ALEE’S CERTIFICATE OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE and the W.O.D. PHILIPPINES-QUALIFIER ROUND

 

[At left photo is my sweet daughter Alee in a jolly and playful mood; while at right is the front view of the stage at the AFP Theater within the Camp Aguinaldo grounds during the W.O.D.-Philippines Qualifier round.]

 

Miriam College was known during my time as Maryknoll College, and I remember a music bar sung by my classmates in San Beda High School in Mendiola, Manila; about two (2) scores, a decade and three (3) years ago…which goes like this: “I LOVE THEM ALL FROM MARYKNOLL; WHETHER THEY BE BIG OR SMALL.”

I never imagined that Alee would eventually become a Maryknoller (that’s how they call the Maryknoll students then); because her elder sisters all graduated from the Holy Spirit High School.

What struck me about Alee’s clutching a Miriam’s certificate of excellence during an affair which was held at the Miriam College on March 17, 2016 is Alee’s tremendously busy training schedule in dance, hiphop dancing. I felt then that the dance training schedule has eaten much of her time for studies. I know too however that Alee would almost always make time for study even if she would arrive home very late in the night.

Though I then felt that Alee’s being so dead-tired could take a negative toll on her mental comprehension while studying, all of my fears have now been proven wrong. What appears clear is that through Alee’s passion for dance, she has molded some kind of mental discipline which augured well for her after midnight studies, writing of reports and general review. It was indeed a true show of excellence.

About Alee’s passion for dance and the quest for excellence… on March 19, 2016, the World of Dance- Philippines Qualifier round, was held at the AFP Theater inside the Camp Aguinaldo grounds in Quezon City. It was another show of excellence as in fact, one of the more notable members of the panel of judges (i.e. Mr. Jon Supan of the famous hiphop dance team of yesteryears, the Manoeuvres) proudly declared that the show (i.e. WOD-Philippines Qualifier) was a spectacle of dancing excellence by all of the participants. In his own words, Mr. Jon Supan asserted that all of the participants are champions in their own right. What is more, the W.O.D. – Philippines Qualifier featured among others, as its guest dancers, the topnotch dancers from the REQUEST of the Royal Family of New Zealand (3-time world champions at the World Hiphop International in the U.S.A.). Indeed, a powerhouse show of excellence.

Going back to my sweet daughter Alee…years ago, when Alee was still in Grade 3 (not at the Miriam), I was summoned by her teacher as I was thereafter told that Alee, in one of the class examinations, allowed a seat mate to copy from her. When I came with Alee to school and as the teacher asked her about the seeming offense, Alee said that she did not know that her seat mate was copying from her. Earlier however, Alee admitted to me that she knew and allowed her seatmate to copy. At home thereafter, I asked Alee why she answered that way to her teacher’s query. Alee then told me that her seat mate is her best friend and that, she would never let her best friend down.

Early this year, we in the family learned that Alee passed both the UPCAT and the ACET. Though, Alee wants to eventually become part of the famous UP Street Dance Team, she also has her eyes focused for an Ateneo scholastic stint. When I asked her once what she would take as her course if eventually, she would choose to matriculate at the Ateneo, Alee made a quick riposte: “BS Legal Management”. I got so thrilled and surprised that I might in the end, be able to convince one of my children to eventually take up a course in law, as all my cajolery and prodding spent with Alee’s elder siblings have proven futile.

Meanwhile, at the back of my mind, I sort of reminisced that episode when Alee told some kind of white lie in defense of her best friend in her Grade 3 class. I said to myself…well… Alee may really fit the lawyering profession to a “T”, she knows when and how to LIE!!!

BALAY NI FE AT THE TALI BEACH RESORT IN NASUGBU, BATANGAS, PHILIPPINES

 

[Left photo shows the cliff-diving spot at Tali Beach Resort; while the right photo shows the part of the sala of the Balay ni Fe plus the stairs leading to the mansion’s topmost floors.]

I have heard about Tali Beach Resort since years ago. But I never had the chance to visit the place. It was good that my daughters who have become so expert in the art of GOOGLING, came up with this idea of visiting the place during the Lenten break. We thus traveled to Nasugbu, a pastoral town in Batangas in the southern part of Luzon, Philippines.

Tali Beach is a stunning tropical getaway. It indeed is an apt characterization of a “home away from home” which is about 3 hours drive from Quezon City via the Tagaytay track or about 2 and half hours via the Cavitex route.

We stayed at the Balay ni Fe which is situated at the end of the road from the Tali Beach Resort entrance gate along Seaside Drive. It was a fully furnished mansion with wonderful amenities and a verdant garden full of lush and bush.

The Balay ni Fe house is a huge mansion with a high-ceilinged sala with an equally huge dining table consisting of an au naturel varnished long thick and massive hard wood.

The Balay ni Fe has a master bedroom and another 2-double bed guestroom at the ground floor. The second floor which is accessible through a wide and unrestricted staircase made of hardwood similarly varnished au naturel features, towards its right, a long bedchamber which could accommodate a row of THREE (3) double beds.

At the top of the stairs on the second floor, towards the left part, is another bedchamber which can commodiously accommodate TWO (2) double beds.

At the topmost floor which features a veranda overlooking a cute but modestly-sized bean-shaped pool, is the billiard room.

A small kitchen lies at the northeastern portion of the mansion; while a larger dirty kitchen is located in some kind of an adjunct house located at the northern part of the almost 3,000 square meter lot.

But what really takes the cake in the most positive tenor, is the Balay ni Fe’s nearness to the Sunset Beach place and the Cliff Diving Site, just about a couple of steps away.

At the Cliff Diving site which is located behind the most grandiose white mansion (reportedly owned by the managing partner of the most prestigious law firm in the country nowadays) are two (2) favorite diving spots: the HIGH and the LOW.

I did some kind of a jump, sort of a spring and a leap movement, “feet-first” style; from the LOW spot as the Balay ni Fe’s caretaker, Mang Mauro, sort of intimidated me, with scary stories of fatal leaps from the cliff.

On the other hand, my son, Walter Anthony “Tonton”, did a real DIVE from the HIGH spot, which is about 30 feet high…and Ton talked about his experience in his FB timeline as a  “cliff-dive… where it hurts the most for boys”.  Ton’s friend commented on his FB page and aptly described Ton’s  dive as some kind of “bird landing”.

balay-ni-fe-photo-us

[A selfie taken by my son, Walter Anthony Young, showing the front view of the Balay ni Fe at the Tali Beach Resort in Nasugbu, Batangas.]

U.P. LAW DAYS – PART 9- BOOZE, BROADS, BEDLAM AND BABOONERY

 

 

 

johnnie-black

[The enticing logo of JOHNNIE BLACK scotch whisky, which has lured our late UP Law 79 classmate Dionne Laurico, to drink, nay quaff the beverage with much gusto; during our evening class on SALES  one cool December evening, under Prof. Benjamin Festin. Johnnie Walker was instrumental too in making out one of the more boisterously merry MALCOLM MADNESS celebration at UP Law.]

Among UP Law students then, those in the day section would be more prone to carouse and belt the bottle as evening students especially those who are working have to wake up early to catch up with their 8 am to 5 pm employment.

jomar-jun-babad-photo

And my friend Anastacio “Jun” Revilla, Jr.  (UP Law 78) is one among those in the day section who is so much avidly seduced by the fragrance of distilled spirits. And the scent of distilled spirits would keep Jun swooning as though these spirits appear  like sprightly fairies beckoning the drinker into wonderland.

 

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Thus, during one drinking session on a Saturday evening with his UP Law friends, notable among whom were: Romeo “Romy” Legaspi (UP Law 79), Ramon “Chito” Balite (UP Law 78), et al. and  Jun, who seemed then to be so raring to go to wonderland againdid imbibe too much drink. The drinking spree transpired at that favorite venue among UP Law students then, the solitary drug store along Katipunan Avenue near the Balara Entrance, which doubles as a snack bar/cafeteria in the day and beer joint at night. UP-Diliman students  would   artistically refer to the drug store as the “LE BOUTIQUE“, actually a corruption, with some kind of a Frenchy twang, of the Tagalog term “BOTIKA” which means just that, a DRUG STORE.

chito balite-photo

And on his way home at almost midnight, Jun caught a JD bus ride to Quiapo, as Jun though a NARRA dormitory dweller was supposed to spend the weekend with his kin who lives in Paco, Manila.  Jun who was however just halfway to his destination, got compelled to alight at the waiting shed fronting the former Pantranco Bus Station along Quezon Avenue near the corner of Roosevelt  Avenue. Indeed, Jun opted to rest for a while as he was not only feeling dizzy but that he got so embarrassed as he had puked while on board the JD bus and the bus passengers resented the regurgitation.

As Jun could not anymore resist the feeling of drowsiness with the thought of a comfy bed vividly drawn in his mind, and that his mind is persistently wanting to sleep; he thought of using his thick law book as pillow. So, at the waiting shed as there were no other soul who would share the decrepit bench attached to the iron stanchion at the shed, Jun decided to lie down and sleep with his law book as some kind of pillow. And Jun did sleep so soundly as he never ever heard any other sound until the radiant sun of a cool morning in December woke him up.

During those days, the fad among students were the intricately designed leather boots which are hand-crafted and are usually bought at GLENMORE. And Jun was wearing his pair of expensive GLENMORE leather boots then, before he put his mind and body into deep slumber atop that creaky bench. Eventually, Jun got surprised as he could feel the coldness of the cement pavement when he stood up and when he looked at his still aching feet (perhaps the boots-stealer needed to wrestle long and hard  with Jun’s two feet before successfully wangling the pricy footwear), he was already barefooted. Indeed, the shoe thief even carted off with his similarly expensive socks as well as his law book.

One MALCOLM MADNESS day (actually a yearly UP Law Foundation celebration involving much bedlam and baboonery ),  the more-macho looking members of UP Law 78 staged a boisterously merry hula dance. It was such a hilarious presentation with the male dancers who were all heavily made up like the great comedian DOLPHY (in the tradition of the block-buster gay film FACIFICA FALAYFAY) mimicked the hip-swaying movements of a typical Hawaiian danseuse. They were all completely adorned with wreaths that crown their head, necklace of a bunch of lei, bracelets, anklets and braided straw-like material as their diaphanous and revealing skirt. Leading the bevy of the hula dancers, all of UP Law 78, were:  George Briones, Ceferino “Jun” Baquilod, Jr.,  Juancho Baun, Jr.,  Sanchez “Ching” Ali, Julio “July” Morada,  Edgar “Egay” Pacis, Leonides “Nides” Respicio and Anastacio “Jun” Revilla, Jr. The culminating act of this baboonery which brought much bedlam came, when all of the dancers walked down the stage and approached all the male professors who were then present, intent at canoodling their eminent mentors. They actually pursued our UP Law male professors as though they were marauding KISSERS with all their lips distensibly pouted. I am not quite sure whether Prof. Bartolome “Bart” Carale was there present or whether Prof. Bart was so quick in evading the “marauders”. But it surely would have been a KINKY scene if Nides Respicio whose KISSER was the most distensibly pouted, caught up with Prof. Bart and such an episode of smooching would surely have brought the house down. But this production would have not pushed through if not for the invigorating aid of Mr. Johnnie Walker…indeed, each of those who danced, swayed and smooched took a swigger of the booze before curtain time.

 

The foregoing episode brought me to reminisce that chance when I painted the town red with my two (2) evening classmates; Jim Nagrampa and Ed  Kapunan (Ed started out as an evening student but eventually transferred to the day section). We actually hopped from one beer joint to another (though Jim is a teetotaler  and would be content with drinking Coke while I and Ed did the boozing) until in one bar, I think somewhere in San Juan City, we had the chance to befriend a group of broads, actually two mestiza-looking teens, who were boozing with no male companions. It was Ed who did the  befriending and they talked and talked until Ed assured us that they were really broads and not  fags of the FACIFICA FALAYFAY fame. We eventually brought them to their respective homes after Ed called it a night (it was almost dawn actually) as Ed was the one driving the car which brought us from place to place. I do not know what transpired thereafter, I swear.

Going back to the art of BOOZING…It was a December evening again when I impishly entered our classroom at the 3rd floor of the Malcolm Hall, I was about 10 minutes late, but that Professor Benjamin Festin,  whose eyes were then already failing did not notice my tardy entry. I actually took my ingress into the classroom while Prof. Festin was writing something on the blackboard during our evening  class on SALES.

The reason I was late was that I got much detained in my workplace in Tondo as it coincided with the office’s Christmas party. I won a raffle prize which was a Johnnie Walker Black. And when I opened my ECHOLAC valise, to get my notebook, the late Dionne Laurico (UP Law 79) noticed the liquor bottle and jestingly said: “O, MERON KA PALANG MAMAM DYAN, INUMIN NA NATIN YAN!” [English translation: Hey, you’ve got booze there, let’s drink it up.”]

joey-lina-photo

I looked at and saw Joey Lina (UP Law 79)  who was to my left, nodding in approval. So, without much further ado, I gingerly opened the bottle and using the bottle’s cap, I served among my classmates teeny-weeny swigs of the drink as though I was some kind of “mananagay”. [English translation: bartender].

But the late Dionne Laurico felt that his intake of alcohol did not do much, to warm his body up. Thus, amidst the cool breeze of ambient air in that pleasant December evening,  Dionne instead of drinking from the bottle’s cap, grabbed the bottle from me. And Dionne took a long and satisfying swig, nay a long quaff, of the invigorating drink.

Thereafter, Dionne was called to recite and as Dionne’s enunciation of words that were coming out of his mouth seemed to be like gliding from a whirring mini-rotor blade, Prof. Festin thundered out loud: “Mr. Laurico, you are speaking as though you are drunk…!” And the whole class broke out in laughter.