UP Law Days – Part 8 – KULE’, OSR, PLJ and the “DORMERS”

KULE'

[Front page of a relatively recent issue of the University of the Philippines – Philippine Collegian which is now popularly known as KULE’]

 

rebelkule'-photo

I took a chance in School Year 1978-1979 to be the Philippine Collegian editor for which reason, I took the Philippine Collegian Editorial Exams during that term. I actually topped the editorial writing part of the examinations. But, I landed at the bottom-cellar in the scholastic record aspect as the computation of my average grade included grades that I got during my undergraduate stint at UP Diliman. And that was damaging, as the grades comprehended the years when I was trying to pass those mathematics subjects which I odiously hated.

 

I remember that the topic of my editorial-article  was about A STUDENT-LESS BOARD OF REGENTS, as talks then was growing hotter particularly about the proposal to revive the post of a student regent  as a voting member of the UP Board of Regents.

jerry-barican-photo

Looking back, it was the late Fernando “Jerry” Barican (UP Law 75) who became the first student regent in 1969. At that time,  UP President Salvador Lopez issued an edict which designated the UP Student Council Chairman as student-regent but with a mere observer status, thus with no voting power.

sp-lopez-photo.jpg

 

The practice of designating the UP Student Council Chairman as student regent however ceased after the declaration of martial law in September 1972. But, 2 years into martial law, the clamor to revive the student-regent post became a hot issue until in 1987, the Office of the Student Regent was formally established. Thus, Francis Pancratius N.  Pangilinan (UP Law 93) got appointed and served as the first Student Regent with full voting power.

Kiko-Pangilinan-photo

Going back to the Philippine Collegian editorship, I remember that the one who eventually got appointed as Philippine Collegian Editor was a lady named Diwata Reyes, and her  editorial which was actually published in the maiden issue of the Philippine Collegian then was written in the Filipino vernacular, in Tagalog. It was good however that I was designated as CONTRIBUTING EDITOR of the Philippine Collegian then. Lately, I got so amused as the Philippine Collegian is now better known and as titled as such (adorning in fact the top-left portion of the paper) as KULE’, with accent in the last  syllable.

plj-photo

 

I also took the Philippine Law Journal Examination (“PLJ Exam”) which is a prerequisite into becoming a member of the STUDENT EDITORIAL BOARD. It was Prof. Haydee Yorac who was in charge with the task of picking who eventually will become members of the STUDENT EDITORIAL BOARD. What was required of us (those who took the PLJ Exam)  by Prof. Yorac was to write an essay on the topic: LAW AND NATIONHOOD. The privilege of becoming a member of the PLJ Student Editorial Board is that your name gets printed on the masthead of each of the journals that would be issued/released during the term. But, the more useful honor is that a member of the Student Editorial Board  is allowed the use of one of the carrels in the UP Law library. A carrel is actually a small enclosure in the library which is located at the fringes of the library hall. Thus, one would have the privilege of studying in private, inside a seemingly cloistered nook.

 

Haydee-Yorac-photo

 

Though we reside in Cubao, which is about 5 kilometers from the UP campus, I have been aspiring to savor and taste DORMITORY LIFE, actually, to be a “DORMER”, the corrupted term used for dormitory dwellers. I actually envy those who are staying in the dormitories as I felt that one could have more time to study by staying late in the library. During our time, the Law library was at the second floor of the UP Law Center Building and it was open even on Sundays.

 

rodic's-photo

I could vicariously feel, based on stories from the “DORMERS” that dormitory life in UP was fun. Waking up in the morning, one could jog and savor the unpolluted air and quaff a clean burst of oxygen along the UP Oval which is the oval-shaped network of streets located in the center of UP Diliman, eat at the UP Shopping Center particularly at RODIC’S; and say a little prayer at the UP Chapel, all of which are within a half-a-kilometer radius from Ipil Dorm. And the best thing of all, is that one can stay and study inside the UP Law library until closing time.

 

ipil-coed-dorm

 

There were mischievous things which have happened too in the dormitories, based on personal accounts of my UP Law classmates who are “DORMERS”.

 

babes-navarro (1)

 

Babes Navarro (UP Law 79) would always narrate with hilarity how she together with her dorm-mates notably Alpha Dayot Haider, Heidi Galos and Babsy Migallos, all of UP Law 79; conspired to covertly bring in a mini-refrigerator into their room at the Ipil Coed Dorm. They packaged the mini-ref inside a large carton box and pretended that it contained law books that they need to peruse and review. But the reason, why they had to “smuggle” in  the mini-ref was actually for a lofty and noble cause.

 

It has become a flagrant practice then, perpetrated by the more mischievous “dormers” to steal the food of other less mischievous “dormers” from the ONLY large refrigerator located at the dorm’s lobby. And the mischievous “dormers” would even appear too sly and clever, as even if the packed food deposited inside the large ref would carry a warning sign, such as this: “Warning: Laboratory specimen, hazardous to one’s health”, it would still be purloined by the ravenously hungry “dormers”.

 

procs-photo-young

 

The male “dormers” have their share of sad tales too. Not being fortunate as the lady “dormers”, the male “dormers” do not have an accessible refrigerator anywhere inside their part of the dorm. As narrated to me by my classmate Procs Sarmen, that just as to scrimp on their funds, they would ask their laundress to also do the cooking of their food for them, as via such arrangement, it would be less costly for them.

rufus-photo

 

To make for a convenient arrangement for the food-delivery, Procs and the others of his coterie of Cagayan De Oro kababayans notably Rufus Rodriguez, the late Mario Hisuler, Edwin Catacutan and Jesus Casila, all of UP Law 80, fabricated some kind of container (actually a large shoe box proved handy) which they placed via some kind of a crude attachment atop the door jamb. And the laundress not wanting to wake them up too early in the morning would, by using a chair as some kind of a platform, be able to “shoot” into the box the plastic bags containing the food-meals.

 

Still however, they would upon waking up, joking but grouse every time that the box would turn empty already: “MUKHANG NAUNAHAN NA NAMAN TAYO NG MGA PUSANG NAGSASAYANG LAMUNIN ANG TSIBOG NATIN, AH! [English translation: It would seem that the cats had their fun-filled morning WOLFING down our food!”]. Indeed, it would evidently seem that a clowder of two-legged feline has beaten them again into it……..a group of MEOW… (i.e. Mornings, Eagerly Obsessed at Wolfing)

U.P. LAW DAYS – PART 7-PROF. RUBEN BALANE, THE ICON OF REVERBERATING BRILLIANCY

 

Ruben-Balane

[Professor Ruben Balane of the University of the Philippines-College of Law had a brilliant scholastic feat during his UP College of Law days. Prof. Balane graduated salutatorian and cum laude from the UP College of Law in 1966 and ranked second in the Bar examinations of the same year. Prof. Balane has been teaching in UP Law since 1970.]

Among the professors at the University of the Philippines- College of Law during my time, the one whom I admired most is no other than Professor Ruben Balane. Prof. Balane  is an acknowledged expert in Civil Law especially in the subject of SUCCESSION, which involves rights to inheritance.

My first encounter with Prof. Balane was during my interview after passing the law entrance test. I actually cannot remember how we call the entrance test then. But now, the term used is L.A.E. which stands for LAW APTITUDE EXAMINATION.

During the interview, it was Prof. Balane who noticed that it took me too long to finish my undergraduate course, for which reason, Prof. Balane inquired, why. And when I answered that it involved a long story; Prof. Balane cut me short and told me to be brief about it.  I remember that my UP Law classmates then had peculiar stories to tell about how their respective interviews went.

But that interview experience shared to me by my classmate and friend Procs Sarmen (UP Law 79) is really something for the books.

Procs narrated that the head of the panel when he was interviewed was Prof. Bartolome Carale, a Transportation Law professor and an Insurance Law expert. When Procs entered the interview room, Prof. Carale barked out at him: “YOU GET OUT AND RE-ENTER THE ROOM PROPERLY!”

And so Procs went out of the room, carefully closed the door behind him and after a couple of seconds, gingerly entered the room once more, almost tiptoeing just as not to create noise. But, Prof. Carale barked out all the louder: “YOU GET OUT OF THE ROOM AND YOU MUST RE-ENTER THE ROOM PROPERLY!”

That was Procs’ strike 2 and Procs could not understand where he went wrong, as he even greeted the professors “GOOD AFTERNOON!”, when he made his second entrance.

It was good that Procs did not lose his composure, Procs knocked on the door, and when he was asked to come in, Procs uttered out his greeting and said: “GOOD AFTERNOON SIRS! PERMISSION TO ENTER, SIRS!”, and Prof. Carale boomed and said: “AYAN,NAKUHA MO NA…SABI DITO SA BIO DATA MO, DATI KANG CORPS COMMANDER SA R.O.T.C.…DAPAT MARUNONG KANG KUMATOK.”[OH, THAT IS GOOD…WELL, IT SAYS HERE IN YOUR BIO DATA THAT YOU WERE A FORMER CORPS COMMANDER IN R.O.T.C., YOU OUGHT TO KNOW AS CORPS COMMANDER, HOW TO SHOW RESPECT BY FIRST KNOCKING ON THE DOOR.”]  

All the while Procs thought that he failed the interview due to that foible, but he passed the interview and even became an acknowledged legal professional in the field of labor law.

Going back to Prof. Balane…Actually, the interview done on me was  conducted by a panel  of THREE (3) law professors. And it was Prof. Balane who was doing most of the questioning and talking. The other members of the panel were: Professors Salvador Carlota and  Eduardo Labitag.

I first started to be amazed with Prof. Balane’s brilliancy during my first year in UP Law when he was our professor in PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS. I cannot actually remember how it came about in a PERSONS class, but Prof. Balane delivered a very poignant explanation as to how the word “OBLIGATION” originated.

Prof. Balane narrated that during the days of the Roman Empire, if someone fails to pay his debt, the debt-defaulter will be seized by some kind of a Roman officer and that the debtor will be bound with some kind of a ligament. Thus, the debtor will literally be surrounded with a ligament, or some kind of a bond. And  OBLIGARE is the Latin root word for the term OBLIGATION, which Latin root word means to be bound or tied all around. And this debtor will be sold just like a slave in the town center to pay off his debts from the  proceeds of the sale; the debtor being the object of the sale.

I am some kind of student then who was easily impressed by the eloquence of a speaker. And I found Prof. Balane so eloquent in his speech and his voice would actually reverberate within the four walls of our classroom. He is so confident in the way he delivers his lectures and would enunciate his words with so much resonance in an upbeat tone as though he is a declaimer. After every class in PERSONS under Prof. Balane, his teachings will constantly reverberate in my mind and it proved to be some kind of inspiration on my part to continue pursuing my quest for a law degree.

Prof. Balane would even use some kind of drama and rhetoric approximating almost a theatrical flair. This, Prof. Balane would do as he would act out how the customary buyers of slaves in the town center would check the dentures of the object of the sale as though a buyer of a horse as he sees fit to check the horse’s dentures by manipulating the upper and the lower lips to reveal the teeth. And by using both hands to part the lips to reveal the whole set of teeth, the debtor-defaulter would look like an angry animal,  just like how a dog would show its anger by showing its teeth to scare off a rival or a fiend.

Though Prof. Balane who could be classified  as some kind of professor-terror also, he  may have  been terrorized too by two (2) of my UP Law Evening (Batch 79) classmates.

Yes, a story went around then that as two (2) of my UP Law Evening 79 classmates were unable to graduate, they sort of held Prof. Balane as responsible for that. It was because Prof. Balane gave them both failing grades in Civil Law Review. It was truly pitiful as with the failure, they were deprived of the opportunity to take the 1979 Bar exams. But, as has been the practice and considering that UP Law does not offer summer classes, they enrolled in separate law schools for the purpose solely of passing that failed subject, and to enable them to take the 1979 Bar.

Earlier though, they both sought audience to talk with Prof. Balane and asked for compassion coupled with a request to have their failing grades converted into a passing mark of “3”. As Prof. Balane stood pat on his decision and denied their request; both opted to go to nearby Katipunan Avenue and drunk much booze in one of the beer joints thereat.

After having become so besotted, the duo decided that perhaps with their inhibitions totally erased, they would be more capable of persuading Prof. Balane to give them the passing mark. Thus, off they left the beer joint and waited at the UP Law Center parking area by standing by, just beside Prof. Balane’s car.

When Prof. Balane spotted them on his way to his car, as the latter were standing near Prof. Balane’s car; and Prof. Balane descried that the duo appeared a bit angry. This, as both the duo purportedly showed off their teeth unto Prof. Balane, while they dreamily swooned, anticipating another serious talk with the professor, for having been too inebriated.

Well, Prof. Balane did the right thing as he went back to his office and after a while, police officers stationed at UP Diliman cordially requested the duo to go home and take their needed rest.

Anyhow, all’s well that ends well…But there is another story about UP Law students taking a subject or two in another law school just as to be able to take the Bar exams, despite not as yet a graduate of UP Law.

After the 1979 Bar exams, our witty and jocular classmate, the late Jaime G. Nagrampa (“Jim”)  approached our genial and charming classmate Babes Navarro and told Babes that: “Babes, malaki ang problema ko! [English translation: “Babes, I have a very big problem!”].

And Babes asked Jim as to what his problem was, and Jim narrated: “Babes, paano na kung mag-top ako ng Bar Exams; eh halos 5 years ako sa UP Law, at isang summer lang ako sa UST; pero technically graduate ako sa UST at galit kasi ako sa UP Law dahil binagsak ako ni Balane eh! [Babes, what will I do if I should top the Bar Exams, which law school should I choose, though I have been with UP Law for almost 5 years and just took summer in UST, but I am considered a UST graduate…and I got irked with UP Law because Prof. Balane flunked me in Civil Law Review.”]

Indeed, Jim has always been some kind of the court jester in our evening class, as he would wittily crack jokes and make us all laugh. Well, I am sure that Jim has continued his penchant in heaven too.

GROOVE CENTRAL DANCE STUDIO & MY THREE (3) DANCING DAMES

shane-che-alee
Photo above shows my THREE (3) daughters, my dancing DAMES-L-R: Ma. Winnalee aka ALEE, Maria Wincheska aka CHESKA and Winshayna aka SHAYNA. This was taken during the wedding of my nephew Woodrow Wilson Young with Pam Unite in January 2016.

Years ago, after my eldest daughter’s (i.e. Winshayna aka Shayna or Shane) group, the UP Street Dance Team (“UP Street”),   ventured into the international arena of hiphop dance competition at the 2006 World Hiphop International Contest (“WHHI”) in Los Angeles, their coach thought of putting up a dance studio. A friend of the UP Street coach was tapped and swayed to plunge into it. At that time, ANTEVA, my father-in-law had just finished the construction of the K-Zone Building situated along EDSA, the main and most significant road artery in Metro-Manila. Shane talked to his Grandpa Anteva and persuaded Anteva [Shane’s Grandpa loves to be called ANTEVA (which is an acronym for Antonio Evangelista)] even by his grandkids, to approve/accommodate this entrepreneur-friend of their UP Street coach. Eventually, K-Zone became the venue to where the Groove Central Dance Studio (“GC”) was housed. Thus, the GC was born and it was allowed to rent a space at a nominal rental fee at K-Zone. Indeed, it started out as just a small, one (1) room dance studio then.

However, the entrepreneur who was then looking into migrating in New Zealand and finding the business not doing much during the lean season, at that time contemplated of selling his rights to the business. The UP Street egged Shane to buy the rights. Eventually, the good and amiable entrepreneur, perhaps getting wind that his ward and friend Shane turned excited into becoming GC’s proprietress-owner, finally inked the deed and ceded the rights to Shane.  When Shane took over, she approached Anteva.  Anteva said that as the adjoining bays at the 2nd floor were unoccupied yet then, Anteva suggested the extension. Shane actually said that an  extension of another bay would be enough; but Anteva thought it best and made the extension to comprehend TWO (2) bays of the K-Zone’s second floor.   And the GC operated on, still unable to muster good income during the lean months. Further, as the location is some kind of a prime commercial spot, and that as it was felt that it should earn more to conform with present real estate values, a relocation venue was then contemplated.

Further, as Anteva thought of putting up a satellite office for his construction company, the New Kanlaon Construction Inc., in Quezon City; the thought of relocating the dance studio to a larger venue within a densely populated residential area became all the more compelling. Still at GC, revenues would only peak during summer when students are off from school with ample time for “extracurricular activities”.  And, nominal income in other months of the year would trickle in.   So, Shane took it upon herself to come up with a program and Shane had to resign from Philippine Airlines to focus on the GC particularly on how to make it earn more revenue on low seasons.

On January 29, 2016, the GC’s new dance studio opened at No. 104 13th Avenue, Barangay Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City, Metro-Manila. It has more commodious dance halls and a parking area where a number of vehicles could be accommodated. More than that, with its location within a densely populated residential district, it augurs well for  putting up zumba and extreme fitness programs to cater to the throngs of fitness-conscious yuppies nowadays. It was felt that promoting the studio would be better served as it could attract more enrollees into its non-hiphop dance courses.

Looking back, when Shane got hooked into hiphop after matriculating at UP Diliman, in the early 2000s, it has always been the cause of me and my wife Dang’s almost daily spats. I insisted then and that I vigorously wanted Shane to quit, because every night, she would come home from dance training and rehearsals at past midnight. But Dang  would always calm me down and would say…”that is our daughter’s passion, pagbigyan mo na [English translation: “please give in to her passion.”] But, I would always be continuously against it, though I refrained from overtly showing my repulsive dislike for hiphop.

But that mindset of mine changed in 2006 when Shane’s group, the UP Street, first joined the World Hip-Hop International (“WHHI”) contest. And as it can barely be expected that the parents of college students of U.P.  to do fund-raising, it was the students themselves who did the thing. They. the members of the UP Street compete team would find ways and means to raise funds to finance their trip and the incidental expenses.

I excitedly helped them and gave it all in that first try of the UP Street in the international arena. I was able to get for free,  a big house in the Los Angeles area (courtesy of my good friend and compadre Willy Tee Ten, President of Ford Motors-Global City and Autohub Group of Companies) as at that time the WHHI competition was being held in LA. I was able too, to involve my fraternity brothers of the UP Pi Omicron Fraternity based in the West Coast led by UP Diliman brods, particularly Brod Monching Ramos and his wife Alice and Brod Lestie Lampiño. A UP Baguio brod in the person of Brod Butch Garcia also provided aid and comfort to Shane’s team. I am really very much indebted to my fraternity brods and their families who indefatigably helped in the logistics (i.e. transport and food) and even paid at times for their hotel room expense as Willy Tee Ten’s big house proved too far from the contest venue. Again, I wish to commend my fraternity brothers who really took turns then in shuttling Shane’s team to and from the contest venue using transport vans provided even by kith and kin of my fraternity brods. The team entered by the UP Street was actually an adult team composed of 12 members. On their first try, they never got so lucky as they never in fact entered the finals. In 2012 however, the UP Street was crowned as World Champion at the WHHI which was then held at Las Vegas. Also, in 2013, UP Street with my other daughter Cheska aka Che as member of the compete team, placed 1st Runner Up.

In 2014, I got consummately involved in WHHI which was held in Las Vegas, as Alee, my youngest daughter, was made as a last-minute replacement to one of the Alliance Hiphop Team member whose US visa application got denied.

With Alee, the youngest among my THREE (3) dancing dames, as a hiphop competitor in the international stage,  the whole family, my wife and all of my 3 other kids went to Las Vegas to root for Alee. Alee’s group only reached the semi-finals though.

Last year, 2015 was actually a banner year for hiphop in our family…Alee, my youngest daughter and her Miriam High School-Sayawatha team competed for the first time as a high school team in an international competition in Orlando, Florida in April 2015. They placed 3rd in the International Cheerdance Union (“ICU”) Contest but was declared Champion in the sequel DanceWorlds contest, both held in Orlando, Florida. What was remarkable was that the Sayawatha team which Alee skippered as its team captain, bested the teams that placed 1st and 2nd in the earlier ICU Contest, in the DanceWorlds contest, both of which, as earlier said, were held in Orlando, Florida in April 2015. 

It was a case of stage fright attack at the ICU, as some spectators advanced, for it was the very first international contest (i.e. ICU contest) into which the Sayawatha team competed in its nineteen (19) years of existence, having been organized in 1996.

Most opportunely in August 2015, my THREE (3) dancing dames: Shane, Che and Alee were all chosen as compete team members of Legit Status-Megacrew Team. Thus, with Legit Status as their team, that was the first time that my THREE (3) dancing dames, the THREE (3) sisters  competed as co-team members. And I together with my Daddy Max rooted for their team, as we fervently aspired that the LEGIT STATUS Team would bring home the bacon. Happily, the Legit Status team passed the elimination round, entered the semi-finals and ultimately the championship round.

Though it was the South Korean hiphop dance team which was adjudged as 2015 WHHI Champion, Daddy Max had a peculiar but not too-serious take on the result of the competition. As Daddy Max, a die-hard Korean War veteran, is not perhaps wont to accept that his granddaughters’ team (i.e. Legit Status)  is lacking in championship quality, Daddy Max came up with a tongue-in-cheek remark. Daddy Max jestingly opined without the least intent of deprecation, that perhaps the American organizers worked out a sympathy move. Daddy Max intimated that the organizers may have sympathized too much with South Korea for the incessant bullying tactics that North Korea has then unleashed against its South Korean compatriots. Eventually, Daddy Max opined that it must have caused the WHHI organizers to be too benevolent in its benignity. Thus, to the mind of a paternally fond and empathetic grandpa, Daddy Max felt that swayed by such spirit and anti-North Korean bigotry, the American organizers’ silver platter of a championship award unto South Korea seemed to be much in order. Though such perception on the part of Daddy Max is neither here nor there, the fact was that the South Korean hiphop dance team despite its somewhat unpromising team name: LOCK N LOL, was picked by the panel of judges as overall winner, and the 2015 World Hiphop Champion.

U.P. LAW DAYS – PART 6 ( THOSE PERPLEXING EXAMINATIONS)

 

enrile-up-law

[Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile is shown in this photo as he delivered a speech before the UP Law graduates of 2012. Senator Enrile in his speech talked about the eminent Prof. Gaudencio Garcia, whom Sen. Enrile referred to as his drill-master in Political Law.]

Professors at the U.P. College of Law are considered the cream of the crop among the community of legal professionals. Some professors are considered weird, some are even surreal.

Tales of yesteryears about terror U.P. Law professors would bring about the name of a supposed fear-inspiring and hectoring professor by the name of Prof. Gaudencio Garcia. I do not know this eminent professor, Prof. Garcia, but I remember Senator Juan Ponce-Enrile referring to Prof. Garcia, during his speech before the UP Law graduating class of 2012; as his drill-master in Political Law.

There is even a more delusional tale, actually a story about a terror professor who supposedly once placed a 45 caliber gun atop his, the professor’s table, while class recitation was going on.

And funnier still, I remember hearing about a very competent U.P. professor who got into a bind as he was involved in an amorous dalliance with a student. It was bruited about that in the ensuing investigation as some kind of a disciplinary proceeding was commenced, the professor perhaps cornered and embarrassed by the line of questioning by his peers in the investigation committee, turned ballistic.

Thus, on top of his voice, when he turned wild and upset, the professor in stentorian tone boomed: “WHAT CAN I DO, I AM IN LOVEEEEEEEE!”. Yes, the professor sustained enunciating the word LOVE, as seemingly without an ending!

Our UP Law 79 classmate Jose “Joey” Osana, who eventually became a tax expert at the SGV reminisced about those perplexing written examinations that we went through. Indeed, during one of our reunions, Joey recalled that one time when Prof. Bienvenido Ambion gave us a departmental examination in Criminal Law, we waited until almost 10:00 PM.

Word was that Prof. Ambion may have at the last minute thought of revising the examination questions or that he may have wakened up late or have overslept from his afternoon nap.

But, what intrigued us most was what a classmate of ours disclosed when he arrived, as we were then all seated at the Malcolm theater (the usual venue for departmental examinations wherein all the students of the 3 sections; the 2 day sections and the evening section are assembled to tackle the same written examination questions). The tattle-teller recounted that on his way  to U.P. Diliman, he saw our eminent professor, Prof. Ambion, enter the Delta Theater, which was then located near the corner of Quezon Avenue and West Avenue. Thus, when he arrived at the entrance of the Malcolm theater, he sort of proclaimed: “MAHABA-HABA PA ANG PAG-AANTAY NATIN, NAKITA KO SI PROF. AMBION MUKHANG MAG-RE-RELAX PA MUNA AT PUMASOK AT MANONOOD PA YATA NG SINE DOON SA DELTA THEATER.” [English translation: “We will still have a long wait as I saw Prof. Ambion on my way here, perhaps he still wants to relax. He entered the Delta Theater cinema plausibly to watch a movie.”]

Most of those who heard the tale ignored it; some even laughed. But when it turned out that the wall clock eventually struck with the hour hand pointing at number 9, most eventually believed the tattle-teller’s tale as true.

Actually, Prof. Ambion arrived at almost 10:00 PM (the exam was scheduled at 6:00 PM) and the examination lasted until 12:30 AM. As everybody was beginning to be fatigued and bored at waiting, some were sleeping, some were even doing weird things. I gazed upon my jolly friend RamonChito” Balite (U.P. Law 78) who was enjoying his make-believe and improvised war game (while waiting for Prof. Ambion)  as though holding on tight to an imaginary machine gun. And he would fire incessantly upon the direction of the stage and unto the Malcolm theater ceiling, purportedly targeting fighter planes, complete with his bouncing motion acting out the supposed recoil of machine gun fire.

There was even an examination held among us evening section students in our EVIDENCE class when the highest score garnered was I think about 57 only, out of a perfect score of 100. The lowest mark, I think was even below 20. I got a grading mark, if my memory proves me right, of 41. It was good that Prof. Antonio Bautista brought down the passing mark. I distinctly remember Oscar “Oca” Raro (U.P. Law 78) smugly telling me with a smirk on his face: “ANG TAAS NG NAKUHA MONG GRADE AH! [English translation: “Hey, you’ve gotten a high mark”.] It turned out however that Oca got the highest score.

But what I cannot forget is the departmental examination in CORPORATION LAW, which is the subject being taught by the tandem of the affable and gracious Campos Spouses: Prof. Jose Campos for the Evening Section and his elegant and stately wife, Prof. Clara Campos for the Day Sections.

Everybody was anxiously waiting for the results of the examination as it is popularly admitted that the subject on Corporation Law is one among the law subjects that is a hard nut to crack. The phrase “hard not to crack”, is actually Prof. Jose Campos’ signature phrase which would repeatedly spring forth out of his mouth while teaching his subjects notably Negotiable Instruments Law and Corporation Law.

Reportedly, when a day section student politely asked Prof. Jose Campos as to who topped the Corporation Law exam, the portly professor who always comes to class in an elegantly sewn business suit, said that it was someone from the evening section.

When word came out that an evening student topped the test, everyone from the evening section assumed that it was Joey Osana who topped the Corporation Law test. It was because Joey was a Certified Public Accountant, a Magna Cum Laude at the University of the East where he earned his pre-law accounting degree and that invariably, he has been topping the past examinations in the evening section classes.   Thus, when Joey Osana arrived from work at the Malcolm Hall, I think it was Gina Calleja who egged Joey to give some kind of a blow-out.  As Gina, is some kind of a lady whom one cannot easily refuse, Joey eventually obliged and a simple snack at the UP Law cafeteria ensued with Joey footing the bill.

Eventually, when the graded examination booklets were brought out for dissemination to the students, it turned out that it was I who topped the test. It was good that Joey did not ask for reimbursement from me.

U.P. LAW DAYS – PART 5 ( A TOWN FIESTA IN MAGALLANES, CAVITE)

 

magallanes-fiesta

[After the 9:00 AM Holy Mass at the Nuestra Señora de Guia Catholic Church during the town fiesta in Magallanes, Cavite on January 31, 2016. From L-R: myself, Babes Navarro, Vicky Sisante Bataclan (all of UP Law 79) and Rorie Carandang (UP Law 75 and Vicky’s undergrad classmate.]

On Sunday, January 31, 2016; I and my son Walter Anthony together with  Ma. Loreto “Babes” Navarro (my UP Law 79 classmate)  and a couple others trekked to Magallanes, Cavite to join in a gorgeous (an apt term as it somewhat rhymes with the root word plus a prefix…ENGORGE) feasting as it was the town fiesta in that once upon a time, one-horse  town. We left Quezon City around 5:00 AM and arrived in Magallanes, at the ancestral home of Ambassador Vicky Sisante-Bataclan  (“Vicky”), another UP Law 79 classmate, at around 7:30 AM.

Years ago, I remember when Vicky  re-enrolled in June 1975 and became  part of the UP Evening Class (Batch 79), I invited all of my evening section classmates to the town fiesta in Pasig, which was then a municipality within the province of Rizal. I was then working at the Tondo Foreshore Development Project (“TFDP”) and I got designated  by the new Project Manager, former newspaperman Rolando “Rolly” Fadul, as his Executive Assistant. Rolly  was  promoted as he was earlier Head of the Community Relations and Information Office (“CRIO”) of  TFDP and that his predecessor, Jose “Joe” Burgos, was designated as  CRIO Head at the National Housing Authority ( Main Office) [“NHA”].

TFDP became a mere division of the newly-created NHA. Similarly,  the Director-General of the former TFDP Office, Gen. Gaudencio V. Tobias, was appointed General Manager of the NHA by Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos. Eventually, the TFDP  which was formerly placed under the auspices of the Office of the President was absorbed together with a motley of government agencies involved in housing  as component-units of the NHA. As Executive Assistant to the Project Manager, I had the chance to coordinate with contractors of the TFDP and one among those active contractors then was the Caruncho Construction, which is owned by Mayor Emiliano Caruncho, Jr., the then political kingpin and incumbent Mayor of Pasig. And Mayor Caruncho, as he would at times personally follow up their collection-billing, invited me to be one of the honored guests at the town fiesta. As I told Mayor Caruncho that I would be bringing along my UP Law classmates — being a true-blue politico, the mayor said he would be most honored.

Evening classes at UP Law would customarily start from 6:00 PM and end at around 9:00 PM. After the last class, every one of us would be so famished and so hungry and would be ready to devour a horse.

Concerning this feeling of being famished, as Vicky  conducted some kind of a walking tour with her as guide around the poblacion at Magallanes on that Sunday, she made a poignant narration. She recounted that as an elementary pupil, she had to walk two (2) kilometers from their home cradling her school bag which contained her notebooks including her lunch, packed in a clump of banana leaves consisting of rice and fried dried fish.   As she would do the trek to school, she would naturally be all the more famished  after downing just a cup of baraco coffee before leaving their hut and ambulating along a 2-kilometer winding dirt road. For which reason, she would be wont to take a rest and would be enticed to eat her lunch under the cool ambient of those huge madre de cacao trees. And at noon time, as her packed lunch is gone, she would hop into the hut of a nearby relative close to her elementary school and would plead for food.

Going back to UP Law…When I told my classmates that we will be going to a town fiesta and would be the guests of Mayor Caruncho, almost everyone nodded in approval and joined in. I cannot remember which vehicle we used to transport ourselves to Pasig into Mayor Caruncho’s mansion. The air was festive in Mayor Caruncho’s mansion but what was most admirable was that the dining-buffet table was teeming with an abundance of food and every one of us had a mouthful. Singing ensued and  Mayor Caruncho sung a song with ribald connotations  and everybody in the hall including us were all gaily, nay rowdily laughing. I remember Mayor Caruncho egged us to participate in the singing and I could now barely recollect what  I and Vicky sung in our duet rendition.

At the Magallanes town fiesta, I and Vicky seemed to have gone into a déjà vu as I and Vicky initially did the motion of a duet song, actually THE PRAYER, with me striving to mimic the Italian lyrics of Andrea Bocelli while  Vicky  was passing off with Celine Dion’s soprano voice. But there was some kind of improvement, as CA Justice Rorie Carandang (UP Law 75, who was Vicky’s classmate during her undergrad years in UP) joined in and the duet became a trio after an encore was “popularly requested” by our giggling audience. Myself once again, mimicking the Italian lyrics of the song’s male counterpoint voice complete with Bocelli’s Italian twang while Vicky and Rorie singing in unison and at times alternating in their seeming swooning with the female counterpoint lines ala Celine Dion.

The musical rendition was done after a lunch of embotido, lumpiang shanghai, afritada, morcon, menudo, fried & crispy plapla, mechado, grilled beef spare ribs, etc. After the mini-concert, courtesy of the karaoke set of the Sisante household; I got famished once again. As my late mother would always say; if you are a guest in a town fiesta; the best way to compliment the hosts and their kin and household help who toiled hard to prepare the food is to  engorge as much food as you can. Thus, I engorged my stomach once more with the savory tasting and newly-cooked noodles aka pancit miki-bihon, still steaming hot. And we took turns in filling up our plates. I actually did a second serving and I was surprised that Babes would do a second serving as well.

 During our U.P. Law days, as we, most of us, in the Evening Section are  self-supporting students particularly the working studes and/or heavily dependent to allowance coming in seeming trickles from the provinces; we would almost always be impecunious. Thus, we would  then be scrimping on money for food and/or snacks at the cafeteria located at the ground floor of the Malcolm Hall at the extreme western end. Being seen at the cafeteria would be some kind of a prestigious reflection of having money to spend. And some students would make do with bringing to school their own packed meals.

I remember my friend and partner Eufracio Segundo “Conder” Pagunuran of UP Law 1982 (who also came with us to the Magallanes town fiesta) recounting about his and his best friend and fraternity brother’s predicament, Medardo “Ludgi” De Lemos of UP Law 1983. They would share a packed meal of an abundance of rice almost brimming unto the sides of a plastic lunch box cum a big red tomato and one (1) boiled egg. They, while inside the carrel at the UP Law library then (as both served as library assistants while schooling at UP Law), and ashamed to be seen eating mere rice, raw tomato and boiled egg; would meticulously halve the cooked rice, the tomato and the boiled egg so that not one of them would feel aggrieved. After their modest meal, which is actually their daily fare, they would gallivant at the ground floor and would take a peek at the UP Law cafeteria. They would feel much envy as they would see some of their classmates and fraternity brods (from the Alpha Phi Beta fraternity) particularly the group led by Ray Alan “Ray” Drilon  (UP Law 80) either smoking cigarettes, or sipping a cup of hot brewed coffee. And both of them, Conder and Ludgi, would say that those inside the cafeteria surely had a sumptuous and truly satiating meal.

Years thereafter, Conder and Ludgi came across Ray, now an RTC Judge in Bacolod, whom they always saw at the UP Law cafeteria after partaking their daily packed lunch at the UP Law library carrel; gleefully sipping a cup of steaming brewed coffee.  As they reminisced the past, they (i.e. Conder and Ludgi) learned that they were better off then, as Ray confessed that to scrimp on his allowance, he would just take coffee for lunch everyday!

Our trip to Magallanes was joyful and satiating and hassle-free too; except that as we did not walk to the Catholic Church for the 9:00 AM mass, all together, my friend Anastacio “Jun” Revilla, Jr. (UP Law 78) who similarly joined us in the trek committed a not-too sacrilegious foible. As the Aglipayan Church which is about 5 meters distant from the Catholic Church, looked even more “catholic” than the nearby church erected within the poblacion; with hordes of people milling around, Jun, a Roman Catholic lay minister, attended holy mass at the Aglipayan cloister.