[Photos shown here from top to bottom (clock-wise) are as follows: group photo with the lagoon which serves as venue for the wakeboarding sports, as backdrop; another group photo (except that most are already wading in the sea water) inside the BALSA; photo of the breakfast had at the impressive mansion of my friend JOE and finally, the photo of our Law Office Secretary, ELLA, simulating the driving of the MOOMBA   OUTBACK SHIP/TOWBOAT.]


Mabuti nga at nagkaroon ng mahabang HOLIDAY1,

Dagli ay naisipang magkaroon ng JOYFUL JOURNEY2

Matagal na akong iniimbita ng  Kumpare kong si JOE3,

Mag-swimming at mag-TEAM-BONDING doon po sa may LAGO4!


Nakaligtaan ko na NCR5 nga lang PALA,

Ang covered ng HOLIDAY, Mindoro’y6 di KASAMA;

Kaya tuloy si Attorney JOVY7 na may hearing PALA…

Di naka-JOIN, pero “sumimple”8 yata sa PUERTO GALERA9!


We headed to CALATAGAN10 at 5:30 AM11,

Arrived at Pareng JOE’s house12 almost 9:30 AM;

Aba ay… SUMPTOUS BREAKFAST awaited all of US…



We thereafter rented a BAMBOO-MADE BALSA13,

Watched those wakeboarding as though they’re dancing SALSA14;

Thence, we were brought towards the middle of the SEA15

That was after we got introduced to the suave Sir ANDREI16!


And every one of us DOVE17 into the water and CAVORTED,

Into the sea we GAMBOLED…..


Except for JUN19 who didn’t want his skin  further BURNED & BLISTERED!

JUN-REV [Here is a photo showing JUN REVILLA being fetched by the boatmen from the LAGO beachfront unto the BALSA.]


At si SAMANTHA20 ang syang nagsilbing STAR…

She became the cynosure of everyone pati nga ni GREGOIRE21,

SAM was this 3 year old TODDLER…

Who spoke as though she’s a BARRISTER22!


And ELLA22a seemed to want to be among the FAMOUS & the RICH…

As she opted to be snapped aboard a MOOMBA OUTBACK SHIP23,

We’ll not much of a BIG SHIP but actually a TOW BOAT—

Perhaps ELLA is thinking to sashay via a water ski ROUTE!  



Si LITO23a naman ay nag-silbing SEA URCHIN HUNTER…

Pero siya ang na-biktima ng nasabing SEA CRITTER24

Tinusok ng SALUNGO25, at para syang na-KURYENTE…

Diga ni LITO animo’y tuklaw daw ng SERPIYENTE26!


[Shown in this photo; from left to right are: Samantha aka SAM, GARY, and LITO aka ENREQUE LUTUC before he was pricked by the SEA URCHIN.]  


Kaya nag-higanti ang mga nag-sasayang KAKOSA27,

Inutos kay GREGOIRE alias GREG na humuli ng ISA…

Aba’y isang tambak naman ang siyang SEA URCHIN na NAHULI,

Nilantakan ng kain (no more cooking ni FE27a), ang ma-alat-alat na UNI28!



[Here is a photo of our COOK and UTILITY WOMAN, Fe Tobias. She did not have to cook the UNI as it was eaten sort of “straight from the gonads”.]


Si JOE VERGARA na sya naman naging aming  HOST,

Walang ginawa kundi patawanin kami nang LUBOS,

Kaya umalat lalo ang SEA WATER sa BALIBAGO29,

Malayo-layo kasi ang CR30 at punong-puno ng TAO!


And the LUNCH aboard the BAMBOO-MADE BALSA…

Was so delicious and aplenty, na para bagang  “one to SAWA”31!

And the PUSIT na LUMOT was so very SWEET,

KILAWING KAMBING was fresh & perfect as though we’re still hearing its  BLEAT32!


After we have said ADIEU to the VERGARAS33,

We trekked to the MUSEUM34 with those quaint TERRAZAS35;

Nice to learn that the late ENRIQUE ZOBEL was HEROIC36

We’ve learned too that his life story, is a true EPIC37!


And the MORAL of our trip to CALATAGAN at LAGO DE ORO—

You don’t need to be RICH to enjoy life… ES CLARO38!

With ANDREI as the new owner of the Cable SKI park, that is LAGO…

He has made the RESORT affordable to the common TAO39!


Anent our trip to the MUSEUM of EZ40,

It gave us the learning of classifying the RICH in society…

There’s the PROFLIGATE RICH and those who are IDLE on WEALTH41

But EZ as a WORKING RICH gave the poor so much HELP42!


[Photos above were taken at the ENRIQUE ZOBEL Museum. The one at right is at the entrance to the Museum while the one at the left is at the LOBBY of the Museum. The Museum also features a coffee shop and souvenir shop at the right end extreme portion of the front yard patio of the Museum.]

…And it’s ASEAN’s43 goal to close the gap between RICH and the POOR till the betterment of all in the ASEAN region is FELT44!


[Legend: 1 – In view of the ASEAN Summit from November  10-15, government declared November 13-15, 2017 as non-working holiday in the whole of the National Capital Region/Metro-Manila.

 2 – Due to the continuing heavy workload in our law office, we have not had any office excursion since 2015. Thus, the long streak of holidays (i.e. November 13-15, 2017) which got declared in Metro-Manila gave us the chance to have an office excursion to Lago De Oro in Calatagan, Batangas.

3 – JOE is Jose Vergara, my kumpare & friend who was my childhood chum during our younger days in Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City. JOE eventually become a PC Scout Ranger and thereafter a member of the elite Constabulary Highway Patrol Group (“CHPG”). Eventually, after a living a bachelor’s life like a true lothario (i.e. an un-intending seducer of woman), JOE finally tied the marital knot at age 45 after having been swept off his feet by a Calatagan beauty named AMY.

4 – LAGO is the LAGO DE ORO CABLE SKI PARK & RESORT located at Barrio Balibago, Calatagan, Batangas.

5 – NCR is National Capital Region or Metro-Manila.

6 –  MINDORO – It happened that Atty. JOVITO B. GAMBOL, one of our partners in the Law Office, has a previously scheduled court engagement in San Jose, Mindoro on November 13 and 14, 2017. For which reason, Atty. JOVY was unable to join us in the Lago De Oro excursion. Aside from Atty. JOVY, Ms. Veronica Santiago-Resurreccion, Administrative Assistant; was also unable to join as one of her children got sick.

7 – Atty. JOVY is the aforesaid Atty. JOVITO B. GAMBOL.

8 – SUMIMPLE is Tagalog slang which connotes and is used here to mean as some sort of sneaking an engagement or possible journey-destination to a resort on top of Atty. JOVY’s court engagement.

9 – PUERTO GALERA is another famous resort and topnotch tourist attraction located in Mindoro; which Atty. JOVY could have possibly reached so that he will have his own SOLO excursion…he,he,he.

10- CALATAGAN is the town in Batangas  where the LAGO DE ORO Cable Ski Park & Resort is located about 130 kilometers south of Manila.

11 – We left our Law Office in Cubao around 5:30 AM and thought that at around 8:30 AM we will be at the house of my friend and Kumpare JOE. But the heavy traffic after getting out of the Eaton Exit along SLEX delayed us for a couple of minutes.

12- The house of my friend JOE VERGARA is just adjacent to the LAGO DE ORO Cable Ski Park & Resort.

13- BALSA is a RAFT.

14- Those wakeboarding enthusiasts whom we saw seem like acrobats doing a lot of fantastic movements when coming out from the top of the SLIDER with lots of wakeboarding tricks such as a FLIP, a BACKSIDE BOARDSLIDE, a BACKSLIDE SPIN, etc. What I love best is that trick where the wakeboarder would flip and turn around in the air to get the grab-handle by the other hand; as though doing a SALSA dance.

15- SEA is the South China Sea to which the LAGO DE ORO Resort’s beachfront adjoins.

16- ANDREI is Sir ANDREI TAGHAN, the French-speaking, suave and debonair-looking Lebanese who owns the LAGO DE ORO Cable Ski Park & Resort. When Pareng JOE introduced us to ANDREI as LAWYERS, he immediately commented and joked that we are a breed of EXPENSIVE people as he said that his retained counsel to help him out in his businesses is the BAKER & MCKENZIE Law Office which, according to him, bills & assesses attorney’s fees just like a taxicab meter especially when he calls in by phone to ask for legal advice.

17- We did not literally DOVE into the water but just plunged into it.

18-   There was a lot of horseplay in the water as every bobbed, jumped, and cavorted…SALTATION is another term for jumping…

19- JUN is ANASTACIO E. REVILLA, Jr. who is my UP Law classmate and partner at our Law Office.

20- SAMANTHA is the cute 3-year old daughter of Gary Ramos, who works as Assistant at the Liquidator’s Office of RUBY INDUSTRIAL CORP. which is housed at the Ground Floor of our Law Office.

21- GREGOIRE is actually GREG who is Amy’s kin (i.e. Amy is the better half of my Pareng JOE); and GREG was our BALSA boatswain and helper combined.

22- BARRISTER is a LAWYER. Sam aka Samantha talked as though she was a mature fellow and chatting, even arguing even with our co-lawyers and the other joiners to our Office excursion.

22a- ELLA is Ms. Romelyn Solomon Hadap who is our Law Office Secretary.

23- The MOOMBA OUTBACK Ship is actually a towboat owned by Sir ANDREI and is used in the resort as towboat for a banana boat ride and other water rides.

23a- LITO is ENREQUE LUTUC (a native of Apayao who at one time after having had the chance to hobnob with former President FVR was suspected by FVR as an NPA), who is our Paralegal Assistant/Messenger and Driver, all rolled into one. 

24- CRITTER is another term for SEA CREATURE which is used here to refer specifically to the SEA URCHIN.

25- SALUNGO is Tagalog term used in Calatagan, Batangas to refer to a SEA URCHIN.

26- SERPIYENTE is another term for SNAKE.

27- KAKOSA is a Tagalog slang which means COMPANION or member of a group.

27a- FE is FE TOBIAS, our Law Office Cook and Utility Woman.

28- UNI is the edible part of the SEA URCHIN. UNI  (oo-nee) is actually the Japanese name for the edible part of the Sea Urchin. While colloquially referred to as the roe (eggs), UNI is actually the animal’s gonads (which produce the milt or roe). UNI ranges in color from rich gold to light yellow, and has a creamy consistency that some love and is off-putting to others.

29- BALIBAGO is the barangay in Calatagan in Batangas where LAGO DE ORO is located.

30-  CR is the popularly term used in the Philippines to refer to the TOILET. CR is acronym for COMFORT ROOM.

31- “ONE TO SAWA” is actually a Tagalog slang. But it is a phrase with a combination of English words and a Tagalog word: “SAWA” which means SATIATION. “SAWA” actually connotes UNLIMITED nature or of being APLENTY as the LUNCH at the BALSA was really APLENTY, namely: crabs, prawns, chevon vinaigrette aka kilawing kambing, porc vinaigrette aka dinakdakan, calamari grille aka inihaw na pusit-lumot, chevon cuit aka kalderetang kambing,  thon grille aka inihaw na yellow-fin tuna, etc. (with Frenchy culinary terms attuned to ANDREI’s Frenchy twang)

32-BLEAT is a goat’s cry.

33- JOE’s surname is VERGARA.

34- MUSEUM is the ENRIQUE ZOBEL Museum located in Calatagan, Batangas.

35- TERRAZA is the patio at the ENRIQUE ZOBEL Museum. It could also refer to the porch along the outside of a building or an outside coffee shop.

36- HEROIC – We learned after a trip at the MUSEUM that after the Japanese forces entered Manila in 1941, the 14-year-old Enrique displayed his resourcefulness and audacity, having to care for his mother while his father was with the USAFFE forces in Bataan. To generate income for their daily needs, he used his father’s polo ponies to offer kalesa rides to his countrymen in Manila. In the 1970s, the late Enrique persuaded his family to award so many hectares of their land to the tenants/original settlers of their land in Calatagan.

37-EPIC- The late Enrique Zobel’s life could be considered as an EPIC as can be shown in this narrative about his early career. Thus: Enrique Zóbel joined Ayala y Compañia in 1955 as a mechanic and worked closely with his uncle, Col. McMicking, who was credited for engineering the transformation of Makati from vast tracts of swamplands into the Philippines’ premier financial and commercial district. When the Ayala y Compañia partnership became a corporation in 1967 (after the retirement of Col. McMicking), Enrique Zóbel became its first chief executive. Like McMicking, Enrique Zóbel showed great strength and business savvy in contributing to the growth of Ayala as one of the Philippines’ biggest and most respected conglomerates. He sustained McMicking’s vision for the Ayala group. He professionalized the Ayala group and was instrumental in fulfilling Ayala’s goal to become a major player in the banking sector, as the company gained control of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Ayala also moved into new industries then- semiconductor (Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc.), food processing (Pure Foods Corporation – now, San Miguel Pure Foods Company, Inc.), agribusiness (Ayala Agricultural Development Corporation) and telecommunications (Globe-Mackay Cable & Radio Corporation – now, Globe Telecom). In 1973, Enrique Zóbel welcomed the Mitsubishi group as partners and took Ayala Corporation public in 1976. On November 8, 1976, Ayala Corporation was listed in the Makati Stock Exchange (now Philippine Stock Exchange). Among the RICH in thePhilippines, the late ENRIQUE ZOBEL was among those who really cared for the poor as can be seen from the many charitable activities that he championed in Calatagan, Batangas particularly his version of LAND REFORM thereat. ENRIQUE ZOBEL was the one who coined the classifications of the RICH in the Philippines such as: the PROFLIGATE RICH, the IDLE RICH and the WORKING RICH like the late ENRIQUE ZOBEL who showed compassion for the POOR.  In 1981, he founded the Makati Business Club (MBC) to support or oppose policies which affected national life. He felt that the business community needed to speak out as a single solid voice and not lobby for its own corporate or sectoral interest. From 1983 to 1986, MBC would be the prime advocate of political change.

38- CLARO is Spanish word which means “IT’S CLEAR!”.

39- COMMON TAO would mean the ordinary folks or the masses. ANDREI, the Lebanese who now owns LAGO DE ORO has somewhat scaled-down the price rates of the hotel rooms. On top of this, he has even renovated the resort. The resort is now, not only so spic and span, but most importantly, more elegant-looking. Instead of a wooden railing-barrier that separates the beachfront and the hotel premises; ANDREI put up instead the more durable and almost corrosion-free & gleaming stainless-steel  railing along the fence-barrier.

40- EZ is acronym for the late ENRIQUE ZOBEL.

41- IDLE on WEALTH refers to those IDLE RICH. IDLE RICH would mean those who have abundant possessions and especially material wealth having high value or quality but are in fact lazy and who do not care to help those who are poor.

42- As earlier said, it was the late ENRIQUE ZOBEL who persuaded his family to have the first version of land reform in Calatagan, Batangas by awarding home lots and agricultural lots to the original settlers in the lands owned by the Zobels in Calatagan, Batangas.

43- ASEAN is acronym for the Association of South East Asian Nations. The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are: (1) to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian nations, and (2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter. In 1995, the ASEAN Heads of State and Government re-affirmed that “Cooperative peace and shared prosperity shall be the fundamental goals of ASEAN.”

44- With economic growth as the primordial goal of the ASEAN for the whole of the ASEAN region, this would translate to an inclusive economic growth for all.]


























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