[The birthday celebrant is photographed here with the love of his life, AMY, as they posed together in Paris, France (circa 2009) with the imposing and one of the most famous monuments thereat, the Arc de Triomphe as backdrop. I tried to look for a photo in Bert’s FB page where he is attired in red as his astrology-horoscope dictates that red is his lucky color, actually cherry red. ]
You’re a VIRGO and is possessed with positive TRAITS,
It’s a long enumeration but INTELLIGENCE is top on the LIST;
And you’re GOAL-ORIENTED without stopping in your QUEST,
And almost always indeed, you aspire for the BEST!
You started out as a MARINER1, a bit ADVENTUROUS INDEED—
Thus, you’ve travelled almost all over, like a galloping STEED2;
But whence your appeal at WANDERLUST3 has nicely EBBED—
You pursued a course to be a CPA4, a dream that got IMBEDDED5!
You were a PELARGON6 child who’ve gotten much JOY & PRIDE,
Raised and taken care of by your KIN and diligent mentors in a STRIDE;
A coterie of teachers who saw you as CUTE,
Led by your Ninang Nilda7 who’s a teacher so ASTUTE8!
And PELARGON milk was your fave BEVERAGE,
The ration of it came as though flowing like a CASCADE9;
And soon you became a HEALTHY TODDLER,
Eventually, as an adult you turned into a happy HOLLERER10!
In the game of CHESS you’re the BOBBY FISCHER11 of the CLAN,
Teachers-BOARDERS12, in our home losing in a mode that’s DEADPAN13;
You even beat me so many TIMES,
Your winning seemed squired by clinking CHIMES!
Tio MEMOY14 who was skillful in CHESS TOO,
Would look forward to continuously play with YOU;
It was a game that proved too TIME-CONSUMING,
I guess Tio MEMOY can’t accept the skein of LOSING!
You’ve similarly been acknowledged as BEST in GOLF,
You’ve bagged lots of prizes mostly when it’s time for RUDOLF15;
Played the game with your expert FRIENDS & KINS,
‘Tis time for those HOLLERS and the graceful PUTTINGS!
And as the top man in DIMAX16 & NOR17,
Your employees and subalterns can’t ask for MORE;
As you have shown much compassion when NEEDED,
But you’d scowl & frown, when you’re a bit PEEVED.
On your natal day on SEPTEMBER TWO,
It’s as though a celebration for a DUO;
Your jolly side when you do the happy HOLLER,
And the somber version when you turn into a glum FROWNER!
[Bert is pictured here during an Alaskan cruise last year, with all of his wide smile as though seemingly prepared to embrace and catch all of God’s blessings and graces. It is hoped that all of Bert’s kith and kin would fervently pray for a continued shower of blessings unto him on his natal day this September 2.]
[Legend: 1 – MARINER means a seafarer. Bert actually took a course at the FEATI in BS Marine Transportation. Salvador Araneta with his wife Victoria Lopez de Araneta founded the Far Eastern Air Transport Incorporated (FEATI), the first airline in the Philippines flying the Iloilo-Manila-Hong Kong route. The Aranetas decided to close the airline but adopted its name as part of a school they established on March 6, 1946 and named it the FEATI Institute of Technology. The educational institution focused on the fields of engineering and technology and eventually focused too on Maritime Education. The school was granted university status by the Department of Education in 1959 with Victoria Lopez de Araneta as the first president of FEATI University. FEATI is located in Santa Cruz, Manila nestled in a pocket of land within the Santa Cruz district measuring about 5 hectares.
2 – STEED means a horse.
3 – WANDERLUST means a strong desire to travel.
4 – CPA is acronym for Certified Public Accountant which is Bert’s professional title after passing the CPA Board following his graduation in an Accounting Course at the PSBA.
5 – IMBEDDED would mean deeply ingrained in the subconscious of one’s mind.
6 – PELARGON was a formula milk for children manufactured by NESTLE during that time in the late 50s and into the early 60s, It was described then even as a miracle milk with whey and casein protein ratio of 50:50 (i.e. whey and casein protein is acknowledged as the best blend for muscle building protein). A coterie of female teachers who would regularly come to our home (among whom was Ms. Nilda Villamin) to take their lunch (as the school was a mere stone’s throw away from our Murphy home), was pre-selected by Mommy Norma to be Bert’s NINANG or godmother even while Bert was still in Mommy Norma’s womb. And as these female teachers wanted to make Mommy Norma happy, they crafted a plan to supply Bert with the popularly-branded formula milk then, which was PELARGON.
7 – NILDA is Bert’s godmother who is named NILDA VILLAMIN and who eventually was married to a teacher-boarder in our home, Miguel “Mike” De Leon.
8 – Teacher NILDA was indeed an astute teacher as I was once her pupil in Grade 4 at the Murphy Elementary School. Indeed Teacher NILDA was perceptive and so insightful.
9 – CASCADE referred to the continuous supply of PELARGON milk upon the benevolent actuation of the female school teachers led by teacher Ms. Nilda Villamin; thereafter Mrs. Nilda V. De Leon.
10 – In our regular family reunions, Bert would usually be the one who would be hollering a dare, a challenge or a cheer.
11 – American BOBBY FISCHER is considered as the best and most skillful chess player of all times.
12 – The teachers-boarders who were staying in our Murphy home then were: Messrs. Alex Libunao, Tony Senadrin, Mike De Leon, Liberato Dulay, Adriano Agor, Greg Hipolito, Amado Madamba, etc.
13 – DEADPAN would mean expressionless and those teachers-boarders especially Mr. Alex Libunao would accept his defeat in the hands of Bert so expressionless.
14 – Tio MEMOY is our uncle Guillermo Mariñas who was one of the sons of the adoptive parents of Daddy Max, our late Lolo Julio and Lola Genia.
15 – Rudolph is a reference to Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer; and therefore “time for Rudolph” would mean Christmas time at which holiday period, there will be lots of golf tournaments with enticing prizes and expensive give-aways.
16 – DIMAX is a business enterprise where Bert is General Manager.
17 – NOR Distribution is another business enterprise where Bert is also General Manager.]
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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