[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.
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.
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 again, did 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.
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.”]
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.