[Mr. & Mrs. Colin & Minnie Ferguson are shown in this photo in a truly romantic and loving pose at their  Hume Greenacre  love-nest in Sydney, NSW. Minnie was my Secretary in the Philippines before she migrated to Australia and I truly admire her EFFICIENCY. In fact, it was Minnie who has been proudly promoting  amazing Australia to me through our regular and non-ending chats through Facebook. It certainly means that Minnie has not only fallen in LOVE with COLIN but more so, with AMAZING AUSTRALIA.]

During my family’s recent trip to Sydney and the eventual celebration of my 67th birthday at the Oxley Park home of Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Beth Lever, another of my surprise guests to the birthday bash, were Mr. & Mrs. Colin and Minnie Ferguson. Colin is an Aussie with Scottish lineage and who to me, appears to be a chubby version of Hollywood actor Ed Harris (a recipient of the GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD for his playing the role of US Senator John McCain in the 2012 movie, GAME CHANGE). On the other hand, Minnie who is more popularly known here in the Philippines as Herminia Abaño Salinas aka Hermie or Minyang, is a petite version of a great actress of the Philippine movie industry of yesteryears, Lolita Rodriguez.

Earlier, when I communicated to Minnie that I and my family will trek to Aussie, she foisted some kind of a seemingly insurmountable excuse, which was about the distance between places in Sydney and which would entail long hours of driving for Colin. And I really thought that Colin and Minnie will not make it to my birthday bash. Minnie indeed showed much concern and solicitude to his husband Colin, a unique trait among those doting Filipina wives, happily married to non-Filipinos.

Years ago, Minnie was one of our more efficient secretaries at the Legal and Collection Department of the former Allied Banking Corporation, now merged with Philippine National Bank. And it was fortunate then that Minnie was invariably assigned to me.

As has been the practice among  Makati-based  banks in the Philippines, its Legal Department carries a sobriquet  with a Law Office name  and ours at Allied Bank then, was Ocampo Quiroz Mina & Associates. Minnie was so truly efficient as a Law Office  secretary as she can by herself alone, draft legal documents with ease and can even cause its notarization like an authentic lawyer PRONTO. When Minnie’s husband, a Filipino-Spanish mestizo named Miguel Salinas (Mike), a Makati-based bank officer, died after  Minnie retired from Allied Bank, Minnie was almost crest fallen as she  could barely make both ends meet with the meager  pension that she was receiving to nourish and support her children as a single parent. Minnie    was forced to do various odd jobs to eke out their needed household income to sustain their living. Thus, after my separation from Allied Bank (when I put up my own Law Office) at times when I would need an additional    hand in my Law Office, knowing that Minnie is so truly efficient and so diligent, I would call her and she would readily assist me even on Sundays when urgent and important court pleadings have to be filed. I am actually amazed, as Minnie can type/encode direct into the computer my dictation and the finished work would be so precisely correct even to the last punctuation mark.   And I made sure that Minnie is sufficiently compensated and would bring home enough dough to nourish her children, as she    would commute and spend hard-earned money shuttling from far away Santa Rosa, Laguna to Cubao in Quezon City (about 50 kilometers away and almost 2 ½ hours to negotiate due to Metro-Manila’s perennial heavy traffic).

Eventually, in a stroke of serendipity, Minnie  met Colin, a grass widower,  in August  2014 after   Minnie got invited  by her sister  who is an Aussie permanent resident to Sydney. And on the very first moment of their  serendipitous meeting in Sydney, Colin got so love-struck while Minnie easily got fond of Colin as Colin displayed his gentle and suave  manners to a gracious and elegant lady in the person of Minnie.

Being Arian-born (i.e. born on April 15), Colin is shockingly honest, so cheerful and so creative which explains his ardent predilection to the art of photography, as he lugs around a mid-sized state-of-the-art SONY camera. On the other hand, Minnie who was born under the Taurus zodiac sign is truly a faithful and a dependable person.

Minnie and Colin now make home at their Hume Greenacre love-nest in Sydney. Minnie  and Colin have promised     to visit Manila in  the month of the hearts in February 2017. By then, I and my family members will show Colin the     Filipino brand of hospitality; that     kind of caring and sharing   which Colin  has showered   upon a friend, an efficient   ex-colleague and a    dedicated       extra hand during  hectic days at my Law Office joining me in my hankering to meet  court appointed deadlines. And that is no other than my marvelous Minnie! Indeed, Marvelous Minnie is in very good hands with her soul-mate, the Charming ColinCheerio!


[Photo above was taken during my birthday bash at the Oxley Park Home, Sydney, NSW of my cousin, Arlene “Beth” Lever on September 12, 2016 with Colin & Minnie as guests together with my PI O brods from the University of the Philippines. Shown above from L-R:  Beth Lever, myself, Minnie, my UP Diliman PI O brod Danny Daguio, Colin and Prospero “Porong” Ceguerra,  my UP Los Baños PI O brod,  who gaily graced the affair.]


[A larger group photo during my Sydney birthday bash at the Oxley Park Home of Mr. & Mrs. Steve & Beth Lever on September 12, 2016, with Charming Colin at center as this was being snapped by his wife Marvelous Minnie. From L-R: Boy Mayor, Danny Daguio, Charmy Maung, my youngest daughter Alee, Colin, Cely aka Sally Beckham, Porong Ceguerra, my wife Dang, Vimi Rivera, myself, my eldest daughter Shayna, Jun Venal, Candy Galvan, Cheska, Krystle Venal, Kit Venal, my son Tonton, Beth Lever and Steve Lever.]

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