FUN RHYME SERIES 56: AN ELEGY FOR MY MENTOR & FRIEND, BERT BACSAL aka ROBERTO N. BACSAL

 

[Top left photo shows ROBERTO “BERT” BACSAL, my wise and dazzling MENTOR and FRIEND, in a group photo during his 67th birthday celebration at the Quezon City Sports Club on September 2, 2014. Top right photo shows BERT belting out a ballad during the same birthday celebration. Bottom left photo shows BERT oozing out a mischievous smile during his 68th birthday celebration. Bottom right photo shows the interment of my MENTOR and FRIEND at the HERITAGE MEMORIAL PARK in Taguig City, Metro-Manila. Acting as PALLBEARERS during the interment were: PAL President Jimmy Bautista (at extreme right) and my brother WILSON T. YOUNG, Chairman of VICTORIAS MILLING CORPORATION (3rd from right), among others.]

 

I first saw him in the early 60’s,

As a STUDENT MARSHALL1 wearing polo, colored off-whitish2;

Directing the formation of dual lines,

At SAN BEDA HIGH3, during those rainy climes.

 

 

 

I remember when it rains, as it pours abundantly bit,

Legarda’s flooded street will feature virtual logs4 on it;

Crossing the street, not wanting to get wet —

You’ll be sashaying through the log; it’s a sure bet!

 

 

 

And after TWO (2) decades or SO,

BERT emerged as my brother WILSON’s male JO5;

They truly were always so linked and so connected,

BERT pirated SON6 from an accounting firm’s stead.

 

 

 

And after my stint at the NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY7,

I eventually became part of the LUCIO TAN community8;

BERT became one of my many BOSSES,

He’s LUCIO TAN’s man who’s much in-charge at cutting business LOSSES!

 

 

 

And BERT virtually became LT9’s  TOP HENCHMAN,

His TITLE got transformed into “LITTLE LUCIO TAN”;

He was even DUBBED as LUCIO TAN’s 007,

Just like JAMES BOND, BERT’s goal was to make things EVEN!

 

 

When I was with the LUCIO TAN group,

I got amazed by BERT BACSAL’s work scope;

He would make things easy for LUCIO,

For all those companies — those good and— not much, so-so!

 

 

I was once chided and sermonized by BERT,

And it involves one of LT’s realties;

The lot was in fact strategically located,

And swindlers were intent to make of it, a BIG HIT10!

 

Real estate brokers were selling,

That LT’s lot for supposed land banking;

Alas! another land title got so configured,

But it’s the same LT’s lot, LT’s TCT11 just got disfigured!

 

 

 

The case came up to the Building Official’s office,

And I appeared to represent LT at the edifice;

There was this bejeweled man who dished out a TCT,

It captured LT’s lot but the TCT was tinged with spurious  validity.

 

 

 

And so the conflict got so magnified,

The Building Official DIGRESSED and  then just specified;

The supposed omission on the part of LT,

Of failing to get permits and of non-payment of a lot of billboards’ fee!

 

 

Perhaps one of those LT group’s minions,

Forgot to comply with his obligations;

And so the renewal of those billboards’ permit,

Turned out to have not been truly met!

 

 

 

That corner lot indeed was too strategic,

LT’s companies were there advertized, truly so romantic;

Those huge billboards installed therein,

Was the cynosure of all whose sight was keen!

 

 

 

And the BUILDING OFFICIAL issued a demolition notice,

I scampered and run unto BERT BACSAL’s office;

‘Twas a short notice and the demo team would arrive —

The following morning — I was almost sort to take myself a dive12!

 

 

 

 

But as BERT was a quick thinker,

He knows how to really get around such a stinker—

So, when the morning arrived & the sun was so bright,

The problem emerged as calmly bearable & light!

 

 

 

BERT indeed is a RACONTEUR,

He’ll tell stories even about the future;

For he has knack at forecasting —

He can predict what’s truly coming!

 

 

But as he has aged and quite matured,

He wanted his own self to be cared for and nurtured;

By his beauteous wife GIRLIE, who’s in fact a DOCTOR,

But BERT has always been my WISE & DAZZLING MENTOR!

 

  

And as I got truly amazed with BERT as MENTOR,

I got him as GODFATHER of my first-born DAUGHTER;

‘Twas intent too to take him as NINONG13 once again,

For SHAYNA’s14    wedding with her BOY FRIEND  Vim15!

 

 

 

With BERT BACSAL’s untimely passing,

Lot of personalities went truly wailing;

For he was so generous and yet austere,

Though a martinet and yet so caring!

 

 

 

 

And I’ll never forget his penchant for food,

A finicky gourmandizer16 of eats, that’s good;

For he knows where the dining is truly great,

Surely he’ll not let edibles  be left untouched on his plate. 

 

 

 

Let’s PRAY for BERT and for his family,

His parting I am sure would still make  GABE a DILLY;17

For GABE has looked upon BERT as his Daddy,

But I am sure RICA18 will eventually re-marry.

 

AND BERT WILL IN HEAVEN, BE HAPPY!!!!

========================================================================

Legend: 1 – My mentor and friend, Roberto “Bert” Bacsal was a student marshall at the San Beda High School during his senior year. I was  a sophomore then. The student marshall (usually one for every section) would take charge of keeping their classmates assembled/grouped into TWO (2) straight lines (and well-behaved) before they would be allowed to march and enter into their respective classrooms.
2 – The OFF WHITISH color of the polo-shirts of the San Beda High School students, is necessarily caused by the continued laundering of those originally white-colored polo shirt/school uniforms.
3 – SAN BEDA HIGH SCHOOL is a Benedictine-run school located along Mendiola Avenue in San Miguel, Manila.
4 – LOGs in Legarda street, actually refer to pieces of lumber, which would be laid out by enterprising souls to allow students to cross the street above the flooded pavements.
5 – JO is a term which usually refers to a female best friend.
6 – SON is the truncated nickname of my brother WILSON.
7 – National Housing Authority or NHA is the government agency where I worked from 1974 until 1986.
8 – LUCIO TAN community refers to my employment with ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION, now merged with Philippine National Bank, from June 1986 after my resignation from NHA, until April 1998.
9 – LT is the acronym for LUCIO TAN and most especially to the LUCIO TAN Group of Companies or any company within the group.
10- BIG HIT would refer to the efforts of a lot of personalities to make a killing by working out a “grab” of the lot which pertains to a 12 hectare tract at the corner of Quezon Avenue and EDSA (now the tract of land which houses the ETON Centris) which has since been owned and registered in the name of a company within the LT group. In fact, perhaps through the work of a syndicate which was very active then, a transfer certificate of title covering the same lot was produced by a bejeweled person who claims that he is the registered owner of the 12 hectare lot during our meeting at the QC Building Official’s office sometime in the early 1990s.
11 – TCT means a transfer certificate of title which evidences ownership of a tract of land.
12 – The term “taking a dive” would similarly denote a losing actuation (an acceptance of defeat) of allowing the demolition take its consequent course that would consist of a massive dismantling of the infrastructure that houses the huge advertising billboards. But BERT, did not want to feel LOST; he managed to prevent a humiliating DEMOLITION operations by working out a very wise and astute move.
13 – NINONG is Tagalog term for GODFATHER.
14 – My eldest daughter SHAYNA, who is BERT’s goddaughter (actually SHAYNA wanted to get BERT as NINONG once again for her wedding) will be wed on May 6, 2017.
15 – Vim or Vimi is the nickname of SHAYNA’s boy friend whose full name is VICENTE MIGUEL RIVERA.
16 – GOURMANDIZER is used here not to connote a GLUTTON; but someone who LOVES to eat, but is FINICKY in the choice of those delicious dishes.
17 – DILLY denotes the sense of attaining an outstanding status. I know for a fact that BERT has a special love and concern for GABE, who is BERT’s grandson and the ONLY son of BERT and GIRLIE’s youngest daughter, RICA.
18 – RICA filed a petition for nullity of marriage engaging me as her counsel through BERT (which was however contested by the husband, for which reason the proceedings got protracted). The petition was filed sometime in 2009 and the petition was eventually granted in 2014.

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