Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year to Everyone!

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Friday, December 28, 2007


Last December 21 I spent some time scanning old, undigitized pictures. I haven't finished yet, and will continue next year whenever I have the time. I did find some photos with familiar faces which haven't been posted in this blog yet. Here are some of them.

With Marybeth's Mom and Dad, who showed me around Hongkong and brought me to the scenic spots (circa '77) and some of the best hotels with Filipino bands as entertainers. That was a long time ago, but I wish to thank them again for the warmth and graciousness.
With Mommy Beth (am I right, Marybeth's mom is also Beth?), who accompanied me in doing some shopping and also brought me to a Fil-Chinese Restaurant owned or managed by the same Chinese who used to own Victory Restaurant in Daet. Thank you Mommy Beth for having found the time and the energy to be walking around with me!

With Bobbie/Bobby(?) Regalario in Ateneo de Naga when she and my niece went to Naga for the Penafrancia Fiesta.

Sinong lasing?

Hindi pa kami lashing!

Where are we in this graduation photo? (Ateneo de Naga, April 1972)

With Fr. Klintworth (Ateneo de Naga)

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An IQ Test

Complete the phrases given only their initials.
Example: 24 H in a D: Answer: 24 Hours in a Day
(Use your common sense)

1. 7 D a W
2. 12 M in a Y
3. 2 W of a B
4. 9 L of a C
5. 3 H of a C
6. 7 D S
7. 9 M of P
8. 8 T of an O
9. 7 C of the W
10. 10 Y in a D
11. 28 D in F
12. 6 S of a H
13. 10 C in a M
14. 7 W of the W
15. 5 F in a F
16. 366 D in a L Y
17. 7 C of the R
18. 60 S in a M
19. 26 L of the A
20. 4 C of a S

No time limit. If you get 17 and above, you're a genius!

(I'm not a genius, but I hope I'm using my common sense. I have answered only 10 so far.)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

DIVERSITY: How much of it can you handle?

I wish you were not as diverse in your office, and I wish you were not the Human Resource Director of this office!

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 15, 2007

RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be an open bar & plenty of food We'll have a small band playing traditional carols ... feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00pm. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pocket. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you & your family.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 16, 2007

RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides w/ Christmas, tho unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our "Holiday Party." The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day. There will be no Christmas tree. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you & your family.


FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 17, 2007
RE: Holiday Party
Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table .. you didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only"; you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?
Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange is allowed since the union members feel that $10.00 is too much money & executives believe $10.00 is a little chintzy.
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: December 18, 2007
RE: Holiday Party
What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating & drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy. Will that work? Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet & pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit w/ each other. Lesbians do not have to sit w/ Gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangement for the Gay men's table. To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing allowed tho we will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people w/ high blood pressure to taste 1st. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts.

Did I miss anything?!?! ?
FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F***king Employees
DATE: December 19, 2007
RE: The F***ing Holiday Party
Vegetarian pricks I've had it w/ you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death," as you so quaintly put it, & you'll get your f***ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW! I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk & die,
The Bitch from HELL!!!
FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 20, 2007
RE: Patty Lewis & Holiday Party
I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery & I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party & give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off w/ full pay.
Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas to all!

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Marynat

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Merry Christmas to Everyone - from Toti

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jess Sanchez attends DPS Class-67 Mass Offering for Fr. Efren

Jess, Fr. Efren's younger brother (he graduated from high school in 1975) was able to attend the noon time mass offered by the class for Fr. Efren. You'll never mistake him for anybody's brother but Fr. Efren. (Siyang-siya ang mukha). He's based in Manila and is engaged in the real estate business.

It is very difficult to synchronize schedules at this time of the year - either we're very busy catching up with year-end-reports or preparing for or attending social gatherings. Only Alot, Bert and myself were able to make it. Rori couldn't make it because his wife Lina, will be discharged from the Makati Medical Center after long confinement for liver ailment and a fractured leg after coming from Beijing. (Rori did not share with us his family's predicament. Let's pray for the full recovery of her wife, Lina.) Marynat as you've read in her email, would be attending a meeting at the main office of COA.

In spite of Alot's being very busy making pili nut candies (export quality!), she found the time to make the arrangements at the Don Bosco Church. She really made up for her long silence which made us all worry. (Hinuli pala siya ni Bert. He used another cellphone and called her up. Biglang sumagot si Alot, "Who's this pa raw?, e di huli siya.).

Alot also treated us to lunch at Amici, just adjacent to Don Bosco. It's a small restaurant which serves Italian food. Thanks Alot for the delicious pasta and pizza. That's not all. She also has gifts of pili nut candies cooked by her! (sarap!, export quality!)

We talked about Mendy's experience with Fr. Efren's cp, Rudy's friendship with Fr. Efren, Dorset's boxing match with Fr., did you know that?, the past reunion and the plans for February next year, the wake and the concelebrated mass before the internment, where around 60 to 70 priests participated. We disbanded around 2 pm. (Alot texted that Tess came at 2:20 pm! Baka akala niya simbang gabi, napaka-aga pa niya!)

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Thanks to All of You from Naty, Fr. Efren's Sister

Mendy sent this text message a while ago:

"Fr. Efren's sister, Naty is extending her sincerest thanks to all of You there in Manila and those who are abroad. I personally went to see her yesterday (to give her the print-out of the blog on Fr. Efren), and she was deeply touched with your messages of sympathy and prayers. I also informed her about your mass offering which I hope her siblings in Manila would be able to attend. Naty was overwhelmed by the profuse outpouring of sympathy and prayers. Marami raw palang nagmamahal kay Fr. Epoy."

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Simbang Gabi

Do you also have our traditional "Simbang Gabi" in the US and in Canada?
Today, is the second day of the nine-day early morning mass, which culminates on Christmas Day.
Do you still remember those days when we have to wake up early, and rise from bed although sleepy? Then go to Church, only to sleep, while the priest was giving his sermon. Those were the elementary days.

It was different in high school, when you go to the early morning mass only to stay at the patio, talking with friends - kaibigan at ka-ibigan. Tanong nga noong lokong pari, "Ilan kaya ang magkaka-develop-an na naman ngayong simbang gabi"?

I remembered these when I attended the mass yesterday, the first day of Simbang Gabi. Our parish of Our Lady of Fatima here in Mandaluyong is very small, just bigger than a chapel. But there's a video screen outside where you can see the happenings at the altar and inside the church (you can see this in the picture, sorry, I didn't bring my camera, i just used my cellphone).
A group of teen-agers (mukhang mga high school students) arrived late and walked their way through the crowd and stopped right beside me. Ang i-iingay. I overheard one said, "Sa likod na lang tayo. Ito kasing isa, parang "matandang addict sa misa", gusto pang makipagsiksikan.".....
Sa loob-loob ko, mga gagong bata ito a.

After the mass, I tried to look for puto-bongbong (ni marcos, at p__ng ina ni bongbong!) and bibingka but found none, only suman, ibos and "binot-ong".
This morning, I again attended the mass with my niece. I hope, I can complete the nine days this year which I promise to do but can't each year.
Kayo, meron pa ba niyan sa States?

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Goodbye Father Efren!

Father Efren Suzara-Sanchez was buried last Saturday, after the 9 AM mass at the St. Joseph Church.

Here are some pictures taken by my niece. They fail to capture, however, the crowd, and who among our classmates, friends and acquaintances were present.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saint Theresa's Prayer

In case you are not aware, Saint Theresa is known as the Saint of the Little Ways, meaning she believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love. She is represented by roses. May everyone who receives this message be blessed.

REMEMBER to make a wish before you read the prayer . That's all you have to do.

Saint Theresa's Prayer

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilitie s that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

In Loving Memory of Our Dear Friend and Classmate, Fr. Efren

It was past 7 pm last Monday and I was on my way home from the office when my cell phone rang. It was Mendy who broke the very sad news that our dear classmate has passed away. It was very sketchy then, she didn't have the details yet and just promised to call again as soon as she gets the other information.
I became the bearer of the sad news as I texted some of our classmates. Now, in loving memory of our dear friend, I have assembled some photos from our gallery and am posting them here to remind us always of the happy times with Fr. Efren.

Farewell, dear classmate and be happy in the company of our Lord. -

Toti Grageda

Fr. Efren died of massive heart attack. His remains lie in state at St. Joseph Church, the church where we had our reunion's thanksgiving mass in Gahonon. Let's pray for his eternal repose. We'll be sending a wreath on behalf of our class. I've contacted our classmates here and hopefully we'll all be able to attend the wake tonight. I also informed Boy Rios, Linda Ferrer, Bella Adica and Wilma Quintela. Like us, they too felt surprised and sad.

Mendy Balon-Ching and also relayed by Boboy Ong.

Tess Cereno-Solis also sent her condolences.

Dear classmates,

I didn’t know if it was the Monday blues, or some sort of a premonition.

I felt heavy and sluggish yesterday in the office, not sure whether hungry or tired.
Feeling exhausted for no reason. Then in the evening I got the sad news,
From Toti, then from Mendy and later, from Ted.
So I said to myself, “that must have been it, there was something amiss”..!

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that suddenly – as of right now - our beloved Fr. Efren is just a fond memory.

In the many years I’ve known him, he doesn’t seem to be the ‘preachy’ type. But he’d rather show you in action what most likely he would’ve wanted to preach. In his simplicity and humility, his warmth and graciousness whenever you meet him - whether just after a fortnight, or after a long absence..

Despite the years, he’s always like a curious child, exactly like what Rudy said – with that ‘quaint smile and query look’ eager to hear what you have to update him about your life, family, career, about anything. Yet, ready to oblige if his advice you would seek..

He and Rudy were very close during those school years.

As Toti pointed out in the old pictures, they were always beside each other since Elementary days.

In his earlier years in priesthood, he used to visit us in our rented house then at Bacood, Sta. Mesa. We used to gather at the basement where we had a small office, and he’d carry my eldest son, Rap, in his arms, who was about two years old then.

He always had his “barkada” priests with him, from J Panganiban, Larap, Talisay.

I used to tour them around. He was vibrant and eager to be visiting his classmate in

Those were the old days –must have been twenty years ago-for my eldest son is now 22.
Then afterwards he sort of ‘turned quiet’ and we missed his visit for many years.

The next time I would see him was during our 07 Ruby reunion.
I remember his words during his homily.. Something like.. “the fact that we are all gathered
here, together after 40 years, is a miracle.. We have to be thankful to God for these miracles..!”

Indeed he was our loving, kind-hearted classmate and big brother.
A humble servant gone back to the Divine Master.
He was Class-67’s main spiritual pillar.
And we will surely miss him.

Classmates, indeed let’s join hands in showering him with all our prayers.


Bert Padrigon

Dear Classmates,

I just received text messages of Boboy and Mendy the sad news of the untimely death of Fr. Efren Sanchez. I saw him last when Evelyn and I had a dinner together with some of our classmates in Daet last "undas". I sat beside him that night as we reminisced the old days.
I remember him today as that nice person who occasionally gives you that quaint smile and query look as he listens to you intensely. I remember him today as a man of God, a "kababata", a classmate and a FRIEND.

I grieve and I cry for the loss of a friend. I love you Fr. Efren and youwill always be remembered.

Rudy Surla

This is such a shocking news. I just got off the phone with Fr. Efren's sister, Issy. I forgot what name she went by before, but she is one of the younger girls. She was tearful because this was unexpected for them as well. Apparently, Father was supposed to be assigned in New Guinea (did I spell that right), and it was in his physical exam that they discovered a heart problem, which was why they kept him in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, Issy has just undergone knee surgery last month, and was not allowed by the doctor to travel, so she is devastated. Her younger sister, who came from the Phil to help her in her recovery, went home last Dec 6 and has not even seen Fr. Efren yet. The greatest comfort they have is the thought that he did not suffer at all. Issey was told that after father said mass, he was jokong around with some parishioners when he all of a sudden collapsed. They never got him back despite all efforts at the hospital across the cathedral.

We all know he has gone back home with our Father. He will be missed so much. Please give our condolences to the family.

Marybeth Regalario-Bautista

Very sorry to read Mendy's text last night regarding Fr. Efren's untimely death. Again, I experienced the feeling of pain, shock and sadness in a span of five days. Bien's mother died last December 5 at 9 pm. Although she is just my mother-in-law, I have loved her as if she were my true mother. I've learned so many things in life from her (all the basics of cooking, ironing and washing clothes including taking care of my twins). Anyway, that's life and one thing permanent or sure to happen is DEATH. So, we must always be prepared that one day, we are going to face our Creator!

I have talked to Mendy right after her text message and asked for the details. Thanks Kuya for giving us updates although last night you did not answer my call on your cell. I was so depressed because Fr. Efren is one of our classmates that I wanted so much to see and meet again. The last time we met was on August 25, 1980 when he officiated the Burial Mass of my father in Batobalani and burial in Paracale cemetery. "Sayang malapit na sana ang reunion in Feb 2008".

I will be praying for the eternal repose of his soul.

Ingat always,

Marynat - Ma. Natividad Dasco-del Rosario

So sorry and so sad to hear about the untimely death of our very dear friend and classmate, Fr. Efren. He will surely be missed. Please extend our deepest and sincerest sympathy - my heart and prayers goes out to the Suzara-Sanchez Families.

Men - Myrna Venida-Abot

It is with great sadness to hear the untimely demise of our very own Fr. Efren. Please furnish us postal or e-mail address of any member of his family to whom we can convey our condolences. We will be looking forward for more updates about this sad event that befell not only Fr. Efren's family but also the members of DPS CLASS '67.

Danny de la Fuente

My family and I would like to extend our condolence to the family ofFr. Efren.May his soul rest in peace.

Joe Sales

My knees are still trembling! Oh, oh, oh…. I am with you on our grief for Fr Efren’s untimely death. It shows us how temporary we all are here. May the Almighty take Fr. Efren (for me he is still only Efren) in His eternal repose and rest. Requiem est pace. Lots of huggggssssss….

Ed Canela

I was informed by the Sisters here. We shall offer masses for his intention. Regards to our classmates. Thank you and God bless us all. - Sister Terry Azanes

I first heard the news from Mendy's text at 6:37 am yesterday. I misunderstood my husband when he told me Father Efren Sanchez passed away. I thought it was his father that died and was shocked to learn it was indeed our classmate when I read Toti's breaking news. Our heartfelt sympathy and condolence to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this untimely passing of Rev. Fr. Efren Sanchez. Marynat, hang in there girl. Truth will prevail and you will be vindicated from this malicious insinuation. Toti, thanks for being the tie that binds us all together specially at times like this. Please inform me if there's any collection going on for our dear Father Sanchez.

Ningning (Violeta Fermo-Heraldo)

Sorry to hear the passing of our dear classmate Father Efren. I feltso sad because he's one of our classmates that i really wanted tosee. Please extend my deepest sympathy to the family. We will bepraying for their family.

Take care,

Lyn, Marcy, and Family (Erlinda de Guzman-Lumucso)

I was terribly shaken hearing the sad news of Fr. Efren's passing. He always made me feel great as being instrumental in his first visit to U.S. He requested a letter of invitation from BACNA (Bay Area Cam. Norte Assoc.) of which I was the president then. He said that that is how he got approved to travel to SF. Whether it was the letter or it was because he was a priest with trustworthy character, one thing for sure, he himself made it happen. There were many occasions too in our family (here and in Daet) where his presence we graced and always enjoyed. He always has that smile you will not easily forget. I will surely miss him. Altho I envy him now since he is with our Maker where there is endless peace and comfort.

The Alarcon family had been very close to Fr. Efren. In his honor we will be having a special mass this week.

To the Sanchez-Suzara family esp. to Icy (younger sister of Fr.) who I have not had contact for quite a long time, my deepest sympathy. May you be strenghten with the thoughts that you are surrounded with caring friends and family.

May he rest in peace. Amen.

Fechie (Fe Alarcon)

My family and I would like to extend our condolences to the family of Fr. Efren Sanchez.May he rest in peace.

Rori Serra

I'm saddened by the ultimate demise of Fr. Efren. He's not only a classmate and friend but a brother to me. My mother and my auntie loved him so dearly. He's always present in our family gatherings. The last time i saw him was last June when he concelebrated mass when my auntie and my mother died. He was really a good pastor, kind hearted, caring and accomodating.

Goodbye Fr. Efren we love you and we will miss you.

To the family of Fr.. Efren our deepest sympathy.

Alot (Margarita Barbin-Arcilla)

In Daet, Mendy has related that among those who have attended the wake are Remo Balce, Ramona de Jesus-Luzarraga, Dra. Yoly Hernandez-Reyes, Maning Abogado, Alito and Jose Yadao, Teodoro Ong, and Elizabeth Perez (yes, she's here in the Philippines). Others who have called to express their sympathies to the Sanchez and Suzara families are Edmundo Rios, Elmer Auro, Dra. Erlinda Ferrer-Ty, Anabella Abano-Adica, and Wilma Quintela.

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Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

HS Solo Graduation Pictures

DPS Class67 HS Graduates, 40 Years After

This Day in History

Today's Birthday