Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Build Your Nation on Your Vacation

Hello all,

A friend from Nigeria sent me this article by Willy Arcilla. Maganda ang dating ng article na ito sa akin...specially now that our Reunion is fast approaching. My mind has also been thinking...ano nga ba ang magandang mairegalo sa bayan ko. This article could inspire you with a dose of reality as it did for me. I have removed the fotos for brevity as I know you will be familiar with the places he mentioned. This is a long read....but worthwhile..... Happy reading!

Ed Canela

By Willy E. Arcilla

Mayon Volcano
After 16 years of living around the Asia-Pacific region, my family and I returned to the Philippines in the middle of last year. So to enkindle the family's love for country, I proposed going to Bicol during the recent long holiday. In this way, they would get a glimpse of the natural beauty of our land and feel the warmth of our people, and at the same time, contribute modestly to income redistribution by spending on local tourism.

Nov 1, Thursday
We left Manila at 4 AM en route to Legazpi, Albay, the heartland of Bicol. On the way, we passed through the Quezon National Park where we admired the rainforest cover, but at the same time lamented the women and children directing traffic along the winding roads of Bitukang Manok and begging for donations from passing motorists. Upon our descent, we were greeted by the refreshing view of the sea as we drove along the Quezon coastal road. The rest of Quezon was a tour through coconut country â?" with endless rows of coconut trees standing proudly at attention â?" the "tree of life" which has sustained the province and helped earn for the country the distinction of being the world's largest exporter of coconut oil -- once vilified for health reasons but now experiencing a resurgence with the newfound benefits of Virgin Coconut Oil, and hopefully, in its usage as biofuel to replace imported, costly and harmful fossil fuels.

Cagsawa Ruins
We finally arrived at Legazpi, Albay province at 2 PM. Ramil, our family driver and certified MacGyver drove 11 hours non-stop. We marveled at the majestic beauty of Mt. Mayon and its near-perfect cone, but at the same time, were saddened by the devastation wrought by the lahar flows caused by last year's Supertyphoon Reming specially in Bgy. Daraga. High school children on their semestral break offered their services as informal tour guides, relating milestones in the history of the world-renowned Mayon, such as the 1814 eruption that buried the Cagsawa Church, killing 1,200 parishioners who sought refuge within its seemingly impregnable walls. We bought 3 sets of 4 photos they sell for P100@. Perhaps the Legazpi or Albay LGUs can undertake measures to improve the tourism facilities at the site, e.g., neat surroundings, clean bathrooms, directional signs.

We had a late lunch at the popular Graceland fastfood restaurant where we enjoyed authentic Bicol express, pinangat and the best halo-halo I've tasted for less than P70. Afterwards we backtracked to Camarines Sur, where we had booked ourselves at the famous CWC cable wakeboarding facility recently built by the enterprising Camarines Sur Governor Lray Villafuerte. Dinner was at Geewan (other outlets in the chain are called Geetwo, Geethree) where we had even more laing and local recipes at low prices.

Nov 2, Friday
After a quick breakfast of flavored bread and chocolate milk we bought at the local convenience store, we rushed off to the CWC for registration. The kids, who have been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy amusement parks overseas were visibly impressed with the facilities and professionalism of CWC. After going through the basic coaching, my 4 kids easily maneuvered their kneeboards around the circuit, while I had to suffer the humility of getting wiped out thrice before finally making the full round. I always lost control and got caught off-guard at bends when the cable slackens and jerks. Nearing exasperation (it's not an easy swim to shore from the middle of the water), I was then told this will not happen if I maneuvered myself between the buoys â?" which were far too small to see for a visually-impaired guy with a grade of 600. While the kids graduated onto the professional board, I tried skis, and this time, got farther than them.

I met the governor who beamed that the facility enjoyed payback in an incredible 9 months and now projects as much as P200M in revenues for the local government in 2008. He also enthused about the new and upcoming attractions in Naga and around Camarines Sur which are guaranteed to delight tourists -- local and foreign alike -- but contained himself from revealing more details until the appropriate time. Best of all, he expressed support for a proposal to leverage the phenomenal success of Naga and Camarines Sur to help its twin province Camarines Norte in a joint tourism drive in the future. We agreed on taking his popular slogan "Cam South, Cam Sur" to the next level and encompass the entire Camarines with "Cam Sur, Cam North. Cam One (One Camarines), Cam All!" This can promote the attractions of both provinces â?" Naga's Penafrancia Festival, CWC Competitions, Caramoan Island, Dolphin Watching and the new sites in the future which can be complemented by Camarines Norte's offerings such as the Pinyasan Festival originally introduced by Mayor Tito Sarion as a tribute to the sweet Formosa variety, Pacific ocean surfing on Bagasbas beach, the Apuao Grande island (with its own airstrip, executive golf course, mangrove swamps and wild boars) which is presently on sale for interested foreign investors, the Calaguas Group of islands that boast of white sandy beaches allegedly even purer than Boracay. Locals swear if Boracay's powdery white sand is like talcum powder, Calaguas is like powdered milk.

On to Daet
In mid-afternoon, we drove back to Daet, Camarines Norte, to meet with the local officials of Gawad Kalinga headed by Honor Estrevez. We proceeded to Bgy. Bibirao to meet and greet the Project Director Lito and wife Sheila Pascual, along with some of the beneficiaries and volunteer-workers building the GK-Pinyasan Vietnam Village. The land was procured by the LGU and original plans to convert it into a garbage landfill were averted by newly-elected Mayor Tito Sarion. As Estrevez declared, "What used to be a dumping ground of garbage is now a dumping ground of God's graces." Most of the beneficiaries were scavengers at the landfill or squatters at a nearby cemetery who would enter the tombs when it rained and sleep with remains of the dead to avoid getting soaked. The funds for the construction materials were donated by Filipino expatriates based in Ho Chi Minh City. In the evening, we joined a dinner forum on Gawad Kalinga organized by CFCers Rex and Marisa Bernardo, where we met of Sid Lucero (Butanding fame) and Jeff Eigenmann (both of whose fathers used to be my contemporaries in LSGH). Children from families of CFC members and GK beneficiaries alike dished out their dancing talents together â?" with no distinction between rich and poor; benefactor from beneficiary -- to regale the crowd. Testimonies were shared by mother-child GK beneficiaries on how their values and behavior changed; their lives transformed, hopes and dreams restored and future brightened with the arrival of Gawad Kalinga in Daet.
The author and his two sons, Miguel and Raffy, at the CWC

The writer was then asked to address the crowd consisting of Barangay Chairmen and potential partners and benefactors. The writer shared the beginnings of his relationship with GK in Daet and Camarines Norte. Todate, by the grace of the Holy Spirit and the generosity of Filipino expatriates based in Vietnam and Shanghai, we have been able to raise enough resources to finance the construction of 60 houses. The Filipino expatriates in Beijing have also pledged to donate proceeds from their Christmas fund-raising drive. Gerry Paglinawan, Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City launched an Art Contest among GK beneficiaries which will hopefully nurture the artistic talent in the next Fernando Amorsolo, whose famous works were inspired by the rustic charm of Daet where he spent his childhood. Consul Gerry promised to print the winning entries on Christmas cards for sale in 2008. Even Tony Meloto, moving spirit behind GK, sent a personal text message greeting the officials of the LGU, GK and CFC, "Daet is a priority area for GK, they have a dedicated GK team and a great mayor and LGU and outstanding partners â?" we hope to make Daet a showcase in township development. God bless." This writer then invoked our Lord's message in Matthew 25:41, "Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me." Interpreting the passage, the writer surmised, "If we help the poor, we help Jesus Christ, and if we help Jesus Christ, then we ultimately help ourselves."

Todate, Camarines Norte has received enough land donations and financial support for construction materials, but what is needed urgently is a massive outpouring of volunteerism to construct the houses given the intermittent rains that hampered construction. At the end of the dinner forum, 12 Barangay Captains volunteered the services of their constituencies to finish the pending GK villages and complete them in time for a turnover by Christmas 2007. In addition, the office of reelected Governor Jess Typoco pledged to donate even more land in addition to the many he has given before, mobilize more people and request the Provincial Commanders of the Philippine Army and the PNP to undertake a "bayanihan build". Even the Media has pitched in with local broadcaster Deo committing to call for People Power to complete the GK communities.

Nov 3, Saturday
After breakfast, we drove out to the famous Bagasbas beach facing the vast Pacific Ocean. Despite a cloudy sky and a moderate drizzle, the crowd could not be turned away. Everybody must have thought today will be a special day despite (or because of ) the weather. Unfazed by the dark clouds, Ed Dames, President of Creative Management Enterprises Group (CMEG) and the prime mover of Dodgeball in the Philippines led his team in setting up the nets and poles for the Dodgeball Arena on the fine gray sand of Bagasbas. We never realized a professional group existed in the country until Ed explained dodgeball originated in the Philippines and was popularized in America. Now, with Ed's efforts, Dodgeball is poised to make a comeback on local soil â?" and sand. After some jaw-dropping demonstrations by Ed's group of acrobatic dodgeball â?" cartwheels, backflips, and somersaults to avoid bullet pitches from opposing sides, it was the turn for the amateurs â?" us. But surprisingly, our 4 kids took to the game naturally and were soon dodging and throwing like pros themselves. Regina and Nikka, members of the Ateneo Varsity Track & Field Team, were fast and agile in defense, while Raffy and Miguel, members of the LSGH Baseball Teams, were best in offense -- catching the ball (to eliminate opponents) and throwing with precision. The kids won their first 2 matches, but eventually lost to a local all-male adult team in the semifinals. Nevertheless, their spirited performance was enough to gain the locals' respect and their parents' admiration, capped by a special award from Mayor Tito Sarion for the whole family's long journey and participation in the First Bagasbas Dodgeball Competition.

Then, it was time to enjoy the true natural wonder of Bagasbas â?" the Pacific surf, which occasionally rose to 6 foot waves on this windswept day. We watched a professional from Australia ride and tame the waves with his kite. We then hired a couple of surfers â?" Karen a 16-year old native of Daet and Chot, from Manila, to teach the kids the basics of surfing. Since the kids already had some experience from Bali, they relearned it fairly quickly, succeeding in just their first few attempts. You could tell they were having the time of their lives â?" so much fun in fact they lost track of the time, and we ended up paying for twice the duration I contracted â?" time and money all well-spent nevertheless. I asked Chot which area in the country offered the best surfing experience, and without hesitation, "Bagasbas â?" not because of the waves alone, but because of the people."

A sumptuous dinner with my favorite "sinantolan" was hosted by the gracious Robert and Cathy Torres, Daetenos who built a thriving business in various sectors and industries, but more importantly, they have also been the biggest donors to GK as a solid CFC family. All their 7 kids are members of Singles for Christ, Youth for Christ or Kids for Christ. Says the successful and humble Robert, "God pays us back more than ten-fold for the time, talent and treasures we devote for serving the poor of Camarines Norte."

Nov 4, SundayAs we were about to leave the Pineapple Island resort in the early morning, I was greeted by the soft voice of a woman from above our room, asking "Are you Willy Arcilla?" I looked up and saw a young lady who just moved into the upper floor of our cottage. After introducing myself, I learned she was Ms. Yoying Pimentel, the daughter of the former provincial governor and sister of popular actress Bing Pimentel. She arrived with her team of agricultural engineers also on the invitation of Mayor Tito Sarion to help enhance the fortunes of the local pineapple industry, renowned for its sweet Formosa variety. Shortly thereafter, Mayor Tito Sarion arrived, and in the conversation that ensued, Yoying decides to donate part of the family's landholdings to GK and volunteer her people for the build. She recounted that she arrived at Bagasbas the previous day after we had left, and armed with a microphone and powerful speakers, dance music and lights, she introduced a novel idea and whipped up the local crowd to do a "Surf Dance" on Bagasbas beach â?" inspired by the inmates of Cebu who were featured on YouTube. Pretty soon, the kids themselves were innovating with a "Fish Dance".

In just 4 days, we had a lot of fun, bonded as a family, met new friends, aroused national pride and fostered patriotic fervor in our "expat kids" who were educated in international schools but are now in a position to help promote the Best of Bicol to their own friends, and most of all, contributed in our own modest way to increasing incomes via the spending "multiplier effect" â?" from local meals to pili nut delicacies; from native souvenirs to local lodging; and in showing the poorest of the poor in GK that yes, "bayanihan" lives. Imagine if more of our people did the same vs. spending their money overseas or exclusively in shopping malls? We will all be helping to "build our nation on our vacation", for in fact, nation-(re)building is a 24/7 occupation for all 88 M Filipinos â?" at work or on leave. Indeed, we do have a beautiful country and people who deserve the best. Let's all join hands to bring out the best in our people to enable them to bring out the best in our country. Our next stop in helping to "build our nation on our vacation" you might ask? The Ilocos region during the Christmas holidays!

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Happy Birthday Marie

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Camote: Cure for Dengue

This article sent to us by Bert Padrigon is very interesting. Let's hope the doctors will confirm this because this will help the victims of dengue survive, especially the poor who can hardly afford the cost of hospitalization.

Send nyo sa iba baka makatulong din..

THERE is hope that the dengue scourge will be obliterated.

I was in a meeting in Manila recently with other Napolcom officials. While waiting for my flight back to Cebu, I happened to talk with friends. The conversation eventually turned to dengue. Some of their statements shocked me. I called up the persons concerned and they confirmed these revelations.

Computer technician Wenceslao Salesale Jr., 27, was downed by dengue. His platelet count plunged from 180 to 80. He was rushed by ambulance from Novaliches to Manila. Inside the ambulance, a relative, acting upon the advice of a missionary priest, made him drink soup made from camote tops. The following day, his platelet count was normal.

Dengue attacked the 7-year-old daughter of engineers Mar and Lita Budlongan of Kaloocan City. Her platelet count read 80. The same treatment was used. The following day she was back to normal.

The 15-year-old daughter of businessman Nepomuceno Salaga of Sampaloc, Manila had a dangerous platelet count of 80 due to dengue. The same treatment was followed. The following day she was back in school.

I asked a doctor of medicine about herbal cures and he said that many, if not most, medicines come from plants. He also said that under the Hippocratic Oath, doctors are bound encourage anything that can cure a patient.


We need not do research deep in the rainforests of the Amazon or venture into the ocean depths in search of the elusive cure for dengue. It is right there in the backyard.

The following information is from Wikipedia:

In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next
on the list, the common potato (NCSPC).

Sweet potato tops are excellent sources of antioxidative compounds, mainly polyphenolics, which may protect the human body from oxidative stress that is associated with many diseases including cancer ad cardiovascular diseases. Sweet potato greens have the highest content of total polyphenolics among other commercial vegetables studied.

Sweet potatoes contain protein, dietary fiber, lipid, and essential minerals and nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, sulfur, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, aluminum and boron. Sweet potatoes are also important sources of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid.


In the case of Salaga, he bought five sheaves (bugkos/ bigkis) of camote cuttings. Each sheaf consists of about 12 cuttings. Each cutting measures about one foot. A sheaf costs about P5.

Camote tops are boiled in water to extract the juice. The boiling lasts for about five minutes. A little salt is used to give flavor to it. The patient is made to drink slowly and gradually. The body's immune system is thus revived, making dengue helpless against the body's natural defenses. Camote enables the body to heal itself.

Now you know why I earlier said that my friends' revelations shocked me.

They were shocking because people are needlessly dying all around us from dengue, while their very cure is also all around us.

In the past, many were fond of using the derogatory statement, "Go home and plant camote." Now, camote is big news. It can save lives. What could be bigger than that?

So, to fortify your family against dengue, "Go home and plant camote!"

(Engr. Lita Budiongan and Mr. Nepomuceno Salaga personally related to me their experiences with their respective daughters. I asked their permission to use their names.)

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Where Dengue Breeds

This is another article shared by Bert.

[published in CONSUMERLINE
By Ching M.Alano.
Philippine Star, 15 Jan. 2008]

Many a grim tale has been told about the dreaded dengue. Here's another one, as shared in an e-mail:

Dear Consumerline,

This evening, we attended the wake of Natalie Corrales Feist, only 17 years old. Her mother Rosa is the sister of Pilita Corrales and her father Ed Feist is the head of a big pharmaceutical company in Manila.

Natalie was studying in Australia and had come home to Manila to spend the Christmas holidays with her family. What started only as a stomachache progressed to malaise and fever that turned out to be the deadly dengue fever which snuffed out Natalie's life in such a short time. Natalie was an only daughter and the youngest of three children. It was indeed so sad to witness the grief, the sadness, and the pain of losing such a wonderful daughter and so pretty at that.

The priest saying Mass also mentioned about another young girl of 15 who also died recently. A couple of years ago, my nephew who was only 28 years old and was to be married, also died within a short time after he contracted dengue. He was an only son.

Dengue kills. Let us not wait for it to get out of hand and claim moreyoung lives. As my own small contribution to help increase people's consciousness of this disease, allow me to share the warnings below.

Many people are not aware that in their own homes, there are dangerous places where mosquitoes breed.

Please take note: * The bromeliad plant has beautiful flowers, but they are deadly, because in between are pockets that collect clean water, which is where the dengue mosquitoes breed. If you have them, get rid of them or place them in pots so that after watering them, the pots can be turned over to remove the excess water.

I have noticed that along Ayala Avenue in Makati and other roadsides, the bromeliads, which are very colorful, are often used by landscapers to brighten areas, etc.

The landscapers must be discouraged from using these plants, especiallywhen they are planted in the ground, because they can cause an epidemic, as what happened in Cebu many years back. It was discovered that these plants were the culprits.

* Those that have bamboo fences placed over their concrete fences (as in many subdivisions) must see to it that the top is covered, because the bamboo crevices hold water and again become breeding places for dengue mosquitoes.

* I have just read on the Internet about a tip that was given at a recent gardening forum. Here it is: Put some water in a white dinner plate (I suppose a small white platito will do) and add a couple of drops of Lemon Fresh Dish Washing Liquid. Set the dish on your porch, patio, picnic table, park bench, or other outdoor areas. I'm not sure what attracts them - the lemon's smell, the white plate color, or what. But mosquitoes flock to it, and drop dead shortly after drinking the Lemon Fresh Dish Washing Liquid and water mixture and usually, within about 10 feet of the plate.

Try it, it works just super! It may seem trivial, but it may also help control mosquitoes around your home (especially in areas where the dengue-and malaria-carrying mosquitoes have reached epidemic proportions) . It's safer than mosquito coils .... no offensive odor and harmful fumes, no risk of fire.

This is all I can say, which may be helpful in controlling the rise of the deadly dengue mosquitoes. Let us all try to do our part in our own homes and surroundings, so that by doing so, we can lessen dengue's breeding places and save more lives.

Isabel F. Guevara

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dan, Lyn and Ed

Here are the fotos that were taken during the Canela's (Glo, Juergen, Dr. Christinne and Dr Dexter) recent visit to Orlando, Florida. Lyn (Ms Siboney... I am sure that you can still pinpoint her easily in the foto) and Marce invited both the Canelas and the Dela Fuentes (Danilo and Beth) to the Cheesecake Restu in the Millenium Mall. We have to wait for almost two hours before we can grab the nice food they have there. So while waiting, lots of chikahan ensued. Sarap to go down the memory lane.

Iba pala when you have not seen each other for a long time. Your conversation will be rapid...and you tend to be inconsistent...sometimes illogical...but the brains continue to understand. Nakakatwang mag-observe. You try and rush to the past. Then back to the present. Then to the possibilities of the future. Ang hirap mag-concentrate (he, he, he matanda na rin siguro) if you're not privy to these events.

One thing is for sure though...the blog and the floods of e-mails truly help. Lyn admired so much those who are continuously sending their news and info via the net. Though she admits that she is not so active, she is always lurking and watching the events and chickahan as they unfold. Miss niya si MaryNat and Toti so much.... It was however so nice. Masarap ang pagkain. And so memorable....

Here are some fotos that we took. Marami pa actually, pero sa Reunion na lang. Lots of huggggssssss....

Ed Canela

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

“The Four Lovers”

Don't judge this by its title!

Once upon a time there was a Queen who had four lovers.

She loved the 4th lover the most and adorned him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the Best.

She also loved the 3rd lover very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another.

She also loved her 2nd lover. He was her confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with her. Whenever the Queen faced a problem, she could confide in him, and he would help her get through the difficult times.

The Queen’s 1st lover was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining her wealth and kingdom. However, she did not love the first lover. Although he loved her deeply, she hardly took notice of him.

One day, the Queen fell ill and she knew her time was short. She thought of her luxurious life and wondered, I now have four lovers with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone.

Thus, she asked the 4th lover, “I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

'No way!' replied the 4th lover, and he walked away without another word.His answer cut like a sharp knife right into her heart.

The sad Queen then asked the 3rd lover, “I loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

'No!' replied the 3rd lover. 'Life is too good!When you die, I'm going to love someone else!'Her heart sank and turned cold.

She then asked the 2nd lover, “I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”

'I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!' replied the 2nd lover.'At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.'

His answer struck her like a bolt of lightning, and the Queen was devastated.

Then a voice called out: 'I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go.' The Queen looked up, and there was her first lover. He was very skinny as he suffered from malnutrition and neglect.

Greatly grieved, the Queen said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”

In truth, you have 4 lovers in your life: Your 4th lover is your body. No matter how much time and effort you lavish in making it look good, it will leave you when you die…

Your 3rd lover is your possessions, status and wealth. When you die, it will all go to others.

Your 2nd lover is your family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for you, the furthest they can stay by you is up to the Grave.

And your 1st lover is your Soul, often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, your Soul is the only thing that will follow you where ever you go. Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of you that will follow you to the throne of God and continue with you throughout Eternity.

Thought for the day:
Remember, when the world pushes you to your knees,You're in the perfect position to pray.Pass this on to someone you care about - I just did.

Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections.I hope this touched you!

'For where your treasure is there your heart will be also' Matt 6:21

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Beer Drinking

Great Quotations about Beer Drinking

For your enjoyment, here's something I grabbed from the Pusong Camarines Norte e-group.

"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the wine I drink I feel shame. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the vineyards and all of their hopes and dreams .. If I didn't drink this wine, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered.Then I say to myself, "It is better that I drink this wine and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver." ~ Jack Handy

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your bra and panties.~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. "~Frank Sinatra

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading."~ Henny Youngman

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not."~ Stephen Wright

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"When we drink, we get drunk. When we get drunk,we fall asleep. When we fall asleep, we commit no sin. When we commit no sin, we go to heaven. So, let's allget drunk and go to heaven!"~ Brian O'Rourke

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." ~ Benjamin Franklin

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like a spaz. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."~ Dave Barry

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

To some, it's a six-pack, to me it's a Support Group. Salvation in a can!~ Dave Howell

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~

And saving the best for last, as explained by Cliff Clavin, of Cheers.

One afternoon at Cheers, Cliff Clavin was explaining the Buffalo Theory to his buddy Norm. Here's how it went: " Well ya see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That's why you always feel smarter after a few beers."

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not .

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

What's New Today - January 20, 2008

For the benefit of non-DPS Class 67 members, I am re-posting two recent posts made in our e-group by Ed and Rudy. Ed's post is the Speech of John Gokongwei, Jr., the 81-year old patriarch of the Gokongwei business conglomerate, before the Ad Congress last November 2007. Hopefully, this speech can inspire a lot of people to do their best. The other post consists of letters to God written by little children. The collection of letters is titled "You gotta love kids". You'll love the pure honesty and innocence of kids. So, here they are and Happy Reading.

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Ya Gotta Love Kids!

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Speech of John Gokongwei, Jr at the Philippine Ad Congress held in November 2007

John Gokongwei, Jr.
Ad Congress Speech
Nov 21, 2007

Before I begin, I want to say please bear with me, an 81-year-old man who just flew in from San Francisco 36 hours ago and is still suffering from jet lag. However, I hope I will be able to say what you want to hear.

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Thank you very much for having me here tonight to open the Ad Congress. I know how important this event is for our marketing and advertising colleagues. My people get very excited and go into a panic, every other year, at this time.

I would like to talk about my life, entrepreneurship, and globalization. I would like to talk about how we can become a great nation.

You may wonder how one is connected to the other, but I promise that, as there is truth in advertising, the connection will come.

Let me begin with a story I have told many times. My own.

I was born to a rich Chinese-Filipino family. I spent my childhood in Cebu where my father owned a chain of movie houses, including the first air-conditioned one outside Manila. I was the eldest of six children and lived in a big house in Cebu 's Forbes Park .

A chauffeur drove me to school every day as I went to San Carlos University, then and still one of the country's top schools. I topped my classes and had many friends. I would bring them to watch movies for free at my father's movie houses.

When I was 13, my father died suddenly of complications due to typhoid. Everything I enjoyed vanished instantly. My father's empire was built on credit. When he died, we lost everything-our big house, our cars, our business-to the banks.

I felt angry at the world for taking away my father, and for taking away all that I enjoyed before. When the free movies disappeared, I also lost half my friends. On the day I had to walk two miles to school for the very first time, I cried to my mother, a widow at 32. But she said: "You should feel lucky. Some people have no shoes to walk to school. What can you do? Your father died with 10 centavos in his pocket."

So, what can I do? I worked.

My mother sent my siblings to China where living standards were lower. She and I stayed in Cebu to work, and we sent them money regularly. My mother sold her jewelry. When that ran out, we sold roasted peanuts in the backyard of our much-smaller home. When that wasn't enough, I opened a small stall in a palengke. I chose one among several palengkes a few miles outside the city because there were fewer goods available for the people there. I woke up at five o'clock every morning for the long bicycle ride to the palengke with my basket of goods.

There, I set up a table about three feet by two feet in size. I laid out my goods-soap, candles, and thread-and kept selling until everything was bought. Why these goods? Because these were hard times and this was a poor village, so people wanted and needed the basics-soap to keep them clean, candles to light the night, and thread to sew their clothes.

I was surrounded by other vendors, all of them much older. Many of them could be my grandparents. And they knew the ways of the palengke far more than a boy of 15, especially one who had never worked before.

But being young had its advantages. I did not tire as easily, and I moved more quickly. I was also more aggressive. After each day, I would make about 20 pesos in profit! There was enough to feed my siblings and still enough to pour back into the business. The pesos I made in the palengke were the pesos that went into building the business I have today.

After this experience, I told myself, "If I can compete with people so much older than me, if I can support my whole family at 15, I can do anything!"

Looking back, I wonder, what would have happened if my father had not left my family with nothing? Would I have become the man I am? Who knows?

The important thing to know is that life will always deal us a few bad cards. But we have to play those cards the best we can. And WE can play to win!

This was one lesson I picked up when I was a teenager. It has been my guiding principle ever since. And I have had 66 years to practice self-determination. When I wanted something, the best person to depend on was myself.

And so I continued to work. In 1943, I expanded and began trading goods between Cebu and Manila. From Cebu, I would transport tires on a small boat called a batel. After traveling for five days to Lucena, I would load them into a truck for the six- hour trip to Manila. I would end up sitting on top of my goods so they would not be stolen!

In Manila, I would then purchase other goods from the earnings I made from the tires, to sell in Cebu .

Then, when WWII ended, I saw the opportunity for trading goods in post-war Philippines . I was 20 years old. With my brother Henry, I put up Amasia Trading which imported onions, flour, used clothing, old newspapers and magazines, and fruits from the United States . In 1948, my mother and I got my siblings back from China. I also converted a two-story building in Cebu to serve as our home, office, and warehouse all at the same time. The whole family began helping out with the business.

In 1957, at age 31, I spotted an opportunity in corn-starch manufacturing. But I was going to compete with Ludo and Luym, the richest group in Cebu and the biggest cornstarch manufacturers. I borrowed money to finance the project. The first bank I approached made me wait for two hours, only to refuse my loan. The second one, China Bank, approved a P500,000-peso clean loan for me. Years later, the banker who extended that loan, Dr. Albino Sycip said that he saw something special in me. Today, I still wonder what that was, but I still thank Dr. Sycip to this day.

Upon launching our first product, Panda corn starch, a price war ensued. After the smoke cleared, Universal Corn Products was still left standing. It is the foundation upon which JG Summit Holdings now stands.

Interestingly, the price war also forced the closure of a third cornstarch company, and one of their chemists was Lucio Tan, who always kids me that I caused him to lose his job. I always reply that if it were not for me, he will not be one of the richest men in the Philippines today.

When my business grew, and it was time for me to bring in more people- my family, the professionals, the consultants, more employees- I knew that I had to be there to teach them what I knew. When dad died at age 34, he did not leave a succession plan. From that, I learned that one must teach people to take over a business at any time. The values of hard work that I learned from my father, I taught to my children. They started doing jobs here and there even when they were still in high school. Six years ago, I announced my retirement and handed the reins to my youngest brother James and only son Lance. But my children tease me because I still go to the office every day and make myself useful. I just hired my first Executive Assistant and moved into a bigger and nicer office.

Building a business to the size of JG Summit was not easy. Many challenges were thrown my way. I could have walked away from them, keeping the business small, but safe. Instead, I chose to fight. But this did not mean I won each time.

By 1976, at age 50, we had built significant businesses in food products anchored by a branded coffee called Blend 45, and agro-industrial products under the Robina Farms brand. That year, I faced one of my biggest challenges, and lost. And my loss was highly publicized, too. But I still believe that this was one of my defining moments.

In that decade, not many business opportunities were available due to the political and economic environment. Many Filipinos were already sending their money out of the country. As a Filipino, I felt that our money must be invested here. I decided to purchase shares in San Miguel, then one of the Philippines ' biggest corporations. By 1976, I had acquired enough shares to sit on its board.

The media called me an upstart. "Who is Gokongwei and why is he doing all those terrible things to San Miguel?" ran one headline of the day. In another article, I was described as a pygmy going up against the powers-that- be. The San Miguel board of directors itself even paid for an ad in all the country's top newspapers telling the public why I should not be on the board. On the day of reckoning, shareholders quickly filled up the auditorium to witness the battle. My brother James and I had prepared for many hours for this debate. We were nervous and excited at the same time.

In the end, I did not get the board seat because of the Supreme Court Ruling. But I was able to prove to others-and to myself-that I was willing to put up a fight. I succeeded because I overcame my fear, and tried. I believe this battle helped define who I am today. In a twist to this story, I was invited to sit on the board of Anscor and San Miguel Hong Kong 5 years later. Lose some, win some.

Since then, I've become known as a serious player in the business world, but the challenges haven't stopped coming.

Let me tell you about the three most recent challenges. In all three, conventional wisdom bet against us. See, we set up businesses against market Goliaths in very high-capital industries: airline, telecoms, and beverage.

Challenge No. 1: In 1996, we decided to start an airline. At the time, the dominant airline in the country was PAL, and if you wanted to travel cheaply, you did not fly. You went by sea or by land.

However, my son Lance and I had a vision for Cebu Pacific: We wanted every Filipino to fly.

Inspired by the low-cost carrier models in the United States , we believed that an airline based on the no-frills concept would work here. No hot meals. No newspaper. Mono-class seating. Operating with a single aircraft type. Faster turnaround time. It all worked, thus enabling Cebu Pacific to pass on savings to the consumer.

How did we do this? By sticking to our philosophy of "low cost, great value."

And we stick to that philosophy to this day. Cebu Pacific offers incentives. Customers can avail themselves of a tiered pricing scheme, with promotional seats for as low a P1. The earlier you book, the cheaper your ticket.

Cebu Pacific also made it convenient for passengers by making online booking available. This year, 1.25 million flights will be booked through our website. This reduced our distribution costs dramatically.

Low cost. Great value.

When we started 11 years ago, Cebu Pacific flew only 360,000 passengers, with 24 daily flights to 3 destinations. This year, we expect to fly more than five million passengers, with over 120 daily flights to 20 local destinations and 12 Asian cities. Today, we are the largest in terms of domestic flights, routes and destinations.

We also have the youngest fleet in the region after acquiring new Airbus 319s and 320s. In January, new ATR planes will arrive. These are smaller planes that can land on smaller air strips like those in Palawan and Caticlan. Now you don't have to take a two-hour ride by mini-bus to get to the beach.

Largely because of Cebu Pacific, the average Filipino can now afford to fly. In 2005, 1 out of 12 Filipinos flew within a year. In 2012, by continuing to offer low fares, we hope to reduce that ratio to 1 out of 6. We want to see more and more Filipinos see their country and the world!

Challenge No. 2: In 2003, we established Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc. and developed a brand for the mobile phone business called Sun Cellular. Prior to the launch of the brand, we were actually involved in a transaction to purchase PLDT shares of the majority shareholder.

The question in everyone's mind was how we could measure up to the two telecom giants. They were entrenched and we were late by eight years! PLDT held the landline monopoly for quite a while, and was first in the mobile phone industry. Globe was a younger company, but it launched digital mobile technology here.

But being a late player had its advantages. We could now build our platform from a broader perspective. We worked with more advanced technologies and intelligent systems not available ten years ago. We chose our suppliers based on the most cost-efficient hardware and software. Being a Johnny-come- lately allowed us to create and launch more innovative products, more quickly.

All these provided us with the opportunity to give the consumers a choice that would rock their world. The concept was simple. We would offer Filipinos to call and text as much as they want for a fixed monthly fee. For P250 a month, they could get in touch with anyone within the Sun network at any time. This means great savings of as much as 2/3 of their regular phone bill! Suddenly, we gained traction. Within one year of its introduction, Sun hit one million customers.

Once again, the paradigm shifts - this time in the telecom industry. Sun's 24/7 Call and Text unlimited changed the landscape of mobile-phone usage.

Today, we have over 4 million subscribers and 2000 cell sites around the archipelago. In a country where 97% of the market is pre-paid, we believe we have hit on the right strategy.

Sun Cellular is a Johnny-come- lately, but it's doing all right. It is a third player, but a significant one, in an industry where Cassandras believed a third player would perish. And as we have done in the realm of air travel, so have we done in the telecom world: We have changed the marketplace.

In the end, it is all about making life better for the consumer by giving them choices.

Challenge No. 3: In 2004, we launched C2, the green tea drink that would change the face of the local beverage industry -- then, a playground of cola companies. Iced tea was just a sugary brown drink served bottomless in restaurants. For many years, hardly was there any significant product innovation in the beverage business.

Admittedly, we had little experience in this area. Universal Robina Corporation is the leader in snack foods but our only background in beverage was instant coffee. Moreover, we would be entering the playground of huge multinationals. We decided to play anyway.

It all began when I was in China in 2003 and noticed the immense popularity of bottled iced tea. I thought that this product would have huge potential here. We knew that the Philippines was not a traditional tea-drinking country since more familiar to consumers were colas in returnable glass bottles. But precisely, this made the market ready for a different kind of beverage. One that refreshes yet gives the health benefits of green tea. We positioned it as a "spa" in a bottle. A drink that cools and cleans. thus, C2 was born.

C2 immediately caught on with consumers. When we launched C2 in 2004, we sold 100,000 bottles in the first month. Three years later, Filipinos drink around 30 million bottles of C2 per month. Indeed, C2 is in a good place.

With Cebu Pacific, Sun Cellular, and C2, the JG Summit team took control of its destiny. And we did so in industries where old giants had set the rules of the game. It's not that we did not fear the giants. We knew we could have been crushed at the word go. So we just made sure we came prepared with great products and great strategies. We ended up changing the rules of the game instead.

There goes the principle of self-determination, again. I tell you, it works for individuals as it does for companies. And as I firmly believe, it works for nations.

I have always wondered, like many of us, why we Filipinos have not lived up to our potential. We have proven we can. Manny Pacquiao and Efren Bata Reyes in sports. Lea Salonga and the UP Madrigal Singers in performing arts. Monique Lhuillier and Rafe Totenco in fashion. And these are just the names made famous by the media. There are many more who may not be celebrities but who have gained respect on the world stage.

But to be a truly great nation, we must also excel as entrepreneurs before the world. We must create Filipino brands for the global market place.

If we want to be philosophical, we can say that, with a world-class brand, we create pride for our nation. If we want to be practical, we can say that, with brands that succeed in the world, we create more jobs for our people, right here.

Then, we are able to take part in what's really important-giving our people a big opportunity to raise their standards of living, giving them a real chance to improve their lives.

We can do it. Our neighbors have done it. So can we. In the last 54 years, Korea worked hard to rebuild itself after a world war and a civil war destroyed it. From an agricultural economy in 1945, it shifted to light industry, consumer products, and heavy industry in the '80s. At the turn of the 21st century, the Korean government focused on making Korea the world's leading IT nation. It did this by grabbing market share in key sectors like semiconductors, robotics, and biotechnology.

Today, one remarkable Korean brand has made it to the list of Top 100 Global Brands: Samsung. Less then a decade ago, Samsung meant nothing to consumers. By focusing on quality, design, and innovation, Samsung improved its products and its image. Today, it has surpassed the Japanese brand Sony. Now another Korean brand, LG Collins, is following in the footsteps of Samsung. It has also broken into the Top 100 Global Brands list.

What about China ? Who would have thought that only 30 years after opening itself up to a market economy, China would become the world's fourth largest economy? Goods made in China are still thought of as cheap. Yet many brands around the world outsource their manufacturing to this country. China 's own brands-like Lenovo, Haier, Chery QQ, and Huawei-are fast gaining ground as well. I have no doubt they will be the next big electronics, technology and car brands in the world.

Lee Kwan Yew's book "From Third World to First" captures Singapore 's aspiration to join the First World . According to the book, Singapore was a trading post that the British developed as a nodal point in its maritime empire. The racial riots there made its officials determined to build a "multiracial society that would give equality to all citizens, regardless of race, language or religion."

When Singapore was asked to leave the Malaysian Federation of States in 1965, Lee Kwan Yew developed strategies that he executed with single-mindedness despite their being unpopular. He and his cabinet started to build a nation by establishing the basics: building infrastructure, establishing an army, WEEDING OUT CORRUPTION, providing mass housing, building a financial center. Forty short years after, Singapore has been transformed into the richest South East Asian country today, with a per capita income of US$32,000.

These days, Singapore is transforming itself once more. This time it wants to be the creative hub in Asia , maybe even the world. More and more, it is attracting the best minds from all over the world in filmmaking, biotechnology, media, and finance. Meantime, Singaporeans have also created world-class brands: Banyan Tree in the hospitality industry, Singapore Airlines in the Airline industry and Singapore Telecoms in the Telco industry.

I often wonder: Why can't the Philippines, or a Filipino, do this?

Fifty years after independence, we have yet to create a truly global brand. We cannot say the Philippines is too small because it has 86 million people. Switzerland , with 9 million people, created Nestle. Sweden , also with 9 million people, created Ericsson. Finland, even smaller with five million people, created Nokia. All three are major global brands, among others.

Yes, our country is well-known for its labor, as we continue to export people around the world. And after India , we are grabbing a bigger chunk of the pie in the call-center and business-process- outsourcing industries. But by and large, the Philippines has no big industrial base, and Filipinos do not create world-class products.

We should not be afraid to try-even if we are laughed at. Japan, laughed at for its cars, produced Toyota. Korea , for its electronics, produced Samsung. Meanwhile, the Philippines ' biggest companies 50 years ago-majority of which are multinational corporations such as Coca- Cola, Procter and Gamble, and Unilever Philippines , for example-are still the biggest companies today. There are very few big, local challengers.

But already, hats off to Filipino entrepreneurs making strides to globalize their brands.

Goldilocks has had much success in the Unites States and Canada, where half of its customers are non-Filipinos. Coffee-chain Figaro may be a small player in the coffee world today, but it is making the leap to the big time. Two Filipinas, Bea Valdez and Tina Ocampo, are now selling their Philippine-made jewelry and bags all over the world. Their labels are now at Barney's and Bergdorf's in the U.S. and in many other high-end shops in Asia , Europe , and the Middle East .

When we started our own foray outside the Philippines 30 years ago, it wasn't a walk in the park. We set up a small factory in Hong Kong to manufacture Jack and Jill potato chips there. Today, we are all over Asia . We have the number-one-potato- chips brand in Malaysia and Singapore . We are the leading biscuit manufacturer in Thailand , and a significant player in the candy market in Indonesia . Our Aces cereal brand is a market leader in many parts of China. C2 is now doing very well in Vietnam, selling over 3 million bottles a month there, after only 6 months in the market. Soon, we will launch C2 in other South East Asian markets.

I am 81 today. But I do not forget the little boy that I was in the palengke in Cebu . I still believe in family. I still want to make good. I still don't mind going up against those older and better than me. I still believe hard work will not fail me. And I still believe in people willing to think the same way.

Through the years, the market place has expanded: between cities, between countries, between continents. I want to urge you all here to think bigger. Why serve 86 million when you can sell to four billion Asians? And that's just to start you off. Because there is still the world beyond Asia . When you go back to your offices, think of ways to sell and market your products and services to the world. Create world-class brands.

You can if you really tried. I did. As a boy, I sold peanuts from my backyard. Today, I sell snacks to the world.

I want to see other Filipinos do the same.

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The Countdown Begins: 19 Days before the Big Event

The Countdown Begins

It’s 19 days before the Big Reunion!

Last January 15, the Daet group composed of Mendy, Susan, Dra. Yoly, Estring, Mila, Emily, Remo, Boboy, Maning, Dorset and Adonis held a meeting to discuss preparations for our reunion.

Yesterday, January 19, it was Manila group's turn to meet with Susan in Greenbelt I, Makati over lunch and coffee/beer for the updates and further discussion of the preparations for the big event. Susan and Ate Marynat were the early birds, followed by me (Toti). Then came Alot, Bert and Marie and Baby Banaria-Trinidad, Tess, and lastly Lina (as usual, The Late Lina, pinakamalapit lang ang bahay niya, sa may Buendia lang. 2008 na Lina, bilis-bilis ang kilos!) We missed Ed who had an appointment with his doctor (but I’m sure he’ll stand by his word that he’ll attend the Reunion.)

This year’s reunion is expected to be bigger compared to our 40th Class Reunion in april, last year. We have more balikbayan classmates coming, as well as those from other parts of the country. Aside from Anabelle Abano-Adica who is a regular attendee, Susan reported that Dra. Linda (Ferrer) from Isabela, Boy Rios (from Olongapo) and Wilma Quintela from Catanduanes have confirmed their attendance. We have also contacted Sis Terry in Negros and reminded her about the schedule. Last year, she said that she’ll give the activity a priority. We’re waiting for her reply.

Of course we will miss the Captain of the Class, Our Dear Rudy, Rori, and Danny (hu,hu,hu). I won’t add another word to the reactions written by our classmates, baka ma-overkill na. Of course, I, too am sad! (Six words na ‘yun a!) What about Ate Marynat? Let’s hope that Bert’s email, and the group’s pa-ngo-ngonsyensia yesterday, will do some wonders and lo and behold, Ate Marynat will be there in Daet! We hope, she’ll take the group's suggestion for her to take the plane to Naga and Susan will pick her up at the airport and they’ll go together to Daet. She should try her best to be there. Last year, she was the most sought after classmate. In fact, Buboy Ong was given the special assignment to locate her no matter what the cost. And he was successful! Ano palang award ni Boboy? Kaya lang, na-offset yong success niya by his failure to locate another sought after classmate – RUDY DEL VALLE!

In the case of Baby Banaria-Trinidad, she’s been joining the get-together in Manila but doesn’t seem to have any plan of joining reunions in Daet. Maybe Marybeth can also use her persuasive powers.

Confirmed attendees:

1. Anabelle Abano-Adica
2. Amelita Adem-Banal
3. Fechie Alarcon
4. Lina Angeles-Nieva
5. Mendy Balon-Ching
6. Alot Barbin-Arcilla (plus Ric?)
7. Tess Cereno-Solis
8. Mila Echano
9. Estring Asis
10. Ningning Fermo-Heraldo + 11. Edwin
12. Dra. Linda Ferrer-Ty
13. Dra. Yoly Hernandez-Reyes
14. Emily Herrero-Cruz
15. Susan King-Pural
16. Teresita Quizon
17. Wilma Quintela
18. Marybeth Regalario-Bautista + 19. Willy
20. Men Venida-Abot
21. Maning Abogado
22. Elmer Auro
23. Remo Balce
24. Adonis Bertillo
25. Ed Canela + 26. Gloria (parang Angara pala)
27. JoeMari Chavez
28. Dorset Dwyer
29. Toti Grageda
30. Efren Mago
31. Allan Mulligan
32. Boboy Ong
33Bert Padrigon + 34. Marie
35. Joe Sales + 36. Norma
37. Alito Yadao
38. Jose Yadao
39. Jose Zano


Marynat Dasco-del Rosario
Sis. Terry Azanes
+ Guests = around 50 persons

Arrival Dates

Last Week of January – Allan Mulligan

February 1 – Marybeth and Willy

February 5 – 10 pm – Joe and Men

February 6 – am. – Fechie

Marybeth and Willy will pick up Joe and Men at the airport.
Proceed to coffee shop to await the arrival of Fechie before proceeding to Daet.
- to be coordinated by Bert (Ed and Toti will join the welcoming party, others who are in Manila are also invited, bring Everlasting!)

Proceed to Daet –
Check in at Mega Hotel (Junction of Vinzons Avenue and the Diversion Road, before reaching the Centro of Daet)

There are reservations for two family rooms (P1,700 and P1,300/day; additional twin-bed rooms are available at less than P1,000/day; February is not a peak season so it won’t be a problem to get additional rooms)

February 8 – convoy of 3 vehicles from Manila to meet at the San Pedro, Laguna Petron gasoline station at 8 am.

* Ed Canela and company
* Tess and company
* Bert and company

arrive in Daet, Mega Hotel at 4 pm.

No details yet of Ningning’s schedule:

Daet, Camarines Norte
February 8, 9, and 10, 2008

Schedule of Activities

February 8, 2008 (Friday)

6:00 PM – Welcome Dinner / Get-together
Place: Louie’s Canteen
Infront of St. John the Baptist Church
Magallanes Ilaod Street
Daet, Camarines Norte

February 9, 2008 (Saturday)

8:30 AM – Assembly Time
Place: Infront of Louie’s Canteen

9:00 AM – Departure Time
Destination: Emerald Resort
Mampurog, San Lorenzo Ruiz

2:00 PM – Back to Daet
Rest/Free Time

5:00 PM – Thanksgiving/ Anticipated Mass
To be officiated by Fr. ______________
St. Joseph, husband of Mary Church
Holy Trinity Cathedral Grounds
Gahonon, Daet, Camarines Norte

6:30 PM – Dinner and Socials (with live band courtesy of Dra. Yoly)
Place: Mila’s Hotel
Vinzons Avenue
Daet, Camarines Norte
Attire: casual (come as you wish; T-shirt and jeans are ok)

February 10, 2008 (Sunday)

10:00 AM – Brunch/ Despedida
Place: Kingfisher Restaurant
Vicente Basit St. (formerly Salcedo St.)
Daet, Camarines Norte

Manila – Reunion Part II (schedule to be determined)

URGENT for the balikbayans!

Let’s agree on the date of our Get Together in Manila, which should be after February 11 when Rudy is already in town.

Please e-mail your preferred dates so we can also make the necessary arrangements.

We have pictures of yesterday's meeting. Marynat will post them since she was the only one who brought a camera. I had my senior moment again yesterday. I made sure that the batteries of my camera were fully charged, but I left it at home. The memory card of Marynat's camera does not fit into my laptop. So, hopefully, she can ask her daughter to post the pictures.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

To Our Friend, Joe Sales, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

It's now 5:22 pm, January 13 in the Philippines, but it's still early morning there in the US. So, this card, still comes on time, just as you wake up to celebrate your birthday!

I reviewed the photo gallery and saw two pictures of your birthday - the 12th and the 13th birthdays, which you celebrated in 19__ and 19__. So, you must be ___ now!

Oh, but you look fit and still going strong! We hope that you will have many, many more birthdays to celebrate with your family and friends! May each year give you more blessings and happiness. See you soon!

From your DPS-Class 67 friends and classmates.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

DPS CLASS 67: DPS CLASS 67: Happy New Year to Everyone!

DPS CLASS 67: DPS CLASS 67: Happy New Year to Everyone!


3 Members of DPS Class 67 had a successful reunion in Orlando, Florida , first day of 2008...

As everyone knew, the jet-setter of DPSClass 67, is in the USA with his wife Gloria. They visited their daughter Dr. Christine and husband Dr. Dexter of Virginia. Together, they drove down to Orlando to visit the world known attractions in Celebration, Florida (Disney, MGM, Universal, Animal Kingdom and EPCOT center, Busch Garden, etc,etc..). Ed and family celebrated New Year's eve with my family and friends. The countdown for the New Year was highlighted with fireworks ala-Luneta.. para kay Ed. Hindi kasi dumating iyong banda from Bulacan, kaya paputok na lang. On New Year's day, it was Lyn and husband Marcys' turn to show the famous Floridian hospitality. The Lumucso's treated Ed and his family, together with me and my wife, to a sumptous dinner at The Cheesecake Factory Restaurant located at the Millenia Mall (biggest and most elegant mall in Florida). Just like any reunion of long-time, separated friends, conversations were running as old as 40 years ago, like Lyn's singing, to a future project of DPS class 67.

Once again, because of this newly found medium which our beloved Toti initiated, the members of DPS Class 67 are once again being drawn closer just like when we were in high School... 'hope to see you all soon..

Danny dela Fuente

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

DPS CLASS 67: Happy New Year to Everyone!

DPS CLASS 67: Happy New Year to Everyone!

Wishing YOU ALL,

Ed and family graced our New Year's eve celebration. We will be meeting with Lyn Lumucso (nee de Guzman) this afternoon. Again Happy New Year to all!!
Danny and family

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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