[At top left is a group photo showing Daddy Max at center; from L-R, Alee who is presently freshman at the ATENEO, Shane and Cheska (both graduated at UP), Daddy Max, myself, and Anthony, who graduated from the ATENEO with a European Studies degree.Bottom left is the official seal of the ATENEO , with its central symbol, the shield of Oñaz-Loyola, a device used by many Jesuit organizations. The shield is gold, divided vertically. To the viewer’s left is a red and gold blendy of seven pairs – seven red bars on a field of gold – the arms of Oñaz given in honor of the seven heroes of the family who fought with the Spaniards against 70,000 French, Navarese, and Gascons. To the right is a white or silver field with the arms of Loyola: a two-eared pot hanging by hooks on a chain flanked by two rampant wolves, also symbols of the ricos homines or nobility. The name Loyola itself is a contraction of lobos y olla, wolves and pot. The Loyolas were reputed to have provided so well for their own that they could afford to feed wild wolves. Right photo shows Daddy Max with his wife Mercy, while marching along a church’s aisle, as they attended and served as principal sponsors in a weekend wedding in Tagaytay City on October 16, 2016.]
Ateneo de Manila University (“ATENEO”) is one of the most prestigious private educational institutions in the Philippines which was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1859, making it the 3rd oldest university in the country. It has its main campus in Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Metro-Manila and THREE (3) satellite campuses in Rockwell Center and Salcedo Village, both in Makati (the Philippines’ financial hub) and at the Ortigas Center in Pasig City, Metro-Manila.
Our Daddy Max never thought that at his ripe age of 94, he will be called upon to speak before bright and talented students at the home of the BLUE EAGLES, ATENEO’s apt nickname.
Daddy Max in his prime, was accustomed to speak before male university students in accord with the then college curriculum which included mandatory military training under the ROTC banner. ROTC stands for RESERVE OFFICERS’ TRAINING CORPS. And Daddy Max had gone the rounds of teaching and conducting instructional modules in military science and tactics at the University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, University of the East and San Beda College during the late 50s into the early 60s.
Under the ROTC set up then, military science training was conducted through the joint supervision of the school and the Department of National Defense (“DND”) towards mobilizing students for national defense in time of need. Thus, the DND would designate a Commandant usually with the rank of Captain up to Colonel and a lower-ranked military officer as Tactical Officer. And Daddy Max fitted into the role of Tactical Officer as he would conduct the teaching on military education and tactics-training by himself.
On October 27, 2016 Daddy Max being a proud member of the PEFTOK, which is acronym for PHILIPPINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE TO KOREA, and having been recently awarded the FIRST CLASS TAEGEUK CORDON OF THE ORDER OF THE MILITARY MERIT MEDAL (“TAEGEUK CORDON MEDAL”) will speak at the Leong Hall Auditorium. The TAEGEUK CORDON MEDAL is the highest military decoration of the South Korean government for military bravery and valor by reason of Daddy Max’s daring feat in the Battle of Miudong, the first battle fought and won by Filipino soldiers on foreign soil.
[Photo at left shows Daddy Max in full military winter attire when assigned then as part of the 10th BCT of the PEFTOK amidst the wintry weather in Korea during the KOREAN WAR in late 1950; while at right photo is Daddy Max garbed in a simple barong tagalog with the PEFTOK logo stitched on the right chest portion of the barong tagalog.]
The invitation conveyed to Daddy Max by Mr. Oliver John Quintana (who is Program Director and will serve as master of ceremonies of the event), reads as follows: “The Korean Studies Program, in partnership with the Department of Political Science and the Department of History, invites you to the 2016 (3rd) Ateneo Korean Studies Conference: “Revisiting the Korean War: History, Memory and its Implications on Contemporary Nation Building” on 27 October 2016 (Thursday), 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at the Leong Hall Auditorium, Ateneo de Manila University.”
This event was organized in memory of and on the occasion of the 66th Anniversary of the PEFTOK’s landing in Busan, Korea. The program is aimed too at bringing together various interdisciplinary approaches in exploring how the experience of the Korean War in the 1950s continues to shape the political, economic and socio-cultural facets of nation-building in the Korean peninsula in an era of international globalization and development.
In Daddy Max’s prepared speech, he intends to summon the spirit of patriotism among the Filipino youth. Daddy Max said that, as contained in his speech to be delivered before Ateneo students, he would proudly speak about and reveal the ardent manifestation of patriotism of the youth then in 1950. According to Daddy Max, when a campaign for recruitment was launched in 1950 which invited able-bodied young men to fight for freedom and democracy in the war against godless communism at the Korean War, among those who applied were the Filipino youth, who were then mere teenagers.
Thus, quoting from Daddy Max’s speech, he wishes to focus mainly on this challenge:
“xxx perhaps the challenge unto the youth of today is to muster and display a noble kind of patriotism. Clearly, not through WAR, but for the youth to evince love for country by according respect for authority, our national leaders.”
And, Daddy Max’s thought-provoking query contained in his speech, goes like this:
“I am lured into coming out with a thought-provoking query for the young ones who are here today to personally ask themselves: “HOW CAN I NOW DISPLAY MY PATRIOTISM FOR MY BELOVED COUNTRY.””