Friday, October 30, 2009

Remembering MJ @ Erwin's Condo

"Unbelievable move"!..Erwin exclaimed while hosting the B87 reunion sometime in June 2009.
"This is It!". It took Otats the guts to do MJ's signature pose with the direction & insistence of Jong.

Reminscing Jong's idol.

Gibbs, Jong & Linus watching the antics of MJ.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009



The batch live in Chicago.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

2009 CHICAGO, in words

If a picture paints a thousand words, on the other hand, words can make our imagination soar.

It was never been in our foggiest dream way back in Bibincahan that we would be roaming around the city of Chicago on a clear, windy and cold day. But seven of the OLPS Batch 87 and I braved the fierce weather.

OLPS Batch 87 - whose kinship has knit them together even when they were toddlers, and whose lives have intersected and got intertwined so closely that they grew up their boyhood filled with usual pranks and mischief in a place so sacred called the seminary. Indeed, the seminary was the seedbed of this great friendship and brotherhood that defy time and space. No matter what or where, some, if not all are there for the other. A phenomenal brood of men, a bunch of bosom buddies whose lightness of being swells into thunderous roars and peals of laughter. Their togetherness rocks!

These meetings can or may be milestones. But then the group acts as if they have never left the venue, nor the topic has been tentatively closed. Everyone enthusiastically arrives ready to resume the conversation. No 'baggage' but only one-self.

It was a great delight for me to be in Chicago for that weekend of reunion. It was also a great privilege for me to catch up with their life-journeys. It was exhilarating to listen how each one's uniqueness was highlighted as to how each responded to both pains and victories in life. It was enriching to learn how a young boy I knew 23 years ago has been transformed by life experiences into a man of character.

[This does not speak less of those who were not present, but] our time together allowed me to look deeper and discover a glimpse, if not a spark of a treasure of great value. It was gratifying , just like any parent, to realize that through time one has learned how to let life happen, to let life unfold before one's eyes through the lens of the One offering opportunities and challenges for growth and development to be one's self, one's true self. But alas, it took them ounces of courage, faith and love, i.e. hard work to arrive at where and who they are.

So when the laughter subsided and I was left behind [another story], while sifting through a wonderful weekend, I thought I would take the license by sharing with you these valuable glimpses of character. They are not exhaustive nor definitive. They are my personal perception and humble opinion.

Joven - articulate, perceptive, passionate with his career with a great sense for what is proper and right; Rey - serene and supportive, grounded and focused; Linus - daring, adventurous, free spirit, committed to his art and craft, to travel is his lifeblood; Fr. Dandy - observant and almost ascetic, eager to learn, to teach, to share, to serve; Fr. Henry - life of the party, theatrical, musical, spiritual; Paolo - dependable, honest and straight forward, a health buff, loves to travel via cruises; Ojee - a loving and tireless family man filled with wit and warm hospitality.

[I must include, Minette, wife and best friend of Ojee, a great mother of Ina, Israel, Ivanah and soon, Isabelle, and an exceptional hostess beyond expectations.]

A motley group of different personalities and perspectives woven into a tapestry of life, or different notes played into a symphony, or a wild cacophony of tunes snoring away the night (from which I was spared!) Here we were in a maddening search for a missing battery as everyone was distracted by Linus' soggy, smelly and screaming pink socks as well as the exotic colored scarves from Dalai Lama (yeah, right). Huddled in a van on that clear, windy and cold October 17, Linus quipped, "This is surreal!" but soon after he took a great camera shot, he would dismiss it with, "Nasa lens ina padi." Indeed, it was and is - OLPS Batch 87 happens to possess that lens of kinship, friendship, brotherhood and family through which life is seen and perceived to be true, good and beautiful.

They say only tourists take pictures. Mystics do not. I took a few shots. Maybe like the mystics I had the opportunity only to experience the moment as I was gifted by God to live, and strive to live to the full for the past half of a century and more. Deo gratias.

Next stop: New Jersey in 2010. Please get your visas. We are thinking of raffling off a one-way plane ticket from anywhere. :-)

Fr. Roy

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Night at the Museum

Move over Ben Stiller, Totep gave an exclusive tour to the Miss Kasanggayahan Candidates in their bare essentials, no make up, in their homey (yummy?) attire. Look for Kim Chu look-alike... I guess, Kuya Ojee terribly miss Kasanggayahan. Padi, I'm doing this for you, haha!

Bisita Museo sa Kasanggayahan

Totep organized guided museum tour at the Sorsogon Museum and Heritage Center for this year's Kasanggayahan Festival from Oct. 1 to 31, 209. Some of the College Students volunteer guides and Totep were featured at AITV Campus Talk Program

Additonal Homecoming Pix

Early registrants, we were surprised to see a picture of Paolo at Batch 84 tarpaulin...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Batch 87 Chicago Reunion - the Video

Chicago Reunion

Back, and thank you times two

[From my blog]

Just arrived from a working trip to Syria. You'd never know how much you could miss Pinoy food until you've spent an entire week eating hummus, frikeh and baba ganoush. All good dishes, really--but after the nth banquet of Arab food I was dying for sinigang, sisig, crispy pata, kare-kare. I've sworn off Mister Kabab for at least a year, I tell you.

But the trip itself was awesome. If you're somebody like me who heads not to the nearest shopping mall in a new country, but to its churches, palaces, ruins, museums, old markets, then the ancient land of Syria is a most fascinating place to visit. The picture above was taken in Palmyra, amid its magnificent Roman ruins--just one of the places we were brought to on our whirlwind cross-country tour of five historic cities: Damascus, Palmyra, Hama, Tartous and Aleppo.

Wait--more Syria stories and pics later, I've something I need to do...

Facebook and blogs being banned in Syria, and time for e-mail hard to come by, I didn't learn until days later from the awards organizers that this blog had won two special citations at the recent Philippine Blog Awards 2009: one of the Ten Best Posts of the Year (for this entry) and, ahem, one of the “Elders of the Globe-PBA Digital Tribe for Luzon”--given, I understand, to a few veteran bloggers for (I'm quoting the e-mail here) “your body of work and impact in your chosen niche in the Web Community.”

Whoa. Last year this corner won Best Blog in the Arts and Culture category, now I'm being called an “Elder.” Cue the polka! Next, the Methuselah Medal maybe? Kidding.

Thank you, Philippine Blog Awards, for the citations. As always, my dear readers (Jennifer Hudson moment here)--That's you! And you! And you!--share in this honor, for the privilege of their company and for helping me keep this blog alive. To those who've been here since Day 1--ahoy, fellow “Elders!”

Upon arrival, I celebrated my safe journey and this blog's latest badges by slurping hot sotanghon soup at Aristocrat. Laing is up next.

PLUS: Re baba ganoush--the first time our young Syrian guide Maya pointed out the dish in front of us, I thought: I've heard that name somewhere. And spoken excitedly, like, “baba ganoush!” Then it hit me: It's the dish John Lloyd was helping Ate Vi memorize in In My Life! It's a Mediterranean dip made of mashed grilled eggplant mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and spices. Delicious. Now we know.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Night Event

Ladies Band nice ha
Basketball Team Sano with coach Tim Cone

Basketball at O.L.P.S.

St. gregory basketball team

Coach Tim Cone of olps alumni instruct the troops

Basketball olps alumni vs St. gregory alumni

Saturday, October 17, 2009

O.L.P.S. and LLoyd's Day

B87 go apple-picking

On its 1st day of the reunion, the B87(minus Paolo) went to nearby Hobart, Indiana for apple-picking at Countyline Orchard. The pictures are courtesy of our own famous photo-journalist, Linuz, who just got an award from National Gographic during a workshop-seminar in New York.

B87 in Chicago- the arrival

Fr. Henry Diesta(Virginia), Linuz Escandor(New York), Joven Despabiladeras(L.A.) arrived last October 15 (thurs) for the historic reunion of OLPS B87. This may be the first ever reunion of an OLPS batch to be held outside Philippines. The hosts, Ojie Lucero and Fr. Dandy Labitag fetched them.
Today(Oct. 16), Rey Nicolas arrive from New Jersey; while Fr. Roy Eco will arrive this afternoon from Orlando, Florida. Paolo Son (Chicago) promised to be the chef for tonight's grand dinner (in other word eskaramuza!)

from left: Joven, Ojie, Rey, Dandy, Henry, Linuz (photographer)

Karantahan na!