[CONDER is shown at left photo with his usual mischievous smile, quite puzzling and titillating. Right photo shows the whole PAGUNURAN family posing for a group picture during the twin-celebrations of a birthday party for their kin. At front row for the photo at RIGHT: L-R – Karlo, Kyle, Natasha, and Mico; at back row (standing): Evelyn, Conder’s beauteous wife and the BIRTHDAY BOY, CONDER.]
He is an ALLEGIANT and a LOYAL CAGAYANO1,
As in fact CONDER still speaks the ITAWES2 LINGO;
For love of his town in CAGAYAN at PIAT3,
He fervently swayed his son to run as a KAGAWAD 4!
I rubbed elbows with him in the UNIVERSITY5,
He was a student assistant at the LIBRARY6;
He’s a member of the ALPHA PHI BETA FRATERNITY7,
He’s a true paragon of pure HUMILITY!
At the UP College of Law in DILIMAN,
He became a personality, sort of a mimic-MAN;
He earned the sobriquet of CARALE JUNIOR,8
It’s not because Prof. CARALE is SUAVE, it’s because of the COLOR9!
His co-tandem and chum then, is his frat brod LUDGI10,
They’re both upright and diligent assistants at the Law LIBRARY;
Those who wanted to have law books reserved for PERUSAL,
They need to talk to them right after the class’ DISMISSAL11…
Despite having some control in the BOOKs’ DISPOSITION 12,
They never misused their clout, a sign of sincere VOCATION;
Indeed, a lot of us commended their SINCERITY,
Their help aided us all, to graduate in LAW with such FACILITY13!
CONDER is a brilliant writer and of course, a convincing PLEADER —
He imparts the message with not much
of an EMBELLISHER;
His style is plain, terse and truly LACONIC,
I am sure, with his prose — he convinces
in a way, that’s truly MAJESTIC!!!
And now after years of his lawyering PRACTICE14,
CONDER seems to look unto the future with quietude and PEACE;
He has put up a farm in his province with poultry and LIVESTOCK15,
It’s a dream, an aspiration with a noble mission which is to feed his own FLOCK16!
[This SELFIE with his fraternity brothers in the ALPHA PHI BETA Fraternity, was taken by his Brod Joel Erestain (at extreme left). His Brod Ludgi is shown second from LEFT; while CONDER is at extreme RIGHT. The other fraternity brother shown in the photo above is his Brod Simeon Dumandan, second from RIGHT. The photo was taken at the facade of the SENATE building in Pasay City, Metro-Manila.]
[Legend: 1 – CONDER hails from the north, in the Cagayan Valley of the NORTH.
2 – ITAWIS is the dialect spoken in that part of the Cagayan Valley in the northern part of Luzon particularly in Conder’s hometown in PIAT, CAGAYAN.
3 – PIAT is a town is located in the south-west part of Cagayan Province and is popularly known as the Itawis Region, along which town, the Rio Chico runs west, south, and north-west of the town until it debouches into the Rio Ibanag somewhere near Nasiping town. The town of Piat is dubbed as the “Pilgrimage Center of Cagayan Valley” because of the thousands of devotees and tourists who come there to pay homage. It is the home of the Our Lady of Piat which continues to be the source of inspiration and object of devotion of many Catholics in the region.
4 – KAGAWAD is a Tagalog term which means COUNCILMAN. Conder’s 2nd son, KARLO MIKHAEL PAGUNURAN, ran in the local elections in PIAT, CAGAYAN for a slot in the Municipality’s council.
5 – The UNIVERSITY referred to is the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES particularly its COLLEGE OF LAW.
6 – The LIBRARY referred to is the UP COLLEGE OF LAW LIBRARY.
7 – The ALPHA PHI BETA Fraternity is actually some kind of an acronym for the first letters of the title: A, P & B, as ASSOCIATION OF PHILIPPINE BARRISTERS. The Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity maintains its singular existence as a UP College of Law-based fraternity, with no recognized chapters outside the University of the Philippines in Diliman. Its present roster of Lords hails from the UP College of Law and from pre-law colleges in the University. The ALPHA PHI BETA fraternity is one of THREE (3) COLLEGE OF LAW Greek-lettered fraternities in UP; the other TWO (2) are the SIGMA RHO Fraternity and the SCINTILLA JURIS Fraternity. However, there are students at the UP College of Law who are members of UNIVERSITY FRATERNITIES such as the UPSILON SIGMA PHI, BET SIGMA, PI OMICRON, ALPHA SIGMA, etc.
8 – CARALE is the surname of former UP College of Law Dean and professor, BARTOLOME CARALE. Prof. CARALE is somewhat TALL, somewhat HANDSOME and DARK.
9 – COLOR – It was actually the HUE and COLOR, as both Prof. CARALE and CONDER are DARK in complexion, CONDER got eventually referred to during our UP Law days as CARALE Junior.
10 – LUDGI is the nickname of incumbent Assistant Director of the NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, Asst. Director MEDARDO DE LEMOS. LUDGI and CONDER are fraternity brothers and both worked as student assistants with assignment at the UP Law Library.
11 – Immediately at DISMISSAL time, students then at the UP College of Law (because of the sheer limited number of law books particularly the SCRA and the PHILIPPINE REPORTS; both of which are compendiums of Supreme Court decision) would race up the Library to grab a book particularly those of limited number of stocks. If not lucky, the very next thing to do is to ask the student assistants for help to reserve the book for some future time, usually on the following class day.
12 – As student assistants, both LUDGI and CONDER have the power to reserve a book for a FRIEND or a BROD or a CLASSMATE especially during the period prior to the grueling examination days.
13 – The BOOKS at the UP Law Library truly accord tremendously help (which could spell a PASSING grade) among those diligent students who really took time then, even on Sundays, to be there at the UP Law library doing either reading and/or copying court decision from the SCRA or jotting down notes from the readings.
14 – CONDER has been into active law practice since May 1983 after taking his oath on May 2, 1983.
15 – CONDER in his modest farm located in PIAT, CAGAYAN, has been raising some chickens, and hogs.
16 – One of the other principal objectives of CONDER in putting up the FARM is to create job opportunities for his kin as well as to have some source of food to feed his kin and kith alike.]
I am a litigation lawyer in the Philippines and a graduate of the UP College of Law. I am married to a culinary chef, my wife Criselda, endearingly called as Dang, who is now preparing her masteral thesis at UP; and have four (4) children: three (3) daughters (i.e. Shayna, a UP Masscom grad; Cheska, a UP Visual Arts grad; and, Alee who is a Grade 12 student at Miriam High) who are all passionate advocates of the hiphop culture particularly the dance genre (i.e. regular participants in the annual World Hiphop International Dance Competitions in the US) and one (1) son (i.e. Anthony who is an Ateneo graduate in European Studies) who lustily plays the guitar and the electronic drums.
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