ON WRITING A BIOGRAPHICAL BOOK FOR DADDY MAX YOUNG

 

[Photo at left shows the art illustration which is emblazoned on the first page of Chapter 1 of Daddy Max’s bio-book captioned as ORIGINS IN OPON; while right photo shows the front cover of the bio-book with Daddy Max’s half-tone image reflected at the extreme right portion of the hard-bound cover.]

As I was thinking of another topic for my BLOG, my sister-in-law, Amy Gillera-Young, prodded me to write about my completed venture of having written a biographical book for my Dad, Daddy Max Young aka Maximo Purisima Young.  Amy jestingly told me that I have in fact earlier done what Anderson Cooper recently did, coming up with a documentary about his Mom, Gloria Vanderbilt. I believe the HBO documentary movie produced by Anderson Cooper himself, entitled “NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT & ANDERSON COOPER”, will stand out as a cinch for a movie award. An accompanying book of the same title is reported for publishing before the end of April 2016. This was Amy’s email earlier message to me:

Dear Kuya Wally ,
“Here is a blog idea which occurred to me as I was reading about the latest HBO documentary released on April 9- Nothing Left Unsaid – produced by Anderson Cooper on the life of his Mother Gloria Vanderbuilt , who turned 92. It occurred to me that you actually did a similar thing when Daddy turned 92 – remember we launched the book ? Parents will not be always there to tell their stories – and you did that for Daddy . So much parallelism that Anderson Cooper did for his Mom. Well , mayaman sila [English translation: They are RICH] – the Vanderbuilt has vast fortunes . Also like us — the Young family has also vast fortunes – vast love , vast memories and vastly supporting each other through thick and thin.”

Indeed, when Daddy Max aka Maximo, was nearing his 90th birthday, almost 4 years ago, I was summoned by him one day. Daddy Max told me that Gabby, Amy’s youngest daughter, who was then schooling at Singapore American School requested him to send some materials via email. I learned that Gabby per a school assignment, was tasked by her English teacher, together with all of her classmates, to write about their respective grandfathers. As Daddy Max was not much into tinkering with personal computers, I was tasked by him to answer the long list of questions that Gabby prepared which Gabby earlier emailed. As I myself was unaware about most if not all of the information needed by Gabby, I initially scheduled a series of one-on-one meetings with Daddy Max and I even bought a high-tech recording gadget.

Eventually, it all boiled down to one-on-one meets.  At times, Daddy Max would scribble some notes and I would decipher them all. Thereafter, I would do a draft of what I made out from the notes and would confer with Daddy Max if the deciphering was accurate and precise.

Ultimately, I noticed that the materials that have been generated have grown into hefty tomes,  enough to complete a biographical book. Thus, the bio-book which got entitled: “FOREVER YOUNG: A WALK THROUGH THE LIFE OF MAXIMO PURISIMA YOUNG”    was born.

For a brief summary of major contents of the bio-book, it started off with the unraveling that Daddy Max got sired by a former  American serviceman, Sgt. William B. Young,  who fought during the 1898 Spanish-American War in Manila Bay. Daddy Max’s mother, Emilia, young, unmarried lass who got so enamored with Daddy Max’s debonair looking Dad, eventually gave up Daddy Max for informal adoption to a distant relative. As Granddad William already had a family of his own, Grandma Emilia felt that she alone cannot competently raise Daddy Max up, thus the informal adoption which led to Daddy Max’s being taken care of by his adopters, Lola Genia and Lolo Julio Marinas, who were both auburn-skinned and long-time residents of Opon, Cebu in Mactan Island.

When about 16 years old, Daddy Max finally tried to reunite with his real Dad, Granddad William, whom Daddy Max found to be then living in mainland Cebu particularly in what is now, Cebu City . But as Daddy Max was virtually rebuffed by his Dad, he ran away from home (never returned back to the fold of Lola Genia and Lolo Julio), and landed a job as shipping clerk of MV Legaspi. World War 2 broke out and Daddy Max got enlisted into the USAFFE (i.e. United States Armed Forces in the Far East), after the MV Legaspi got commandeered by the USAFFE authorities, and he earned a Silver Star Medal for his daring war feat.

When liberation came, Daddy Max topped a scholarship exam given by the US government which brought him to schooling at Fort Knox, Kentucky, USA. Upon his return to the Philippines, the Korean War erupted. Daddy Max was among the members of the 10th Battalion Combat Team of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (“PEFTOK”) which were to defend freedom and democracy on a foreign soil. Daddy Max was awarded the Gold Cross Medal for gallantry in action when he killed 42 North Korean soldiers via continued burst of machine gun fire, as Daddy Max trained the machine gun atop the turret of his armored tank unto the NOKOR soldiers, in what is now known as the Battle of Miudong.

Looking back, things could have changed. If not for the virtual rebuff that Daddy Max received from Granddad William [as Granddad William explained to Daddy Max that he cannot take him in, to his Cebu City house as his (i.e. Granddad William) wife will surely raise hell], Daddy Max would have not become a member of the USAFFE.

But the thought which impelled Daddy Max to ran away from the home of Lola Genia and Lolo Julio,was Daddy Max’s perception then that he was sort of deceived.  Upon hearing rumors early on that he was not in fact the biological son of the Marinas couple, Daddy Max then a little lad of 12, asked Lola Genia in the Cebuano dialect: “Mama, anak ba nimo ako?” [English translation: Mama, am I really your son?] And to this question, Lola Genia irritatingly replied: “Simo, ayag tuo tsismis,  gilihi ka nako sa gata ng lubi mao nang puti ka kaayo!” [English translation: Maximo, do not believe on those rumors, when I was conceiving you in my womb, I was so much fond of coconut milk, that is why you are so pearly white!”]         

 

GROOVE CENTRAL DANCE STUDIO Part 2 & the 2016 UAAP Street Dance Contest

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[Top photo taken at the UAAP Streetdance Contest shows Cheska “killing it” via a hiphop dance number at extreme left; while Alee is at extreme right. Photo below shows Shayna, 2nd from left with Legit Status par excellence COACH Vimi Rivera, to Shayna’s left, as they performed as guest dancers thereat.]

 

On Saturday, April 9, 2016 my daughters Shayna, Cheska, Alee together with their Legit Status team mates danced as guest performers in the UAAP Street Dance competition held at the SM Mall Of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Metro-Manila, Philippines. UAAP is an acronym which stands for University Athletic Association of the Philippines, a collegiate athletic association which was established in 1938.  Among the universities that are members of the UAAP are the University of the Philippines (UP), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), University of Santo Tomas (UST), University of the East (UE), etc.

UP garnered the championship trophy once again, making thereby the UP Street Dance Team, back-to-back champion. The UP Street Dance Team is close to the hearts of my daughters Shayna and Cheska (who are co-managing the Groove Central Dance Studio) as they were once members of this elite coterie of top-notch terpsichoreans.

In 2006, Shayna with eleven of her other UP Street Dance Team co-members first joined the World Hiphop International Contest (WHHI) in Los Angeles, USA. They resolutely endeavored to bring the bacon home, so to speak. But they never got lucky in their first try. In 2012 however, the UP Street Dance Team under their stage name, THE CREW, which was composed of a band of UP Street Dance alumni members was crowned as Champion in the Adult Division of the WHHI then held in Las Vegas, USA. Once more in 2013, the UP Street Dance Team with Cheska as team member was adjudged as Runner-Up in the Megacrew Division.  

Back at the Groove Central, preparations are being done for the 2016 Summer Dance Workshop and ENROLLMENT now is in FULL SWING. And they, my daughters are now as BUSY as a BEE. While before, almost all classes were focused on HIPHOP; this year BABY BALLET will also be part of the curriculum. Thus, all of my DANCING DAMES  will be busy imparting their terpsichore knowledge/skills unto their students with Shayna focusing on advance hiphop, Cheska serving as TRAINING-COACH for the Toddlers Hiphop Dance  as well as KIDS HIPHOP Dance classes and Alee taking care of the BABY BALLET class. Though Alee has now concentrated in HIPHOP, she was a bemedalled ballerina clutching her first gold medal win in a solo ballet performance in Singapore in 2006. Alee’s grand harvest of gold medals in BALLET was in the Bangkok International Dance Contest in 2009 where she earned a total of SIX (6) medallions.

Back to HIPHOP at the Groove Central…well, in HIPHOP there is some kind of a dance movement known as a CRUMP or KRUMP. Though, I am not much in the know in HIPHOP, I think, as far as I know vicariously is some kind of a contortion-dance move, some kind of making your body look like as though it is being crumpled. Well, mimicking thereby ring announcer Michael Buffer’s popularly catchphrase…LET’s GET READY TO CRUMPLE!!!

THE WONDERS OF YOGA

 

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[With me are the sexagenarian attendees to our bi-weekly yoga sessions, my fraternity brothers from the PI OMICRON Fraternity who want to be constantly sane and not lame, namely: L-R, internationally renowned painter Jonah Salvosa, me, ILO retired functionary Nory Palarca and Palanca-awardee Lem Garcellano.]

Years ago, I got so fascinated in yoga for which reason, after enrolling in yoga I cajoled the immediate members of my family to also take a try and do yoga. The price was quite steep but I perceived that the benefits would surely outweigh the cost.

It has been bruited about that in the US, the yoga craze started to grow in mid-1970s when President Richard Nixon approached a master yogi for help sometime in 1972. President Nixon was reportedly then  suffering from advanced thrombophlebitis, a swelling of the veins due to blood clots, in his left leg. Thereafter, following some practice on supervised yoga, Pres. Nixon apparently got healed.

And that master yogi became a sensation and eventually turned out into becoming one of the wealthiest yoga practitioners as he, came up with an idea for some kind of a starter, of organizing a US $ 11,000.00 nine-week training session towards a certification as accredited yoga teachers. That yogi master who customarily taught yoga wearing only a Speedo and a Rolex, reputedly kept during his yoga financial heyday a fleet of THIRTY-FIVE (35) Rolls-Royce and Bentley automobiles in his Los Angeles garage.

Since the discipline’s official institution in the US, yoga  has become a favorite among top celebrities. The more avid yoga enthusiasts are: retired basketball star, Kobe Bryant of  the Los Angeles Lakers; Andy Murray, men’s division tennis wonder; Hollywood actor George Clooney,  pop-rock singer Madonna, etc.

Among the more important benefits of the yoga practice are as follows: increases flexibility, enhances muscle strength and tone, augments blood flow, improves respiration as it adds up more room for breathing in the lungs, renews energy and vitality, balances one’s metabolism, reduces  weight, maximizes over-all cardio and circulatory health, improves athletic performance, perfects one’s posture, betters bone health, corrects/improves one’s balance and protects the yoga practitioner from injury.

Indeed, as yoga is more of stretching and bending in place sans any jogging, jumping and running, which at times create a toll upon those wearied ball joints of the lower extremities (as they would bump into each other while in a jog, or a jump or a run), yoga is perfectly safe.  Indeed, there is real protection from injury. For yoga starters, one must just keep his/her own pace and try not to do all the yoga postures with the customary time period of FREEZE.

When I started out with yoga, on my first session, I was actually resting almost half of the time of the yoga practice as it really was punishing and strenuous. And I got so inspired and really amazed when I saw a 75 year old lady (among the more senior participants in our class) who masterfully did the yoga postures so perfectly and so gracefully.

As I wanted to propagate the yoga practice, I invited friends, kith and kin; to do YOGA with me in our badminton hall just adjacent to our Law Office. But the pressures of lawyering work, the eventually diminishing number of attendees (who usually would invariably provid hilarity and fun) and the enticement of the badminton players who were always happily playing and jousting with their racquets and shuttlecocks, kept me away from yoga for some time.

Now, as I have decided to renew the yoga practice, my senior fraternity brothers from the PI OMICRON FRATERNITY, may have realized that they need yoga to keep them sane and not lame. And my sexagenarian fraternity brothers have obeisantly heeded my invitation to join me in the yoga practice, particularly: Nory Palarca, Jonah Salvosa, and Lem Garcellano. A UP Law 79 classmate, Babes Navarro, is also an on-and-off attendee. Another notable attendee is Atty. Ben Bulalacao who has reportedly required his law office’s staff to also join in the yoga experience.

 On top of those senior attendees to the  yoga  sessions, my new and most intriguing new comer to our covey of yoga practitioners is my lawyer-friend, Atty. Cecilio Lumantao (“Cecil”). Cecil is not a sexagenarian (actually he is an octogenarian) but some kind of an apparent sexologist. And on the very first day of Cecil’s attendance, Cecil sheepishly whispered to my ears: “Walter, ito bang YOGA ay nakakaganda rin sa larangan ng pagtatalik?”[English translation: “Walter, does Yoga improve sex performance too?”]

I was told that one yogi master aptly stated that: “NEVER TOO BAD, NEVER TO OLD, NEVER TOO LATE, NEVER TOO SICK, TO STRETCH AND HAVE A NEW BEGINNING WITH YOGA.”

 And thus, I told Cecil: “Cecil, you really will have a new beginning with YOGA!”