This site will dwell on stories about family, friendship and fun.
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.
Happy happy birthday to you Lolo/Daddy MAX… Lolo/Daddy MAX indeed is still suave and as smooth as WAX; At age NINETY-NINE, he looks as though he’s just SIXTY-NINE – – Still, Lolo/Daddy MAX can un-assisted, do unto my Law Office stairs a quick CLIMB; He could even dance the TWERK which is famous among lovely girls who’ve sipped WINE!
Among the most descriptive adjective that is ascribable unto LOLO/DAD MAX, as a FOREBEAR… The term DISCPLINARIAN is the most that attaches to LOLO/DAD MAX, and it’s so CLEAR; The thick-leather thong belting episode (after I got caught street-gambling when I was 10) that made me avoid MAHJONG- – Will always be okey with me as long as I’ll receive some part of the TONG; And I’m sure (next year) that LOLO/DAD MAX’s 100th birthday will be most astounding, accompanied by the shrilling sound of a GONG!
I still vividly remember the Rocky Marciano-style of a punch that hit my stomach, my BELLY… Perhaps, that’s the reason why I can make 100 sit-ups, like PACMAN, MANNY; And the kneeling punishments that I’d usually GET- – Made me also stronger, with SQUAT JUMPS that’s hard to FORGET; For it has become the usual sanction when I was still a toddler and a growing BAGET!
But the most memorable teaching that I distinctly REMEMBER… Was how to cook sotanghon soup using as “pang-gatong” a heap of CHARCOAL EMBER; ‘Twas at a time in the late ‘50s when there was some sort of a FLU EPIDEMIC – – Only I and LOLO/DAD MAX, were not infected, ‘twas a record that’s kinda EPIC; But the SOTANGHON SOUP, tasted so SALTY, as the bottle of PATIS sort of PANICKED!
At the former structure of our house at 19th AVENUE… It was pure ground-earth flooring with lots of “banig”, and the SOTANGHON SOUP also registered lots of SPEW; Lola/Mommy NORMA was down; YAM, JING, SON and BERT were all CALM – – And our maid CLARITA was shivering cold as though a wiggling CLAM; They all spewed the first round of the SALTY SOUP and RICE, so we had to water down the SOUP, scooping water from the DRUM!
And the seasonal mini-gladiatorial COMBAT was truly HORRIFYING and EXCITING… When the PIG PEN needs to be cleansed and hosed, after piglets are given birth by the “INAHIN”; LOLO/DAD MAX would look like a GLADIATOR facing the “INAHIN” in some kind of hand-to-mouth FIGHTING – – Like a CROCODILE, the “INAHIN” will open its mouth with some “PANGIL” and would make its mouth SNAP, angling LOLO/DAD MAX’s DING-A-LING!
And LOLO/DAD MAX will always win the seeming GLADIATORIAL COMBAT in the END… With our chickens roosting inside their PEN hooting with excitement, and with their crowing salutes they’d SEND; And LOLO/DAD MAX will receive a nod and a pat of adulation among our renters and BOARDERS in their tittle-tattle SPREE- – With shower of leaves as though lots of confetti from the nearby “aratiles” TREE; And then and there, the “INAHING BABOY” will snort and sort of BRAY and WHINNY!
And I think this ferocious type (so protective of its litters and piglets) of a PIG… Will always be VANQUISHED, with a bamboo pole or perhaps a TWIG; As in every birthday of our suave and dandy LOLO/DAD MAX – – A roasted pig aka LECHON, will be prepared with its skin so oily as though WAXED; Some kind of “karma” for the pigs’ tribe’s past fierce ATTACKS!
Na ‘di makapag-get-together nitong unang semestre ngayong TAON;
Nagkataong na-isinangguni at ibinahagi ni BABES NAVARRO – –
Pag-gunita sa pag-yao ng mga evening BATCHMATES, “which brought much SORROW”;
Sina JIM NAGRAMPA, ERIC RODRIGUEZ, BOBBY LOPEZ, MAR TURINGAN at si DIONNE LAURICO!
At ang “REMEMBERING OUR FALLEN UP LAW EVENING BATCHMATES” nga ay NAIDAOS…
At kelangang ding mag-pamisa bilang pag-gunita sa KALBARYO ng POONG HESUS;
Mahirap ngani ngayong PANDEMIC na kumuha ng PARI na handang lumabas ng kanilang KUMBENTO – –
Buti na nga lang ay pumayag itong aking kaibigang INDIANO na PARING CLARETIANO;
Si Fr. TOMMY1 na kay hirap talagang espelegin ang mahaba niyang APELYIDO!
Mahirap nga talagang ISPELENGIN itong si Fr. TOMMY…
Dahil takot daw siyang ma-COVID at hindi ka pwedeng lumapit at sa kanya’y TUMABI;
At least 2-meters DISTANCING and kanyang takdang sukat na sa kanya ay LUMAYO – –
Yan daw ang wika ng puno ng CONGREGATION nila na sa kanya ay syang NAGPAYO;
Kaya dapat kaming lahat, sa kanya habang nag-mimisa, ay sadyang MALAYO!
Ang diga ko nga kay FATHER para nga lang PUMAYAG unto our PACT…
“We’re all fully-vaccinated FATHER, and not more than TEN, that’s a FACT”;
Ang sagot nya naman, ay: “there’s no guaranty that you won’t be INFECTED” – –
Turned out that Boss AMBA VICKY, has not yet been INOCULATED;
Kaya she cordially sent her regrets, and that’s what BABES NARRATED!
Subalit naging TOO DEMANDING po itong si FATHER…
Kailangang daw ay: “for us to strictly OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING, WHATSOEVER”;
At na-relocate ang VENUE po ng HOLY MASS, to a venue which was LARGER – –
Mula sa CONFERENCE ROOM, ay sa BADMINTON BUILDING na naitakda ang misa, and no OTHER;
At baka mag-boycott areng si Father TOMMY, “as I can’t argue any FURTHER”!
At ang unang dumating sa lugar ng MISA, siyempre ay si BABES…
At kakilala din pala niya itong paring INDIANO, who sports a BEARD;
Then, si MARVZ GONONG na taga-PROJECT 4 po LAMANG TALAGA – –
Halos wala pa ngang isang kilometro ang layo mula sa aming OFICINA;
Pero nagdala pa rin ng KOTSE, at muntik pa ang pag-PARADA’y naging PROBLEMA!
Sumunod namang dumating po ay si BENJU DE LA PAZ…
Taga MARIKINA at siya pala’y nabalo nito lang DISYEMBRE, at di na nga niya IPINA-BROADCAST;
Malihim ngani itong si BENJU, ngunit loyal na tagapagsundo ng kaisa-isang babae nyang ANAK – –
Mabuti nga daw at ‘di nagpasundo, kundi ay di sya nakarating AGAD;
At dahil nga sa TRAFFIC baka daw sa DINNER GET-TOGETHER, siya ay di rin MAPADPAD!
And the tandem of VIC CRUZ and CEL GELLADA made their ENTRANCE…
To avoid TOWING, nag-parking daw sila sa gated parking area, among those parked DELIVERY VANS;
And the HOLY MASS got started with a FOREWORD as FATHER SUGGESTED – –
Since FR. TOMMY does not know our departed BATCHMATES;
He needs some inputs for his HOMILY, those circumstances about JIM, ERIC, BOB, MAR and DIONNE, who speaks as though he’s from the STATES!
Thus, as introduction, I made some DISCLOSURE…
Since JIM was my very first LAW PARTNER, he was my intro’s CYNOSURE;
And next was ERIC, and the rest whom I failed to get unto the TARP their individual PICTURE – –
And the MASS started in EARNEST, as FR. TOMMY vowed he’d have to EXIT FAST;
He has to finish his DOCTORAL THESIS, the extension given him is the LAST!
And the DINNER GET-TOGETHER proved so JOLLY…
BABES received a call from a FRIEND, named DOLLY;
At naitanong nung FRIEND kung nasaan nga SIYA nag LALA-MYERDA – –
Nakuwento naman ni BABES na nag-attend siya ng MISA;
MISA nga nang pag-gunita nang kamatayan ng kanyang mga KAESKWELA!
Aba, ang sabi ba naman nitong kanyang kaibigang KAHUNTAHAN…
“Naku, wag ka nang nag-aattend ng mga “mass for the dead” na GANYAN;
“Dapat dahil PANDEMYA, wag ka nang susubo pa sa mga bagay na nagbibigay KALUNGKUTAN” – –
Sumagot si BABES: “Eto nga kami’t dahil muling nagkita-kita ay walang kahulilip ang aming TAWANAN”;
At ang kaibigan ni BABES ay tunay pong NABIGLA at NAGULUMIHANAN!
Ang inihanda ng aming masipag na KUSINERA sa OFICINA…
Menudo, sinigang na salmon, pininyahang manok at syempre isang piling na SWEET BANANA;
At nag-ambag naman si VIC CRUZ ng pansit sotanghon na puno ng tinalupang HIPON – –
Sinimulan na ngani ang pag-TSIBOG, at si BABES, na walang KA-ABOG-ABOG;
Kumuha na ng plato, kubyertos at syempre ang favorite nyang FOOD!
Dahil nga ako po ay SENIOR CITIZEN nang TALAGA…
Nakaligtaan kong kunin ang pinaluto kong KARE-KARE sa SISTER kong MAGANDA;
Mabuti na lang at nasiglawan ko si JESSIMINE na syang aking bagong SEKRETARYA – –
Pinagbando ko pa ngang makakatikim siya ng KARE-KARE na pinakamasarap sa buong mundo, or perhaps buong ASIA;
At ako na mismo ang kumuha ng KARE-KARE, dahil si DRIVER WILLY’y inihatid pa si FATHER sa ICLA2!
At siyempre nang natikman ni MARVZ ang KARE-KARE na niluto ni WILMA, na INIHAIN…
Naku’y para daw nakalimutan na niya ang ngalan ng BIYENAN nyang magiliw at MAHINHIN;
At kahit nga pinag-bawalan nang uminom si MARVZ ng mga inuming PAMPAGANA – –
Lumagok ng JINRO SOJU na para bagang bersiyon ng BEER mula sa SOUTH KOREA, pero lasang VODKA;
At talagang humanap pa ng ibang inuming na naka-LA-LASHING at nagbibigay SAYA!
At syempre si CEL ay naikwento ang kanyang inaantay na RETIREMENT PAY…
2017 pa ngani nag-RETIRE, wala pa ring PAY until TODAY;
May HOT LINE daw na dapat si CEL ay TAWAGAN, para mawakasan ang PAG-AANTAY – –
Para bagang wika ni CEL, siya halos ay talagang BINIBISTAY;
At mukhang siya’y nahaharap sa mga kawani ng GSIS na animo’y BANTAY-SALAKAY!
At itong si MARVZ ay kelangan palang bumalik sa ESTADOS UNIDOS…
Dahil doon siya nag FIRST DOSE ng PFIZER, at syempre, doon din dapat SECOND DOSE;
Pero ang ONLINE DFA sked niya ay sa end of OCTOBER 2021 pa, at KELANGAN NIYA’Y RUSH – –
Gagawan ng paraan ni VIC CRUZ, nang walang ATTORNEY’s FEES, no need to PAY CASH;
“OUT-OF-POCKET” expense na lang daw, as the result would indeed be FAST!
At nang matapos na ang kainan, tuksuhan, tawanan at INUMAN…
Meron pa ngang pabaon na SINUKMANI3 na MALINAMNAM;
Naalala ko ang wika ng aking INANG, upang lumawig ang PAGKAKAIBIGAN – –
Mamahagi ng malagkit na BIKO upang ang mga kaibiga’y mas lalong MAPADIKIT;
Habang si SWEET BABES NAVARRO naman ay mukhang lalong nagiging MARIKIT at NAG-PAPAKARIKIT!
[These are my Law Office staff members who made the HOLY MASS cum DINNER GET-TOGETHER in commemoration of the death anniversary of Jim Nagrampa happen. JIM joined our ALMIGHTY CREATOR on July 14, 2004. The HOLY MASS presided over by Fr. TOMMY MUNDANKUNNELVARKEY was offered too for the eternal repose of the souls of ERIC RODRIGUEZ, DIONNE LAURICO, MAR TURINGAN and BOBBY LOPEZ. From top to bottom (L-R): Ms. Marissa Lagdamen, our OFFICE MANAGER; Ms. Jessimine Caballero, our SECRETARY; Ms. Tita Nailgas, our OFFICE CLEANER; Mr. Willy Pestilos, our OFFICE DRIVER; and, Ms. Fe Tobias-Calanoga, our OFFICE COOK.]
Father TOMMY MUNDANKUNNELVARKEY is an Indian Roman Catholic priest who is taking up a doctorate degree in PHILOSOPHY at the UST. He was supposed to finish his schooling in early 2020 and to return to his pastoral work in GOA, INDIA but the pandemic indefinitely extended his stay in the Philippines.
ICLA which is acronym for INSTITUTE FOR CONSECRATED LIFE IN ASIA is a religious center being run by the CLARETIAN CONGREGATION for doing theology to revitalize spirituality and mission in emergent churches, particularly in Asia. Their office cum seminary is located at No. 526 Tandang Sora Avenue, Barangay Culiat, Tandang Sora, Quezon City, Metro-Manila.
SINUKMANI or BIKO is my favorite childhood kakanin. Sinukmani or Biko is a Filipino rice cake made from glutinous rice (in tagalog, we call it as malagkit), coconut milk, and sugar. In Laguna, it is locally known as sinukmani and in Manila it’s Biko.