord and unifying our focus into becoming truly, ONE NATION.]

Though my BLOG SITE’s avowed mission is to dwell on stories about FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP and FUN, I have decided to digress a little bit and focus on this subject. I feel that perhaps if we could do away and cure through our joint and concerted efforts, these perceived flaws of the Filipino; we could make a better Philippines and make all families in our country benefit from such kind of reformation. I do hope so!

Since decades ago, the Philippines as a nation, has been endeavoring to reach the apogee of economic success or to at least be considered as a tiger economy here in the South East Asian region. This lofty goal is reflected in efforts on the part of the present government’s administration; truly remarkable efforts, that are lustily being flaunted, championed and advocated. But it seems that the goal has remained so elusive.

No matter what, the program waged by the present administration to tread the “straight path” eschewing all forms of corruption, as far as practicable, even championing this cause with picturesque sloganeering dubbed as the “TUWID NA DAAN[English translation: “THE STRAIGHT PATH”], has at least carved out a niche.

Be that as it may, despite perception that this sloganeering may have not swayed all levels of the bureaucracy to abhor and do away with corruption, the President has however at least cast a semblance of himself, not making illicit money out of government. Also, the imprisonment of THREE (3) senators and a host of other government functionaries for the “pork-barrel-style” misappropriation of government funds sent a signal to all and sundry that the government really meant business.

And that on the basis of what it is professing, the present administration has made out a mark that it is committed to sanction to the hilt those who would persist to stay corrupt.

When I asked my Japanese friend Yasuaki Mori (“Mori”), who has been a Japanese diplomat for over 30 years, whether the seeming endless path of corruption in government here in the Philippines would continue or end somewhere, someday; he gave a positive prognostication and said that evil things will come to an end and the good will have its way. He said that Japan was then also mired in the worst corruption scandals particularly in the 60s and 70s but eventually Japan has emerged as the 18th least corrupt country in the world as of today. Mori had in fact painted a very rosy and positive outlook for the Philippines as he in fact wants his children to eventually become Filipino citizens and serve as homegrown professionals dedicated to make life more meaningful for their children’s children

One time, I asked Fr. Bernardo T. Blanco, the Spanish Claretian priest, who have been residing here since 1977 and who is my friend and spiritual adviser; as to what he sees to be the basic flaw of the Filipino. Without batting an eyelash, he said that it seems that the Filipino has not actually internalized into the Filipino psyche the concept of nationhood. Yes indeed, at most times, Filipinos would be animated to fight for their self-centered cause even if it would not be in accord with the paramount welfare of that BIGGER SELF, among all of us, our very own NATION.

Indeed, some Filipinos who in the guise of fighting for their self-centered cause would even have the gall to flaunt their disregard for the basic rules. This kind of DISREGARD and DEFIANCE appears to be another basic flaw in the character of the Filipino. And as peace loving citizens of our country, we should try our best to re-orient ourselves for the betterment of the Philippines. It would seem perhaps that this basic flaw (i.e. disregard and defiance of authority) in the Filipino character has been deeply ingrained that it would take more time for us to cure it. There appears to be a pattern which has grown into a habit, of bashing, demonizing and incarcerating our past national leaders.

Perhaps, it would be best that this practice should now be put to a STOP and for us to tread unto the HEALING PATH. Despite all those allegations of fraud and felony among those who have served our country, but eventually bashed and demonized, it cannot be denied that those leaders invested their blood, sweat, and tears in the service of the nation.

One way or the other, this practice may have subconsciously deepened into the psyche of our people. Thus, it has created an animating rave to continuously disregard law and authority. Thus, you could see motorists driving through the red light and even mauling traffic officers with gay abandon in the streets of the metropolis.

Indeed, here in the metropolis, we see people flagrantly violating traffic rules, not observing TRAFFIC LIGHTS and even simple PARKING RULES (i.e. parking their vehicles in slots not allotted for parking and defying the national regulation which prohibits SMOKING within buildings. With the recent success in the tills of the movie HENERAL LUNA, we would have by now awakened to the reality that even during the days of our illustrious forebears, authority is disregarded and the people would even be swayed to kill, ironically… to kill even our own heroes. The utter defiance displayed by Gen. Tomas Mascardo to the Commanding General of the Philippine Army then, Gen. Antonio Luna, as shown in the movie, is indeed HORRIBLY striking.

Perhaps, in this regard of re-orienting our mindset to do away with the basic flaws in the Filipino psyche, the total involvement/participation of the whole nation must be summoned.

Another flaw is the new version of crab-mentality and the grandiosity to which many are led to believe that they are better than those who have been elected to office. Yes, every Filipino seems to want to lead, to become the greatest, the STAR and to become the commander-in-chief in all arena of inter-relationships. In the vernacular this is aptly captured by the saying to the effect that: “LAHAT AY GUSTONG MAGING BIDA!” [English translation: Every one wants to become the leading actor,  nobody seems content to just play a MINOR  role.] 

Also, the typical Filipino has become so irresponsible in exercising their rights. It is said in brutally frank language that too much freedom is dangerous. Now, it is not uncommon to hear media personalities bashing and humiliating government officers as though an authoritarian leader castigating a subaltern or as though, a bullying teacher disciplining a pupil. What is worse is that these TV and radio personalities would even highlight the flaws and defects of the very government which is stewarding the nation, the very place where they were born, to where they have lived,  and which they have called as their home for eons. And the listening and viewing public would even be swayed with dramatic effect to seethe in consternation and deepest anger. Thus, people would disparage and be prone to insult their government, their leaders and their very own country, as though they are never part of it. What a stain; what a shame!

A lot of people would even sing praises to these kinds of bashers as they would idealize them as the best and feisty media personality, one of a kind, intrepid and plucky! And these media personalities are moreover emboldened to humiliate government officials over the radio and in national TV.  It only emboldens our citizens to similarly disrespect authority.

For example, with respect to the NO COUNTERFLOW RULE which has been imposed to insure that no untoward incident and/or inconvenience should happen in the roads within the metropolis, let us shame these violators. What perhaps could be done is by clapping our hands every time a violator would even have the guts and gall to show off his bravado in doing a COUNTERFLOW in the perennially traffic-ridden, narrow and already constricted streets of Metro-Manila.

 Clapping is never a form of violence, it is even a gesture of praise. Let us praise these violators with a lusty applause to remind them that it takes guts and gall to be CONTINUOUSLY DEFIANT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

UP PI OMICRON FRATERNITY – THE LADIES; THE DAMES –PART 2

 

 

 

darkroom

[This is how a typical photographer’s darkroom looks like, except that the darkroom at Brod Nory Palarca’s workplace in UP-Diliman then did not feature apertures/windows at its side.]

 

 

jamel-brods

 

When Brod Jamil Lucman (Batch 66) was the fraternity’s Grand Omicron in 1968, the mansion of the Late Congressman Rashid Lucman, Brod Jamil’s uncle, which was located in New Manila, Quezon City served as the fraternity’s trysting place. Cong. Lucman’s mansion served also as Brod Jamil’s home as he was tasked by his uncle to act as its caretaker, and guardian  of Cong. Lucman’s eldest son, Aminullah, who was schooling then at the JASMS-High School. The foregoing transpired as Cong. Lucman would almost always be with his family and constituents in Marawi, Lanao del Sur. Aminullah eventually became a fraternity brother when he entered college at the Mindanao State University.

 

 

jamel-dickson

Thus, when classes in UP Diliman would be suspended due to the rallies and demonstrations which would routinely be organized then, as activism/radicalism was approaching its heights during those days, we would usually repair to the New Manila mansion: Brod Jamil with his sweetheart Jo, Brod Herminio “Germs” Valerio with his tootsie Bebs, a Delta Pi Omicron sis; Brod Claver “Butch” Soriano with  his Sigma Betan friend, Rebecca “Becky” Santos, and myself with Chin, also a Delta Pi Omicron sis and the biological younger sister of Sis Bebs.

 

DCIM/100MEDIA/DJI_0237.JPG

 

And the class suspensions became prevalent then as rallies and demonstrations sort of became the order of the day.

 

nori-palarca

 

However, when Brod Honorio “Nory” Palarca got appointed as the official University Photographer in the early 1970s, the room located at the second floor at Pavilion 1 of Palma Hall which served as Brod Nory’s workplace became the fraternity’s supplemental hang-out and trysting place. But Brod Nory emerged too as some kind of the fraternity’s MUFTI, a moral police. Eventually, that supplemental fraternity hang-out at the second floor of Pavilion 1 of Palma Hall, as the extreme western corner at the end of the Palma Hall adjoining the Faculty Center still served as the fraternity’s main hang-out, earned the moniker DARK ROOM. Indeed however, Brod Nory’s workplace has actually a dark room in one of its larger nooks.

 

The workplace of Brod Nory located at the second floor of Pavilion 1 of Palma Hall is about 32 square meters large; about 4 meters wide and 8 meters deep.  There is a one-meter wide alley which served as passage way from the entrance door leading to Brod Nory’s nook at the end portion of the workplace.  At the middle portion of the concrete wall which separates the alley from the enclosure which is actually the dark room, is a portal.

That portal is the entrance door to the dark room and the passage to the dark room is somewhat complicated. The one-meter wide passage from the portal extends two meters to the left, then turns one meter to the right and then turns again to the left about a meter, and VOILA, you are inside the DARK ROOM. I learned thereafter that the truncated though meandering route to the DARK ROOM, was to insure that no outside light would seep into it. I was further told that as the dark room is where the photographic films are being developed, which would result in images being formed on photographic paper, any unwanted or unsafe light could soil the “developing” process.

As Brod Nory welcomed the thought of brods visiting him at his seemingly lonely workplace, as he neither had an assistant nor a clerk, Brod Nory would just leave the entrance door unlocked. And brods would enjoy visiting him in bunches and would  keep him company all through his working hours. But there were instances, when brods with companions would visit him without Brod Nory even noticing it, as the couple would make a quick left-turn into the DARK ROOM. As the self-appointed MUFTI (i.e. moral police), Brod Nory begun locking the entrance door  and would only allow brods access to the DARK ROOM  with his permission,

But as Brod Nory was so very kind and so accommodating, when brods would come with their respective dames, asking Brod Nory’s permission to use the DARK ROOM for some kind of heart-to-heart talks, as they needed some kind of privacy, Brod Nory would invariably give in. However, just like a true-blue moral police Brod Nory would continuously counsel brods on morality and righteousness and to shun promiscuity at all costs. Brod Nory then was truly a righteous man, a paragon of morality.

It happened however that the need to engage in heart-to-heart talks between fraternity brods and their sweethearts, became as though an epidemic as it turned into a prevalent and flagrant practice. And this development took a toll upon Brod Nory’s studies as he would be forced to skip classes just as to monitor and keep watch over those love-struck brods. Brod Nory was sort of afraid that if any hanky-panky business should happen inside his workplace and would eventually reach the ears of the university authorities, his appointment as university photographer could be surely imperiled. But one enterprising brod was cleverly adroit, as he was able to quickly duplicate Brod Nory’s key to his workplace.

Based on Brod Nory’s tally, the regular habitues at the DARK ROOM and users of its  photographic facility strictly for developing some kind of an image is Brod Antonio “Tony” Cruz, Brod Oscar “Oca” Badillo, Brod Romeo “Omy” Matias and Brod Emmanuel “Nebs” Viado; in alphabetical order and not necessarily in the order of the frequency of use.

I was never a user of the DARK ROOM facility then as photography as a hobby, never attracted me and also, my GF at that time was schooling in far-flung Philippine Womens’ University along Taft Avenue in Manila; while the brods’ usual companions then were mostly Diliman campus coeds.

 

PWU.jpg

 

UP PI OMICRON FRATERNITY – THE LADIES; THE DAMES

danny-daguio

[This photo courtesy of Brod Danny Daguio (shown at center being sandwiched by girls seated at front row) was taken during his 16th birthday. They (together with Brod Bobby Brillantes, standing 6th from left, the one who is touching his chin; and the pretty and statuesque Vida Doria, the girl to Brod Bobby’s left) were members of the Project 6 Junior Cursillo Club.]

When I became an officer of the UP Pi Omicron Fraternity during the term of Brod Jamil Lucman (Batch 66) as Tyler Omicron, sort of a Sergeant-at-Arms, (that is what  that position is called in other organizations), I was tasked by Brod Jamil to scout for a muse as we were then planning to hold the annual induction rites of the new set of officers at Eugene’s Restaurant in Cubao, Quezon City. I was still then a new member and I felt as though I were still a neophyte and must quickly obey the demands and directives of the senior brods.

Thus, with all celerity, I quickly scouted for a muse thereafter.  And I was able to befriend a mestiza looking beauty by the name of Monique Duncombe Elizalde, who was then a freshman coed. She looks like Solenn Heussaff, but a little bit on the chubby side.

Monique readily agreed to be our muse and Brod Jamil was amused that I was able to speedily scout for one. I attended the Eugene’s rites sans any partner as I was tasked to wait on Monique and sort of served as her attendant, she was however brought to the venue by a kin which lightened my burden as Brod Jamil told me to insure Monique’s attendance then.

I know that Brod Noel Nable of Batch 65 courted Monique but after a year of college however, I was told that Monique with her kin migrated to the U.S.

Brod Jamil’s consort during the Eugene’s induction rites and who eventually became his girlfriend was a dusky beauty whose first name is Josefina (the surname I can no longer recall however) and Brod Jamil would endearingly call her “Jo”.

Jo is a member of the Delta Pi Omicron Sorority and in the ensuing wooing and courtship between Brod Jamil and Jo, I and our now famous sis, Lolit Solis, served as go-between. Sis Jo would convey what she feels unto Sis Lolit, while Sis Lolit conveys it to me or directly to Brod Jamil, except that Brod Jamil is sometimes hard to find. This was because on hindsight, it turned out that Brod Jamil will later emerge as Commander Jungle Fox of the Black Shirts.

Thence, I would convey it to Brod Jamil as Brod Jamil would at times emerge on campus late in the afternoon or in the evenings when Sis Lolit is not anymore around. Brod Jamil is one person who believes that exciting and magical things happen in the evenings and all through the night.

Indeed, though Brod Jamil looks like a real BARAKO too, plucky and intrepid, in the English language, he is a gentleman with respect to ladies, broads and dames. Brod Jamil seemed so sheepish, shy and bashful during the initial face-to-face trysts with Sis Jo. Eventually Sis Jo became at ease with my presence and I became the partners’ sole go-between.

I eventually had a girlfriend from among the Delta Pi Omicron, whose first name is Cynthia and whose nick name is Chin. I had a crush however upon a younger sis, who became the Asst. Dean of the UP College of Law, Dean Patricia Salvador Daway. Brod Gabriel “Bing” Martinez (Batch 65) also had a crush on her, Sis Pat, and because of seniority, I had to give way to Brod Bing. Though, I believe that they, Sis Pat and Brod Bing, were in a relationship during those days, Sis Pat eventually got married to a debonair looking lawyer then too, who is now Regional Trial Court Judge in Quezon City, the eminent and illustrious Judge Reynaldo B. Daway.

But what truly intrigued me was when I had a talk with Sis Lolit just recently. Sis Lolit confided to me that her crush actually was Brod Bing as she told me, she could feel the rush of blood in her inner being and would swoon and sway from the sight and nearness of Brod Bing, whenever they would chance upon each other at the frat’s hang out. But Sis Lolit told me that she kept it to herself particularly about her craving and crush on Brod Bing. According to Sis Lolit, she got so infatuated to Brod Bing because of his tantalizing and inviting eyes.

But the acknowledged PABLING (i.e. playboy) of the fraternity was no other but Brod Washington“Bobby” Brillantes (Batch 68). During those years, when Vida Doria who was crowned Miss Philippines was Brod Bobby’s GF, Brod Bobby was also dating TWO (2) other dames. Due to Brod Bobby’s philandering ways, the BF-GF relationship between them invariably went on an ON and OFF basis.

Indeed, Brod Bobby was the acknowledged PLAYBOY of the fraternity. I remember, I think it was Brod Ariel Corpuz (Batch 68) who once jestingly quipped, though idiomatically with ribald overtone however, that: “SA BOSES NA BOSES PA LANG NI BROD BOBBY; LAGLAG NA ANG PANTIE NG BABAE.” [English translation: “WITH BROD BOBBY’S VOICE ALONE, A LADY WOULD SURELY GIVE IN TO HIS AMOROUS WHIMS.”]

Truly, Brod Bobby has a baritone voice which is so modulated and is seemingly alluring, in fact seductively enticing.

Brod Danny Daguio (Batch 68) who is Brod Bobby’s neighbor in Project 6 told me however that Brod Bobby during their childhood days never had that marvelous voice.  Brod Danny narrated to me that he would customarily see Brod Bobby under a guava tree in their community memorizing some lines from famous declamation pieces and would utter and recite them with a baritone version of a voice. Eventually, Brod Bobby became a baritone-voiced lothario. Thus, this routine of Brod Bobby ineluctably calls to mind the story of Demosthenes, a Greek statesman and famous orator of Athens. Legend has it that Demosthenes would practice oratory on the seashore over the roar of the waves just as to strengthen his voice.

In the fraternity, we also have those faithful lovers, and those whom I consider as faithful and loyal were those who married their ONLY sweethearts during those exciting and fascinating years in the UP Diliman Campus, namely: Brod Alex Ramon “Alex” Cabanilla (Batch 71), who married the love of his life, Phoebe; Brod Honorio “Nory” Palarca (Batch 68) who married the apple of his eyes, Helen;  and also Brod Romeo “Omy” Matias (Batch 71), who married his dream girl, Sally; among others. Brod Omy cannot forget however the masterful stroke done by Brod Alex when he endeavored to impress his love of his life, by bringing their TWO (2) cars on campus. Thereafter, Brod Alex had to ask/plead Brod Nory for succor, as he cannot drive the TWO (2) cars alone in one sweep back home.

But the most likable and desirable dame of them all is one who was some kind of a VIP guest in one HAIR gala presentation with whom Brod Ronaldo “Ronnie” Manalastas (Batch 66) served as consort.

Also, there were those seeming inseparables too, who was always together as though they were Tarzan and Jane, but never got to be married to each other. And I will dwell on those in  my next BLOGs!

PI OMICRON FRATERNITY – ITS “NATIONALIZATION”

UP-PI-O-seal

 

Customarily, “nationalization” denotes a way for government to expand its economic resources and power.

What is meant however about the nationalization of the Pi Omicron Fraternity is the process by which it started to assume a national character, not only as a fraternity in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, but as a national fraternity within the whole Philippine archipelago. Indeed, such interpretation jibes still with the concept of expansion; expansion of influence and expansion in territory.

 

And this opportunity came into a reality in 1971.

 

After the term of Brod Ernesto “Popoy” Valencia (Batch 68), which resulted in the expulsion of Brod Felixberto “Jun” Olalia, Jr. (Batch 66) due to his failure to come up with an accounting of HAIR’s ticket proceeds, despite Brod Popoy’s insistence, I got elected as Grand Omicron.

 

About Brod Jun’s expulsionBrod Jun was actually espousing still his stand that as he was the one who bank-rolled the HAIR project, his obligation consisted merely of paying a gratuity to the fraternity and that he is not in any way required to render an accounting.

But that was not Brod Popoy’s perception then. Thus, the expulsion thing happened.

 

 

Though I have no cogent basis, I could sense then that there was some kind of politics which led to the eventual expulsion of Brod Jun and by way of a caveat, this is my own personal opinion. At that time, when activism was on its pinnacle in UP Diliman, there seem to have emerged some kind of friction between the Kabataan Makabayan (“KM”) which was founded by Jose Ma. Sison in 1964 with which group Brod Jun was allied and much more identified and the Samahang Demokratikong Kabataan (“SDK”), on the other hand, which was some kind of a splinter group, as an offshoot to some degree of resistance to the leadership of Jose Ma. Sison. At that time Brod Popoy was so overly active with the affairs of SDK. But as I have said, that was my unbiased reading of the events that happened then.

 

jun-olalia-photo

(Brod Jun’s expulsion however has been already LIFTED.]

 

During the 1971 election for the new set of officers of the UP Pi Omicron Fraternity, it was I and Brod Honorio “Nory” Palarca (Batch 68) who were nominated as candidates for the GO post. By a slim margin, I won the election.

 

nori-palarca

 

I championed the calling of a national convention as the fraternity had by then various chapters already throughout Luzon and in Mindanao. The Mindanao chapters were courtesy of Brod Jamel Lucman and his kith and kin.

 

jamel-dickson

 

The chapter in Central Luzon State University was rapidly flourishing and almost all of the colleges and universities in the metropolis have Pi Omicron chapters too, such as: Mapua, UE, FEU, San Beda, San Sebastian, etc. Of course, the UP Los Baños chapter commenced immediately after the organization of the UP Pi Omicron Diliman.

 

clsu

 

As the HAIR musical play presented itself still as a revenue-generating project, we pursued it by re-staging the musical play once again. During Brod Popoy’s time, Brod Popoy allowed an arrangement whereby one enterprising brod, who had the means, Brod Edwin Lo (Batch 70), to bank-roll the show with the concomitant obligation to give the fraternity a gratuity or some kind of a royalty fee.

When I became the Grand Omicron in 1971, I opted to re-stage the HAIR musical play once again but with the fraternity bank-rolling it as the arrangement accorded  the opportunity to have its full returns. But it turned out that it was not then a sound decision.

Indeed, when the HAIR musical play was originally staged, the cast was actually given a token as the mere inclusion as cast member served as a premium, nay an honor for each of the members of the cast. But as the musical play was re-staged and re-staged, the cast was already being amply compensated and at the time when the fraternity decided to bankroll it, the talent fee for each cast member sort of reached its ceiling already due to the successes that it has then been reaping. My term’s re-staging of the musical play eventually proved to be a losing venture and it came to the point of the fraternity not making money and of not even fully paying the talent fees of the cast members.

As we need to finance the planned national convention of the PI OMICRON Fraternity, we thought up some kind of an unconventional way of raising funds. We came up with what we termed as a CAKE RAFFLE, but that the PRIZE is not actually a CAKE, it was neither a pie, nor a tart nor a pastry; but some kind of lassie, tootsie actually a DAME.

 

jun-olalia-group

 

The raffle tickets literally sold like HOT CAKES and the conference room at the Vinzons Hall went teeming with raffle ticket holders at the appointed raffle date. I was busy orchestrating the HAIR musical play and I designated Brod Gerardo “Gerry” Santos to take charge of the CAKE RAFFLE. Eventually,  a winner was announced who sat beside the PRIZE at that gala showing of the musical play HAIR. Those ticket holders who were able to reach to the semi-finals, about TEN (10) of them was given the opportunity to sit nearest to the PRIZE, for them to at least savor the scent of a the WOMAN.

 

corridor-palma-hall

 

When we convened the FIRST NATIONAL CONVENTION of the Pi Omicron Fraternity, it was a well-attended affair and I was elected as the FIRST NATIONAL President of the PI OMICRON FRATERNITY NATIONAL ORGANIZATION. That first national convention was actually held in one of the rooms at the ground floor of the UP Diliman-Palma Hall.

 

 

As it stands today, the PI OMICRON Fraternity has chapters in the following universities/colleges: UP Manila, UP Los Baños, University of the East, University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University, San Beda College, San Sebastian College, FEATI University, College of Perpetual Help, Araneta University, Manuel Luis Quezon University, Letran College, Mapua University,  UP Baguio, Central Luzon State University, Tarlac College of Agriculture, Pampanga Agriculture College, Tarlac State University, Angeles University Foundation, Bicol University, Laguna College of Business Administration, San Pablo College, Mindanao State University, Notre Dame University, University of Mindanao, San Jose Recoletos of Cebu, and others.

 

What is consoling is that in recent years, the Pi Omicron Fraternity despite its presence in numerous parts of the country has stayed away from instances of unsightly frat rumbles and unwholesome initiation rites. Instead, it has focused its march towards the pursuit of academic excellence. PUSH ONWARD PI OMICRON!!!

 

UP-PI-O-seal

UP PI OMICRON FRATERNITY – THE MISCHIEVOUS YEARS OF THE 60s-PART 2

 

 

 

vinzons-hall

[Photo above shows the VINZONS Hall which was the venue of the 1967 shooting incident where Brod Jamil Lucman figured as gunman. Also, the hall particularly its conference room at its second floor was the venue of the 1970 Pi Omicron election for the hotly-contested Grand Omicron post.]

During the late 60s, there were a lot of lookers on campus; the sexy, gorgeous and enticing ladies like Emma Ruth Yulo, Nelia Sancho, Maita Gomez, Ces Onrubia, Agnes Arellano, Vida Doria, etc. It was nice to hang out at the Palma Hall lobby, killing time thereat, as you would see a lot of those lookers walking like they were parading on a ramp. One windy February afternoon, I chanced upon the sight of Emma Ruth Yulo’s balloon-type of a skirt being blown up to the delight of the eyes of male passersby, including myself.

Danny Purple, a six-footer who looks like the Filipino movie actor Johnny Monteiro, was an ubiquitous presence too at the lobby of Palma Hall. It was bruited about that this Danny Purple was a former intelligent UP student who was sent to some kind of Latin American country for a scholarship program.

He was reportedly mauled however by Latin American studes in that destination and due to that incident which resulted in some concussion on his head, he suffered some kind of mental trauma and eventually became some kind of a weirdo. Another story however has it that Danny Purple got so heartbroken for an unrequited love and that he subsequently suffered mental stress and trauma. For which reason, the story goes, Danny Purple, stopped schooling and contented himself endlessly writing poems day in and day out for his love interest.

Gerry Barican was the UP Student Council Chairman then and among the more popular university councilors was Ericson Baculinao. Brod Jun Olalia (Batch 66) whose father is the eminent labor leader Ka Bert Olalia, was the Grand Omicron then and would from time to time, being a friend of Gerry Barican, attend the UP Student Council meetings.

One of the projects which the council intended to launch was the showing of a movie entitled THE EAST IS RED at the University Theater, a movie about recent happenings inside Red China. Actually, the movie was neither star-studded nor was it an acknowledged blockbuster. However, it was opined that surely it would be something that the Filipino-Chinese community would want to see. Reportedly, it would give the viewers a peek as to what was actually going on inside Red China, after almost two (2) decades of seeming obscurity from the outside world. Mao Tse Tung who rose to power in Red China, and who ruled Red China then like an Emperor, was the darling and the popular idol of the activists in UP having transformed Red China from a feudal backwater into one of the powerful countries of the world, as it stands today.

It was why Brod Jun Olalia (Batch 66) summoned me one day.

Indeed, when Brod Jun summoned me, he asked me: “Walter, di ba meron kang kamag-anak na may imprenta?” [English translation: “Walter, is it not that you earlier told me that you have a relative who operates a printing shop?”

When I answered Brod Jun, affirmatively, he replied to me in this manner: “OKEY, WE WILL HAVE AN IMPORTANT PROJECT.”

As was narrated to me by Brod Jun, Gerry Barican in confidence, conveyed to him a sneaking suspicion that the tickets to THE EAST IS RED movie will be faked and will be sold during the show’s TWO (2) day run, as reportedly hordes of Filipino-Chinese and others of Chinese blood were all raring to see the movie. The suspects then reportedly were certain personalities who were privy to the council’s activities too.

The movie THE EAST IS RED tells the tales of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) history and background, from its formation in 1921 due to the oppression of Chinese laborers by their capitalist overlords, and the War of Resistance against Japan, finally to the formation of the “New China”.

The scenes of song-and-dance are punctuated by silent-film-era displays of exaggerated acting, often involving whippings of laborers by either Western capitalists with three-piece suits and dyed blonde hair with aide from their Chinese collaborators.

Between each scene, a narrator explains the pressing issue facing the Chinese people during the time period the scene is intended to capture – aiding the understanding of the film for those that are less well-versed in Chinese history.

One of the most touching scenes in the movie is when an elderly woman holds the blood-stained shirt of her son, who died at the hands of a group of landlords, dramatically in front of a crowd of gathered revolutionaries.

The Late  Brod Gerry Santos (Batch 66), who is a son of a ranking Manila police officer, actually a colonel then; and with two (2) of his elder brothers being police officers too, was sort of what could be termed as the BARAKO type in the vernacular. [Note: BARAKO roughly translated is some kind of a person who is plucky and intrepid] And Brod Gerry was similarly Brod Jun’s confidant. Actually, Brod Gerry was Brod Jun’s predecessor as Grand Omicron of the fraternity.

During the talks, Brod Gerry jestingly suggested: “MAMEKE NA RIN TAYO, KUNG GANYAN BA NAMAN ANG TAKBO EH.” [English translation: Well, let’s make out fake tickets too, if that is the case.] And the jest became a reality.

And that was the first try to fake tickets. However, at the appointed showing date, though indeed hordes of Chinese looking personages were lining up into the UP Theater’s entrance, the theater’s premises was also teeming with multitudes of police officers. Thus, Brod Jun ordered that  the selling deal be aborted.

When HAIR was staged by the fraternity, during Brod Jun’s incumbency as Grand Omicron, it was actually Brod Jun who put up the capital which was spent for the production of the musical play. Though it was not  openly announced that the fraternity will only be given a gratuity which was never specifically quantified, only the so-called inner circle within the fraternity knew about the arrangement. Others however thought that Brod Jun was just sort of advancing the expenses and that after deducting what has been spent, the whole proceeds would inure to the Pi Omicron fraternity’s coffers.

I was then eyeing the Grand Omicron (“GO”) post, having served as Tyler Omicron, then Chronicler Omicron and as far as I can remember, I was already the Vice GO during Brod Jun’s time.

Brod Gerry hatched a plan to fake the HAIR tickets and it was Brod Oscar “Oca” Badillo (Batch 67) who conveyed the matter to me. Brod Oca said that we needed to raise some funds to eventually “wine and dine” our brods for the forthcoming election, so that, according to Brod Oca, I could be a sure cinch for the GO post. The suggestion enticed and allured me to the hilt, as Brod Oca even pictured a scenario where we will roast one whole calf, ala-Bonanza style [Bonanza, was a restaurant along EDSA then which was serving roasted calf], and would booze up all through the night. There were others who were eyeing the GO post then and the one who was so hot was Brod Victorino “Vic” Quiray, (Batch 66) who was the cousin of our fraternity brod and UP philosophy professor, Brod Arturo “Art” Maggay (Batch 63-charter member). The other was Brod Ernesto “Popoy” Valencia (Batch 67), who eventually became Editor of the Philippine Collegian.

What finally led me to agree was their (i.e. Brods Gerry and Oca) spiel that the HAIR presentation was actually not a fraternity show but was actually Brod Jun’s show, with the help and aid merely of the fraternity and the brods. I sort of defended Brod Jun by telling them that it was Brod Jun’s brainchild and I was convinced that Brod Jun must be the one who should profit from the enterprise. Eventually however, I acquiesced to the plan and there I went to my kin once more to make out tickets for HAIR.

Eventually, our FAKING enterprise was uncovered and after an investigation, and hearing, Brod Jun Olalia merely sanctioned us (i.e. myself and Brods Gerry and Oca) with a stern reprimand while some of our fraternity brods were asking for the extreme sanction of expulsion. In our fraternity, the word of the Grand Omicron is law for all of its members. When the sanction of a stern reprimand was imposed by Brod Jun, Brod Jun drew the ire of those who were adverse to us, the so-called triumvirate of Brods Gerry, Oca and myself.

When the PI OMICRON election came, and the issue about the faking of the HAIR tickets was brought into the open, during the presentation of the programs of action by each of the candidates which was held in one of the conference rooms at the Vinzons Hall, I defended myself anew to the charge of FAKE HAIR tickets.

Nervous and intimidated by dagger looks not anymore coming from Betan Sigmans but from some of my brods themselves, who were adverse to my candidacy for the GO post, I uttered out my spiel. I was sort of embarrassed and disconcerted too that after having been earlier sanctioned, I sort of said to myself: “Here I am, coveting the highest position in our fraternity, what a stain and irony.” But my supporters were insistent.

Actually, during the earlier investigation which was held as directed by Brod Jun Olalia, which warranted the imposition of a stern reprimand, not one of the witnesses said that they saw me actually selling FAKE HAIR tickets. Thus, as I was trying to make out a convincing defense, and thinking that the letter “D” would be more convincing than the letter “L”, I voiced out this utterance: “I DID NOT SOLD FAKE HAIR TICKETS”.  And,  I uttered this spiel in my speech not only once but THRICE.

When the votes were tallied for the fraternity’s Grand Omicron post, Brod Popoy Valencia won over me with just a single vote.

I think it was Brod Ariel Corpuz (Batch 69) who teased me after that election-meeting at Vinzons Hall, as he said: “Brod, hindi ka naman natalo sa election dahil sa ginawa nyong pamemeke nung HAIR tickets eh, natalo ka kasi, dahil sa wrong grammar!” [English translation: Brod, you did not lose the election because you faked the HAIR tickets, you lost because of wrong grammar.]

UP PI OMICRON FRATERNITY – THE MISCHIEVOUS YEARS OF THE 60s

 

aristocrat-resto

[The Aristocrat Restaurant along Dewey Boulevard in the 60s featured what was then called as DRIVE-IN DINING.]

In college, one cannot really avoid doing those mischievous things. Sometimes, you do it due to peer pressure; and sometimes too, just for the thrill of it. Those mischievous capers, those peccadilloes are not akin however to the grand mischief committed by a duo of college students then in the 1920s in Chicago, USA. This grand mischief (in fact, a grand felony) was even dubbed as the “crime of the century” from what I learned when I read a book about Clarence Darrow, the best American criminal lawyer. The book among others, narrated about Darrow’s masterful skill in getting his clients, those two (2) rich teenagers who seemed to have become so ignorant about the sense of remorse; out of death row.

That pinnacle episode in Darrow’s lawyering career which pertains to the saga of teen-aged Nathan Leopold and his lover, Richard Loeb, served as Darrow’s crowning glory as the most clever legal eagle in the US then. Leopold and Loeb conspired to kill just for the thrill of it (in fact the duo said it was some kind of experimentation),  a similarly wealthy 14 year old lad by the name of Bobby Franks.    But that’s another story, back to UP Diliman

I was still then a sophomore in UP Diliman when I got recruited by my classmate in San Beda High School, Brod Ernesto “Ernie” Tolentino (Batch 66) into the Pi Omicron Fraternity.

As a neophyte, I would hear from my older brods particularly those who stay in the dormitories, about their nocturnal adventures which would include stealing the undies of those pretty coeds who are residents of Kamia, Ilang-ilang and Sampaguita ladies’ dormitories.  But I never was in any way, part of this. What I know was that those pretty coeds would customarily hang their  hand-washed undies  near the windows of their rooms to expedite drying.

Brod Carlos “Bong” Panlilio, Batch 66, one morning was crest-fallen, he was even so tensed and so strained. Brod Bong narrated that an employee from the Aristocrat Restaurant located along Dewey Boulevard came to their house in Loyola Heights that morning, bringing with him the unpaid chit for a drive-in meal taken by TEN (10) other brods including him. The employee-waiter of Aristocrat even demanded the return of the plates and the spoons and the forks. It was good that it was he who answered the door bell, Brod Bong recounted, for as he continued narrating, if it were his Dad, or one of the maids who would report the matter to his parents, he will surely be severely castigated and the fraternity will not be able to hold further activities in their commodious lawn.

Brod Bong actually filched, on that very moment, from their kitchen’s drawers a dozen of dinnerware and a lot of cutlery just as to assuage the employee-waiter that the chit will be paid and that he is replacing the plates, spoons and forks with a better brand of dinnerware as the plates were with his other companions to that drive-in dining affair. Brod Bong asked for time and told the employee-waiter to  return the following day.

Brod Bong said that he, including the other brods, have to raise the money for the unpaid chit as the employee-waiter conveyed a threat from Aristocrat’s management that a criminal complaint will soon be filed.

Actually, Brod Bong drives a nice Kombi Volkswagen van which would accommodate about TEN (10) riders and after frat meetings, the brods would do a joy ride along Dewey Boulevard as traffic was not a problem then. Actually, from UP, cruising through Quezon Avenue then, it would only take about 15 minutes to get to Dewey Boulevard. And as the brods would get famished, the usual stop then and even until now is the Aristocrat which then featured the drive-in type of dining. Actually, you can eat inside your car while the waiters would wait on you, shuttling back and forth from Aristocrat’s kitchen to the parking lot. The waiters actually even provide some kind of tray which can even be attached with ease by way of a bracket, unto the car’s opened windows. And for the heck of it, the brods thought that a caper such as this, eating and running thereafter would be some kind of thrill. But when the brods did that caper once again, the brod tasked to cover the car’s plate, perhaps too excited and much satiated thereafter with the luscious chicken honey barbecue dish, forgot about it while Brod Bong’s Kombi van whirred out of Aristocrat’s parking lot. Fortunately, the unpaid chit was paid. And I was not part of this caper either.

The caper crafted by Brod Jamil Lucman (Batch 66) was even more sophisticated. It pertained to a well-patronized restaurant located inside the domestic airport in Pasay City then (I forgot the name already). The actors-brods however have to incur some expense, actually an old travelling bag would do or a cheap valise, but must be filled to its brim to make it really look bulging, with old newspapers.  The brods with seemingly hefty and bulging traveling bags would arrive inside the restaurant, one by one, and would order food. All the bags will be heaped into one place at one corner of the restaurant. And one by one too, the brods will sneak out from the restaurant with valid excuses (i.e. to pee at the CR, to check on the flight, to buy a magazine, etc.) until one straggler is left behind. And the straggler needs to be the best actor of them all. But usually, the restaurant manager even if the straggler leaves with just a sly excuse, would feel assured as the bulging traveling bags are aplenty.  Well, I never said that Brod Jamil was part of this, for I know that he only crafted this modus but never took part in it. I myself never became an actor of this caper.

What I am ready to owe up to, is the FAKING of the HAIR tickets. And this is how it begun.

When Brod Jun Olalia (Batch 66) was Grand Omicron, he summoned me one day and asked me: “Walter, di ba meron kang kamag-anak na may imprenta?” [English translation: “Walter, is it not that you earlier told me that you have a relative who operates a printing shop?”]

When I answered Brod Jun, affirmatively, he replied to me in this manner: “OKEY, WE WILL HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT PROJECT.”

And I will narrate about this somewhat long story in my next BLOG.