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While writing this draft from the handwritten form:

Thought 1. (...maybe that's why they called it the ‘wonder years')

Thought 2 - I was gonna ramble about what the wonder years were but came to realize that the wonder years may be different for each person


These are past experiences that can never be changed. These are just memories and no offense is intended to anyone. It is important for us to remember that there were happy moments that we have forgotten, buried in layers of 'not-so-good times', because it's important we remind ourselves we had good times after all.


Note: The text in black are mine. The colored ones are comments from Tita Malou. The black text underlined and in italics are my replies to her comments.

--*addendum. Comments by everyone will have their names and introduced by their names and their comments.


The first page of my handwritten book states this:


Hello World!


Angelito Dulay

Born: April 27, 1959

Where: (actually there was no 'Where:') Pasay City, Phil. San Juan de Dios Hospital


"I don't remember anything about this day ...anymore"



Almer Angelo Dennis Beda de Jesus Dulay


Circa 1980

Bambi Veron-Dulay

106 Caimito Rd.

Caloocan City, MM


Tel: 23 18 14(Printing Press); 

       23 71 84 (Printing Press); 

       23 48 69 (jimboy's number and Printing Press); 

       23 57 70  (my personal number and Printing Press)











Angelo Dulay

Carson Lane

Old Bridge, USA


Pre-pre-preface: started this kind of autobiography after my 46th birthday

Note: I have always tried to do this but this is the farthest that I have gone. And nowhere from my previous attempts will even come close to this one.


Page written 04/29/2005 (everything will be quoted as is from my handwritten ‘manuscript.’ Please let me know of misspelled words and more importantly missed memorable moments. (Of which there are many - Mommy)



This starts from the 'book':


"I will not change what I will write in this book."


Welcome to the World

-birth (1959)

-My First 2 years (1959-1961)

-Year 3 (1962-1963)

-Year 4 (1963-1964)

-Year 5 (1964-1965)


On my fourth year, I still did not have anything to do with school. I was 3 years old.


Let's go back a year... The only sibling I had was Jimboy, who was my playmate LONG (it feels that way when you’re a baby) before Jumbo was born. Through these years, many (in my convoluted mind) things have been progressively going on in the family. (I have to break my promise of not changing the diary... I'm not changing it but just adding to it, which you will see may go on throughout).



















That’s entirely believable. Jimboy, Jumbo, and I were like that when we were young. I'm not surprised. Jojo and Twinky were always fighting.


Twinky and Bingo at almost the same spot in Baguio in two different time periods.


(Twinky: It was Jonji and I who were the "fighters in the arena". We would box each other while the big bullies laughed and laughed. Si Jojo, nakaaway ko naman in the car because he was bullying Diditte at that time. Pero most of the time, it was Jonji or Bingo I would box with, for the satisfaction of Kuya and company. Mga buwiset !)


Staple: Every Sunday was family day. All members of the family MUST COME. You better have a good excuse if you did not.

In the early years, I had no idea why Tito Bammy and Tito Ador (my dad) were eating outside the dining room. For so long, I thought they were just best friends. Later, I thought they were just bored of what was happening inside the dining room. Well, as years went on, as family feuds went on, as "'no trespassing' if..." went on, I got to realize that (okay, I'm gonna get killed for this but I'm already dead anyway, <later this included Kuya Nonong>**** (the girls treatment as to the boys' treatment)) these 2 guys were not particularly invited to lunch. Looking way back, I have never seen anyone asking either of them to come in and join lunch. Of course there would be some times that they would be there. Those moments had tension in the air though. I can imagine the uncomfortable situation that both of them had. Imagine, reading newspapers. Nothing wrong with that! But for 3 or 4 hours? The same newspaper? If I had put a Liwayway magazine on top of the desk, I bet you they’d read that too!


(Jumbo’s comments and memories during this period and further on in blue caps. Tita Malou’s comments will be in red caps and in italics. Mine will be in regular underlined italics.

(Jumbo’s comments: The memory muscle is a tricky one. My memories are affected by sounds, smells, images from cinema, tv, pictures and what actually occurred in life. So don’t blame me if what appears in an entry reminds you of a scene from Lassie. Cinema or the Big Lie, ie Sound of Music really put the screws on a lot of families. It was Bambi’s fave movie. During the brown out years he’d scour the movie pages looking for where it was showing. And it was Showing all the time. really?!?!?! Yes, I forgot all about The Sound Of Music. That was my favorite movie of all time. I’m surprised Jumbo remembers that because he was only 3 or 4 that time. We had a field trip in the second grade to go to Manila to watch the movie. I wanted to watch it again (and again). I really missed it after those years that when Jonji and I were in our very early 20’s, we saw it showing in one of the theaters in Manila. We drove all the way there like midnight na just to watch it again.  




Ok, now for the business of the slippery slopes of memories. I won’t bother for any particular year. They all melt into one in five year periods anyway. So… A day in the life with Malabon at noon:

Sunday: Shaken up and dragged out of bed by Dad for Church services. He can be a taskmaster. After breakfast of Spam and yesterday’s dinner we head to Fun Arcade. Pinballs, hoops, Foozball, Periscope and my favorite- the mechanical helicopter you cruise thru a city metropolis all of 1 foot wide. Home and change for Malabon. BBq Chicken, Arroz Cubano The one with fried eggs, right, Bo?, White Adobo and other native cuisine. Lunch over. Get 5 pesos from Lola for Toys and movies for the big kids. 5 bucks had a 2 to 1 exchange rate (actually four to one) to the dollar at the time. Then to Funhouse for fartbags (which we nailed Dadito with once), joybuzzers, X-ray glasses, sneezing powder etc… where was this? is it near Malabon lang 'cuz you'd come back to Lola's house after. The Fun House was in Quezon Circle, right beside the Delta and Circle movie houses.

Back to Malabon. Grown ups still jawing and scotching. (What’s scotching? You mean driniking?). Head upstairs (Well, ‘bo, remember it again. I’ll give you the details and let me know if you remember it the same way. It was not in Malabon. This happened in Caimito right after arriving from Malabon. This was still in the old house. We did this beside the small Imprenta that we had, where there was a grass hill going up beside the pool area leading to the Printing Press. Do you remember that? We used to play with those silly plastic soldiers going up that hill (at least it seemed to be a hill because we were small then). Kuya and Jimboy already there. They bring out the Disney Books, huge. This edition features Mary Poppins. They claimed to have jumped on the illustrated page with the paintings. They’ve actually gone inside the book, experienced the whole cartoonic joy, and come back happy and unscathed. Jonji comes slinking up behind me. They tell him the same story. They’ve been there and back. Imagine to be in Cartoon world? They spread open the book, locate the page very carefully Now, it has to be just right. Now, they say, JUMP! We don’t budge. They don’t seem to realize how daunting it is to leave the world you know. “WE did it!” they scream loudly in our ears. Okay, okay. Buck up now, don’t be scared, this is the Big One. One, Two, Three and we jump…HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Stupid Fools HA HA HA HA HA HA! Then they proceed to do it to the rest of the cousins. I can still hear the roars of laughter. Big Baboons, I curse under my breath! An expression I took from Tita Malou.

(Twinky: I really remember you guys telling me and Bingo to jump, so we can get inside the book. Wala na kayo, kami ni Bingo, jump ng jump pa rin, so that we can get inside the book.)


This was a pleasant hangover from 'The Sound of Music'. It was Julie Andrews again, and again in ‘Mary Poppins’, I loved the movie mostly in part where Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke jump into one of his street cartoon paintings and they were in a cartoon world. Jimboy and I thought of a prank. We had a thick Walt Disney colored book, very pretty. During that time, we would go home from Malabon just in time for the TV show 'The Wonderful World of Disney'. I think it was around the time of the show that we did this. Twinky was there too to jump in (literally). That was around 1966.




My birthday! it is. And T Malou gives me mobiles of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang. I wonder if it traumatized him or entertained him? Hmmm… I don’t know he just reminded me of the Peanuts gang whom we got very in to. Come to think of it, this influence came from you. We started to buy Peanuts stuff and other toys from ‘Good Earth Emporium’(?) in front (a little bit to the left side across Prudential Bank) The second floor has always spooked me. It’s full of books. Strangely white jacketed books like armies of literature waiting to pounce and fill you with knowledge. I learn later it’s T Malou’s way of keeping her books pristine. Didn’t they have plastic rolls then? nope, plastic didn't even materialize till I was probably grade 5 or 6 (circa 1963-64). BUT, ingenious me, when plastic first came out (that yucky hard or crunchy plastic which easily crumpled; then after a while, you couldn't even read whatever it was covering!), they always had graphics on it, but nevertheless, I thought of covering my textbooks with them so as to keep them nice and neat (no matter that it had advertising on them of whatever product came out of it). I should've patented plastic book covers! really! another thing I should've patented was sanitary napkins with plastic film on its underside. during my first day of menstruating, Lola gave me cloth diapers (oh, yes) to use. then I think it was T Rowie who introduced me to sanitary napkins (kotex was my big introduction to them; then, sanitex) on my 2nd day of womanhood. what a relief! I didn't have to WASH those yucky bloody diapers anymore. however, it was still not working for me 'cuz I couldn't keep the blood from staining my clothes. so after a few months of disgust & frustrations, I decided to cut out pieces of plastic, the size of the napkin, and I would pin them to my panties together with my napkin - no more messy stains. another big step for me! I should've been an inventor!!! I think it took a year or 2 before they finally came up with plastic-padded sanitary napkins.

Just count the number of women who wear them now. And just how much per piece?


Yes, Dad’s unwelcome in Malabon. He told me once about his being shunned by his In-Laws. ‘They never took me in and only by your Mommy’s rebellious spirit did we end up together.’ That’s Malabon…except I didn’t mention the Well. Or in movie parlance “The Ring.”

End of Jumbo’s comments.)


At the same time, I was in awe of Lola and Lolo (this was just an observation at that time). Lola would slap Rebecca, who was in her early teens for something that she had done that Lola did not like. Maybe it was a 'motherly' frustrating thing - I don't know - because Lola paid (I hope that she paid and not ask Rebecca to pay her back. (I really hope too that this was what transpired) for Rebecca's schooling. She did high school in that school near St James called ‘Barrio High School’ yata. I don’t even know if she was able to graduate. Kasi, your Mom took her na to work for her in Singapore. That was a sad moment for me because it was like a friend and playmate had left me.


I forgot that Rebecca nga pala also went to Singapore and that’s where she learned (from Mommy) how to be really stingy, which was good for the business.



(Michiko: I recently saw Rebecca, she still looks the same, with the big hair. I got her number from Anita and called her to order some forms for the office. She now has a printing press with 2 heidels. She was asking how everybody was and told me to say hi to all. Ill be contacting her again sometime soon.)

Back to when I was 3: I have been told (and this is really hard to prove now) by a number of people of what went on during the first 3 years of my life. I remembered* EVERYTHING from the time I was born to that day when I was 3 years old. The day I could never forget. Okay, it sounds bizarre and weird but I have told this to Tita Emma, Tita Ine, and Tita Edy in Baguio during the few times that they were there. That was in 1963 when they sang 'All my Loving', 'Til There Was You' and other songs from the new Beatle album called 'With The Beatles' - the black and white one. Whatever, who cares - not like I expect anyone to know what this means. Anyway, going back... I lost that 'power' but I know I have told or expressed to people at that time that I could do it and proved it. Mommy was one of them (probably thought or knew I was a crazy kid she had). 



Jimboy on the hollow blocks outside the fence in front of the house. The house being constructed was the neighbor's. It looks like the Potenciano's house to the right side of the Quezon Hill house. Their house was newer than 'ours' and the Miguel Malvar's family's house to our left. 





(Jimboy’s comments: We visited Malolos and Caingin recently. Tita Emma was here for a vacation. Tita Ine lives alone in a nice house in Guiguinto near Malolos. we also went to the wake of Tito Romy Veron.

Tita Malou: I remember him. He was one of those all-summer-long visitors in Baguio together with his brother, Ruben. I got into deep deep trouble – and I think your Mom and Dad also got a ‘serious reprimand’ – from Lolo and Lola because in my autograph book, I had cut-out pictures taken in Baguio of Romeo (Puti, I think was his nickname) and Ruben’s faces which I pasted on to the characters in that book. I guess someone, possibly even Lola, saw it, and of course, had her interpretation of the matter the way she wanted to believe it to be. Funny thing about it was I had several other people’s cut-out pictures in it, but they never said anything about them. I even had your pictures and your other cousins’ pictures. Oh well, those were the ‘old days’ of very strict morality. In fact, it was, I forget now if it was T Lina or T Tessie who had a crush on Romy




Me in the Kaingin 'porch'.


Nanang Piling passed away na,the house is being fixed. Rally is spending for it and refurnishing the place. still nice there and fresh air. I also passed by our old campsite where we learned how to drive the de soto. Sent you the baguio pics. we were there last week lang. haven’t been there for 2 years! had to stay in lola’s place cuz of busted pipes in mom’s house. Lunchtime there was foggy already; still smelled the pine trees - nice. used the fireplace and noticed the old temperature gauge on top of the fireplace that’s been there forever. many memories huh! I heard bubut just visited last year. aling auring just had a stroke but is still strong; boy naman still the same. went around the tank once; lot of jeeps though in the other side. Wanted to go to pinsao din nga, old place of lola alicia where we used to go to a stream but boy says its dirty na - sayang. We only stayed overnight but I would’ve wanted to stay longer. There’s an sm city in Baguio na, where the old pines hotel used to be. End of Jimboy’s comments)


1963 in Baguio: I was seated in this sofa chair, that is, if you were looking at the fireplace, it would be directly at the right side of the fireplace (the plastic cover was already removed by then) late in the afternoon. Late, was like 3pm. I got confused because I just lost something that I did not want to share with anyone because they would think or know I was crazy

I don’t understand what you’re trying to say in these 2 paragraphs. What did you have, and what did you lose?




I started to lose this thing that ‘I could remember in detail every day that happened before.’ In my mind, I remember it was like a film reel. I could go back to to a slide and tell you what happened then. It’s not like – “Can you tell me what happened in Jan 1, 1960?”. No, it wasn’t like that. It was more of like a reel in my mind. I felt that if anyone would have sat down with me, I could have taken them all the way back. But I lost It (the ability to do that). I couldn’t do it anymore. And I was so frustrated that day because I remember still practicing to do it and I was missing days in my mind. It didn’t become a reel anymore. The reel became chopped. It wasn’t continuous anymore. I don’t know what you call it. That’s why I got into Edgar Cayce and Jean Montgomery (did I spell that right?) (Mommy: HIS SON OF MINE ALWAYS HAD DEEP THOUGHTS ABOUT ALMOST EVERYTHING. HE IS VERY SENTIMENTAL TAKE THINGS MUCH TOO SERIOUSLY. HE IS NOT ACTUALLY A WORRIER, I WOULD SAY A DEEP THINKER. SHOULDN’T THIS BE JEAN DIXON? Me: It was Ruth Montgomery pala, not Jean Montgomery) even when I was 6-10 years old in Baguio. Because when reading the back of the books, I related to it somehow. These 2 authors were like ESP people though, and I didn’t think I was like that but some bits and pieces of what they were saying, I could relate to (Mommy: I READ IN A BOOK THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING HAS PSYCHIC POWER TO A CERTAIN DEGREE, SOME STRONGER BUT MANY TOO WEAK TO EVEN NOTICE.) I remember everyone buying comic books down Session Road while I was up in Session Road in the bookstores buying these softcopy books, which I could afford instead of buying comics (well I bought comics too, but…).

T. Malou: I wonder if you ever came across the books that I had of Edgar Cayce. I wasn’t too particularly interested in Jeanne Dixon ‘cuz she was a contemporary author/seer at that time I was reading about the paranormal. But I was fascinated by Edgar Cayce. I had maybe 2 books on him, plus a number of books on psychic phenomena. I didn’t want to mention this before ‘cuz I sort of wanted to see if you’d mention that I had those same books in my ‘library.’ I remember the book ‘The Other Side’ which was, I think that started me out on ESP and other psychic books. This went on for about 5 years (during my high school years), then waned during my college years.

I read ‘The Other Side’ by Cayce. I never got into Jean Dixon because I don’t really think I believed she was for real. But I got into Ruth Montgomery because I think she was more into reincarnation and her stories were really creepy.


During the same period in time, we already used to ride horses. Know how? We hired the horse owners from Harrison Park or John Hay to ride all the way to Quezon Hill and we would take an hour's ride each (right outside the house, right around our hill). I believe Tita Malou, Tito Paul, probably even Dadito were there when these things happened.

Yup, I remember this, and even took rides myself.


Jimboy, Twinky, Bingo at different times riding horses around Quezon Hill.



(Jimboy’s comments: I got pics of us on horses in Quezon Hill pala, I’ll scan them when I figure out how to)



I want to regress for a while; a little bit more: MUSIC: how on earth did I know which song belonged to which single. People thought it was some of my other well-kept secrets of know-how. But it was definitely not! I knew the songs I wanted. I knew which songs I wanted to play. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the single (EP) looked like to know what song it contained. All you had to do was look at the label (even if you didn't know how to read) and see where the scratches (title of the song) on the label were.



No sweat.... "That's 'Bye, Bye, Love’ by the Everly Bros". And wow "How did you know that?" Duh, how could I have explained it in baby language before. I knew them all. I knew the photograph of each single record in my mind. If you showed it to me, I would automatically say - 'Mrs Brown you've got a lovely daughter' by the Herman's Hermits or something like that. Will expound on this later...


Current Date: 05/01/05

Today is Jimboy's 45th birthday. Tried to call the guy but the phone's off the hook

*** hey Bambi, did you know that that was my age when I came back to Toronto in ’97!!! 45 years old - how time flies talaga…



1963: Nena Garcia. Such a shame I don't remember how to get there anymore. 

One of the pictures I scanned over to you was a picture taken at Nena Garcia. I don’t remember what the occasion was, maybe your graduation from Nursery. It’s the picture where Princess is standing up on the chair and your Mom has her back to the camera. Tita Mary is also in the picture as well as half of my face.




Question: "Tell me of the problems you encountered at Nena Garcia?"

Answer: "Oh well, I was stabbed on my left hand, which you could still see til this day. The mark was in a shape of a cross. I tried to make no association to it with religion."

Who stabbed you?

My seatmate accidentally (I want to think) stabbed me with his just sharpened Mongol pencil (still smells sweet when it’s newly sharpened – I mean the pencil. He was holding the pencil like a knife and playing around but hit me in my left thumb deep enough for me to get a scar that looks like a cross. One hit, straight down, and then another one crossing the line. I don’t know how I can have two cuts and in different directions too. I can’t explain how he did it but I can see it until now.


I remember that terror now!


I’m tired... I'll continue typing tonight or tomorrow. I'm only on the years before first grade. And there's so much I have left out. I hope there are spots I can fill out


(this is like the first part of 10 from the years of 1959-1966)


Things to expect:

1. Baguio

2. Singapore

3. Hongkong

4. Lola Alicia and our second cousins (tios & tias, really)

5. remembering Malabon

6. The apartment before the new house (Jimboy’s comments: still remember the place even if we stayed short while lang)


7. My first guitar


No, Jimboy’s talking about the apartment we stayed at while the new house in Caimito was being built.

And more:


(Jimboy’s comments on stuff to be remembered:

here are some things i just thought off that might ignite some memories, random lang and magulo

-those mower powered cars in burnham that i haven’t seen a picture of,

-happy valley house that’s not there anymore,

-ann, sister of tita ludy! I mentioned Ann and her roman candle.

-rickshaw noodles in araneta coliseum with breaded hotdogs.

-chungking danny and jumbos camera, What was with Jumbo’s camera nga?

-happy valley apartment,

-smoking in cablecar in ocean park,

-macau hydrofoil,

-side mirror stealing in hongkong.

- Toy stealing in Hong Kong by us and cousins. And we got caught in the act but buti nalang nothing happened.

-t malou’s old ford cortina,

-our subdivision in novaliches, and the horse that they made run until there.

-and remember we had those old delivery trucks when we were very young! No, I don’t. What I remember are the 2 pedal driven big plastic cars that we kids had. I think they were made of fiber glass. One was green and I don’t remember if the other one was even a car or not.)


Sorry, can't name them all. I'll just continue trying to put it on hardcopy.


And what was the name of that restaurant in Malabon that served the BEST pancit Malabon? Forgot na rin the name, Original Pancit Malabon yata. I think it was the one in the corner of the street we called ‘Bagong Daan (now Gov Pascual).’ Walking distance after the church. We also used to go to this halo-halo store (T Malou: I remember that halo-halo place. I would order sago-gulaman. I don’t remember if their pancit was good. But I know we would pass by that store each time we came from playing badminton at the Yanga’s covered court. Last time I saw the place, it was already under about a foot of water.) that was on the way from Caloocan to Malabon if you pass the the other way, the way where you pass the fishponds and huge squatter area, which, reminds me. I had been inside that squatter area. I went because someone had passed away. I was scared of course but I had to be brave to show them that I was not afraid. I found out that if you enter their area, or had the guts to, they respect you. I mean really respect you like even offering you food because somehow they feel privileged that there is this outsider, who does not look down on them.


I think it may have been one of the Malabon drivers?





Still 1963:

All this time, we had the Printing Press and the pig farm in Malinta, where the 2-headed pig was born (I wonder where it is na?).

The last I’ve seen of that creature was still in that giant glass jar with preservatives was in the ‘Dark Room’ (where they develop pictures) of the Printing Press (Mommy: MAYBE MINANG KNOWS WHERE IT IS. WE PRESERVED IT IN FORMALDEHYDE.)



Me in very early Malinta. 


There was a house there where we could stay in. That was my first encounter with a mouse. I hate mice and rats! I had to climb up a chair because there was this mouse circling the downstairs part of that house in Malinta. Ughh! I forgot the name of the caretaker (Minang)  and this old woman (Tuang – she just died baka 2 years ahead of Lola; she was a permanent fixture in Malabon after her stint in Malinta) who always used to come with her cart. I think she was crazy (just simple-minded or maybe a bit feeble-minded) but people didn't mind her.

(Jimboy’s comments: The husband of Minang worked for us in Contal. Malinta now is a subdivision; fishponds behind our old piggery are still there. Remember when we walked from Caimito thru the railroad tracks to Malinta?)


We left Caimito before sunrise. We had to pass the squatters' area to go to the trail that leads to Malinta. I don't know how many we were. Probably just you, Jumbo, Daddy, and me. Dad had to bring his .22 handgun 'just in case'. I don't even remember how we got to the trail. All I remember was that all of a sudden we had to cross this big bridge that was used by the trains. The sun was up already by this time. Every step was a giant step for me crossing the bridge. I don't know how the other guys did it but I remember Dad prodding me to go on. But I would be frozen stiff after every step. I mean I couldn't move. I mean the space between the boards that held the train tracks were so wide that you could actually fall between them into the river that seemed to be far down below. I finally made it. I'm sure I was the last one to make it. We went on our trek, which was mostly grassy areas with trees. We managed to reach Malinta. I don't remember how or where. That was just not a good day for me (what happened during the days where we just went to Malinta in a car wearing our 'Mighty Mouse' T-shirts?). We must have gone behind the San Miguel brewery and the Cosmos Softdrink factories. I don't see where else. Except that if we ended up on Tito Peping's side of Malinta. Jimboy or Jumbo would probably remember more about this day.


Jimboy with the 'Might Mouse' T-Shirts we used to wear. Used to watch Mighty Mouse all the time on TV.


(Jimboy) We left before sunrise,walked thru Marcelo Fiberglass and into the railroad tracks where the squatter colony is. That’s right before Acacia where we used to eat halo-halo. Anyway, that bridge was really scary, I still have a fear of heights till now cuz of that. The gaps in between were really wide and about 100 feet down if u fall! Daddy was egging us on nga, saying a train was coming shortly, I remember crawling thru it and being really scared. i thought I was the last one thru! We ended up in Tangke Street Palenke where we bought pakwan and ate it in the fields across Tito Peping's horse farm in Rincon. That road takes you all the way to Pasolo. When I went to Malinta and visited the subdivision, I went all the way to Pasolo which was even make out where the factory gate was anymore.





Yes, a lot of the Caimito barcada were riding bikes <at least 10 of us if I remember right>. This insulted the squatters who lived on the corner of that road where you turn left going to either Malinta or Malabon. They thought we were showing off in their territory but we had no other place to pass going home. I don’t remember where we came from but for some reason that was the only way back home. I also thought we were dead meat. They were screaming at us, throwing different kinds of stuff at us.


(Jimboy- Bong, Alex, Boy, Jerry, Allan, Junior, that Gella boy Donnie? Whom did I miss?)

I think Panoy and even Chiqui were there too. And Ricky (the guy from San Sebastian who always hung out in our street. He must have lived nearby because he used to come to Caimito Road in a bicycle). Probably Dennis too if Chiqui was there.



Nena Garcia was a fun place for a nursery school. Jimboy and I went there in the mornings with Nanay Carmen and Nanay Bine (at least I believe it was her or Nanay Paring). Nanay Paring was Jumbo's babysitter. Both she and Nanay Carmen were (for me) into this internal quarrel. I don't know why, I didn't ask why, I don't even think I thought about caring why (sana you asked her when she stayed with you in the US. But she’ll probably deny it na). I just knew they didn't get along or really speak with each other. (Mommy: I WAS NOT AWARE THERE WAS SOMETHING LIKE THIS. MAYBE YOU JUST THOUGHT THERE WAS PERO HINDI.) They really were. I mean the maids would talk about it amongst themselves and even Tita Yeng knew about this.

We went there using the 'deSoto'. A green old car (I mean old, like 40's or early 50's style old). There were 2 deSotos but only one was working at that time. (Oh my God! I remember that green salagubang! That was what we used to call it, OR, giant Beetle, referring to the VW Beetle. I remember they used to drive that car to pick me up from Maryknoll and I was so embarrassed whenever it showed up! Then, there was this guy, I forget his name – used to be Dadito’s ‘bodyguard’ kuno – and he would even embarrass me to the point of saying ‘hindi ka na nahiyang sumakay diyan!’ And here I was na nga, shrinking ever so small inside that car) 

This was the car Jimboy and I had learned how to drive with; in Kaingin. But we’ll get there later.



We also had this old Mercedes that you had to pump the choke inside the car so it can start (diesel kasi siguro). I thought that was a junk car too.



1963 was a good year but getting to be a tougher time. Flash cards became part of my routine. In the morning, I was made to sit on top of a cabinet facing the TV in the masters bedroom while either Mom or Dad showed me cards - math cards. I had to go through this as long as I can remember before going to real school. As if that was not enough, in the first grade, every morning that Lolo would pick me up to go to Prudential Bank, he would be riding at the back (Mang Virgilio was driving of course) of the black Malabon Mercedes with me and Mommy. We would go through the back page (back cover) of the notebooks at that time where you will see a multiplication chart. I remember starting from number 1. Lolo could actually talk! He would hold the notebook without me looking and ask "what is 1 X 1?". And that went on until I got to 10 X 10, memorized. That's probably how I got to be good with multiplication. We did that exercise everyday; probably lasted a few years.


Bingo and Mom.



After Nena Garcia, we would go to Malabon. It was pretty lonely back then. There was only me, Jimboy, and Princess at the beginning. That's how we explored Malabon. We even used to wear these rubber flood boots even if it wasn't raining. Just playing probably Cowboys and Indians. 



Jimboy in those flood rubber boots. The picture of Jimboy to the right is also in Malabon. It was near the front gate. It was the 'gazebo', which became a bird cage later on. And now, it is a fishpond



Where was everybody? Tito Edgar's room was empty. (Tito Edgar and Tito Freddie’s room was actually the ‘torre’ The room you are referring to as Tito Edgar’s used to be the masters bedroom. I think Lolo and Lola moved downstairs before I became a teenager. Kasi, I remember sleeping on the floor of that room downstairs because it was so small; and that was when I was still in grade school; and Lolo would wake me up each morning singing (yes, believe me, he was singing!) ‘Wake Up, a-Little Susie, Wake Up.’ (Mommy’s comments to T Malou: YOU DON’T SAY!!!! DID HE CARRY A TUNE? NOT IN MY WILDEST DREAMS. YOU ARE LUCKY TO HAVE WITNESSED SUCH A PERFORMANCE.) (Tita Malou’s reply: Yes! Would you believe he sang!!! Kaya lang, baka 4 notes lang ang tune, BUT, rhythm was excellent!) So I really got to be annoyed of the song only because it reminded me of being awakened in the morning to prepare for school. Mind you he would sing this phrase over and over again and not sing any other part of the song…Then I would start to smell his after-shave cologne before I would stand up. I don’t actually remember what would make me finally stand up and start my morning ritual. 

‘Wake up Little Susie’ was one of the best records I had! But that’s great because I never knew Lolo could sing.


Another digression: Lolo used to mix his own after-shave cologne. I don’t know what it was made up of, but it was something that had to be done every so often, and I know Tito Paul would also do it for him sometimes. He would have 3 bottles, 2 containing liquids (I think one was just alcohol, but you probably have to ask Tito Paul about this) and a 3rd empty one. Sounds like Tito Paul was Frankenstein’s Igor!

One of the toys I bought in Singapore was this Frankenstein model kit. I put it together and painted the whole creature myself. By this time, I used to stay in the room next to the parent's room, which was Faye's room in the new house. Check the curtains out.



Then he would have this BIG, and to me as a child, it was BIG, syringe and he would start taking liquid from one bottle to the other, alternately, maybe one more than the other, and put it into the empty one, until finally, the end result would be his – VOILA! - ‘after-shave cologne.’ Talk about being a miser!!! He also did the same thing with rat poison. When he would be mixing this rat poison, we were given very strict instructions to keep away because it was a very strong poison. But little young stupid me, all I saw was this white powder from this little can, so I didn’t know what the hype was all about this inert powder, which looked like talcum powder. But since he was MY FATHER, I kept away from it just looking at it from a distance. (Mommy: INGENIOUS, I SHOULD SAY.) The rat poison mixture was always done outside the house where the ‘bar’ used to be (later on to be a fish-breeding station, thanks to Dadito, and of course, once again, I am the ever-faithful assistant, cleaning the aquarium, feeding the fish, checking up on the fishes which had eggs, taking care of the fries, etc. which I completely enjoyed. I even learned how to distinguish between male and female goldfishes by pressing onto their stomachs) Anyway, back to the rat poison: Lolo would ask for this much of uncooked rice, some used cooking oil – preferably with pork fat or smelled of fish – and this white powder which we knew to be the ‘very potent rat poison.’ After mixing this and that, there would be tin plates (we called them sartin; the same sartin that would be catching mosquitoes – you ask how? You spread a very thin layer of oil on the sartin, then while watching the black-&-white TV in the sala with the maids late at night, you would swing it around so that the mosquitoes would get caught and not bite you; simple isn’t it?) covered with enamel ready to be filled up with the mixture, and they would go to specific places – same places all the time, mind you. And the maids had to make sure that the dogs would not get to them. (haba nito!) Come to think of it, I remember I was in grade 2 – at 8 years old – that I know we had already moved downstairs in that small room. And here’s a little side-kuwento pa: I remember looking into a small box with a dead baby in it, and with a lighted candle pa. Baka this was even before I was of school age. I don’t know why, but I have it in my mind that it was Tasia’s child who either died in infancy or at birth. But I remember pa nga a distinct smell, na hindi naman foul, but again now, thinking back, it was parang antiseptic; like iodine)  



That's where we used to hang out all the time because that was the only room that was not locked, although it was connected to the Middle room (which Tita Malou lately said was Mommy's room), which we could go into. There were 2 beds in that room. (I forgot to ask Tita Malou why the 2 beds – tambakan na lang siguro ‘cuz no one was using the room anymore. Later on, when T Freddie and family came back from Cotabato, that middle room became Jonji and the kids’ room). At that time, the only way out was the entrance to T Edgar's room. We couldn't even enter that tiny room connected to T Edgars room, which I thought was a balcony at first (now I know what you’re talking about - it was a balcony but roofed. That’s where some of the clothes cabinets and linen cabinets were. I think when Lolo and Lola stayed in that masters’ bedroom, it used to be his study too. There used to be a sink there also, back to back with the one in the masters bedroom – do you remember that sink in the masters? And all the windows were glass shutters which I thought was pretty cool ‘cuz I never saw any house which had a room like that. Later on, when it was finally my turn to move into the masters bedroom ‘cuz everyone else was married, right before I immigrated to Canada in 1975, I had a fridge there – which I bought with my own money ‘cuz K Nonong and I were into this sugar business and we were profiting from it - and most of my keepsakes, all of which sadly disappeared!?! I was hoping that it would ‘stay’ in that room ‘forever’ and wait for my return so I could take them with me sometime. What I miss the most is my stamp collection – 3 albums of them; 1 which belonged to Lolo himself; another one belonging to Mamada, if I remember correctly - I don’t know why she gave it to me. And a 3rd one which was my own.)

I remember the fridge. The room became mostly mine and Jenjen's after you left. I was surprised myself where everything went. I remember that room to be a cute room. And it was the only one yata na the airconditioning worked. That’s because everyone else had left Malabon and I had complete possession of the 2nd floor! But since I stayed in the masters, there was no need to put more air-conditioners in the other rooms.(you knew there were 3 doors to that middle room, did you? Yes I did. The double doors were closed for a long time because among other things, Tito Paul used it for his rifles and his remote control stuff. There was a table in front of it. And for some reason, the drumset was also on the second floor.


The connecting door from the masters; the wide double doors that opened to the upstairs sala, and the cute undersized door that would lead to the bathroom. Funny that that room had 3 doors nga – was actually really funny). (Mommy’s comments: THE PURPOSE OF ONE OF THEM IS FOR ACCESS FROM THE MASTER’S TO MY ROOM; THE DOUBLE DOOR IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE REAL DOOR; THE LITTLE DOOR WAS FOR THE TOILET WHICH AS YOU KNOW WAS LOCATED ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ROOM. VERY CONVENIENT, I SHOULD SAY.) When you were babies, those double doors would be wide open and your yayas would have a cradle there and you would be swinging while sleeping (probably becoming dizzy enough to sleep for hours and hours). I don’t remember if all of you had that luxury, but I know that up to Jumbo, your yayas would be singing their lungs out while putting you to sleep – they were good singers naman… It was eventually opened and when it was, we were happy to find toys in there. It was probably a playroom, at least that's what it looked like (probably during your time as kids, that room was the tambakan of my old toys kaya you remember that there were toys, which of course, I didn’t bother with anymore). The next room, I'm not sure if it was Mamada's (it was really Mamada’s room; I just took over when I turned 18; or when I started college) or T Malou's at that time because I remember both of them sleeping there at one time or another. The last room was Dadito's (& Tito Paul's) room (but I'm not exactly sure what happened there because it was always locked too. Did Dadito move to T Edgar's room and T Paul move into Dadito's room? I don't remember because I remember also seeing both of them at one time or another coming from that room. (it was Dadito & T Paul’s room beside the banyo. When Dadito went to London for bank training, T Paul became sole owner of that room. By the time Dadito came back, he was married na and T Mila came back with him and they stayed in the ‘masters bedroom.’ When they moved out, it was T Paul’s turn to get married and so moved to the masters bedroom; by that time, I had already moved to Mamada’s room and took over na rin that adjoining room. I’m not exactly sure of the sequence of events now, but I think T Paul had his house in Malinta built - or was it a house that your Mom had started to build; ask her – moved out of Malabon (Mommy’s comments: I THINK YOU’RE RIGHT. I STARTED BUILDING IT FOR VACATION HOUSE, AND IT DID LOOK LIKE A VACATION HOUSE. THEN T.PAUL GOT MARRIED AND THEY MOVED THERE FOR REASONS OF SANITY AND PEACE OF MIND.), then it was T Freddie’s family’s turn to take over the masters bedroom and the middle room with the 3 doors. I had the ‘cross-over’ lowered since the stairs going down to the kitchen had already been taken out and the space in between was useless. That place going down to that door that lead to nowhere was always a mystery to us cousins. We always made up scary stories and that stairway was one of them. The attic too!


I think it was changed when you were 1 or 2 'cuz I have a picture of you with Lola with the original room layout. the first renovation was the kitchen was made smaller and the room was made bigger (going towards Tia Estelita's house). that was when the stairs going down from the 2nd floor to the kitchen was torn down. that was a sad day for me 'cuz I liked going down those stairs and playing in that area - it was connected to the kitchen but not really part of the kitchen. it was used as an ironing area and rest area of the maids. then, the room needed expansion so once again the walls were torn down, this time going towards the car park. and that's what it is now. kaya if you go to the back, you'll notice that it's so cramped going to Tia Estelita's house. before, I could play there, and we had this pakeleng tree that always amused me because its leaves were very useful for cleaning and scrubbing purposes.

So why didn't you just ask why there were these stairs that led to oblivion! kakatawa pala kayo 'cuz you were probably making up stories about it.

When I had that crossover lowered, I made it a point that a little opening (mini door) was made so that I could open it and shout down to the maids in the kitchen. that was neat! I didn't have to ring the bell (I remember that timbre that was outside in the sala of the 2nd floor!) to get the maids to do something for me. do you remember also that there was this socket right beside the door going to the 3rd floor which was a phone socket. imagine, we already had jacks even before jacks were even invented. we could plug and unplug phones using that socket. it was an easy life, if I may say so.
The only other place we did not even think about going to was the attic. I'm glad it was padlocked because it looked scary at that time. I don't know why Princess was there everyday either (I never asked her but I should. She studied in St James from Kinder up to Gr 1 yata). My guess is she studied close to Malabon for nursery and like us, became the daytime people of Malabon. (Note: some of the TV shows we used to watch were 'Lassie', 'Follow the bouncing Ball' (cartoon), 'Trick or Treat with the magic hands' - just want to put it in so I don't forget. Others were My Mother the Car, Honey West, Farmer Alfalfa, Fireball XL5, etc) (where was I; did I lock myself in my room?)

No, you were already in school.



During weekends (well some weekends and vacation days), we would spend time in Malolos. It was nice and serene. No pressure, lotsa fresh air. There was what they call (or called if it's not there anymore) the 'Grand Stand', which was a track field. Jimboy and I used to race there (run) in the mornings when Lolo would take us. It was located near the Municipal Hall. The house was also located in the same area as the Municipal Hall. Maybe I'm mistaken but it probably was a veteran's village because I noticed that all the houses were built similarly. There were no squatters, and we were inside the Municipal area. We had a neighbor on the left side of the house, whose older daughter they used to match Jimboy with. I think the girl's name was Maya or something like that (I'm sure our Titas would remember).

(Jimboy’s comments: I dont really remember her but now that you mentioned it, parang nga! put down Jumbos na rin, I’m sure he’ll get a kick out of that, he he. Jimboy is talking about Jumbo and little Judy Ick in Baguio when we were really small. I’ll get there later)


I think Lolo Menggoy was retired by then. He used to be with us most of the time while everyone else was either working or going to school. We always wanted him to tell us his stories from WWII. He had lots of gear left from the war - helmets, backpacks, canteens, bayonets, rifles (that could not be used anymore), amunition boxes, etc... I used to pretend I was Vic Morrow in Combat. (do you remember the house they had in the UP compound in Diliman? I don’t remember who or why we used to go there, but parang your Dad’s family used to stay there. Tama ba?)

Wow, no, I do not remember a UP compound in Diliman. You’re right, I should ask Mommy.




Here, I’m not sure whether to send the memoirs to anyone else yet because I didn’t think it was ready. But we had to send it to Mommy for a clarification on the house in Diliman.

“SOoooooo..... Do I make people aware that their names are part of this or not?) know what? Who cares? The only reason I brought this up was the Diliman house. I’ll just send mom an email of what that was all about. Because I really have zero recollection of it”.

End of my asking her what to do again.




(Mommy’s comments about the Diliman house sent by email: The house in Diliman, actually inside UP was in Area 3.  I don't know how your Lolo Menggoy got that cottage because only the faculty and perhaps the staff of UP could get cottages there.  I never did ask, I just took for granted that they have a cottage there.  We have pictures of you and Jimboy there, baka Tita Edy has those pictures.  I think the cottage has 3 small bedrooms, a small porch, kitchen, dining area and possibly a sala.  I never liked the odor of the place, it's like you're staying in a squatter area.  But their cottage itself was clean, only the bathrooms smell really bad.  Tita Yeng stayed with the 3 girls in a room and your Dad in another room.  The oldies would visit every weekend. )



(Jimboy’s comments about Malolos: We passed by the grandstand and the track field. It’s still the same. even the cannons are still there. I cudnt figure out lang the spot where the old house was. Tita Eddy gave me some pictures of us in the old house. I’ll try to let Chinky scan them to you soon as I find them. we have pictures with Tatang Pano and his wife (forgot her name) Her name was Inang Carmen (?). the new house in Malolos is still ok; around it lang is really busy na. I got lost nga going there cuz the street where you enter is very busy na. nice pa rin naman in Malolos - still seems like part of home.)





We used to sleep on the floor under mosquito nets and had an on-going game amongst ourselves to see who would wake up first in the morning. During storms (or rain), we would play by the canal or on the canal (the canal had clear water), watching the paper boats we made sail with the current. After the rain, we would catch dragonflies.

(Jimboy’s comments: Up to now when it rains hard, I still think of malolos when we used to just sit by the big windows and just watch it rain.)


Lola in Malolos was strict (she was a teacher. One day we had even walked to the school where she taught and visited her classroom). We always had to (MUST) take naps in the afternoon ...and we would (even to just pretend to) because you don't want to make her mad! At 6pm, every afternoon, the siren would sound and we always said the Angelus (I still don't know what that is) 

(Tita Malou: BOBO!!!).

(Mommy: HUDAS!!!)


(Mommy’s ‘Hudas’ comment can be applied to me or Tita Malou. To Tita Malou for calling me ‘Bobo’, or to me because I still really don’t know what the Angelus is. It makes more sense if it’s directed towards me but funnier if it’s at both of us. Ha ha)


(Jumbo’s comments on Malolos:

Malolos Interludes:

Burro recipe: Mudfish, angkak for color, rice and salt in between layers of fish and rice. Leave for a couple of weeks in a large vat to rot and stink up the whole place and watch the dogs congregating for days outside your front door.We wake up to the smell of burro. It’s the Caingen kind which is tinted red with achuete seeds. The kitchen is outdoors and below the house next to the granary where we sleep with the rice and corn sacks. There’s always that distinct smell of unmilled grain in the house. Although the days can be blisteringly hot, Strong cool breezes were right there to counter the heat which starts at around Nine in the morning and don’t let up till four in the afternoon. For breakfast we have huge bowls of steaming rice and burro as toppings. Yum! One day it rained in the morning. It continued to rain into the afternoon and into night. And when we woke up the next day the rain still had not yet let up. In fact it was pouring harder than the day before. We watched little pools turn into streams coming up our garden. Before long the hard rains had turned the green grass of our lawn into a muddy brown pond. Soon after that, even darker waters flooded the bottom floor of the house.

I remember this now. I remember the ground floor being flooded and the rain was really strong. If I remember right, the rain started to creep into the roof and fall from the ceiling in droplets and we had pails in many places.

Oh, it was a fright to see. It rained, rained and rained all day long and

into the long night and into the morning where we woke to a small Bible epic. Everywhere you looked, up and down, front-ways and sideways, water covered the land five feet high. The adults were moaning but for us kids? It was a Water Wonderland! You could dive into the lawn, now your own private pool, tease the barnyard animals and command them to swim and go nuts while the adults were busily saving the beds and sofas. (This house was a typical one in the province but not so in all ways…other houses displayed their

canned goods( a status symbol) alongside heirlooms inside glass cabinets and huge ceramic dogs they’d won as prizes at the carnival that came to visit once a year. This house had no such gauche manifests. )

Anyways, to get back, as soon as things quieted down, we sat on the first floor windows and Lolo made us each bamboo fishing rods with white string and paper clips to catch minnows and guppies. There was a hard current so no fish were ever caught and brought to the dinner table. But by Lolo’s origami know-how we made paper ships that rolled along the rolling streams. Remember the cruise ship we took with Dad and Lolo? How can I forget that. I drank a Coke from a bottle in a restaurant but the contents were urine. This was when we stopped over somewhere in Mindanao. I don’t remember the name of the city now. It was just after Lola died and Daddy wanted to cheer him up. So, we took a tour in the South by boat. I still remember his green tinted glasses shimmering in the light of the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. To be reelingly continued.)

(Jumbo’s continuation on Malolos: To add to Malolos mems: I remember watching colored TV for the first time in Malolos. Yes! Colored TV. Colored mostly blue. Actually, colored totally blue. Because Lolo always had a panel of blue glass propped over the regular screen. I guess this was used to filter out harsh, and supposedly radioactive rays. Television sets of the era used to mimic regular furniture to make it more acceptable to the eye. Somehow, TVs had to sneak into a home this way. So they came with elaborate wooden screen doors, brass bottom legs and hand knitted tassels with family photos on top. This Hi-tech phobia even made its way to Caimito where each TV was imprisoned in its own cabinet and was just waiting to make a break for it.



Bingo, Jumbo, and Twinky in the dining room in Caimito. The 2 steps lead the way to the living room where the TV that Jumbo was talking about and the table set made out of a tree was. 



If you notice the piece of paper stuck on the 2-step stairs going to the living room, those pieces of paper have Tagalog words which Bingo had to learn because he couldn't remember them (like, he would say glass was 'glaseh' instead of 'baso', which is the correct Tagalog word for glass). You'll see the paper more clearly in another solo picture of him.


(Mommy: The first generation of TVs in the Philippines are black and white. I guess the blue screen reduced the glare so Lolo installed it. Our first colored TV was a Zenith encased in a wooden cabinet with ornate decorations of some kind. It was located at the old sala so everyone could view the programs, including the maids.)


Kuya beat me to the punch re memories of: Sears Roebuck and his little green soldiers which he kept in an ammo box. Just as advertised in the back pages of comic books. But this one he got from Lolo M. As for the GI Joes. We used to blow them up and make picture storybooks in photo albums.

*** It was Lolo Pablo who introduced Sears Roebuck import catalog to us when we were small children and he used to order what we chose from the huge thick colorful mail order book. I don't know that Lolo M. would have anything like it in his possession. Chances are that it was I who brought it to Malolos for you guys to look at (and order?).

(Jumbo’s reply to Mommy: To set things straight: because I bunched up my words… I meant Kuya kept his toy soldiers in an ammo box Lolo Menggoy gave him. Not meant to imply Lolo M. introduced us to the Sears Roebuck catalog)


(Sorry, I beat you to it but that was really fun just looking at the Sears catalogue. But you got the milk thing, which I still did until the '80s. Carabao's milk was the original (but I think we alternated with goat’s) but I tried it with cow's milk. Whole milk (I mean not the 2% fat, but real milk). I still ate it with tuyo. Here's one that you got me on - the raw eggs... our nanays used to run after us in the old house because they were feeding us with dinner (dinner was like 4pm almost right after school). And dinner was, most of the time, raw eggs and tuyo while watching 'Tom and Jerry' or 'Heckle and Jeckle (the two crows)'.

Do you remember that Jumbo was allergic to tuyo - of all things!  He would get red all over.  But since he loved it so much, he still continued eating it, and I guess as time went by, his persistence won over the allergy.


(Yes, but he never stopped. Even when he lived here in Reno, Nevada he was still eating tuyo. We used to tease him about his eating tuyo because I think it was one of his favorite foods, if not the favorite.)


I remember Nanay Paring running after us holding a plate of food on one hand and a slipper on the other hand. Of course we were running away from her. But I don't recall her ever hitting us.

*** They have strict orders NOT to lay hands on any of you. They could threaten but not hit.

Raw eggs. Remember Sarsi and raw eggs?

*** Advertised by Cosmos, Sarsi and raw eggs, and 90% of Filipinos got on with it.

I remember the first time I tasted that was in Kaingin (or Caingin in the older days when we were not yet nationally politically correct). Tatang Pano was drinking this for his health, or at least to improve it. I tried to do it but it really was gross. Never did it again. But I still drink eggs raw until now, every so often.

*** I don't understand this. What's with the MILK?

(The 'Milk' thing was what we used to eat rice with - carabao's and/or goat’s milk and tuyo in Caingin for breakfast.)


Remember when Daddy gave us the belt (actually the broom)? That was when you, Diko, Twinky, Bingo, and I put 'OFF' (the mosquito repelant) in the fish area by the stairs going down from the old house. That fish pond had always been there and stayed there for the longest. The rest of the fishponds (that went around the house area) were added afterwards. But we killed all the fish in that pond... needless to say, Dad killed us too! One by one, execution style in the living room. Normally, he would give us 3 chances before he took any disciplinary (might have spelt that wrong) action. But not this time. We went overboard.


*** I still don't understand why you poured OFF in the fishpond.

(I think the 'OFF' was put in the fishpond (We had goldfish in there at that time) just to see what would happen. We found out shortly what would happen, all the fish started to float. Dead.)

I never put OFF in the fishpond and was forever proclaiming my innocence and protesting my beating though I always suspected the culprit was indeed you. So, after all these years, I now know who’s to blame.

(I don’t remember putting it myself either. But I know I got a spanking so I guess I might have as well did it or it was my responsibility to not allow it. If I did it, it would only have been me who would have got spanked!).


Speaking of spanking and discipline. There was only one time I remember Mom spanking my hand with this very light slipper. And I forget why. And this was already in the new house. I should have remembered why but I don't remember now. Maybe I didn't want to remember. )

*** I found it hard to spank anyone so I must have had a very good reason for doing it that time.

He also wrote about air guns. We were on the roof house one morning. The roof we climbed each day by a tree near the swimming pool. We imagined ourselves hunters waiting for prey And we were dressed as hunters from the Daniel Boone era (‘Daniel Boone was a man, was a biiiiiiiiiiiig man…’). In this case, Maya birds. The day before we’d camped out in the tree house but hadn’t spotted any of those chirpers. So today we decided to head right to Maya HQ. And on the green roof we spotted a flock of them near the mango trees to our right and fired away  

Me, Jumbo, and Jonji - the hunters!


(Shucks! I forgot about mango trees. We had them too. And I even think it was a mango tree that we built our treehouse on. Right by our grotto. Our old house had an outer circle around it (At least in the front part), which was really a fishpond that went around the house. The end of the fishpond to the left of the house was the grotto. Once, when Nanay Bine and Nanay Carmen left for vacation, Diko and I were really depressed. I couldn’t believe that they bought us toys before they left. I still remember what they bought us. They bought us plastic boats. They were Indian boats and Diko and I played with them, having them sail on the fishpond that went around the home. I really appreciated what they did. They did not earn enough, but still loved us enough to spend their savings on toys for us. It hurt for me because I think that was the last I saw of Nanay Bine. She never came back and I was the only one without a babysitter.).

That was really sweet of them to do that.  It just shows how much they valued staying with the family.  When we went back to the Philippines in 1985 and started Oro, we employed Bine's husband Paeng.  He was also a very good, loyal, industrious worker.  I think he's still with T Paul, altho' 'retired.'


I don’t know whose shots found their marks but a couple of them lurched forward and fell to the earth. Of course we all took credit for the kills. So proud were we of our good fortune we showed it to Daddy. A mistake. It was just before breakfast time and we showed him our bag for the day. “What were you thinking?” he yells. “ Now those birds won’t ever come back to our place!”

But they did! Buti na lang because I would have missed them terribly. You know how much of a bird lady I am. Well, did you eat them?


(Jumbo’s reply to Mom: We had those Mayas spit roasted on a grill. Good Eats too. Nah…just kidding. It was an empty threat on Dad’s part.)


I thought, what’s wrong with that? Their silly coos just about drove me crazy in the morning anyway. But Daddy kept on and in a shrill tone said. “It’s a tradition of hunters that you eat what you kill. So you’re having Maya birds for breakfast!” I swear he sounded just like those Maya birds just then.



Nobody’s mentioned the slot cars of TPaul or Lionel train sets yet. (Me: I mentioned that our living room in the old house was once occupied by the slot track, which covered much of the living area space) Or having milk with raw eggs after dinner (You just reminded me of this one). Or the telescope or Kuya’s microscope set (I don't know what was wrong with that telescope. Did you see anything? Because I don't think I saw anything from it.

The white telescope turned out to be more of a white elephant. I think Dad assembled it wrong.

The microscope, though, was a different story. Remember the box of slides that I had and we would all check them all out in that landing place on the upper floor of the old house? That box of slides and that small microscope lasted a long time, even through the new house). Or his pull string GI Joe. By pull string GI Joe I meant his talking GI Joe which you pulled a string to get him to say inane things like “My name is Joe. I’m a GI…”. Or being roused in the wee hours of the morning for the Moon landing (The moon landing was already in the new house with our TV (the best one we had, which was 'colored' in a blue filter, and hidden in the depths of our walled cabinets, right in front of the table that was made out of a tree (can't better describe it) with little chairs around it that also looked like it came from the same tree. The whole table set was really polished, varnished, and looked creatively built.


*** I liked that table very much. Is it possible that it is in Baguio? Oh, I know. It got burned when our house went into flames. Sayang. It was made of camphor wood and our family room smelled so good each time we entered it. I was able to buy a tree that we used in Singapore (Phil. Arts and Crafts) which we used to display our crafts. I'm sure it was manufactured by the same company.


PS. My favorite show was the Time Tunnel. I always envisioned myself going back in time and watch myself as a kid go by from a third person's point of view.)

(...end for now - Malolos, the home where Jumbo sliced up his hands with razor blades. Blood everywhere. Malolos, also the place we spent our Mumps days – I mean Mumps the sickness. Like we spent our Chicken Pox days in Singapore, Block A in Jalan Jintan).


1964: start of school year (Grade 1, Notre Dame of Manila - but it was in Caloocan).

I was 5 years old going straight from Nursery to Grade 1. (Mommy’s comment: I THOUGHT YOU WERE 4 WHEN YOU STARTED FIRST GRADE. THEN LASALLE DEMOTED YOU BECAUSE YOU WERE TOO YOUNG.) I thought so too, but when calculating the years, I must have been 5. And La Salle didn’t accept me to go to Grade 6 because I was only 9 and they said I would feel out of place with six graders who were an older group) I guess my classmates did not treat me badly because they knew I was much younger than they were. They were at least 2 years older than I was. The classmates I remember were Lawrence Olizon and Rosauro Cayco (Larry and Boyette). Larry's family owned Jack's hamburger place by Monumento. Boyette was his cousin. They lived in the same compound. We get invited once in a while to their birthday parties where they would show movies like “Gulliver’s Travels” and that kind of thing and have games – kiddie games like ‘Trip to Jerusalem’ and so on. Others were Victorino Santillan (whom I would come across again in college as a member of the Ateneo basketball team, while I represented UP for this umbrella organization called AIESEC). Another guy I remember was a certain Leslie. People (my classmates) were already used to speaking tagalog and cursing in tagalog. I tried to fit in. I had no problem with the tagalog part because they spoke to me in English. My problem was the cursing. I never cursed before, so, I gave it a shot. I can vividly remember (in living color) the first time I said 'Putang Ina Mo!'. Who knows what that meant, I just knew it wasn't good. I said that to Leslie, whom I thought was shocked, then probably became amused at me saying it. He told me not to worry (about what? - explain) because I was still young and it did not sound right coming out of my mouth.

He told me not to worry because I thought he would get upset and beat me up or something. But he became like one of my guardians when I was in Notre Dame.


(Jimboy’s comments: Jet Vergel de Dios was in my batch in notre dame. i visited the place last year. seems a little smaller but with big open space parin in the middle. parang we used to buy sago and lumpia outside school.)


Another classmate was Noni Bong (from the Gella compound). He was already openly gay by then and he always used to say 'Malay ko!?!', which meant, 'What do I care?'. One day, this poor ol' man was looking for a kid (he was probably a driver who couldn't find the kid) to be picked up and asked me if I knew him. I responded 'Malay ko?'. He looked at me like those words couldn't have come from my mouth. I was so embarassed and felt really guilty that I have not used those words in that way again.

(TV shows during that time like ‘Noddy’, ‘Gumby’, ‘Beany and Cecil’, ‘Man from Uncle’, ‘Wild, Wild West, ‘Green Hornet’, …)

...tired. I'll continue again




...I left off the last page feeling guilty saying 'Malay Ko?' to the driver

or whoever it was looking for a kid to be picked up. This is insignificant but I have to put it in so I can remember the incident. This happened on the way going to the 'cafeteria' of Notre Dame. The cafeteria looked like a big sari-sari store (well maybe a little bigger) with tables and chairs around it. I don't remember what food they sold because I never had to buy any since our yayas would bring our lunch to school for us. We did have 30 centavos allowance a day on my first year and gradually went to P1.25 on my 5th year. At the end of every year in Notre Dame, we would have a ‘field day’. That’s when each grade would have some kind of presentation for everyone to watch. On my first grade, we were dressed up as cowboys. I remember the office in the Imprenta was filled with clothing. We were making the uniform for all the first graders.

We're still in the 1964-1965 era. Twinky was already born, Jumbo able to run around the house and Bingo was on his way. Fr McGrath (why was he there at home?) why nga ba? Ok, this got explained later on in your writings. I guess he was just a lonely man and wanted to be part of a family, and your family became his pseudo-family.



In 1965, I could buy a Canada Dry soda (different flavors, wow!) or a Sarsi Sarsaparilla, Sunta Orange, Sunta Pineapple, and all the other sodas for 15 centavos, which, is about the price of a quarter of a penny today (2005). Life was still good in 1965.



Listening to music on different kinds of phonographs - I've said that I've grown up to the 'Everly Brothers.' I've also grown up to the Beatles but they did not hit me yet at this time. Cliff Richard hit me hard because all I would hear was Cliff in Malabon and Cliff in Caloocan. Cliff singing in English, Cliff singing in Spanish, Italian. You name it, he sang it (and now he’s a pastor of some sort!). Hmmm… haven’t heard that before but wouldn’t count it out.

'Otis Redding,’ 'Johnny Cash,' and that Green Beret guy ('fighting soldiers from the sky...' di ba this was Johnny Cash too?), No, it was an actual soldier who sang it.


'Fats Domino' (the twist guy – Chubby Checker?). Yes, come to think of it, it was Chubby Checker. I even remember the cover of the album. It was an orange album with him in front



I had gone through Tito Paul's coming home from England bringing his 'Revolver' LP (which I loved and Eleanor Rigby scared me to death... 


You will see Eleanor Rigby's name in this tombstone in Liverpool. We went to this cemetery to see where the name Eleanor Rigby came from. On the same cemetery, we also found reference to Fr McKenzie (below)



I also have gone through Dadito's, Mommy's, Mamada's, Tito Freddie's, Tito Edgar's, Tita Malou's Taiwan LPs (I was really proud to have these colorful records which Lolo bought for me. He didn’t even care what I bought or how much of it I bought. I think he was just so happy that we were able to buy them at half the price of the originals – this was also true with the books he bought). Those LPs were good looking for a kid. They were colored - green, orange, red, pink, blue, etc... and transparent too! Sadly, they warped so easily that just the heat of the Manila summer would make them curl! But I still played them until they would jump so badly that it wasn’t worth listening to anymore.

That’s why we started taping coins on top of the needle of the record player.

The record covers were bad because they were made of paper covered in plastic. Like I remember Tita Malou's Peter, Paul, and Mary album (actually I thought it was a double album). It had a black and white jacket but the record was black. (and how, pray tell, did it get to you?)

Well, it ‘appeared’ in Caloocan just like that. I probably ‘borrowed’ it and ‘forgot’ to return it. It was me, Jimboy, and Jumbo listening to it. I remember now because of ‘Puff, the magic dragon’.


Played it all the time downstairs in Caloocan by the steps leading to the fishpond in a portable phono. 'Puff, the magic dragon', 'If I had a Hammer', and all those songs. I didn't even know they were radical songs. They just sounded good.


This was the upstairs entrance to our old house. To the left was where the fishponds were. You won't be able to see it here. To the right is the entrance to the living room where Dad used to paint. It also became a place for slot cars. Below those steps was where we used to listen to records like the 'Cascades' and 'Peter, Paul, and Mary'.



Well, as long as we're in the topic of music, there was one song that changed my entire musical outlook. The song was called 'Day Tripper.' Absolutely nothing had a greater impact on me than the intro of this song (Just an insight to my mind at that time... I thought the song was blasphemous. "How can God make a song like this?”). When I hear it now, it still strikes me, but not the same way I'd first heard it on the radio (I felt like it was a sin to make a song of this magnitude - it made 'Satisfaction' saintly). This was in 1966. So from this time onwards, I wanted to play Day Tripper. I didn't necessarily want to be a musician yet but I needed to play Day Tripper. I already knew how to play the drums, thanks to Dadito and Tito Paul (am I repeating myself?). (Mommy’s comments: I THOUGHT YOU STARTED PLAYING DRUMS IN BAGUIO USING THOSE CRACKER CANS, AT LEAST JUMBO WAS. OR PERHAPS YOU WERE ALREADY TEACHING JUMBO HOW TO PLAY CAN-DRUMS AFTER D.TO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO PLAY. BUT IT WAS FUNNY HOW THE DRUM SET LOOKED LIKE, AND I FORGOT WHAT HE USED FOR DRUMSTICKS.) I don’t remember what he used for drumsticks. But I’m sure Jumbo will let us know. It was probably something that Bubut improvised from some pieces of wood.

T Malou: I remember this. There was a set of drums in the torre where you used to practice with them. I don’t even remember who bought it, Dadito or T Paul. I used to go up there too and play the drums myself, but it didn’t really interest me as much as the guitar, I guess ‘cuz I couldn’t carry the drums around with me. I used to watch Tito Ronnie (Sison) play the drums with the Hot Stuffs (remember them?) in Hulo, and I used to think that if I couldn’t play as well as him, I’d rather not continue with this drum-playing (the drum roll was what gave me the most difficulty – I practice and practice but couldn’t get the knack of it). perfectionist!?!? I always thought it weird that I had piano lessons for almost 5 years, wasn’t interested, didn’t learn anything, can’t even play a complete piece now except for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; but learned to play the guitar all by myself at age 13

Same here. I got through Grade 5 of piano but did not learn anything. I can’t even read the notes. I was just reading the numbers that correspond with your fingers. I finally learned the piano by myself AFTER I learned the guitar. Suddenly it became easy to play the piano. I still can’t read notes but I can play the chords because I would just transpose the guitar notes to the piano and there was a certain pattern to all the chords in the piano just like the guitar.


(I was in grade 7, that I distinctly remember) in just a few months. I would look at people who knew how to play classical guitar and I could copy them and play their same piece in a day. I even taught Dadito one of the pieces I learned – Romance D’Amour - which he heard played by Chet Atkins, and he said he wanted to learn it, so I taught it to him. Took a while but he was able to do it!

Dadito was not the only one you taught. It seemed like everyone was playing that song, including me. I remember the first part but couldn’t get to the second part. If you’d ask mommy to play the guitar, my guess is that would be it.



Too bad I didn’t go for guitar lessons so I could read the notes and play them on the guitar. Puro chords lang is what I learned which came from all these ‘song hits.’ Another note: I think Tita Mila knew how to play classical guitar, but don’t quote me on this. I know Lolly went for guitar lessons here in Canada. Another note: I haven’t really played the guitar since 1975! I did for a while in 1996 when we were living in your Mom’s Valle Verde Townhouse only because Jan wanted to learn and I was teaching her the chords; so I bought a good-sounding guitar in Cebu. But K Nonong shattered her (and my) dreams because he told Jan she was too noisy! (Mommy’s comment to T Malou: STUPID FOOL!) So that was the end of her musical career. She became so disappointed/disgusted that she never played again and eventually sold the guitar! Too bad because she was almost the same age as I was when I started my guitar-playing and she was really into it.

Nobody took me seriously in my 'quest' to attain this goal (well, how could they? nobody knew the goal).



My only goal (musically) was to play ‘Day Tripper’, even just the intro!



(This portion was written between October 1st and 4th, 2005

September 30, 2005

Hi guys!
Can't help but send you an email. We're watching Paul McCartney at Madison Square Garden tonight. We saw him when he was with 'Wings', but that was about 15 or more years ago and we had the cheapest seats in town. Now, we're going to see him about 50 feet away (hope so). We'll be like 10 feet away from the stage! The Beatles made the musician out of me with 'Day Tripper'. Carol and I are just glad to be in this situation right now. (Yes, that's the same Paul McCartney from the Beatles). Gotta watch in good seats just in case he doesn't reach 64 ('when I'm 64'-written by paul in 1967)"
End of email form me.

Reply from Faye:
------ From: Faye Dulay  
Subject: Paul McCartney Concert 

Reply from Twinky:
From: Twinky Clemente 
Subject: Paul McCartney Concert

You're so lucky to watch him. Did you know that Nica loves the Beatles? She even has to Beatles DVD Collection.

My reply to both of them about what happened the night of the concert: 
Subject: re[2]: Paul McCartney Concert 
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 17:33:10 -0400 

The original seats we had were near the stage, but it was in the corner 
back part. Me and carol were just hoping that paul would face our 
section. The tix were cheap because all you would have seen were their backs 
but they were close enough and we were already happy about it. So there 
we were inside madison square garden having our tickets checked 
(printed from the computer). They told us that they closed the section. In my 
US?'. Buti na man Carol was staying cool. She asked the guard to give us the best 
seats they could. The guard said yes. When they gave us the replacement 
tickets, I told Carol 'We just won the lottery!'. They put us dead 
center! The most expensive seats. I counted how many rows between us and the 
stage. We were only 10 rows away (actually 11, there were 10 rows in 
front of us). We couldn't believe our luck! No chance in a billion this 
could ever happen again! We even brought binoculars but we didn't need 
it. He was right in front of us! What made me think we were in a really special section 
was that we were the only ones who had barricades (from the rest of 
,ahem, the 'other' people)! He played for more than 3 straight hrs with no 
intermission and no front act! Sayang talaga, if we only had those 
camera-phones! I scanned the tickets and ill put them on the website. There 
were even people going around serving champagne (not free of course).

End of the email in Oct, 2005.)

Well except maybe for Tita Malou. I don't know how she could have possibly sensed that I wanted to play the guitar because she bought me my first guitar. Could be because I was into guitar-playing and I wanted you to join me in that interest. It was a 3/4 length full fretted guitar, which was perfect for me! Was it white?

The guitar you bought me was light brown with black nylon strings. I think you bought it for me for one Christmas. Took it with me straight to Baguio the next day!


She was my inspiration because she knew how to play the guitar! (I'm moving at lightning speed with things now because there's not enough time to cut it shorter). This was the Tita Malou who made us watch this Jerry Lewis movie in Maryknoll for their grade or high school fair. I remember that movie (but not the title). I think her class sponsored the movie. Anyway, back to guitars... I also had noticed her watch Jay (in Baguio - whom I think she had a crush on. She had 2 classmates with her. Hmmm… I’m not sure now if they were classmates or just friends from Manila) play the guitar and I saw her play a lot more after that. (really! And I don’t even remember the guy, poor thing! Forgettable siguro)

The guy grew up in the States I think and hung out with Max, Charlie, and the other foreigners like Mike (who ate live grasshoppers) in Quezon Hill.

Would you believe that I still remember Max – only because I thought he was such an obnoxious guy trying to be cool around all the locals. There was one thing I distinctly remember about him though – that he spoke Ilocano just like a native-born.


Anyway, I finally learned to play Day Tripper when I was 12 or 13. That's 6-7 years after I wanted to learn it. That was in 1972, when Edgar (also from Baguio) taught it to me. I watched Tita Malou play the 'He and She' books, and the 'Jingle' books (before it became 'Twinkle' and back to 'Jingle' again). The most memorable song I heard her play was 'Venus' ('a goddess at a mountain top, was burning like a silver flame...') (I don’t even remember the song! Who sang it? Maybe if I hear it again)

I think the original was Martha and the Vandellas, others played it too, like Belinda Carlisle and her group (I think ‘The Gogos’), which I forget now. Even Tirso Cruz sang it. You don’t remember? The refrain was “I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, at your desire…” You can ask Miang to download it from the internet. I don’t even know how to do that – I mean download songs from the Internet. I ask Carl to do it for me. Ok, now I remember it because of the refrain. BUT, I don’t remember playing it!

You did. You were playing from a Jingle magazine.And I couldn’t understand how you knew which direction to strum the guitar.

because it only had 2 chords. And I was watching her strum the guitar because I could play E minor and A, but I didn't know how to strum the guitar. It was frustrating at first but I finally got it. Well, I became somewhat of a musician shortly thereafter. This was already 1972, when Mommy got some of the instruments from Tito Eddie in Hulo, Malabon and bought some in Raon, Manila. But I'm moving too fast again. Let's just say that this is where the music started.



Faye and Jimboy on drums. Behind them is a wood panelled wall. It's not actually a wall. They're all cabinets diguised as a wall. Behind both of them is a horizontal line. That's there because that part of the 'wall' breaks in two. the upper part of the cabinet and the lower part of the cabinet, where the main TV was, the one we saw the moon landing on. To Jimboy's left, you'll see part of the 'wall' actually open and see it's really a cabinet panel. Inside that particular panel was the secret flooring that you can open and hide stuff.



Actually, Mang Temiong taught me most of what I knew first. I guess that period was our foundation.


Baguio: mid to late 60s (WE is always Kuya, Diko and me.)

It’s not even daybreak yet but we’re up. Eddie wants to add to his butterfly collection so we agree to meet up. The hard thing is waiting your turn in the bathroom. Bathrooms weren’t in vogue when the house was built so there was one for each family of eight.

Eddie is already in front of the house right by the lamppost whose lights are just beginning to dim and the sun is just breaking through the skies. The butterflies fill up every available nook of the concrete post. They’re of all sizes, color and family crest etched on their backs. Eddie takes those he fancies. By hand. None of them are bothered that they’re being plucked one by one for butterfly mortuary. It’s like peeling stickers off its jacket. Morbid and fascinating at the same time. {Thus the term Morbid Fascination I guess.} It’s boring too. I’d imagined running around green meadows with nets and peals of laughter issuing from the mouths of babes whose one desire was to pull off their wings and watch them crawl aimlessly then pour kerosene on their wrinkled bodies and…well, another child’s dream dashed.

After what seems like an hour going from post to post, trudging up and down the road we get to his laboratory/bedroom. We’re treated to Science in action. Or taxidermy action anyway. He has all sorts of vials and potions it seems and butterflies mounted and displayed in glass cases. It’s so much easier to look at them this way. Close up and with no fear of their flying in your face like other flying bugs. They look almost pretty. I remember that day. His room smelled like mentholated preservatives. He had injections to shoot the butterflies up with whatever compound he used.

Back to the house for the Breakfast of Champs. CHAMPorado.

Get It?

With Liberty Evap and Tuyo. We head out to Bubot’s place. Aling Aureng invites us in. We fiddle around with his phonograph set while we wait. Finally he emerges from his room, which is filled with psychedelic paintings and a blue light, and we bug him to hunt for fighting spiders. He suggests hiking instead. Okay. Kuya fetches his U.S. Army issue stainless steel canteen, ammo belt and Bowie knife that Lolo Menggoy gave him not more than a few weeks ago. We light out past the Water Tank. It’s a long trail. Soon we come across a stream where we just lay back to catch our breath. Kuya tries to fill his canteen and while leaning over drops the knife. In his frantic search he muddies up the water and just buries it deeper. It’s gone. Bubot comes back but he can’t offer any help. His hands are full with newborn eagles from where he got we have no idea. Mushroom hunting is next on the agenda. Bubot carefully explains the fungi that is safe to eat and those that once eaten will put you on the same one way flight to the skies as the butterflies. It’s all goes beyond my head. Anyhow, they pick enough so we can have mushroom soup for lunch. There’s not much to do between lunch and after dinner except blow up whole packs of Triangulos, not one at a time, but all in one pop. We’d roll out a crease on the side of the bag until it was like a wick and light the whole thing up at once. There’re only so many rabbit foots and Daniel Boone ‘coon skin caps that you can wear. Only one radio station you can get from your personal transistor radio. So you wait for after dinner is served. To go Ghost Hunting. Maria Makiling! More next time.


PS. You know the guitar Kuya said Tita Malou gave him one Xmas and she had no recollection of giving him? Page 21. This is one of the things I was worried about when I said you should selectively edit the stuff I’m sending.

That guitar was given to me by Mommy on Xmas. She got it in Pangasinan. I remember this because she went into great detail the lengths and pains to get it just for me. It was a junior size and Mommy seeing my Ringo face.. played a few chords just to get me into the swing of it. I tried to smile but she must’ve known in a few seconds I wasn’t into it. The gift box was so large I didn’t know what to expect but not a guitar. Daddy chewed me out telling me it cost 60pesos. I tried to like it but… anyway, they must’ve noticed Kuya eyeing the guitar and gave it to him. And of course this explains T Malou’s having no memory of giving him a guitar and Kuya bringing the guitar to Baguio the very next day. The story ends well tho…An hour afterwards, Mommy gives me a 9 inch box. It looks hastily wrapped. I open it and lo and behold…the Nautilus! A wind up submarine that goes in spirals underwater and gets back up. What Joy! The world is right once more.)


ahhhh... the simple joys of childhood


I always thought T Malou gave me the guitar. It probably was because I related my first days of learning the guitar to her. But what you’re saying makes sense because I remember you ending up with a Nautilus submarine and I somehow got what I wanted, wrapped in newspapers in a carton box.


so now, we're clear on why I couldn't remember that I 'gave' you a guitar.



Jumbo in Baguio. I don't know why the pictures in Baguio were mostly taken around the same area.


Where's Bubut now?  any contact with him?  or Evelyn?  I know they're both in the US.  pati yata Susan. 

Last I heard, Bubut was stationed in San Diego with the US Navy. At least he was there 15 years ago. Evelyn worked in Miami but had passed away about 8 years ago(?). During that time, I heard Edna was in Saudi Arabia. When we first got here in NY, Susan was here, working for the Belleview Hospital in Manhattan. I think she still works there. Aling Auring gave me her contact info but I lost it on the way back here from the Philippines 5 years ago.


I have to go back to where I left off... 1965-1966.


to be continued...


No, let’s sidetrack a little bit. Here’s part of mine and Tita Malou’s email about the owner of the store in Singapore, whom we bought all our records from. His name was Oh Chee Lok.



T. Malou: “I'm not sure of the spelling if Chi or Chee. I also checked Claydon Oh, and Chi Lok Oh - wala. But there are 32 people with C. Oh and that’s in Canada pa lang - BUT I don't think I want to call each one!”


Me: “Did I tell u that I even went to the internet to look for him? I felt that he may be a tycoon by now and he might show up. The hard part is looking for, like u implied, all the guys that had the name 'OH'. Come to think of it (wait, let me forward this to my email para I won't forget during my 9 year old experience-that was good. Landing in Singapore, taking the SAL (singapore airlines) before they were bought out and now, I believe it's MSA). Sorry, it wasnt SLA, it was either SIA or SAL. I think it was Singapore Intl Air but not quite sure. Best service ever. And to think this was all before MSA (malaysia singapore airlines).


If I remember right, we were all excited to 'explore' Singapore... But... It was a Sunday!!!! Everything was closed! C.K. Tang was closed, the Chinese Emporium was closed. Do u remember anything open that day? I just could picture us looking at the trees (forest) next to block A and started walking down Queen Elizabeth’s road from Jalan Jintan, all the way on Orchard road to the Hilton. What a frustrating day. I don’t even remember if Car Park was open on Sundays. Lok courted you through us kids. He sold us things by at least what he paid for with no patong. That was the impression I got as time went on. Richard was his second man-on-line (you know, the thin guy with the thin mustache). I don't remember the name of the chubby guy who was fond of Faye. Another profound thought was that we bought most of our records from Lok. Were u there when he took us to his home... I don't remember. But I remember me, jimboy, jumbo, and tito paul hanging out in his mansion (I’m not sure if the others went too) riding the motorcycles, watching him fly his remote control planes, water skiing. And this was 1972. I'm only in 1965.” I sent you an email commenting on the above


Here is Tita Malou’s email concerning my almost uncle in law.


I remember that I wasn’t even interested in him – not one bit! Kasi, I didn’t want to have anything to do with ANY CHINESE. Probably because of what they say about them: INTSIK BEHO, TULOY LAWAY. I guess that ‘saying’ traumatized me so badly that I didn’t want to have anything to do with any Chinese. Funny, I never went out with him (on a date), never had lunch or dinner with him, never went with him anywhere – oh, once we went to this pier to look at his boat yata but it was a group of us. The only reason I remember this is I have a picture of that incident. Buti pa nga T Paul (and you guys too), he was able to ride his boat and go skiing pa.


He even went to the Philippines once (maybe more, I don’t know). But the one time I remember is when there was a typhoon and he was there, brownout pa, and he went to Malabon. He had with him a rolex watch (my first rolex, which is now with Twinky), and I remember thinking to myself – does he think he can buy me? Buti na lang pala Lola paid for it – and what I got from him as a gift was a gold Parker pen, which, would you believe, I still have to this moment. Which reminds me, I have to change the spring ‘cuz it doesn’t work properly anymore. After that Parker pen incident, I don’t know if I was ever interested in going back to Singapore. The next time I went to Singapore, which was several years later, I saw him again, but this time, he already had a girlfriend and he didn’t even talk to me – thank goodness! But I guess he was pissed off din with me ‘cuz I never showed any interest in him. But what could I do? No spark, no flashing lights…


The only thing which interested me about him was his Jaguar – which he used to transport his wares from his warehouse (or supplier) to his shop at the Hilton. If not for the Jag, I would probably not even have talked to him as much as I did (which was very little).

 You know what, I have very close friends who are Singaporean. I’m sure they email people back home (their home). I’ll ask them if they can trace Alok (that was his nickname). I just emailed them today 5/20/05. Let’s see if something comes out of it.



(Jimboy’s comments: Ya I remember going to loks house with his remote control planes, we went water skiing nga with him. parang he treated us pa to a crab restaurant that was really good. we used to have a shortcut from jalan jintan to hilton.

I always wanted to remember that shortcut. Remember it was really a canal that was just built and not yet used that would have brought the waste from the hill, where, we were living to the ground (actually it went directly towards the Hyatt). But we found that shortcut out ourselves, didn’t we?I mean, that shortcut belonged to us. We could do anything. We were taking so many pictures of ourselves in that newly construncted cemented canal, which looked more like a water ride down than a canal.

(jimboy- yup,that was our shortcut alright!

now its all crowded na puno ng buildings. hope we can get in touch with loc somehow.)




I think this was picture of Jumbo was taken behind the apartments in Jalan Jintan leading to the canals. But I'm not sure.



Okay, now we can go back to 1965-1966…


- so many things I’ve missed…


Taal volcano errupted and that was like in 1964 or 1965 I think. I just remember getting in or out of the DeSoto with someone reading it from the Manila Times. I'm almost positive Tita Yeng was the one because she sat at the back and I could feel her (i don't know what... Anguish? Sorrow?) something that I can’t describe. Think it was '64 but could be a year wrong (ok, maybe 2 yrs wrong but I don't think so).



I saw Tita Yeng at the back reading the newspaper about Taal volcano erupting. That was how I got to feel the magnitude of what had just happened. I think during this time, what also was in the news was this Lucilla Lalu. The one who got chopped up. That was scary to me as a kid.



(jimboy - we were supposed to go to caingin recently with twinky, it got postponed cuz tito berting got a heart attack.he is alright now buti naman, I havn’t seen them though in ages)


I just remembered now visiting Tita Yeng and Tito Berting in their house in Sangandaan. They had 2 kids then. I forgot their names na. They must be really big now! Wait, I just remembered Ricky Boy was the older child


1966. School is open again!


Sorry. Another backtrack. I went thru 1965 forgetting to mention the hype of what became my favorite group, 'The Beatles.' They were coming to the Philippines!!! TV and newspaper ads prepped the people for what was forthcoming. It was exciting (at least for me...)! They may have stayed longer if not for our late dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos, and his wife, Imelda, who wanted them to perform privately for them. The story goes that the boys (the beatles) never got the message and the whole country just turned their backs on them (what with Marcos, newly elected, popular... and Imelda, glamorous, and popular to the people AT THAT TIME). And so goes the news... the Beatles shown to the whole country (and probably to the world), being punched and tripped in the airplane. George Harrison said he would never go back to the Philippines. And why should he? He felt he almost died. (Mommy’s comments: DID THEY ACTUALLY PERFORM IN THE PHIL? WHERE? DID YOU GET TO SEE THEM PERFORM?)

Yes they did. At the Rizal Stadium. No, I didn’t see them. I was following them by newspapers and the news and the non-stop promotions.


Okay, back on track again but a little of the past year's opinion.


First grade in Notre Dame was not like the first grade in any other school. Standard was too high back then. We only had 6 grades (instead of the regular 7). That was because the books we had were one level above. When I was in the 1st grade, my books were for 2nd graders (that's why when you were in the 6th grade, you were learning 7th grade subjects). We were still under the Americans (the Oblates) (or was it the Irish) who led the school. Our principal was a priest named Fr McGrath. He used to come to our home and hang out. He even went to Malinta to throw grenades (or were they dynamite) at the fishponds (what for? To catch fish or just for the fun of it?).


I think for both. Because everytime the thing exploded, you’d see all these dead fish just floating on the fishponds. Can you imagine. He was throwing explosives in a priest’s uniform. Ha ha! Yup, that’s really weird for a priest – & they should supposedly be ‘environment-friendly.’


Parang I remember someone diving head first. But my memory may be of another person who fell off a building and broke his skull. This was in Baguio. The guy was on a scaffolding painting one of the movie theaters. Just as we were passing by, I see this guy fall off and there was just blood all over the sidewalk. Traumatic. I don’t remember how old I was. Or whom I was with. I think it was Mang Ernesto driving the car. This was probably in 1964.


Where did that firepower come from? I don't know. But Malinta is in Bulacan, very near Bocaue, where they make a lot of fireworks.


Grade 3: I could still handle it; still confident (but not as confident as the past couple of years). I'm not sure if it was 1965 or 1966 that Tito Paul came home from England. It was an exciting moment (night) to feel that a relative just came home from studying in England. Either way, I'm discovering LP's and EP's (Long Playings and 45s) owned and forgotten by all of them, that were stored in the landing – a 'storage space' (it seemed more like a library that was transformed to be a storage space for records) that was between the stairs going down from upstairs (that landing had shelves from top of the ceiling to the floor. The lower shelves used to be for shoes. The upper shelves, I believe there maybe 3 or 4 shelves, would have different stuff, depending upon who would make use of it. When I returned home from Canada in 1985, I used it for Miang and Jan’s toys). Wait, this is confusing. Okay, from downstairs, you have to go up one flight of stairs and then stop. That's the area I mean (and that's the area I see T Malou sliding down the stairs - the handrails were really wide). I even went as far as the 78 records (phonos normally had 33 1/3, 45, and 78 speeds at that time).


I just remembered something which happened between 1963 and 1964 (probably 1962-63). I remember Lolo being a physician. He had to inject me with (I'm not sure what now) I think a tetanus shot. He did it in my buttocks and it hurt really bad. I don't remember who was holding me but I think it was Mommy. This happened between the dining room and the living room (the one with the piano). Story goes that it was the reason he stopped practicing medicine (He probably stopped because he didn't want to be a doctor anymore or something). (maybe here, your Mom can fill us in as to the reason why he left the medical profession. I was told he was offered by Lolo Roman to be one of Prudential Bank’s officers, and probably to eventually head it because Lolo Roman believed in his intelligence. But, as history dictated, Lolo Roman passed away too soon, and Lolo Pablo was left to be in the same position for the rest of his banking life)

(Mommy’s comments: Lolo Pablo swore that he was never going to give shots to his grandchildren. You see, he has a soft heart and it most probably affected him when you screamed with pain. But he somewhat retired from the medical profession way before that incident. He was a senior officer of the Rizal Surety before he was taken in as a banker at Prudential Bank. Before the Rizal Surety, he was Head of the UP Institute of Hygiene, he was also a professor in UP College of Medicine, Fidel Estrada and Romy Guevarra of UE RMM Hospital were 2 of his students. He graduated with honors from UP and was one of the topnotchers in the board exams for medicine. He claimed that had it not been for the flirty woman who got top place, he would have been the one. And I believe him. He was very popular in the medical field. He was also the first Filipino who graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with PH degree in Hygiene so he has 2 doctorate degrees. And it is for this reason that the former Pres. Magsaysay picked him out of the millions of Filipinos to be member of the NAWASA, now the water company. Everybody loved him except his in-laws, who were so jealous of him and envious of his good qualities and super intelligence. Some of this data came from Lola Alicia told to me in confidence. She herself never really liked Lolo Titong. When Lolo Roman died, his promise to Lolo Pablo went to the grave with him.)


I was told that the only things I remember were things that were told to me in stories. Well no, I'm telling the stories so you can remember. And wait, we're barely in 1966. I'll go back to all these years as we progress only because I may have remembered something again. I'm getting antsy right now...


I also remember a time when I had this lingering cold and couldn’t shake it off. Finally, Lolo decided he would give me a shot so I could get rid of it. I remember being so nervous about it, but it was mostly nerves that scared me. When he finally pricked me with the needle, I didn’t even feel it, BUT, he suddenly said “Naku!” in a like very concerned voice. So here I was, thinking, what in heaven’s name happened that he would be so worried? After a few seconds, which seemed like hours, it was finally over. Then I just heard him talking with someone about what happened – that the medicine in the syringe had spilled out, even before the needle pricked me. No wonder there was a strong smell of the medicine – like menthol – I guess because a lot of it was on my butt instead of inside my body!

Well, from that time on, I was not scared of needles anymore – not that I was particularly scared of them ever (I would always get these yearly cholera shots in school the whole time I was in Maryknoll which never bothered me). I guess since my father was able to inject me without pain, and he hasn’t even practiced medicine for a long time, what more all these other doctors who do this kind of thing day in and day out, 24/7.


Somehow, not all of the medicine spilled out of the syringe – parang he was doing a spanking motion so I wouldn’t feel the needle prick my butt kaya some of the liquid came out – I don’t know! I couldn’t see my behind!


To be continued... (Mommy’s comments: I NEED TO GET UP. I’VE BEEN HERE FOR THE PAST 2 HOURS YATA.)

Ok, here I am, continuing. But I noticed that there are other incidents that require to be mentioned so I’ll make singit them na lang.



"We're All Going On A Summer Holiday..." (- Cliff Richard)

It seemed like Cliff was always playing downstairs in the living room (entrance of the old house), where Dad used to paint. It was also where I had my second circumcision (right on the long table in that room). It was also where Jumbo broke a 7-UP bottle and cut his hand deep one night and Fr. Mc Grath had to help bandage it up for him. It was also this time that Jimboy and I were with the 'Darling Twins' (Mom’s 2nd-degree cousins), who lived walking distance from home. I don't know if they were famous but that's the impression I got. They probably appeared on TV or something when they were younger. (They were child superstars, just like Snooky, Maricel Soriano, and Aiza Seguerra. They made a lot of movies and were really very very famous. The glamor and glitter of the actor’s life, which was suddenly taken away from them, was probably what triggered their current mental state; altho’ it’s a well-known secret within the family circle that we have that ‘bad gene’ just waiting to be awakened at a moment’s notice! How were they related to us? through the Andres side of Lola Jule, Mom of Lola Ondes. I think Lola Cion, the darling twins' Mom, was Lola Ondes' 2nd cousin. But they were very close.


(Mommy: Poor kids. They were overwhelmed by their success in the silver screen. I don’t know why they got to be unpopular. They performed in Hongkong, too!)



Christmas was the best time of year. I thought about not putting this bit in here but, there is this Christmas song "I saw Mamma Kissing Santa Claus". I thought that song was bad. I mean, how can a mom kiss another guy, even if it were Santa Claus (little did I know that Santa was supposed to be Dad). As far as I can remember, we always spent New Year's eve in Baguio. That meant we left right after Christmas Day (when we went to all our relatives to get Christmas money). Try to put the names of the relatives you would go to. I’ll mention some, then just delete the ones you didn’t go to: Lolo Ique/Lola Nene, Lolo Ciro/Lola Paz, Lolo Titong/Lola Viniang, the del Rosarios in Navotas, Lolo Piding/Lola Clarita, the Ignacios of Malabon. I don’t know if I went with you because if we were together, we would’ve gone to a lot of places. The Ignacios alone are about 2 - 5 different families. If you thought at that time, Lola was strict, you haven't met Lola Alicia yet. I know a lot of the cousins and their ya-yas were always afraid to go to Navotas to their house. Even if she were really 'strict', I was not really intimidated by her. I think I knew how she was and even joked with her. It was Lola Mameng that scared me a little when I was a kid.



That was the time when many of the families would be in Baguio at the same time (except for every now and then during the summer), which was good because Dadito and Tito Paul provided most of the firecrackers! During this time, we would only watch and cover our ears because we were too young to play with them except for the sparklers and watusis. We also tried to keep up cooking hotdogs with marshmallows by a bonfire. There was always a bonfire outside. Do you also cook camote under the charcoal?

Charcoal? It was an open pit with just plain wood from trees. No, no camote though.

I don’t mean charcoal – whatever wood it was that was left behind after the flames died down. What Gaudencio would do was to put the camote first on the ground, then the fresh wood, would light it up with saling or sahing (I forget now what it’s called – but it’s the root of the pine tree which is a very good firestarter), then, after a few hours, we would dig up the camote and eat it – really delicious because by the time we took it out of the bonfire, the outside of the camote was burnt but the inside was nicely cooked and sweet. You’d peel almost ¼ inch of the skin, which includes some of the flesh because nga it was burnt, but the inside was heavenly. The best camote was called, ironically, Manila camote – it had almost white skin and the inside was orange – really good! I didn’t care too much for the hotdogs ‘cuz no one really knew how to cook it properly. Each time, they would come out like a wrinkled old man (and that’s what I thought I was looking at) and it never interested me. Buti pa marshmallows, but after 2 pieces, nakakasawa na,

There was one of those 'Christmas in Baguio' times that didn't go well (I mean the commute). We were right there, we could see the city lights and it was like almost midnight and we had a flat tire. I don't know if there was a spare tire or not but I remember everyone trying to push the car out of the zigzag (maybe so it wouldn't roll backwards or something). This was in 1963.


As we grew older, we got to learn how to use firecrackers - trianggulo (3 stars and 5 stars), bawang, kuwitis, baby rockets, roman candles (one year, Ann <Tita Ludy's sister, who was into Jimboy> was using a roman candle when it backfired on her. Her shirt was burned. Buti na lang nothing else more serious happened to her.


Anyway, the following morning (New Year's Day), we would search for gunpowder - firecrackers that didn't go off, mostly triangulos. The other kids from Baguio would make them into 'pill boxes', which was really dangerous. It's putting gunpowder in the middle of 2 stones and wrapping it with aluminum foil. It's dangerous to hold it in your hand for a long time because the thing can just explode because of the heat from your hands (I think this is what Tito Gondoy told us that happened to him). True!

(jimboy - we used to fire at each other with the baby rockets!)


Baguio - Christmas and Summer each year. The second home.

Quezon Hill was always there (story goes that it was only a one level house until Lolo Roman decided to add an additional level, and thus the ground floor). The house kept me safe at all the times I was there, even after hearing ghost stories from some guests and new drivers (whom you would see the next morning with actual fear - probably just noises from the rats. And the drivers' quarters was a scary place to begin with. It connects to the kitchen in the basement by a long (at least it seemed long at that time) and very dark tunnel. There was no separation between the tunnel and the quarters. I didn't believe in ghosts (at that time). Did Gaudencio tell you ghost stories? I seem to remember he would be telling you stories about all those sightings of the white lady, etc. and why these were happening; that it used house some Japanese officers during WWII – but I’m not sure about this. He did not relate these stories to me. I guess I wasn’t too friendly with them at the time.

Yes, he did. He’d be with us in the house by the fireplace telling ghost and war stories. I think he was the one who mentioned that the Baguio house used to be a ‘hospital’ or infirmary during the war, that’s why the beds frames look like that.

Between 1966-1969, we always bought comic books in the sidestreet stands of lower Session Road. I don't remember what year Tito Paul and Tita Ludy got married (1969), but, there were a lot of comic books to be read. (Remember, I'm just talking about Baguio for now. I'll be going forward and backward until I learn how to write a proper memoir! Okay, where were we?)

(Wait, before I forget. When Tito Paul and Tita Ludy got married, we often went to Dampalit to play with Tita Ludy's brothers and sisters. I remember Norby, Aldo, and Ann. I think they had another brother (Jimmy?) but I might be wrong. Aldo used to play chess all the time. We used to play 'baseball' (with those tennis balls). One day, someone hit the ball high in the air. Both me and Norby were looking up at the ball, trying to catch it. I remember just seeing the ball and the clouds in the sky. The next thing I know, I'm still looking at the clouds in the sky, but this time, I'm lying on my back looking at the sky. I hit Norby (who was a huge guy) while catching the ball and ended up unconscious on the ground for a while. I also remember her father making these leather belts with all these designs.) Really? Maybe this is what started Mamada in tooling leather too. She was really good at it and made several things for Lola. She used to order her stuff from the US – the funny hammer, clasps, leather (later on, she was able to get local leather – from the Hermoso-Cruz tannery in Meycauayan), magazines, etc - and I would watch her make different stuff. She would mostly make things for giveaway – I guess because the items were too expensive to be sold, so she just gave them away as gifts.


Okay, back to Baguio...

There was one summer I remember staying in the middle room with T Paul and T Ludy. We read comic books the whole day, EVERYDAY. I didn't want to put this in here now but, at that time I also bought books on the supernatural, ESP, sixth sense, and other weird stuff like that. But there was just something in me that I had to know (but... I didn't know that I had to know)! Okay, I'm rambling again...


Where were we? Ah, yes... Baguio.

It was here when Mommy and Daddy told me that they were going to Singapore (this was in 1968-69), with Faye! I remember my heart just broke. I just had a little sister whom I used to stay with in our old house every afternoon after school. Faye's room was upstairs, connected by the bathroom to the Master's bedroom. And now she'll be gone. Hurt a lot. 

Faye at the entrance (porch) of the Quezon Hill home.



Faye and I in Charlie Chaplin looks by the pool. The pile of rocks behind me is actually a fountain that runs with water to and from the pool. It was cool. But during this time, the pool isn't clean. You can see the water's green.


Since the parents were off to Singapore and no one was going to sign the checks, I had to start doing it when I was 8 years old. I went to Prudential Bank in Baguio with Mommy to make me an authorized signatory of checks. I was very uncomfortable watching these guys (older than I was) watching me sign checks. But that's how it went. I'll concentrate on Baguio for a little bit longer... You see, we did not care what was outside of Quezon Hill. There were times when we were there even without a car. Where else would we go? The Mansion? Botanical Gardens? Burnham Park? Teachers' Camp? John Hay? Wright Park??? No way, these are only for tourists. If we would leave home, it would be mainly just to ride horses. You couldn't have asked for more than Quezon Hill. Home to Pepe Pimentel, in front of one of our relatives' home – Pepito and Ramil Rodriguez, the actors. (How were they related to us? through the Rodriguez side of Lolo Roman (his middle name was Rodriguez)

Ha ha. Twinky used to have a big crush on Pepito. I don't remember where she got his picture but I remember her just on his lawn (we used to play basketball on his lawn) just looking at his picture. Our neighbors on the left (facing the house) were the owners of BLTBCo. – that bus company that monopolized the Southern Luzon route; also descendants of Miguel Malvar, a national hero (this I learned because of a classmate I took to Baguio with me and Olga Malvar, one of the young ‘uns from that house, used to be her classmate in Holy Spirit in grade school). The house on the right belonged to this guy and in his old age, people were always wondering how he could move his huge statues around the house. I saw these statues and you would never imagine an old man being able to budge the statues, what more carry them from one floor to another. They were the Potencianos. The older son's name was 'Big Boy'. I forget what the name of the older sister was now. They became friendlier to us as we approached our 20's.


Faye by the entrance of the Singapore Hilton store.


Then Nora Aunor bought the house. So she became our next door neighbor although I never saw her. Boyett Cayco and Larry Olizon, both of whom used to be my classmates in Notre Dame also lived there. We were hardly there at the same time, though. So most of our friends in Quezon Hill were the kids of the homeowners' caretakers. Quezon Hill was great, if not the best place you could live on in Baguio at that time.*** When the parents and Faye and Shirley left for Singapore, Tito Paul and Tita Ludy became our ‘guardians’. They lived with us for what felt like years. There was a time you stayed in Trinidad Valley. You were probably only 3 at that time cuz I remember Jimboy was still being closely guarded by Carmen. I think you stayed there for 2 consecutive years, renting a house from the Dipasupil family, langgonisa-makers in the market.



Trinidad Valley Home?


05/26/2005 – Trinidad Valley house:

I asked Tita Malou if the house had a store counter around it or somewhere near it which seemed to be part of the house and if there was a driveway that bicycles (tricycles) for little kids could fit if kids were to drive them around.

This was her reply:

I don’t remember if there was a store in the Trinidad Valley house – there might have been because as I mentioned, the Dipasupils were langgonisa-makers and may have sold those sausages there once upon a time. That house you rented WAS old, and there were a group of houses in the compound, probably being rented out too. The driveway was long, not that wide, but enough for you little guys to play and bike around in. I don’t even remember what the house looked like inside, but I remember the outside was not even painted – or just painted dark brown to simulate dark-colored wood.”

(jimboy - they still have the best longganisa in baguio until now,I buy it in the market everytime I go up)




Guests have come and gone to Quezon Hill. Same story all the time. First timers, scared and telling about hearing or seeing things (or so they think) the following day (or so they knew). Amazingly, none of the family members in our clan (none that I know of) have had an experience with our friendly ghosts. Well, there was a close call when Princess heard footsteps going up and down the stairs (that stairway was scary to begin with) and a couple of us cousins (I didn't) heard it too. We dared each other to go down but I don't think anyone did. I have to tell you an eerie experinece I had: I was 13 or 14, maybe even younger, and I went with Lolo to Baguio. I don’t even remember if Lola went with us. He always went to Baguio, weekly if I remember correctly, to meet up with Igorots who had all these old coins to sell to him. Anyway, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of chains moving across the floor. I was thinking to myself IT’S TRUE! THERE ARE GHOSTS! So here I was, already sweating with fear (also because I had my blanket over my head). Then, all of sudden, A COUGH! Yun pala, it was only Lolo, snoring! Another story: I have to tell you this now or I’ll forget it forever. There was another time that Lolo and I went to Baguio. For some reason, I slept on the same bed he did. Later on, I don’t know if it was still in Baguio or in Manila already, he was telling everyone how he had tried to give me as much space as I needed so that I wouldn’t fall off the bed. What happened was that HE WAS THE ONE WHO FELL OFF THE BED!


"Baguio ghosts: I remember all the stories of the white lady, footsteps, Japanese soldiers, etc from Mang Gaudencio. We once stayed there with Ate Princess and siblings, who brought some Icks. One of the Icks woke us all up one morning, by suddenly sitting up from her sleep. She was visibly upset describing a nightmare that a Japanese soldier came to the foot of her bed with an intak, ready to slice her with it. She said that it felt very real.

Once we brought a cousin, Rancy (Francis) Rodrigo there in 1993. He used the bathroom upstairs, while Diditte and I were downstairs. He said that when he entered the 2nd room at the top of the stairs, he felt a strong breeze that shut the door behind him, but all the windows in the room were closed tight! He ran downstairs as fast as he could and used the bathroom downstairs instead. Rancy was born in Baguio and lived there until he was about 12 years old. So, he was very familiar with Baquio. He was scared by the house in Cherry Hill though.

We hear stories from others (guests of the family) either hearing, seeing or dreaming scary things, but I'm not sure if anyone in the family has experienced anything like that." - France


Enough about the ghosts and apparitions for now. We'll get to them again moving forward (and the stories, well, they were... real!)


Supernatural occurrences:

Sorry, can’t wait. I found the email I sent a friend of mine who was with me at that time. The email starts with someone else staying in the house in Baguio then someone asks me to spill the beans on what happened to a group of 5 friends (including me). Here goes:


(start of email)

"arviperez" <>

To: Arvi's group

Subject: Bambi's

Ghostly Article

11/11/2002 12:31 PM


i went to bambi's / bingo's house in baguio twice --- but didn't experience anything extra-ordinary. ewan ko bakit, malamang baka takot sa kapwa aswang -- lalo na kung lasing. but we had a bit of a scare when i went up with g-boy, volts, bambi, atbp. after a night of the usual non-stop heavy drinking, volts or g-boy woke up early the next morning and saw a man wandering inside the house --- tulog pa kami kaya hindi namin nakita. they greeted the man whom they thought was the caretaker and even offered him breakfast --- i'm not sure if he ate with them. anyway, after exchanging stories with volts and g-boy for some time, the man said goodbye like he was part of the group and left the house. when the rest of the gang woke up at around 10:00 am, we found out that some of our stuff were missing --- such as one of our cameras. Initially, we thought it was the phantom of the house striking again. but after talking with g-boy and volts, it was clear that it was not a ghost but simply a robber who got our stuff. walanghiya, magnanakaw pala 'yung ka-kuwento ni volts at g-boy. isipin mo, pina-pakain pa nila. buti na lang at walang nasaktan. maybe, bambi can provide you with the real ghost stories. bambs, kuwento ka naman.

regards, BET



(my reply)


To Noel, Bet,

re: our real ghost story

This happened in 1980-81

i still think about it and still tell other people about what happened to us that night. buti nalang lima(?) tayo at alam nating lahat kung ano ang talagang nangyari. before that night, hindi talaga ako naniniwala sa multo (poltergeist?). since mga bata pa kami, madami na kaming mga kaibigan na pinatira sa bahay na yon and everytime it's the same thing. meyroon silang naririnig or nararamdam na presence sa bahay. siyempre hindi kami naniwala dahil hindi naman nangyari sa amin after all those years. But, with all the things that happened that night, paano ka ba naman hindi maniniwala. ito ang naalala ko.

1. daytime (day before) - noticed flies sitting pretty on only one window pane out of all the windows of the entire room.


2. next day (later afternoon) - we prepare to go to the market to buy food. inayos ko yung aking t-shirt (folded) and one of did the same thing too. we left it neatly on the bench below the closed/locked window. we came home from the market. it was raining hard. we opened the entrance door and heard loud banging! the sound was coming from our room (the last room next to the kitchen). we turned on the light and saw the both big windows open and banging. but the weird part was that the folded t-shirt moved upwards (levitated) from the bench to the edge of the window sill - still neatly folded.


3. we didn't mind the t-shirt and said baka lang yung hangin (hangin? naka-fold pa yung t-shirt!) we started to drink gin and started to sing in front of the fireplace with a fireplace screen and a table between

us and the fireplace. we were recording ourselves and had to change the batteries noong mahina na siya. one of us threw one battery into the fireplace. we heard the popping sound of the battery and continued singing... until one of us saw the smoking battery right in front of us on the table! The table was a little table with spaces in between. The battery was in between one of the spaces. We couldn't believe it. We threw another battery again and watched if it was possible for the battery to go over that screen. The battery popped again. We saw nothing flying from the fireplace. But when we turned around, we saw that second battery on the table, still smoking!!! (tang ina, paano nangyari yon? nag-materialize nalang siya).

4. we started swearing at the ghost. hinamon natin siya na mag-pakita siya kung hindi siya bakla, etc. i don't remember what happened but at about this same time, we heard a distant horn blowing continuously. tiningnan natin sa bintana at mukhang sa kabilang bundok nanggagaling yung busina. 'tanga talaga yung may-ari ng kotseng yon'. we went back to the fireplace and noticed na palapit ng palapit yung busina hanggang nasa kalye na natin. hanggang, tang ina, nasa labas na ng bahay! lumabas tayo ng bahay to check it out. the horn was coming from 5 feet away from us. It came from an old jeep parked on our driveway, 10 feet away from where we were inside the house. the weird part was that, it was a 'dead' jeep. The jeep did not even have a battery. Tapos minura mo yung jeep at sinipa mo yung bumper. That's when the horn stopped blowing.

5. tapos ito pa yung nakakatawang clincher. the guy who was going to take us to Pantranco to go home, jokingly asked us when he arrived to pick us up that night, "minulto ba kayo?". baka nga mukha tayong minulto noong gabing yon. sino ba tayo noon? ikaw, ako, junee, teroy, and manding's friend (forgot his name).

see you later,




(end of email)


(Jumbo’s comment’s about Ghosts about Baguio and Caimito:

Received 05/31/2005

Toys and Fads: Tex, Coke Yoyo contest, Jolen, Trumpo, Sungka with string bashing.

Drinks: Sunkist 6 pack and Chocovim.

Snacks: Laurel and Hardy sweet cinammon, Cow Label dry paper pack.

Notre Dame vendors: pancakes with Star Margarine.



Tio Horatio has just crossed the River Jordan. Into the wake we arrive. Manicured nails, dyed and curled hair and all the rest; the QE5 gangs give to the unsuspecting hoardes now; Mommy did it then with unsuspecting us. We were her Ken and Barbies for real… Ok then. So there we are with baston Jeans and Earth shoes. There to meet us are Ate Tina and her crazy sibs. At once she engages us in deep conversation about the OTHER SIDE. Wait! Did I say they were a family with deeply disturbed familial and social issues? Well, everyone knows that by now. Because she’s dressed in jeans and dark shades, bohemian and beatnik, she regales us with this story: I was with my friends we had a Ouija board and SUDDENLY one of them starts saying the LORD’S PRAYER backwards. She then prattled on AND on about her friend doing abominable acts that it almost rivaled Barnum and Bailey Circus. So, put that one down in the loss column for other worldly fables.


Here’re some that are real:

Caimito: Mommy has a penchant for keeping religious relics in the house. One, displayed in a glass house was particularly dramatic: The crucifixion of Christ. It was a day like no other. The neighborhood kids were there in bunches. Junior, Boy, Bong (Ano’ng Say Mo?}, and the rest of the rabble. We’d just got outta the pool. Into the Den we headed to shower. All dressed and VROOP! Brown out. Well, we laid around, the gang plus Bingo and Diko. Suddenly a vicious knocking comes on the door. Thug, thug thug. Junior picks up a billiard stick and playfully mimicks the banging. Thug thug thug thug. In response a multiplicity of BOOM BOOM BOOMs come back. We’re all shivering now and not just cuz from swimming. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM.

Panic in the Room. I have a book of matches. I try to light em up like crazy. They’re duds or wet from my shorts. An acrid stink comes over the air. “Bing, why’d you fart? “ asks Diko “I didn’t!” says Bingo in a soft but crazy voice. Everything has the smell of rotting rats left in a wall. Suddenly Junior lunges for the door. We all trip over ourselves not to be the last out of the room. I reach the front door and out in the open. As soon as I do the match I have in my hand lights up and nearly burns my fingers.

Tomorrow cuz I drunk too much I seem to stand on the ceiling…another from the Crypts of Baguio.

End of Jumbo’s comments along these lines.)


Baguio, where Jimboy fell in the waters of Burnham, where Bingo got bitten by a horse, where I was dragged by a horse after falling off because my shoe strings were tied to the stirrups. But that was better than when I fell off a horse with Bine when I was 2 by a bridge (Wait, I got new info on this. It wasn’t Bine whom I fell off the horse with. I fell off the horse with Tito Ruben, Tito Romy’s brother from my Dad’s side). The saddle was lose because we were falling sideways in slow motion.

Each time we would go to there, we would always bring a TV (black and white of course, there was nothing else). To bring anything from the 'mainland' that's electrical, you also must bring an adapter that would change the voltage from the regular 220v to Baguio's 110v.

History check: Baguio was a US base so 110v was the regular voltage for the whole city. The only down side to it was WATER! Where to get water? There is this big giant water tank that's supposed to supply the whole Quezon Hill. I guess it did during it's earlier years when there were not many houses yet. Water was hard to come by. The house itself had 2 tanks for emergency use (which was everyday). Water would be supplied by the fire department (?) every other day (or every particular day of the week) to fill up the tanks. But hey, it's a vacation home. Can't really have everything. (What did you say? hot water?)


The other day, I heard Petula Clark singing 'Downtown' and 'Don't Sleep in the Subway'. The songs reminded me of Dad's (I think his uncle and family) side of the family's relatives staying with us. They came to visit from the US. The lived in the US. I remember Tita Leila, Tita Carmela, and one or two other kids. Must be in 1966. They stayed in our old house in Caloocan on the ground floor. I don't know how that house stayed through storms because upstairs, I remember the walls were made of plywood. It was a small house but had a good size lot. Many trees (Caimito, Santol...) with a fishpond that seemed to go around the area of the house. I think catfish were in there. There was a spot close to the pool area where there were swings, a slide, and that thing that you ride on that goes back and forth (like a wooden horse). They were all connected. Speaking of the swings, I remember Abby. Abby, what was she doing there? It must have been a Sunday. Relatives would come after Malabon on Sundays to swim in that old fashioned, technicolored, rough pool. Abby was very lean. And it's a good thing she became Abby. She used to be 'Chubby'! Like Lolly used to be 'Lollipop' and Faye used to be 'Fairy'.


(Ya, I remember a Tita Leila visiting us, you have a good description of the old house, sayang we don’t have too many pics of the place anymore. Jimboy)

Twinky in our old house and old swimming pool. You can see part of the small Printing Press to the right. The grassy bump (I thought it was more like a hill) was where we put the Mary Poppins books for the kids to jump into.




Today is another day. Okay, yesterday I was talking about T. Paul and T. Ludy staying with us when Mom, Dad, and Faye went to Singapore.

(Backtrack: 1964: Mom, Dad, Jimboy, and I went to Hongkong. Mine and Jimboy’s first international flight. I was really proud that time because going home, for some reason, I had to fly by myself – of course there were people to meet me as soon as we hit MIA, but regardless, I was able to do it. In Hongkong, I remember taking this lift going to Victoria (mountain?). We even had a sauna bath in Hongkong, which I did not really have a good experience in. Maybe I’ll ‘remember’ later).

With T Paul being the head-of-house, we naturally travelled with him often. And often, he had the Beatles playing on his cassette player in his car (Wait! I'm off track. That was already 1968-69 Note: add above to 1968-69).


Back to Grade 3 in 1966. Notre Dame. It gets tougher from here. My ability to memorize and remember is starting to fade. I really felt it when in Religion class, we were asked to memorize the 'Act of Contrition'. All of us had to stand in front of the class to say the prayer. The only thing I said was "Oh my God, I'm heartily sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins..." then I blacked out (just forgot the rest of the prayer). I still don't have it memorized to this day.

(jimboy - do you remember our cheering for notre dame? we had that one player who was really tall but I forget the name)

His name was Carvajal. He was 6’6. I remember cheering for Notre Dame. We used to practice in that half-a-gym na open on one side. The game I saw him play was on the court outside of the gym, where you pass going to the projection room.



Many things went through my mind today but unfortunately, as usual, I couldn't remember all of them (and I didn't have something to write with). I thought of what influences my relatives had on me one by one. This thought was triggered by something I just said that T Malou always says but I forget what it is now. Something like 'Not a problem' ? 'No problem'? Anyway, it was something like that and the first time I heard it was from her. (I was just sending T Malou an email and I started with ‘Not To Worry…’ and realized that that was the phrase I was looking for that I always heard her say.) Then I wondered about my other uncles and aunts. Let's go on -> upwards?


Tito Paul (my tito who studied in England. Big deal for me especially during that time) fixing rifles on the second floor in Malabon. Well, I don't know if it was fixing but he was definitely assembling them. Probably cleaning. Our first basketball was given to us by Tito Paul. He had a basketball game when he was working in Prudential Bank. I’m not sure if it was an inter-bank or inter-department league. I think that was the first time I’ve seen a team with real uniforms. I started to get interested in basketball. Started to watch MICAA with the YCO Painters as my favorite team then. The first MICAA game we saw was when Dad brought us to a double header in Araneta Coliseum. I think it was Puyat Steel against Yutivo. The main header was Yco against either Mariwasa or Meralco. My first impression of a live game was “Hey, where’s the announcer? How will we know what’s going on in the game?”

Anyway, the ball Tito Paul gave us was not a cheap one. It was a leather basketball. It lasted until the leather wore off. He also took us hunting (in the hunting grounds of White Plains). I don’t remember who of us went. T Paul, me, Jimboy, Jumbo, Jonji? Tito Paul had a shotgun while the rest had our air rifles (shooting maya birds).

Lived with us for a couple of years taking over our parents as guardians. He was Jumbo's godfather.

(jimboy - webb,canent,florencio,reynoso…)

I used to know all the names of the Yco players and their stats before. Freddie Webb and Rene Canent were the guards (before Joy Cleofas), Elias Tolentino was the center (before Marte Samson), Egay Gomez and I think Sonny Reyes was the other forward but I remember him as a guard rin. Turing Valenzona was the other guard then Bochok de los Santos became famous. I wonder if they have those TV games archived and sana they’ll play some of them again in the future.



(My message to Tita Malou to make sure I recall people calling Tito Paul by a nickname, which I will write about later on.


-----Original Message-----


Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 5:30 PM


Subject: Tito paul’s nickname


Tito Paul was also called ‘Ambo’, right? I was sure of it but now I’m not so sure.





Malou Dizon <> wrote:

From: “Malou Dizon” <>

To: “Bambi Dulay” <>

Subject: RE: Tito paul’s nickname

Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 12:59:22 –0400


By very few people, like Tludy and some friends. It was not commonly-used tho’. Lolo was also called ‘Paul’ by some friends, especially in the US.

End of email.)


Dadito is my godfather. I don't know if I said this earlier but the name 'Dadito' came from my incompetence to speak or pronounce words correctly. When I tried to say 'Tito Tito', it came out as 'Daaaadito'. That was my way of calling him Tito Tito. 'Dadito', 'Tito Tito' -> think of it, say 'Tito Tito' fast and it will sound like a retarded 'Dadito'. Before I go on with Dadito, let me just scratch through 'Mamada'. Mamada was Tita Melda. Again, my speech impedement, I could not say 'Tita Melda'. The closest I could get was 'Ma ma da' instead of 'Ti ta Mel da'. And what a coincidence. They were both my godparents.

Godfather is: Dadito

Godmother is : Mamada

Both names because I could not pronounce them correctly, while I pronounced everyone else's.

Weird: Dadito -> Daddy Tito

Mamada-> Mommy Melda

(Mommy: You tried saying Mamada but what came out of your mouth was PAPATI! Oh yeah!!!! Ha ha ha!!!! I remember that one! )



Just a coincidence. But a coincidence in that one is my godfather and the other my godmother.


Dadito lived (or at least at the time I was in Malabon) in the last room of the second floor. This room was always locked because he did not live there anymore. He moved to Malinta. Dadito's room was somehow connected to Tita Malou's room. I mean you can go from one room to the other without leaving either room (I hope I'm right on this one), both rooms, actually, all the rooms sharing the one blue bathroom upstairs.

(Mommy: There was a passageway close to both windows of both rooms that one could climb, waist-high to move to the other room just in case there is an emergency, to escape from “them bad guys.” Lolo was overprotective. He thought of worst-case scenarios.)



I don't remember why I didn't see Dadito as often as I thought I should have. Maybe they've gone to Malinta by now (Tita Malou later corrected me in saying that Dadito went to England for bank training - I didn't know that (Mommy: My memory is always short. I thought he trained in San Francisco at Wells Fargo, not in England.). And I slightly remember him coming home with Tita Mila. I didn't know T Mila was in England too. (T. Malou: Oh yes - after England, he (Dadito) went to San Francisco to train at the Chemical Bank. While in England, Dadito looked for the school where T Paul was going to study, and once T Paul was settled in London, he went on to the US. I think it was in the US that Dadito and T Mila married. So you’re right in thinking that T Mila was not in England but in the US. But I don’t really know where they actually met – again – from the Philippines going abroad; ‘cuz I know T Mila studied in Spain for a while, or was it Switzerland?… gulo! Maybe ask na lang Dadito.) I also forgot that he moved to the first room, that explains why I used to play with Lolly in the porch when she was a baby - crawling stages).

They moved to Malinta. The house was at the end of the 'subdivision' (I need help with the name of the subdivision. DON PABLO SUBDIVISION yata There was a name. I think it had something to do with Lolo - I mean the name as you enter the gates.

Malinta, home to Tito Edgar, Tito Freddie, Mamada, Dadito, and Tito Paul. Oh, and our babuyan pa plus the fishponds. Dadito and I had an uncanny relationship unlike I had with T Malou and T Paul. Maybe because he was older than they were. But each and everytime I spoke to him when I was younger, he would listen in a special way.


His first impact on me was playing drums. That was exciting. I was good enough for basics, to follow a beat or a song. Well, probably good enough to show Jumbo the very basics, which was hard since our first drum kit was made of Tupperware and tin lids from cracker cans (for cymbals). His next impact on me was when the parents were separating. He made it a point, I felt like he made it his duty to explain to me (us) what was happening. He went to our home, which, was not ordinary during that time to do this. From whatever recollection I have, to make us feel better, he said that it was not abnormal for a man to act this way. Shit happens. In my mind - “Okay, damage control.” What hit me was his sincerity. He said things in a way that made sense. He gave me a comfort level because he showed neutrality. Even if everything was not fine, the next best thing was for it to be that it was okay. His words and actions stuck to my mind and from then on, my respect for him just jumped to a higher level. After that, if I had a problem, guess whom I would go to… anyone but Dadito. I would go to everyone else before letting him know that I needed help. So, every time that I would go to him for help, he’d know that there’s nobody else who can help me but him (...and has yet to let me down in my eyes.)

(Jimboys comments: if not for Dadito’s comments and tito paul’s rin during the separation of mom and dad, I felt like god was abandoning us. I felt terrible in the car with tpaul driving us to go to father fidelis one night and I promised heaven and earth while crying my heart out to just give them a chance to reconcile.

Wow, I didn’t know this or my mind and if I did, my mind would probably still block out a lot of stuff that happened then.

Tito Paul was promising me RC (remote control) car, boat, etc, so I would stop shaking and crying! Another thing Dadito really helped me morally was when he somehow made me feel like I wasn’t alone when I thought I had cancer 2 years ago, he was the one who called me pa and it really let me feel stronger mentally and reassured. Somehow, ill want to repay him for his kindness and generosity however I can. Ya, I know exactly what you mean. Same here, I would want to do the same someday, when I am already able to.)


I enjoy his company, and I hope he feels the same about me. I try to meet him as often as I can, especially with no purpose at all. Just hanging out with him is always fun. (Tita Mila was there too. I'm going ahead of myself now because this was in about 1979. When I had typhoid in Canada, living with both Mamada and T Malou before being hospitalized and after, I had received several visits from her. I think I stayed with T Malou more because there were less people to infect. That was one of the reasons, but also because you had the whole basement to yourself, with a separate bathroom. I remember after you left that a bill came asking you to pay something. And I just told them to forward the bill to the insurance company, and that was the last I heard of it. And to think that you should not have been eligible for that insurance! We just got lucky that they covered your hospital expenses; I’m not even sure now if they also covered your medication, but I’m sure they did ‘cuz I don’t remember paying anything out of pocket.

Yes, I remember this being one of Mommy’s biggest problems. I didn’t have any insurance but somehow you guys (you, Mamada, and Mommy) pulled a hat trick. Thank you all for that! What a mess, and it came from Sal’s home-made wine. Or was that just a coincidence. Sal was the driver for us in the CNE.

Here's a picture of our CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) fair. I don't remember the names of the first two people on the far left. They're singers (Basil Valdez or Hadji Alejandro was the guy? I forgot the girl's name. I think it's Leah something, probably Navaro). Next to them is my cousin France, the departed Kuya Nonong (Tita Malou's then husband), Tita Malou, Plilita Corales, Mom.


This was me in Tita Malou's basement in Toronto after I had typhoid. I lost 30 pounds.



It seemed like I was in the hospital for a month. It just seemed like a very long quarantined stay with doctors from other hospitals taking blood from me everyday that my own doctor did not know about. Both my arms became 'pin cushions'. Tita Mila was also there when Carol and I got married.).


"Bad wine or coincidence: I remember when you got typhoid fever. Us kids were not allowed to visit you in the hospital. All you told me, after you got out of quarantine was that you were so sick, you thought you were going to die, and that you lost so much weight. 

Toronto fair: I have some fond memories of the 2 fairs at the CNE. It's true, (you're right) the hottest sellers are those wooden snakes, but also the "barrel men"!!! I remember driving in our ultra stretch Custom Cruiser station wagon, before the sun rose and leaving usually around mid-night. The most memorable about the rides was when Rebecca would take off her shoes in the car at the end of the night to rest her tired feet, everyone would know it and yell for her to put them back on! (hahaha). She knew it and was very proud of it. She would threaten us with it, and used it as a weapon to torture us.
It was because of the fairs that Gretch and I came to live with you guys in Caimito for almost a year (September 1978 - August 1979). Your mom asked us if we wanted to, and we accepted. Lots of memories there too. Then, that's a different story altogether." - France 


(Jumbo’s comments: It ain’t right I guess and it ain’t fair.

RE: My Dadito impressions.

So let me backpedal a bit before everybody flares up like Roman candles spiked with lighter fluid. I do believe Dadito can be touchier than fingerprint powder and can take your head off faster than a snapping turtle in an apple bobbing contest but…he can be a sweet soul too. I remember the trips we made to visit T Paul and the fishponds in Pampanga. He was strict with TPaul about expenses, production, manpower but TPaul would drink all this in and be all the better for it.

Those were long trips and I remember him filling out the spaces with even longer talks about everything you could think of and nothing you could remember. Relationships, friendships, family, how to tell the real Johnny Walker scotch from home brewed.etc. I also know that he was the first to visit me in my hospital sickbed at Cardinal Santos.

For this and many other small kindnesses, all in all, I guess he's kind at heart, honest and fairhanded. And it ain’t right. what I wrote but it ain’t totally wrong neither. ‘Cuz when he’s in his moody rages there’s no living with him and he can be meaner than the man who invented exercise.)


Dadito and Tito Paul taught me how to drum in 1965. The ‘Hot Stuff’ drumset was on the second floor (but as I’m learning now, T Malou mentioned that the drumset may have been T Paul’s or Dadito’s). So, everytime I came ‘home’ to Malabon, I would get drum lessons from either of them, whomever was present at the time. Mamada’s room in Malabon was also T Malou’s room sometime or another. Even during my early years, Mamada made an effort to be close to my life. We could go to Mamada’s house in Malinta and ride the ‘pop cars’, which were really cool because they were not manual. You could actually step on the gas pedal and it would go. Well, it wasn’t really gas but it was battery recharged kiddie cars. There was one incident that we thought there was a fire in the house. There weren’t any adult relatives there at the time but everyone was evacuated -> except for Diditte, Gretchen, and Steve (Wait, I’m not sure if Gretch was born yet) but France was hysterical because her brother and sister(s) were not out of the house. It turned out not to be a fire and all was okay.  



"What happened in Malinta wasn't actually a fire, I may have given that impression though. I was freaking out because somehow, Gretchen got looked into the guest bedroom/exercise room, which we had no key for. I was screaming from the second floor to everyone downstairs in the front yard what happened, but no one knew what to do. In the end, I think a couple of the boys had to remove the door knob to rescue the crying Gretch. She must have been only 3 yrs old then. No parents were around, just yayas and other help..." - France


Mamada always treated me with respect. She always tried to show me what was right from wrong. She was strict in my early years but softened up a bit during my more turbulent years. She never looked down on me (as a matter of fact, I felt the opposite). She was my godmother and I know that deep in my heart, she wanted to be the best godmother one could have (What puzzled me in these early years of mine, was my Mom didn’t seem to get along with my Mamada?!? (While I thought that Dad and Tito Bammy were best friends). Picture yourself in that age and that situation and make a drawing or externalize somehow. Here’s the big picture I had in my mind – a giant capitalized question mark (!) which I could not answer. I spoke about Father McGrath with the dynamites and all earlier. Well… the explosion of the dynamites was that picture in my head. Why? What’s this all about and at the same time I didn’t wanna know because it involves loved ones. I am pleased to say that I have recently been in touch with Mamada and couldn’t be happier to say that, for the first time in a long time (which I don’t remember if that existed), I felt love and affection between them that I never had felt before.



Before I continue, I had sent T Malou an email about a few concerns this afternoon, this is what I sent her this afternoon (May 31, 2005 – Bingo’s Birthday):


-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 5:49 PM
Subject: Memoir
I received a lot of msgs from Jimboy today! Wow! I'm just a little anxious
now. Didn't want to send the other siblings a copy yet because I'm not in
their years yet (on hard copy). But at the same time I'm happy he did because it's telling me that we want to remember the good times that we have forgotten, buried in layers of 'not-so-good times', because it's important we remind ourselves we had good times after all. I hope I don't offend anyone (siblings or other relatives) by thinking they're being left out because they're not.
Sorry, I just had to say this to make me feel less agitated... I think I have an idea of including this email in the doc. Like saying: "hey guys, we're not done yet. We have a long, long way to go. I'm not there yet. We barely got started with this. And we'll try to finish at least the first part of our lives. Love you all!"
Tita Malou’s reply:


Malou Dizon <> wrote:

If you want the crunch to be less painful, then you can include that little
note you have...

It's wonderful that everyone is adding on a little of themselves even at
this early stage of your 'book.' It's becoming very interesting because
it's like Jimboy has his comments about this and that, and so with Jumbo,
and you put them all together and it's like a 1st person narrative, but from
a different person's perspective each time. I'm glad you started this thing. I realize it will hurt people here and there. I could have a share of that hit as well
sometime, but who cares? The truth prevails!!!

To be continued…



Dadito, Mamada, and Tita Malou eventually moved to Canada. Tito Paul eventually moved to Pampanga (nice place, simple, low-profile, relaxing. No luxuries please… which, was what I wanted and which I believe was what he also wanted. My most memorable experience in his home with Marina (sorry, I forgot, by this time, T Paul had separated with T Ludy and went on to live with Marina. Story goes… no, well, I don’t know how or don’t want to know how the story went) was when there was some kind of a party there. Not really a party with many people. It may have been his birthday. There was one of the best lechons I’ve ever had. Juicy, with sticky rice in the stomach of the pig. The house was surrounded by fishponds. I don’t remember what fish they were breeding but for some reason, I always end up thinking of catfish. Yes, Tito Paul did not live the high life that he could have but went to the happier life that he seemed to have wanted (except of course his continued interest in his hobbies with Tito Edgar, which was racing, remote control racing, shooting among other things. Tito Paul gave me my first remote control toy. I had this stupid little toy buggy, which ran on regular batteries. The guy turned it into a remote control buggy! Wow! That must have been my first and last remote control vehicle. Before then, we used to play with the fastcars, which comprised of electric roads, which had a seam in the middle for the cars to put their electric connection to the roads on. We had this in the old house. It was a big runway, which one time took up a lot of space in the living room). Please remember as I am describing my maternal side of the tree. I am not restricting myself to a capsule in time. This is but a description of relations… past, present, maybe future… but, will stick to the past for now.

Okay, brain, I lost my train of thought again. I’ll be going back and forth I guess as I remember as I write what went on during the times.


It’s a pity that I have never known Tito Freddie when I was young. Well, how could I? His family was in Cotobato. My first recollection of Tito Freddie was when they came to Malabon from Cotobato. It was for us children like “Guess what guys. You’ve got new cousins! Yeah! So we were all in Malabon greeting them. They seemed to be very excited too, so much as for us to calm them down. “Wow, these guys are wild!” was my first thought. Don’t get me wrong. Wild in a good sense. Now that I look back, their superiority complex was off the charts! I don’t know if this was a carry-over from the south but I remember Princess, Abby, and Len, aside from us who were there too! After that first night of pre-teen rowdiness, we built a bond that made us closer as cousins. They’ve come to live in the middle room on the second floor, which was the most spacious room at that time. I said earlier that at one point there were 2 beds in that room. Well, those 2 beds were being jumped on from one bed to the other. Darn, I really didn’t know Tito Freddie. All I knew was that all his sons were named after him (I don’t remember but it was like Walfredo, Wilfredo, Walfrido (Walberto) – I hope to be corrected here by someone. Help! Tita Malou just sent a list of everyone’s names the same time I sent this over to her. The emails crossed na it was just right because what she sent happened to be the names I needed without her knowing that I needed it. I’ll correct the names later.). He smoked (well, like my other uncles) but then he used the pipe, which was one distinctive thing I remembered about him. He always carried a pouch with him that contained his tobacco for his pipe.

I was too young to appreciate T Freddie’s everyday life. Although, there were moments when he would give me an advice or two. He was no joker (I mean I couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, if I did not look at him and seeing him with a little smirk), although he would try to but despite the cigarettes, pipe, cigars, and the beer, he had a good heart. For now, that’s really all I can remember about my interaction with T Freddie during my younger years.

(Mommy: You are right about Tito Freddie’s good heart. We got along well and both of us knew that we cared for each other more than anyone cared for either one of us. But like unexpected incidents and/or outside forces, we drifted away. TM was like a daughter to me. I took care of her from infancy and protected her from others, even from Lola (in her moments of frenzy for one reason or another).)


Personal note to myself: Don’t forget to say that me and Jenjen (Jimboys comments; really miss the guy though, worked together for 18 years and as close as any 2 brothers could have gotten. I really love him and miss him too. Ya, I understand that. Both of you seemed to be one person every time I went home to visit. You both did a really good and admirable job! Going to his wake, we dropped by gas station near funeraria, got back to the car and unmistakable scent of sampaguita na malakas.) were out, together, most of the time in the late 70’s to the early 80’s. And don’t forget that Jenjen had left some boxes of porcelain collection in the playhouse in Caloocan. And don’t forget that I left the country with no interest in those boxes (I had no interest in antiques. I already had brushed many of Lolo’s coins and didn’t like it then. It was only later that I appreciate what he wanted us to appreciate). And that the only thing that he had lent me that I had that was his was a walkman (cassette walkman), which, was a big deal at that time. He lent it to me during my next stint to Europe. The walkman was stolen in Milan, Italy by a gang of more than 20 motorcycle riders. With what I was earning for those European fairs, I could not afford to pay him for that walkman. So, I asked the Abella’s (they were also participating in the fair and I was living with them during that time when I was studying in Italy. They did not want to have any part in this. But they had nanchucks (chacko). Before then, I already had arranged for a meeting with the gang’s boss. We were to meet right in front of the place we stayed in. It was a square (Porta Ticinese). I went to face all of them alone. The chacko’ were considered deadly weapons in Italy and you could go to jail just like you were carrying a gun. I didn’t know how to use them but I knew Bruce Lee was a superstar in Europe then. I took my chance. I put the chackos in my back pocket making the chains obvious to all who could see me walk. It was a Sunday so there were no cops. I went there alone and I made sure that every step that I took, the whole gang heard what I had in my back pocket of my jeans. Half the thing was sticking out anyway. I faced the leader of the gang and made him know I had chackos with me. I was holding it in my back pocket and made the chains sound. I saw he got scared. He probably thought I could take all of them out. He didn’t know that I was more scared than he was. I didn’t even know how to use the stupid thing. Anyway, we came to a peace pact because he said the guy who stole the walkman was an asshole who still owes him money. I didn’t believe it but by that time, I was already sweating bullets because if any of them jumped on me, I would have been a goner. I made it pass. Just wondered what to tell Jenjen. How could I let his walkman get away? It happened while I was studying for the next day’s class and one of the gang members wanted to listen to what I was listening to. So I let him have the headphones, then boom! He ran away with the whole thing. I went as far as going to apply for the Carabineri (Italian special police). I went to their office but I was one inch short. I told them about my problem with the walkman and because of that, I wanted to join the Carabinieri. They told me the minimum height was 5’7. I was only 5’6. But guess what. During a couple of their busts, I was there. They let me in because I acted like one of them, even if I wasn’t dressed like one. Nobody stopped me from going into the crime scenes. They all had Uzis and dressed like they were dressed to kill. I managed to get in dressed like a tourist. They probably thought I was a mole or something because I was still so pissed off about what happened. I wouldn’t be able to pay my cousin back. After all this happened and I went home, there was another dagger waiting for me. I don’t want to say this now but it’s too late… I’ll spill it… I got home finding out that Jenjen’s boxes in the playhouse were lost and I was the number one suspect. That killed me… The porcelain stuff that Jenjen left got lost and I wasn’t even there and I was to blame because of my relationship with him. Actually, I shouldn’t give a crap about this because there was only one person blaming me anyway. I’m sorry I crossed over to some unlikeable areas in life but…

Back to the good times!


Tito Edgar was Jimboy’s godfather. They had a very nice house in Malinta, next to Mamada’s house. Tito Edgar made the best patis I have ever tasted in my life. I think he called it the latak of the patis well or something like that. My earliest recollection of Tito Edgar was him working in Prudential Bank in Manila. But don’t let that fool you. He was a racing enthusiast. I believe he was an official representative of ‘Moon’ racing equipment. When we were younger in Baguio, both he and Tito Paul would take us to the airport and watch the races between the Volkswagens against the Ford Escorts (?). The Volks were powered by Moon. It was exciting to watch. Those cars were really loud, though. It was this influence he had on me that I made a club for all our cousins called ‘Junior Moon’. We were still too young to drive but we had a very nice club of our own, meeting in Malabon every Sunday (I don’t remember what for but… hey…). When Jimboy and I grew up, we went to Tito Edgar to provide us with equipment that would save our dilapidated Beetle. He did. Many parts came from him. That beetle became a drag monster, thanks to the equipment he provided for us among other things. I remember his music room. He described to me how he made it a music room using egg crates to filter out the sound. And guess what record he played blasting out of that room. He played the whole ‘Hard Day’s Night’ album really loud that you would hear it outside the house still really loud. One thing I regret the most and I still feel very guilty about is borrowing Len’s mini motorcycle for one of our college trips. The motorcycle ended up washed in the beach. I don’t remember what happened after that. I just remember returning the poor bike. 



"I also remember that motorcycle of Len's. When he recently got that bike, the cousins went to Malinta to take a spin on it. We had to ride 2-by-2, or we would have to wait forever, since there were so many cousins. We would start at the 2 houses at the front, there was a decent gravel road by then (1971), where there was none before, and go all the way to Daddy-To's house at the end. One of the final couplings was Len and (Jimboy, Jonji or Jen-Jen). At the end of the ride, I think they tried a stunt, because the next thing I saw was the motor cycle flying up in the air, landing on Len's leg and burning it." - France 


Tito Edgar never got mad directly at me or any cousin that I know of. I hope he wasn’t that mad at me for doing that.

Stop… I’m getting cramps.

Still 05/17/2005

(As you read these pages, you would already probably feel how close Tita Malou is and was to us.) (Mommy: BECAUSE YOUR DAD AND I WERE MOSTLY OUT OF THE COUNTRY, TITA MALOU (TM) WAS ALMOST A MOTHER TO YOU EVEN IF SHE WAS LIKE 8 OR 10 YEARS OLD. SHE TOOK CARE OF YOU MORE THAN I I TOOK CARE OF HER. SHE WAS ALWAYS THERE WITH YOU. SHE PROVIDED YOU WITH ALL KINDS OF ENTERTAINMENT. I COULD NEVER REPAY HER FOR ALL THE THINGS SHE DID FOR YOU. I ALSO APPRECIATE TITO PAUL AND TITA LUDY, NEVER REALIZED THAT SHE WAS WITH YOU FOR 2 YEARS!!! BLESS THEIR HEARTS. BEING GOOD KIDS, I’M SURE YOU DIDN’T GIVE THEM A HARD TIME. BOTH OF THEM ARE GOOD PEOPLE TITA LUDY IS DOWN TO EARTH. I ALSO TOOK CARE OF TITO PAUL WHEN HE WAS A LITTLE BOY. WHEN HE WAS AN INFANT, I WAS TOO YOUNG TO TAKE CARE OF HIM. BUT I WAS ALSO LIKE A MOTHER TO HIM. I’M LUCKY THAT HE AGREED TO BE WITH YOU WHILE WE WERE IN SINGAPORE.) If you asked me now, I would tell you that Tita Malou was a Maryknoller all her life (I thought she studied in St James for the first years. St James did not have a bad rap. It was a decent school. Close to the church. Close to everything in Malabon… including the movie theaters where we watched our first Filipino films like Eddie Rodriguez in ‘Cobra’. That was in black and white. This was very early on – like 64 or 65. This was before Tony Ferrer made it to become Agent X-44, before Zaldy Zhornack became the masked horse rider <I forget what that movie was but I used to imitate him and to think he just lived 5 minutes away from our Caloocan home – we used to pick his nephews up from home because we had this commuter thing. I think they would pay us a certain amount per month while we picked them up and dropped them off from home. This included some other students also. Jimboy was classmates with one of the Zhornack’s family, I don’t remember who now>. (jimboy - that’s bambo santiago who commuted with us to school,he lives in frisco now)

So Tita Malou was a Maryknoller in Quezon City. Who picked her up in school? What time did she get home? I bring these questions up to tie up lose ends because it seemed like we were in Malabon the whole day and nobody else was there for a while. (Mommy: WE ALWAYS HAD DRIVERS IN MALABON. SHE WAS TAKEN TO SCHOOL EARLY MORNINGS AND BACK IN THE EVENING.)

When I was in grade school, we left the house at 10 minutes before 7:00 (had to be that time – earlier than that was never possible because of everyone else who traveled with us; later than that and I would be late for school. That time would be just right for me to reach school at 7:30. then I would be picked up at 1:30 in the afternoon. In high school, same departure time, but pick up time would vary between 3:30 and forever! So you little guys would be the inhabitants of Malabon during the day. But by the time I got home, the house would be empty. What usually happened was even if they picked me up at 1:30, we would have to pick up T Paul in Ateneo at 4:00, sometimes, till late pa ‘cuz of basketball practice. So really, I would get home late afternoon like 5:00.

[I just remembered this now… I spent a birthday in Malabon … on a weekend. One of the maids told me (after greeting me ‘Happy Birthday’, to go to mass to express my gratitude to God. I don’t remember which maid this was in Malabon. That may have been in 1967, when I could walk to the church alone –bless her heart because by this time we hardly went to mass anymore).


(jimboy - de colores,de colores son los pajaritos……..we used to take spanish acting lessons din pala in the old house)

…and all our teachers were really strict… and boring. I don’t think I learned anything.

Tita Malou was no ordinary species. She was the youngest of the clan, the probably spoildest but also the most taken advantaged of. She, in my world, would have it all!

Wait a minute - before going on – I have to express what my personal relationship was like with her. I don’t know here to start… Should we start with a TOP 10 on why she had a powerful impact on me/us? Should we go on and later on we’ll do the top 10 for each of them.



Tita Malou was with us as far as I can remember. It probably was because Mommy was close to her, and she felt comfortable with T Malou that she would go wherever we went when she could. When I was young, I felt for a fact that Mommy needed her. It didn’t feel the same way vice versa though. T Malou, I felt loved to be with us (maybe I’m pushing it but that’s how I felt during that time, but didn’t really need to be there (contradictory, huh?). I don’t know and I may really be super-stupid about this but I thought Mom treated her as part of the family, which was really great. I mean, after all, everyone else was married (I crossed this out in my book but I decided to put it back in – She wore glasses that were as nasty as Mamada’s. They were really thick!). Since she was the youngest in the family, I guess everyone would have felt the same way towards her. But I’m only expounding on my experience or relationship with her. There were many times, trips, outings, and such spent with her. If I remember right, she was the only one who had visited Malolos (or my father’s side of the family) more than once. The Singapore days were the best days, I think, because then, I was old enough to realize and understand and digest stuff. That first day in Singapore was intense. Especially for her, more than us kids. She was older than us and I believe she seemed concerned or felt bad for all of us that Singapore was closed on the Sunday that we arrived. So guess what. As I said earlier – we looked into the woods on to of Jalan Jintan (street name in Singapore where we lived) and she practically said ‘it ain’t over’. Even if everything was closed that day, we knew where to go the following day because we walked, and walked, and walked that Sunday, remembering what we should or where we should go or do the next day!


‘IT RAIN YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW… Oh Chee Lok’ (– grammatical insight on a different culture speaking English as a second or third language – it has only been in the later part of my childhood years that I understood that speaking English didn’t mean you were smart. More importantly, not speaking good English did not mean that you were not smart, just because we spoke English).

I was 10 years old in 1969 – already studying in La Salle Greenhills. Before then, I already had many records. Most memorable at that time were ‘Rubber Soul’ and the ‘Double White Album’. Rubber Soul was made in 1965, but I did not own the album until 1969, through a schoolmate named Gerry Recto. I played this album over and over again in Tita Malou’s room (or Mamada’s room) because there was a phonograph in there.

Come to think of it, I spent a lot of my waking life in Malabon. Here’s an interesting spec… In 1966-1967, we used to have quizzes in school. We had to write our names of course. During that period, I was staying (or living) in Malabon more often than I was at home. So, it got to be confusing for me. Many of the tests and quizzes given to us, well, of course, we had to write our names in. I got so confused that I wrote my name as Angelo de Jesus – which made sense to me at that time because I ‘lived’ in Malabon. So, Mom and Dad were called in or something by the school to explain why I changed my name. Of course they didn’t know why and I didn’t what was wrong with doing it either. So Mom asked me why I wrote my last name as ‘de Jesus’ instead of ‘Dulay’. I told her that I wasn’t’ sure what to put because I was coming from Malabon instead of Caloocan going to school. It made sense to me at that time. Oh, and before I forget. I believe this was the same year I had a birthday and Mom and Dad surprised me, my classmates, my teachers (well maybe the teachers had notice on this) with a whole lechon. Everyone enjoyed. No class.


Me and Lola in Malabon before the walls were torn down and two rooms were added on.



Back to the first days in Singapore…

(Oh wait, between this time, we would send Ma and Pa cassettes of our voices because we only saw them so much at a time. Speaking of cassettes, the first time I saw a cassette was in Malabon, when Tita Malou showed me this battery operated cassette player and a BASF cassette)

Another regression… before Singapore, we would buy all our records and paraphernalia at Goodman’s Electronics, a few blocks from Malabon (when I say Malabon, I mean the home). We’d buy mostly 45’s of the Beatles, and foreign bands. But I guess because we didn’t have much at home except for the maids and their influence, we also bought and bought in to Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz, Manny de Leon, Perla Adea, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, etc… Goodman’s did not have it all so we called Nanay Carmen, whom at this time, worked at the Prudential Bank Canteen, to buy us the LP’s we wanted like the Everly Brothers, and so on…



When we started work at the Hilton in Singapore, our next door neighbor (or business) was owned by Oh Chee Lok. He was already friends with Mom and Dad and we used to buy a lot of stuff from him, mainly records (after that, portable turntables and such). I think he majored (the store, I mean) in watches but his record collection was enough for us all to salivate on. Even Twinky bought the Monkees Greatest Hits, which I still listen to today (the songs, I mean).

Sorry, but this was the first real record I ever bought.

I thought that was Ate’s record (the orange one). Come to think of it, her’s was Cliff Richard’s ‘Two A Penny’ record.

Another was George Martin’s instrumental beatles record.

You mean the Hollyridge Strings instrumental Beatles songs record. I liked all of them and just got a triple CD with all their songs.

I never admitted it but it was a terrible album but was too stubborn to admit it. I don’t know why but I remember Singapore cuz of the sweet peanut sauce for dessert as well as that funky late night market/eatery on the streets where we’d eat something torta-ish. Hot and good! And sugar cane juice and we started to have perrins sauce with everything. I even remember mommy was mad at me one dinner cuz I placed too much perrins on my rice and she forced me to finish it all. Strangely, I remember lennon’s song ‘mother’ and how the single really scared me (its still disturbing for me to this day) Oh and t.malou’s obsession with the movie ‘love story’ hahahaha! --Bingo

As explained above, Lok and Tita Malou became an item. He even went to Malabon. But the weather was really bad! Brown out! Mosquitoes! What else could have gone wrong? I don’t remember where he stayed but I was there when he was there in Malabon kinda like proposing to Lolo and Lola for Tita Malou and I thought to myself ‘this weather and brown out is embarrassing along with the humidity and so on’ (this I’m writing straight from my book but Tita Malou explains what happens in her comments in the previous pages).


Singapore became sort of a haven for us. It even became our ‘you can’t leave the apartment because you have chicken pox’ days. So, we all got chicken pox. And we all stayed home alone.. as in Home Alone! Thank goodness for the phonograph and the records we had already bought from Lok’s store. We even had a toy set of drums that Jumbo was tinkering on, playing ‘I am the Walrus’. This toy drumset at least resembled a real drum set, instead of the Tupperware drumset we started on.

It was probably the following year that Princess and Jonji came aboard – Singapore. By this time, we had two shops in Singapore, one on the first floor, and another on the ground floor. The newer one was the one on the ground floor. This was the shop that Rebecca ‘managed’. It was much smaller than the other one, more like a showroom of the big one. Or just in case anyone was wondering by the ground floor, we could tell them to go up to the first floor and see more interesting stuff there. When we had shipments - boxes of handicraft… WAIT!… I forgot to say that the shops we had were handicraft retail and wholesale stores. Handicraft was a big hit then. I think the stores were named ‘Philippine Arts and Crafts’ before it became ‘Intersales’. Anyway, as I was saying, during this time, we had shipments coming in. There were already 6 of us siblings (well Faye was too young to carry boxes, so make that 5), plus Jonji and Princess. We weren’t even teenagers yet, which we took advantage of, business wise. Instead of hiring a company to bring the shipments to the store. We did it ourselves. We worked like a team of little kids bringing boxes from the ground floor, making full use of the escalator to bring the boxes up to the first floor. I don’t think we were reprimanded for doing it because we were just kids and I guess if you were an adult during that time, it looked more like entertainment to them watching all these kids help out. It was also during that time, that we learned how to ride buses, by ourselves, to go home to Serangoon. Princess was actually the first one to take that bus trip alone. She taught us all how to do it. Shirley (Faye’s babysitter) was already at home waiting for us, cooking. Well, not waiting but preparing dinner for us. We had moved from 2 apartments along Jalan Jintan to a house in Serangoon. I believe it was an Indian community but it didn’t matter. It was safe. My best memory of Serangoon was playing hide and seek during the evening. One of us hid in some part outside the house (we could hide inside or outside of the house) and found himself covered with ants. I don’t remember whom it was. But it was fun. I wish I remember how to take the bus to Serangoon again so next time I go, I would do it. When Mommy and I went the last time, I walked her to the places we used to go. I walked her to Jalan Jintan.

– I remember the canals in Jalan Jintan as well, how steep it was and t.malou was a nut (in a good way) about those woods …but the chiken pox was in the apartments I remember. And buying the yellow submarine toy as well as Astro Boy, James Bond in his orange swim suit in the movie Thunderball, the Thunderbirds toys, Sanko’s was thunderbird 4 and mine was the yellow thunderbird INSIDE it (dunno why, but I liked it) as well as the U.F.O. toys…I remember Serangoon wasn’t as much fun as jalan jintan though. And when sanko had the pox, it burst on the middle of his nose, which, made him start his mannerism…that’s when he started the drums (besides the tin cans in baguio). Sarangoon, I remember hiding under the dried canal going to the entrance of the house…-Bingo

We even took pictures of the Block A apartment door. Block A… just reminded me it was the place we used to spend our chicken pox days. That was also the place Jumbo used to buy lamb chops from Queen Elizabeth road (this is the road that connects to Orchard Road from Jalan Jintan (before I forget, Jalan yata means road or street in Malaysian). He used to fry them using only Worcestershire sauce and butter. And it tasted really, really good!! I remember we couldn’t leave the apartment or face possible arrest due to our contagious disease.



They had already closed Car Park during this time, so the best Singapore food we could get was in the shop in Hilton. Where Christie and Frieda (the salesgirls), would go out and get us Singapore food, which we ate at the back of the store. We took turns eating lunch back there. I think there was even a cot or some place to lay down. The only night I remember staying at the Hilton was when Lola and Lolo (from Malabon) came to Singapore and Mom put up a room for them to stay in. I think Jimboy, Jumbo, and I stayed with them in the room. We slept on the floor. The room smelled really nice. The following morning, Jimboy tried to peel open an orange with a butter knife and ended up cutting his finger real deep. Lola tended to it. I remember we had free newspapers. I believe it was the ‘Straits Times’ or the ‘Singapore Straits’ or something like that. The front page was that the floating restaurant burned down.

(jimboy - yan si frieda talaga flirty flirty sa atin even if we were young, she was very nice to us too la! sarap nga ng store natin with the back us our private preserve. i cut my hand nga in lolo’ s room trying to peel an orange, I still have the mark, think about singapore everytime I feel it.)

Frieda was a nympho trying to get Jumbo, drawing sperm cells on the counter.

We went to Singapore every summer starting in 1969 until about 1976, before college. That was when Tita Emma (my godmother from Dad’s side) managed the store and had lived there with Rebecca for many more years. Our attire was outrageous during those times. Bell-bottoms. Really groovy outfit! Once we even went to Kuala Lampur. I think we were invited by one of Mommy’s friends. The airport guards thought we were really silly-looking. I mean Malaysia is very conservative. At least Singapore attracts a lot of tourists and what we wore didn’t offend people as it did in Malaysia.

(jimboy - went overnight ata to kuala lumpur remember it being hot and dusty, parang we went to a rubber plantation pa)

Ya we did. We went to the ‘rubber trees’, they told us how rubber was made. And it was really, hot and humid!

Imagine… yellow pants with buttons down the bell-bottomed part. Clogs. Elevator shoes. Actually, we bought our elevator shoes in Singapore! We bought them at the Chinese Emporium along with stamps that all of used to start to collect. The Chinese Emporium did not have much toys. They had a lot of sporting goods and sporting wear. Toys we got from CK Tang and that mini-mall beside the Hilton, where we bought our model kits and toy vehicles made by ‘Mattel’ like the ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the ‘Thunderbird’ (the puppet series with space ships) toys. When we went back home to school, my classmates called them mga barko. 


(jimboy - went to singapore last in 97 on the way to the states, a 6 hour stopover. first thing I asked information was how to get to carpark, she looked at me in disbeleif and asked me when I was there last, 25 years ago na pala! ended up in newton circle where the food sucks!we used to have oyster cake, sate, those clams with the red chili sauce and small forks to open, soya drinks, wow)


…and the sugar cane juice, which really tasted good especially when it was really cold. It made the humidity feel better.


Like Jimboy, we visited Singapore in 1987 and much to our surprise, Car Park was gone! We were sent to Newton Circus or if we wanted to, Bugis St where all the gays were, even in the 70’s, Well, Newton Circus was nothing compared to Orchard Road Car Park, and I believe this is where Jan contracted typhoid (para-typhoid lang naman, but needed hospitalization pa rin).

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard ‘Bugis Street’.



Singapore Hilton (top) during the daytime.

Grand Hyatt Singapore

Hyatt Hotel on Scotts Road (top) during the daytime. Behind this hotel was where we ended up when we used the 'canals' to go from Jalan Jintan to Orchard Road.


Singapore Hilton

Singapore Hilton in the night.





Here’s something about the old Car Park…

Orchard Road Carpark Food Centre circa 1977


The Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2004 takes a walk down memory lane with the staging of the hawker stalls at the Orchard Road Carpark. From 1 to 31 July, more than ten food and drink stalls selling perennial local dinner and supper favourites, will operate from 6pm to 6am at the car park next to Specialist's Shopping Centre, directly opposite Centrepoint Shopping Centre. Popularly known then as "Gluttons Square", the carpark was well known for the street hawkers who used to gather there and the great variety of good local food. However, by 1979 all stalls ceased operations there, under the Government's policy to re-site hawkers into hawker centres for health and environmental reasons. However, by 1979 all stalls ceased operations there, under the Government's policy to re-site hawkers into hawker centres for health and environmental reasons. However, by 1979 all stalls ceased operations there, under the Government's policy to re-site hawkers into hawker centres for health and environmental reasons. This vibrant and nostalgic scene will be specially brought back during the month of July by the Singapore Tourism Board. The Board has worked with local food experts from Makansutra, to offer some of the distinctive and tasty Singaporean dishes, so that locals and visitors alike can enjoy Singapore's must-try dishes in an authentic and truly unique way. This vibrant and nostalgic scene will be specially brought back during the month of July by the Singapore Tourism Board. The Board has worked with local food experts from Makansutra, to offer some of the distinctive and tasty Singaporean dishes, so that locals and visitors alike can enjoy Singapore's must-try dishes in an authentic and truly unique way.


Click any point to centralise map

If you check the map above, you can trace your way from Jalan Jintan, down Mt Elizabeth Street (Nutmeg Road), to Orchard Road. Walk straight a couple of blocks to the right would have been C.K.Tang (now called Tang’s Plaza), cross Scott’s Road, where the right corner was the former movie house (maybe it still is), then right next to it would have been the Chinese Emporium (International Building now). Then on the left side you’d see the ‘Shopping Center’, where we used to buy our toys followed by the Hilton.

The other way was to pass Jalan Jintan through the Canals down to Scotts Road, where, we ended up by the Hyatt Hotel (small picture above also).




After our stay in Serangoon, we had moved to the Skyscraper, which was really nothing but a tall apartment. I don’t remember the floor or room number, but we were high up there. I think that was my first taste of ‘Bloody Mary’, probably Jimboy’s and Jumbo’s too! Rebecca made it for us at home. I don’t know why we were at home because it was during the day and I don’t remember having days off and I thought we were open 7 days a week. I’m probably wrong about being open on Sundays. That day may have been a Sunday. That was the first time we smoked cigars. Yes, Rebecca gave them to us too! That made me really sick. I thought you were supposed to inhale the smoke of the cigar. It got me really dizzy and threw up and just was nauseous the rest of the day. As business was falling, so was our living premises. One of the last ones I lived in was a dump. I don’t even remember where it is. I just remember me and Faye watching Superman (the first one) in the theater in Orchard Road. I didn’t know they served drinks inside the theaters and people were smoking too!. I think I gave Faye her first taste of vodka with orange juice. I’m sure to go back to Singapore again as memory refreshes itself and it had always been a good (and fun) experience for all of us. By the way, I wonder what happened to all the guys selling those ‘precious’ stones along Orchard Road. I remember having those ‘diamond’ looking stones that wouldn’t break even if you put it between coins and throw a rock over it. The coins would have an impression of the stone but the stone didn’t break! Also, even though our much beloved Car Park is gone, it was replaced by Newton’s Circus, which, is just like Car Park, only, Car Park was more raw. I mean it was a real car park during the daytime that transformed to this food haven in the early evening. We’ll inevitably go back to Singapore at some time or another.


Every evening meant dinner at the Orchard Road Car Park. My favorites were the oyster omelets, the shellfish (halaan) which had a sweet-tasting sauce, and sugar cane juice. I remembered buying something from an Indian stall – it looked very appetizing so I tried it – it was like an Indian omelet, but not egg, but some kind of sticky pastry. It wasn’t bad, but no one else liked it so that was the end of my Indian adventure. I also remember Kikapu Juice – which was cold soya milk. I only bought this when it was really really hot; a guy would sell it from a bike-driven cart. When I told my Singaporean friends about it, they were amused that I knew what Kikapu juice was. We’ve found a good Mayalsian/Singaporean restaurant here, so now I can have all those memorable dishes anytime I want.

(I was just going to say that if you had a Malaysian restaurant, they have the oyster omelets there and tastes like it did in Car Park.

Dimsum and Peking duck at that 2nd floor restaurant (in the Chinese Emporium building with the peanut soup) where I had too much of duck fat and had diarrhea the whole day, and probably till the next day. I had to stay with Lolo and Lola in the hotel ‘cuz I was so weak already. I remember your Mom went into the banyo right after my nnnnth bout, and she was gasping and trying to keep from puking herself! She said it smelled like a sewer in the banyo! I was laughing my head off even tho’ I was so weak. I even remember I had this blister on my foot and it actually dried up because I was so dehydrated.


(Jumbo’s comments: (I lysoled the first paragraph…)

Here’s… Ta Dah! Snippets from Singapore:

We came, We colored! Singapore! With our double knit psychedelic pants of blue, green, violet, orange and yellow. Plus imitation polyester shirts (if there’s such a thing). We were hyped to see all. Only, Singapore was closed for the day. No movies, no Tv, no buses, no trains, no parks open, No Nuthin! Sundays can be a bitch! I remember Alok too. His great country house where we played the records we’d just bought from his store in his stereo player. His Go Carts, RC planes and Yacht and all the trappings of a Lord of the Manor. I remember his nerdy advances to T Malou and her pouty snubs and giggly rebuffs. I just read T Malou’s comments on him. I guess she wasn’t interested in a guy cloaked in riches who could BUY her, but into a guy she COULD buy. Ouch! A joke! Hey T Malou you invited it with your Rolex watch comment. My take on the whole situation was: I loved his car. Not the Jag but the Citroen. The preferred get away car for bank robberies during the 70s Alain Delon era. Its suspension system was so erotic. Everytime it pulled up to a disco it sounded like a woman going AAHHHHHHH! After orgasm. Please! No bursts of righteous outrage in what after all is just a piece to add a little levity on the whole thing. And so it goes for now. What about Peanut soup you ask? Yes, peanut soup in the dimsum restaurant in the second floor of the Chinese Emporium. I forgot the name of that restaurant. Cerangoon, Fuzzy GI Joes in CK Tang, Marine Boy cartoons, I was going to put Marine Boy earlier but I thought I was the only one watching it. Same with Supercar (the puppet show where the car that could fly or even go underwater – I found DVDs of Supercar a few months ago and started watching it and didn’t last 5 episodes. Just remembered Ben Casey in the mornings and Flash Gordon in the afternoons.  Thunderbirds, Chicken Pox and Yuling and Alok? Stay tuned. –end of Jumbo’s comments)



1967 - Did I say Faye was born yet? She was born Dec 7, 1967 (Pearl Harbor). Wait!!!! I have to go back to when Jumbo was born. 1961. June 7, 1961. It was fun knowing that you'll have another playmate coming. A playmate who'll be owned by us. I guess that's the animal instinct of a perception of a brother. I will have another brother. I will have 2 brothers younger than me. Jimboy will have one brother younger than him. Cool!!! Jumbo was your regular down-to-earth 'I will follow your command' brother at that time (sorry 'bo, what else would you do at that young age?). But that was during that period in time. He was easy to get along with. He was the youngest brother and of course that's how we took care of him. I don't remember me, or Jimboy, making fun of Jumbo. There were just the three of us. He was the kind-hearted soul who would do no wrong. That still is my perception of him when I go deep down our level of plain, raw soul. I will always believe that, no matter how many layers of coating we all have. I mentioned earlier that he was running around the living room in our old house in Caimito when he fell and broke a 7-UP bottle that cut his hand. A similar situation happened to him in Malolos. He was playing with razor blades this time. He managed to get up lolo's table and somehow found some blades and ended up cutting different parts of his hand (hands?). Later on in our teens, he became the best drummer there is in the Philippines (and probably outside too).


Twinky was born on January 23, 1963. So, you see, the excitement is never lost. First it was me. Before I knew it, Jimboy was there. Jumbo came, which I thought was Wow!! for me and Jimboy. Jumbo's coming (please correct me if I'm mistaken) prompted the 'Kuya', 'Dico' thing. Before then, we all called ourselves by our regular nicknames. One day while going home from Malabon, there was some commotion at the back of this old brownish Mercedes (I think it was a 240) with wings. Dad just looked back and said then to start using the Tagalog way of 'sibling calling' (what ever you call it). So, I became 'Kuya', Jimboy became 'Diko', and when Twinkle was born, Jumbo got his title as 'Sanko'. Twinky was born as 'Twinkle' (like Ondette was born as Queenie, and the rest I had mentioned above. Again, please correct me if I'm wrong). We were really excited to have Twinky. I was born in Pasay City. But I think everyone else was born in Manila Doctors' Hospital near the Hilton (in Manila), where Lolo was a somebody. I was almost 4 years old when Twinky was born. This was a 2-fold thing. We never had a sister before but at the same time, it would be NEW to all three of us. So at this stage, there were four of us. Twinky started to be a pain in the neck during the earlier years. That comment was not called for because we expected her to act like us - like boys. She was extraordinarily strong (physically and emotionally). She earned respect for that alone. I would go far enough to say that she kept us straight (well, as far as she could)! I don't remember having a problem with her at all. She had to fall in line made up of a 'Kuya', 'Diko', and a 'Sanko'. I think she and many of my other cousins had gone to this kindergarten school in Phil-Am (not Nena Garcia). After that, she went to Assumption (Heran in Manila, I think that school had closed way back when). She went to Maryknoll after that. If you wanted a straight opinion even during those times, just ask Twinky.



Bingo was born May 31st, 1964 (it’s nearing his birthday). Yung ‘Aleman’ was what I remember Lola calling him. Aleman, who did not have an asshole (literally or so the story goes), or maybe he did but something was wrong with his birth. His tummy was getting fuller with no place for the waste to go (I was not there so this is based on what I remember happening through other relatives at that time). Story was that Lola put Holy Water over his stomach and everything went well with Bingo. I heard he finally pooed (if he didn't, he would have been in that jar with the 2-headed pig).

So Twinky now became the princess because she now had a title. Now she's 'Ate'. Bingo was a hurricane (other 'hurricanes' when they were younger were Len, Jojo, Jay, and Steve. Wild and hyper.)

Connected to the living room in the old house in Caimito was our bedroom. One for everyone with an extra bedroom that none of us stayed in. That tiny room with a door that was cut into 2 doors. The lower part of the door was about 3/4th of the door. While the upper part of the door was the remaining 1/4th. So you can close part of the door and still see inside the room. The room had windows looking out to the pool and playground area. What separated the living room from the bedroom (as a whole) was a door (actually 2 doors that opened up as one). There was a bathroom in the bedroom. You had to climb 2 concrete steps to get up to the bathroom. During that time, you would learn how to walk using this bamboo contraption that was designed not to make you fall. But this Bingo kid was, as I mentioned a while ago, hyper. He would be in constant motion. Running everywhere inside this walking-trainer bamboo thing. One day, he was flying! UNTIL... that bamboo contraption (The walker was called ‘andador’) hit the bottom part of the steps that led to the bathroom and fell over. And so did he in it. Face or lips, first hitting either the next step or the floor of the bathroom, which, was also concrete.

Strangely enough, I remember falling! How the green and red/maroon tiles were (maybe it was maroon cuz of my blood?) though that’s all I remember of that incident, the walker and that floor. I think it happened in the lavandera’s room or the maids room…Bingo.


Bingo - ready to rumble.



Happened in our room downstairs. You probably thought it to be the lavandera’s room because right outside the door was where we used to take our ‘baths’ and sometimes the maids would wash clothes there. That was not a place I would like to remember because I burned Dico badly with scalding water there.


He hurt his lip so bad it required stitches. You still would be able see the scar in his lip (The lip thing just reminded me of the time that we were going home from Notre Dame when the driver hit the brakes to avoid an accident, making Jumbo hit his face on the dashboard of the deSoto. Another bloody moment).


Tired.... I'll continue tomorrow.



I think I related well with my brothers and my sisters. Jimboy was my first brother, Jumbo became our brother (and the youngest in what seemed to be a long time in the younger years), Twinky was our first sister, then Bingo became everybody's youngest brother. I thought that was it. Just the five of us. After what seemed to be many years after, Dad asked us (I don't remember whom 'US' was) "Do you want to have a baby sister", 'Us' said yes and started to get excited at the notion of having a new member join the pack. So, I'm back where I started. 1967 - Dec 7, Pearl Harbor. 'Fairy' - Anna Maria Farrah. Fairy had a babysitter named 'Shirley'. Shirley was ever stricter than Nanay Paring! But she was as professional as anyone in doing her job. After school, I would go straight to Fairy's room and just watch the baby sleep. She had a crib in the middle of the room (this was a small room probably even smaller than the storage room we had downstairs). There was also a cot by the wall. That's where I used to play with my green plastic soldiers. The P5.00 per bag type with soldiers in different positions. 



Baby Faye in Baguio with her babysitter Shirley to the left and by the pool in Caimito to the right.



But hey, 'Combat' was famous at the time. I remember the opening lines of that series: "COMBAT" da da da dat da dahhhh... "Starring, Vic Morrow... and... Rick Jason, guest star...." I never could figure out who 'Guest Star' was. I though he was a name. So, when we played, I was Vic Morrow. Jimboy was Rick Jason. And Jumbo was Guest Star (I guess I wasn't Hollywood savvy yet then. So what did I know about stars? Especially Guest Star?) When we dreamed about toys we would want to have (and I say dreamed because these toys you could not find locally), we always looked at a 1965 Sears Roebuck catalogue, which, seemed to be like half a foot thick. But we never got tired of it (at least I didn't). We saw G.I. Joes, Matchboxes, and so many other toys that you literally could only dream of (I seem to remember having probably receiving one order from Sears, but I must have been dreaming so it's probably not likely). G.I. Joes finally arrived in the Philippines. Or, we finally found them. Bought them and their accessories. I was reallly into them that I even took pictures of them 'in action' with my first camera (it was made of plastic but it did a good job of taking those black and white pictures). The last of the house was gone in 1968, when the house was demolished for a new house to be built. We stayed in an apartment, which, happened to be next door. They opened the wall between the apartment and the house so we could go back and forth (or maybe so Mom and Dad could go back and forth supervising the construction of the house). The apartment times were good times too! Mang Rudy, the white Ford van, the treasure we dug up by the tree, Len staying there after school, EARTHQUAKE (Ruby Towers)!



(Bingo's birthday was yesterday)

Len used to come to the apartment after school (I think he also went to Notre Dame at that time). I don't remember why he did but he was there everyday, mostly playing with Bingo. He would then later get picked up in the afternoon. The apartment stay was fun. Probably because things were looking up financially - otherwise, why did it take so long before deciding to build a new house? I remember the entrance to the apartment from the old house. You just entered the door, which, opened up to the kitchen. The kitchen and living room (where we all played and many times slept in) were on the ground floor. No rooms here but a bathroom right by the kitchen. It was only the type of flooring that separated the kitchen from the living room. Coming from the kitchen, you would see the stairway going upstairs to the upper floor. If I remember right, there were 2 rooms in the upper floor. The master bedroom and the other bedroom (where we watched cartoons like 'Bat Fink', 'Banana Splits', 'Space Ghost', 'Johnny Quest', 'Frankenstein Jr and the Impossibles'). This is where I remember Tito Gondoy visiting us and telling us what happened to his hand and pill boxes as I mentioned earlier. I remember the stairway very well. I remember sitting on the top of the stairs while Mom told me that I had a 'block' somewhere in my brain (I don't remember getting CT Scanned), which could be the reason for my stuttering (probably why I couldn't pronounce words early in life). Dad said I should probably try this guy 'Dale Carnegie's method. When my mind was absorbing this stuff, I'm thinking to myself “There’s probably something wrong with me”. But nothing happened afterwards so I never got to know what that block meant.

Anyway, the living room had a door that would take you outside to the other side of the apartment (I don’t know how to explain it better) that faced Samson Road. You open the door to trees and the garage, where I think each apartment unit was allotted one parking space each. I think I mentioned some kind of treasure earlier. We created a map (a lot of us were involved here, Len too!) that would lead you to the site our ‘treasure’ was buried under. It was right by a tree in right in front of the apartment unit. We actually dug up and put some nice things in there for a future excavation. I still would remember where the treasure was if the apartment were still there (even without the tree). I mentioned before we spent much of our sleeping time on the floor of the living room. I think this had much to do with the air conditioning not working in the room upstairs, plus we couldn’t have fit in one room anyway. One night, or at least in the very early hours of the morning, the ground shook. I woke up. We all woke up. We were watching lights flashing through the window, while hearing loud banging all around us (or under us). Scared to death! What’s happening? It seemed like it lasted for a long while. One of our yayas put on the radio. We found out we just experienced a high magnitude earthquake! A few minutes after that, we heard ‘Ruby Towers’ collapsed. I don’t even know what Ruby Towers was. I don’t know what it represented. I don’t know why it was such a big deal in the next morning’s newspapers, Ruby Towers was the headline (What was Ruby Towers anyway?)

The magnitude of what just had happened reminded me of earlier traumatic experiences through the news. It reminded me of ‘Lucilla Lalu’ when I was younger. From what I remember, this Lucilla Lalu woman was cut up into pieces or something like that. Speaking of some gory details, something I saw happened in Baguio, when a painter painting the outside of a movie theater fell off the scaffolding he was on. He was like on the higher part of the building (probably 3 to 4 floors high), fell of and landed on the sidewalk by the street. Blood everywhere. That scene stayed with me for a long time. Another one was when one of the drivers, Mang Mike, got a ladder and tried to get some Santol from one of the trees in the old house in Caimito. He fell from the ladder. But as he fell, he tore his arm tissues because of a protruding nail from the ladder. I just remember seeing parts of his insides of his arm landing on the ground (probably some muscle tissues). Well, since we’re into grossness, another thing I can’t forget was when we were on our way home from Notre Dame, we saw this man stabbing, hacking away at this other man who was running away from him. I think that was the scariest for me. I could see another guy getting stabbed in front of my eyes (I wonder who else was with me besides Mang Rudy and Nanay Paring). I think that was the scariest for me. I watched in horror. It was scarier than me and Mang Doro hit this guy pushing a cart across the street. The guy’s head hit my side of the front windshield and dented the windshield’s solid metal support. The guy was dead. People were all around us. They were getting mad at me for not getting out of the car and help carry the body inside the car. Well, I was in shock and didn’t know what to do. I’ve seen my share of deaths and wasted bodies. We lived near Sangandaan, which was notorious for it’s violence then. Especially very early in the sixties. Even when we were in Notre Dame, Nanay Carmen and Paring would tell us to watch out for guys who would put drugs in blades and slash you to make you an addict (I don’t know how true that was but it was scary to think of).

Traumatic as they may seem, life goes on.

In 1969, we were told that we were transferring schools. We were going to La Salle Green Hills.


Let’s go back to the bright side…




(footnote: yesterday was mine and Carol’s 21’st wedding anniversary, married 06/02/1984).


I remember the day we were told that we were going to another school that we were going to a school called ‘La Salle’. It was not clear to me why we had to transfer schools. But I think I felt the excitement of a new environment. I remember keeping that smile to myself that day. Apparently, word had already spread.

During the mornings in Notre Dame, we would go up to our classrooms from a line formation we made from the ‘field’. This was where it seemed they took attendance by your teacher. We were lined up by class and by grade. So, you would see many lines formed before class, early in the morning. After the teacher checks that she has everyone in her class, we would go up to our classrooms, arms crossed. So, on the day we were told we were going to transfer schools, many of my classmates were asking me if it were true that I was leaving. At that time, I didn’t know how they found out because I recently found out myself that we were going to another school (Jumbo has to help me here because I know Jimboy and I went to La Salle at the same time but I don’t know where Jumbo was. I was in 5th grade, Jimboy was in 3rd and Jumbo should have been in 2nd. But where was he?). I had mixed feelings about transferring schools (naturally, maybe because you lose all your friends).

I was interviewed by Brother Rolando Dizon. He was the grade school principal. He suggested that I remain in Grade 5 because I may not fit in with the 6th grade crowd, who were much older than I was. I took the pre-requisite courses such as Algebra and Physics, both of which I had not taken in Notre Dame. I took both these subjects during the summer before the next school year. I passed them both and was on my way to be a La Sallite.

I will have missed Notre Dame. With all the food carts outside the school selling all those food and drinks (melon juice, lumpia with peanut bits and fresh chopped garlic, the pancakes that Jumbo was talking about covered with Star margarine or something like that, the store that sold cheap action figures in front of the school and the store that sold almost the same stuff behind the school – the closest description I can give is that they were concrete Sari-Sari stores that were part of 2-floor buildings). That back entrance of the school we used later on in Notre Dame (maybe because there was less traffic). ‘Oceanic’ , which was one of the Printing Press’ clients, was just around the corner. That back area was where we used to play marbles (jolens) and the first time I’ve heard and talked about Nostradamus.



Jimboy and I (in my mind) were scared to be in a new school when we were already there. Again, I was there as a 5th grade student and he was there as a 3rd grader (I still don’t know where Jumbo was). So we… well, this is really sentimental for me because it was the two-of-us-against-the-world (which, had the son of the President, just 2 grade levels above me. But Bong-bong was not treated well. I didn’t understand why I saw him being tripped and bullied by everyone). Jimboy and I had agreed to meet in a common place, which was right outside the grade school bathroom area (which consisted of multiple urinals and toilets. Wait! They might not even have been urinals, I think it was just a wide wall with water running down it and that was where you would pee. It was not uncommon to see that kind of a bathroom before. They even had those in movie theaters – I remember them having that kind of a men’s bathroom when we watched the ‘Exorcist’ in one of the Quezon City theaters like Diamond (don’t remember which one for sure but these theaters were near the place that Jumbo was talking about with his helicopter fantasies. We used to go to that place on Sundays BEFORE Malabon. It was, I guess what you would term nowadays as an arcade, you know, where you’d put 25 centavo coins to play a game. These games were the fathers and mothers of all games we have now at home. I particularly liked shooting the rifles. I didn’t understand why other people liked playing the pinball machine, but as I tried it more often, I eventually understood that it could be peculiarly addictive). So, my brother and I met outside the grade school bathroom area. This is touchy for me because he protected me in Nena Garcia (I was being bullied and although he was only 2 years old, he could sense it and he was keeping himself in front of me as my shield. How can you forget something like that?) and he needed help in the new environment in La Salle. We would meet feeling sorry for ourselves because we were new and we didn’t know anybody. These were our first days in a new school, where everyone else knew each other and we only knew ourselves. We were still little kids and I was holding his hand very tight before lunch time was over when he had to back to his classroom. I cried because I didn’t know how else to comfort him. I would rush to one of the bathroom stalls and cry because I felt sorry for us. We didn’t have the luxury of having our yayas anymore in school. We were, all of a sudden, on our own.


‘Not to worry!’

We finally adjusted to school after a tough ride. La Salle was not like Notre Dame. I had more down to earth classmates in Notre Dame, whom I felt were more mature than my classmates in La Salle. Fact of the matter was that they were. The Notre Damers were older. Now, I’m just part of the same age group, almost, in La Salle, unlike in Notre Dame, where even my classmates took care of me. Notre Dame was a tough school. Each grade had three sections: A, B, and C (later on they had a D section). It was kinda discriminatory because it would’ve been embarrassing if you said you were in, say, section C, which was where Dolphy’s kid was in. It meant that you were in the bottom of the grade. At that time, it didn’t seem to be a big deal that Dolphy’s son was in Notre Dame. Nothing new really… Zaldy Zhornak’s kids were there too! We had our own share of celebrities in Notre Dame. Carvajal, the tallest basketball player to play at that time came from the school (although he did not live long enough due to some cancer related sickness). Even my first computer boss at the present time studied in Notre Dame when he was in grade school. I can’t think of teachers’ names right now. I remember Miss Luna. I think she worked in the office. I remember the librarian but forgot her name. I do remember Mr Alawi. He was my last English teacher who saw a lot of potential in me (I know this only because he told me so). He would ask questions in class about, say, past prerogatives, future imperatives, predicates and adverbs and all that. He had known that I was 2 years short in age compared to my classmates (he also told me that). My hand was raised all the time to answer the questions he posed, but he had already given up on making me answer the questions. He would pick someone else (after class, he would tell me why he was not making me answer the questions. He wanted others to participate in class (I was between 8 and 9 at that time).

(Jumbo’s comment:

Circa 1969: One morning.

We’re up by five thirty just like the day before and the day before that. TV doesn’t show till six so we’re just lollygagging around in the family room. We switch on the TV anyway which is in Technicolor by this time. The screen comes up with color bars on one station and a black and white station identification on the other. We choose to view the station with the color bars.

Kuya asks “What’s your favorite color Boy?” Diko answers “Red”. “Eh, you Bo?” I can tell by his tone I’m just saleng pusa. But I don’t mind. I just can’t wait to be included in this grown-up conversation. “Green.” I squeal trying to sound as big boy as I can be. “No, it’s not green. Try again.” Kuya says. “My favorite color IS green” I stammer. “No it’s not.” Says Kuya coolly. “ That’s MY favorite color, and I’m older than you so you have to pick another favorite color .” …”Blue?” I whimper, wondering whether that color was taken even tho there was only the three of us there.

“Okay, you’re Blue.” Kuya has decided and the matter is closed.

And so I grew up picking blue of anything and everything. When people asked what my favorite color was, I automatically said Blue. Nice things come in blue. Blue skies, blue jeans and even the kiddie TVshow Blues Clues. But really the color blue was giving me the Blues. It wasn’t me. And even now I can’t pick the color Green because green is still the color that my Kuya picked and now I’ll always be looking for another favorite color.)

Sorry, that carried over after all these years. I'm sure that's not the only one I'll be sorry for..


You poor thing! Imagine, having to choose another color that you don't like! Well, that's why there are emperors and there are coolies - you can only be one or the other. It's funny too how childhood impressions last forever.

06/07/05 Today is Jumbo’s birthday.

Let me repeat myself... my first year in La Salle Green Hills. Jimboy and I were there at the same time. Twinky should have been in Assumption, Bingo was in Ateneo. He definitely was not in LSGH ('bo, where were you? Notre Dame? you should have been grade 2 by then), no way, because if at all, Jimboy and I would have remembered protecting him too! Can't get it. I know our class schedule was from 7:45 to 2:45 but I'm not sure if the lower grades had a different schedule. Regardless, I would have known if Jumbo were in the same school at the same time. He should have been 6-7years old by that time in 1969, like all the other 60's years were all good years to remember (as a kid).

now you're keeping me in suspense too - where was he?

I think he may have had a different schedule in school.

This was the last year of the 60's, when (in my mind), innocence was fast approaching to a dead end. The last of the good years, generally, in my mindset (being aware of current events), around the globe, I thought was 1972 - before the oil embargo, before Martial Law, before typhoon Yoling (was that just a typhoon in 1970?)

of tornado intensity.  I remember I had moved in Mamada's room already at that time, and I just stayed there the whole time, doing nothing - probably reading since there was no electricity.  I had to open up the curtains to let the sun (whatever of it was shining) come in to keep me company.  I just remember the wind howling the whole time, but no rain.  the rains came after.  I was just 'glad' that I could stay home and forget about schoolwork for a while (I think Yoling came in May - or was that Dading?)

It came in November of 1970.Dading was in the late 60’s. In 1972, we had the summer where we were flooded. The floods were caused by four typhoons, one in late June, two in July and a fourth in mid-August. It was during that same summer that you and Mom were doing the Styrofoam thing when we had electricity. Remember you used to make artwork out of those Styrofoam ‘boards’ with this iron string contraption that melted the foam.


that crippled the country for months with no electricity and running water. But 1970 is 1 year away from now. So, let's come back to the present ('69).


(Well, it was Pres Kennedy's brother that got assasinated around that time. Bobby Kennedy.)

Are you sure?  Oh, ya,  because when John was murdered you were still very little.

We had moved to the new house in Caimito in 1969. Wonderful state-of-the-art house. Even at that young age, I thought the house was beautiful! It had a lot of components a kid would like (like 'hidden cabinets', real bathrooms and toilets with bidets, and even hot water in the beginning). Nothing like the old house. I have no idea where all that furniture came from.


In the old house, there used to be a maids' house. The maids' house was like a big bahay kubo, but instead of nipa, the walls were made of plywood. It was built over trees so the bottom part of the trees YOU'RE WRONG HERE. IT WAS COVERED BY OUR BIG TREES BUT NOT ON TOP OF THE BOTTOM. YOU MIGHT BE TALKING ABOUT THE TREE HOUSE THAT WAS BUILT ATOP THE MANGO TREE CLOSE TO THE IMPRENTA. THAT SERVED YOU GUYS WELL. I'M SURE YOU HAD JOYFUL MOMENTS THERE.

you could see inside the house (I wonder how they did that. Because I don't think the place got wet when it rained. That area was replaced by the maids' quarters (Aling Tuding's room), which had bunkbeds for their beds - and they had their own bathroom (Nanay Carmen had her own room and bathroom). Aling Tuding was our lavandera, while her brother, Mang Panyong, became one of the drivers. He was driving for us for a long time. He quit once but came back again.

*just a reminder about Carmen's bout with cholera

*and Twinky 'tasting' the rat poison, which she thought was bagoong!  I don't know when these took place, but they will be interesting read too.

Twinky will remind us of that one. The rat poison really looked like bagoong.

she (Aling Tuding) was there, like, forever!  even took the place of the cook and maid if there was no one to do the work - very loyal and dedicated; BUT MOODY!  no one could tell her how to do her laundry, or else!


I always thought it was Mang Panyong who was the NPA person because Nang Tuding just kept on washing our clothes. Anyway, speaking of NPA, WE HAD MR. TARUC!!!! And he was in charge of our imprenta! But he always said he had nothing to do with the 'HUKS', which was the 'Hukbalahap' organization. Right now, I would call them an organization. But back then, they were just a gang of no good gangsters that preyed on innocent lives (Maggie de la Riva comes to mind).

There were really Hukbalahaps but that was when we were still small.  During your time they were called the National People's Army, they operated like Huks and I really believe they were one and the same.  Kaya lang they didn't really succeed.  They just went around the provinces milking the rich guys in the rural areas.  Maggie dela Riva was raped by La Sallites yata, they were from good families.


Along with Mang Panyong (and this is not in chronological order), we also had Mang Rudy, Mang Mike, Tito Junior (Dad's relative), DID JUNIOR EVER DRIVE? I DON'T THINK SO. HE WAS AN OPERATOR OF ONE OF OUR MINERVAS. DO YOU KNOW THAT HE HAD PASSED AWAY LONG TIME AGO, AND TITO JUANING, TOO. Mang Mitring, Doro, Bonjing, Bert, (I DON'T REMEMBER BERT) and I don't remember whom else.

Tito Junior, I know distinctly became one of the drivers even if he was an operator of the Minervas. Well, come to think of it... maybe a part time driver. (Remember how old we were?) Anyway, it was T Junior driving one of our family cars from Baguio when the brakes failed and Dad was using the handbrakes to support a safe landing on the zigzag. It probably was not only the brakes but also the radiator because I remember smoke coming out of the front end of the car! Definitely, Tito Junior drove for us, and I was saying to myself, 'why would you do this?'. But it just probably was a stint and never was a so-called 'driver'.

The earliest driver I can remember with us full time was Mang Rudy. I remember him driving even during the Notre Dame days through the La Salle days, picking up all these kids from the area going to school (Notre Dame, then La Salle, with UP High School on the side) with that white Ford van, that was associated with him because it became his main vehicle. That Ford lasted a long time. It was a worker. Up and down Baguio year after year. If I remember correctly, we had another family station wagon that was with us for a long time too. I think it was a Pontiac green wagon. There was a blue Falcon wagon with wood sidings but I don't think that lasted for long. One car that always seemed it was going to die at anytime was the green Volkswagen Fastback. But that thing made it's way to Baguio

too! The only 'brand new' cars that I remember we bought were the 1302 and 1303S Vokswagen Beetles (during that time). I'd like to say there also was a VW Comby,


We had 14 cars at one time. I counted, because I couldn't get out of the driveway.

Sobra ka naman, not 14 naman siguro.

That included the cars na nakapark lang na sira and the jeep.

but now I'm not sure because I might be mixing it up with the Ford Econoline Van. There were others but they don't belong to this timeline. Mang Rudy was the first driver to introduce us to driving. There came a time when coming from Notre Dame, I would steer the wheel for him going all the way home (we're talking about one block). Eventually, steering alone without his guidance (I was seated on the driver's seat <actually, the driver's lap because I couldn't reach the gas and break pedals). Even though I was only steering, the thought of driving the 'car' was in itself exciting. Mang Rudy had brains. I believe had gained respect from his peers and others and he was the type of person who respected people too! He talked sense and was a responsible guy. Good guy. I WONDER HOW HE IS NOW. AND PARING? THE KIDS MUST BE MARRIED BY THIS TIME.

I remember we used to walk to mass from Quezon Hill to the chapel below (which was really good for me because the mass was 30 minutes short <I'll probably be called 'Hudas' again for this). HUDAS!!!!! Anyway, one day (and it was not a Sunday), we saw the white Ford parked on the side of the road (downhill from Quezon Hill). The Ford was humping! There was no driver to be seen or passenger to be found. I don't remember whom I was with or why we didn't take a peek inside. I just found out later that Mang Rudy and Nanay Paring 'caused' the 'up-and-down' movement. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT THAT IT WAS THEM? CHISMOSO!!! I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THIS HAPPENED. They finally got married and am happy for them.

I found through the chismis of the grapevines. But, this was no ordinary chismis because it ended up to be true. Maybe Nanay Paring would laugh about this now. If only she could read this.

Let Paring read this part and you're dead! 

Bert was Berting. Nice Guy. I remember stories about him just disappearing while driving the Tamaraw or something. I don't know because I had already left the Philippines by then. All I heard about was that people were looking for him and nobody could find him. Another poor soul. I hope he just joined some organization or somthing but that thought is kinda remote.

Oh, Berting!  The guy who was kidnapped with our Isuzu wagon and never came back.  Poor guy.  He was probably killed.  His wife Ester was seen (as a maid) at the Ayala Alabang area. You're right about Berting being a nice guy, he was very loyal.  He had a small fight with Tita Julie and from then on we had to hide him so she won't see him.  Kawawa naman.  I wonder what really happened to him.

Is it possible that Jumbo was on the second grade and he went to school only half a day?  I don't remember either.  He hasn't made any comments about it, I wonder why.


Remember this van?


(This portion was omitted from 06/06/05 but I decided to put it back)


I remember when Mom and Dad used to read us stories from Hans Christian Anderson like 'The Emperor's New Clothes' and stuff from Aesop's fables, which reminds me... we had this 3 volume set of books. One contained stories, another contained fables, the last included tongue twisters. I really loved those books. I memorized a couple of them.

'Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?

If Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers,

Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?'

the other one was:

'She sells sea shells by the sea shore... I don't remember the rest'

This was the time we were having 'contests' in Malabon. Princess, Abby, and Len would come up with 'IF YOU ARE N.I.T. YOU ARE E'

What was that?

It's actually just how you spell F U R N I T U R E.



Our relatives from Dad’s side were always very nice. Dad was the only son and had three sisters. Tita Edy, Tita Emma, and Tita Ine (Elsa). Tita Edy was Jimboy’s godmother (and I think Bingo’s too), Tita Emma was mine (and I think Twinky’s too), and Tita Ine was Jumbo’s (and I think Faye’s too!). There was a point during the early years that I would see Tita Edy everyday in the old house. The only I can think of why that was, was probably because she worked 'downtown' (Manila). But I also saw her coming home for lunch. She was the first (and probably the last) person whom I have seen eating lunch (rice with the main dish) along with a banana. Somehow I can't forget that image. She wore the same type of thick glasses that Mamada and Tita Malou wore. She was a nice and respectable lady as all of them were.

Tita Ine is the youngest in the family so she played with us more (or she had the time to play with us more - because Tita Edy got married and Tita Emma was in Cebu). She was fun-loving as I remember that when I heard she got married, it was hard to believe.

I didn’t know T Ine got married…

My earliest memories of them was carrying us when we were young singing 'All My Loving'. I should know this but I don't. I don't know what Tita Ine did (I mean at work). Come to think of it, I don't even know what Tita Edy did. But it's the same thing over again in the sense that when we were in Malolos, there was nobody there except for Lola and Lolo. Where was everybody during the daytime?



In the old house, I remember Tita Edy and Tita Ine staying with us for periods of time. I don’t remember exactly if it was Tita Edy or Tita Ine, but the song ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark was a hit at that time and I would see one or the other Tita in our ‘bedroom-for-all’, applying make-up facing the mirror area on the other side of the bathroom wall, facing the entrance to the bedroom from the living room. Where Tita Edy was conservative and loving, Tita Ine was a blast and loving.


(Mom: Both of them are very good singers, too.  It was like they were singing all the time especially Tita Ine.  Good voice, too.)

Funny I don't remember them singing.  I probably wasn't around them long enough to realize they were good singers. 

I don’t remember if they were good singers either. I just remember them singing Beatle songs to us while they were carrying us in Baguio when I was 2 (or probably a little earlier).


I skipped my godmother, Tita Emma. From what I remember, she was a teacher in Cebu (or something in that area). She taught Home Economics (if I recall correctly).

(Mom: I don't remember Tita Emma working in Cebu.)


She would come home only every so often, so we saw her as some kind of tourist when she came home. When she did come home, she would always make it a point to spend time with us. So much so that it was sad to take her back to the airport to fly back to Cebu. Even at the airport, she would buy us these toys that would really cheer us up temporarily. But it was sad to always say goodbye, especially if you’re in the ‘upstairs’ portion of the Domestic Airport, where you had to pay just to see your loved ones climb the tarmac and wave a last goodbye. We would wait until the plane took off because I hoped that she may still be looking at us from the plane’s window. She eventually became the Singapore stores’ manager along with Rebecca.

[Footnote: I tried multiple times to reach her but I got nowhere. My hope is she will eventually forgive me for my actions I have portrayed during my last visit with her in Singapore]

(I doubt if she even remembers what you had done, whatever it was.)


Tita Emma was with us when we participated in the trade fairs in Auckland, New Zealand. I don’t know which other fairs she participated in. She was conservative but fun to be with, but… my fault. I hope that one day she’ll forget what happened and start over again. I was a teenager who partied out with Miss Philippines’ brother. Jumbo was with me part of that time. I may somehow crossed the respect line because she was living with a friend and I probably embarrassed her by being that way, living in her friend’s house.

(Mom: Was this in Cebu or in Manila?  I don't remember this either.)

do you know where she's living now?  maybe your titas in Malolos would know where she can be contacted 

This was in Singapore. That was the last time I saw her. I tried to contact her when she was in SFO and sent her Christmas cards many times but I didn't receive anything back (the address I had should have been right)



Sight, sound, scent, and other things that would bring some memory back. That, of course, is true. So how do you remember? First of all you remember naturally. This is the raw remembrance, a souvenir of the past. The past has it’s distinct time and place, of which memories could have been triggered by the senses. Smelling a perfume would trigger a memory. Eating a type of food would do so too! Like everyone, I have experienced these kinds of triggers. Be it scent, taste, music of the times… I sucked up a lot of things. I was going through school having all these occurrences stored in a memory bank, which I could open and search at almost anytime. Fortunately, that memory bank still has space available for use (well, probably of limited use by now).

I feel like I have not covered enough of the 60’s. Of course, I never will be able to cover everything. But every now and then, something taps the memory banks and I get reminded of something I have not mentioned.

(Mom: I'm sure that when you all see other one day, you'll remember more things and they will be able to contribute more funny experiences all of you had.)


and I do hope they add their 2-cents too.  it's nice to hear from everyone's side of the coin. 


Like, some things I did before I was in my first grade. I stole a mass book from the St Gabriel chapel - this was before it became that big beautiful church. It was only a chapel that could only accommodate, literally, less than what seemed to be a hundred people. I liked the mass there because it was short (so, there’s a trend in my preference for masses. The shorter, the better. Less singing, the better, because the singing made the mass longer. I just wanted to pray and listen to the gospel and take communion and wait for the blessing to leave then leave). I still feel guilty about taking that missal from the chapel, even if I had returned it and confessed to it over and over again. I just felt that I had done something sacrilegious. I don’t even know why I did it. Well, actually, I did it because I liked the mass and wanted to have a souvenir from it. It was like, I wanted something from the chapel and took this pamphlet with me home. That was what I felt like the first ever Mortal sin I have committed.

(Mom: You were only 5 years old at Grade I so how could you have confessed when you had not even received your First Communion?  I think you're getting confused here. Too young yata to have committed mortal sin.)

I didn't confess this until I was a teenager because I was just afraid to do so.



Later, the chapel was closed to accommodate a very modern looking dome-shaped St Gabriel church. I think we, in that area were proud to have this church. It looked better than the one in Grace Park, which was a real church.


‘So many things I have missed…’

I earlier mentioned about our future relationship with Lola Alicia and her children (our uncles and aunts who were just about our age). Kuya Sambo, Ate Tina, Boy Blue, Dete Bo-Peep, Abe (Ape), Mike, Didi, and Nanny. Did I miss anyone? Wasn’t Mike someone else’s twin? Nope I think I’m thinking of the Vergel de Dios twins.

(Mom: It's Ape, not Abe and you forgot both Boy Blue and Nanny who are presently confined at the Mental Wing of the Makati Memorial Hospital (this sounds awkward, baka that's not the name of the hospital). 

It's at Medical City behind Shangri-La Hotel.  You mean Nanny is also doing time there!  Oh no!  Kawawa naman sila talaga.

Mike is the youngest son and Nanny is the youngest daughter.  You forgot Didi nga pala, she married a Dutch guy and now have 2 kids yata.  They're staying in Holland.

I fogot Didi nga! She was the funny little one pa naman!)

I remember once when she (Didi) was visiting in Malabon, I think she was only 4 or 5 at the time, I had a sleepover and my friend and I were looking at Dadito's canaries in the middle room, she suddenly came in and started blabbering.  We didn't know what she was talking about, but she was so engrossed about what she was making kuwento that all we could do was listen, even if we couldn't catch anything she said.  After she was done, she just left, and my classmate and I just looked at each other, and then laughed our hearts out! 


Kuya Sambo was a good guy (as all of them were). I felt he ‘naturally’ liked us. Well that goes for Ate Tina and everyone else, come to think of it. They were a set apart, their family. The only things we learned from them were good. And no, Ate Tina did not teach us how to smoke anything. On the contrary, both she (God bless her soul) and Kuya Sambo watched out for us. One summer, Jumbo got bullied by this Quezon Hill bully named ‘Lito’. This Lito guy tied Jumbo up for I don’t know what reason now. But he was much older than we were and we couldn’t do a thing to help Jumbo. It also happened that Kuya Sambo and family arrived, what seemed to be shortly after that incident.

Jimboy and I told Kuya Sambo about the incident.

To be continued...


(Mom: Buti naman you told him.  So what did he do??????????  Sobra ka namang bitin.!!!!  So what did Sambo do? What do you mean tied him up? Please expound. I never knew this. Does Jumbo remember why? Eh ang bait pa naman ni Jumbo, why would anybody do that to him? And Bubut and Boy did not even come to his rescue???)


(Jumbo: In response to Kuya’s cliffhanger last page.

So I was being tied to a tree. I was just about 8 years old when this happened. Lito was a drunken knave and so was Boy Ganzon. I still consider Ilocanos to be the native American Indians…always drunk before the party begins.

One afternoon, in front of my brothers, they grabbed me and placed me up against a tree. Boy was holding me down and Lito started coiling a rope as if to hog tie me. Everyone was laughing. But the fun ended when Bubot, seeing my terrified face, thought enough is enough and rescued me from further humiliation. He grabbed the rope from Lito, berated Boy for acting the fool, and untied me. He was just about 12 at the time too. I don’t remember that Ate Tina or her crazy brother Kuya Sambo had anything to do with the proceedings.)


Bo, I don't remember anyone of us laughing. But probably the locals were. That's why we told Kuya Sambo about it because we weren't amused by it. Lito was even threatening you with his lit cigarette. When kuya Sambo came and after we told him what happened, we went from house to house of the local witnesses to look for Lito. We eventually found him. Kuya Sambo threatened him but Lito was scared to death because K Sambo was really big compared to him. At the end gave him a big sermon on how he should pick on a person his size and not on children. He asked Lito to apologize to you in front of everyone who was there. Sana K Sambo kicked his ass right there but Lito was too small for him. We were scared (at least I was scared and didn’t really know what to do. Good thing Boy was the other guy so that at least he’s someone Bubot could berate.


Jimboy and I told Kuya Sambo about the incident.

Actually, Jimboy and I told him about it and kinda flourished the story a little. We went storming through neighbor by neighbor. There were conflicting reports on what had transpired (among the locals and us). At the end of the stories, we would ask K Sambo, “well, whom do you believe? The adults or the kids? The kids don’t lie and the others do!” That was good enough! K Sambo was mad! Pissed! I think he wanted to beat the guy up but stayed in control of himself and ended up asking for an apology from Lito to Jumbo. The guy apologized and, would you believe, became a friend of ours who would only be on our side ever since at least the story ended well; and he would probably give up his life for you after that incident (did he?!?!?!).  those types of people usually become your most 'loyal servants' after they realize what they've done wrong - parang telenobela...

He became really good to us. We never had a problem with him ever since.

(Now, I remember Arnold punching me in the face because I was wearing this scary mask. I put that in because it just came up in my mind and I have to put it because I won’t remember Arnold again.). Oh my gosh, I wonder how old he (Lito) may have been during that time. Regardless, it is inconceivable to tie someone up and threaten them!

Ate Tina had eye problems (actually, everyone in the Santos side had eye problems …well, most, if not everyone). She had an eye surgery that totally grossed me out. Not only was her eye red (it was one eye where she had the surgery done) but she showed me the stitches IN her eyeball. Yukh! She always had good things to say, though. We’ve played with everyone in the family from Boy Blue to the younger siblings but it was always K Sambo and A Tina watching over us during that stretch in time”.

I originally omitted the following from this document but decided I would just put it back. This is about Mike. “Mike, was, at that time, already beyond his age. He was kinda opposite Didi. Where Didi was really funny, Mike, I noticed was a deep thinker. He would pause every time I told him something. Now, looking back, he probably paused because he wanted to get it right. First, I thought he was slow, but then I realized, no, he was not slow. He was deep. My only interaction with Mike was during that summer. I would talk to him. He would think about what I said or asked him and after a few seconds or minutes, answer me back. He answered me back with another question, which, I found profound. ‘This guy’s deep’. If you asked me now, I would say that I would have said ‘This guy’s deep, waiting for a train wreck!’. But I’m glad that never happened. I was not surprised to hear that he had written a book about the house in Navotas. I heard that it was really good and that they were sold out. I heard that the book consisted of the history of the house, which requires a lot of research and personal memories of home. I can relate to that now. Knowing Mike, as little as I do, he WILL spark up memories. I hope I get a hold of a manuscript of the book so that I might be able to say ‘Please see Mike’s book for a cross reference on a certain chapter”.

if you're interested in getting a book, email Mike at

I was able to get a book thru him.  actually, even Jan ordered one yata for herself.  it's P3,600, if I remember correctly.  very interesting read.  but of course, the main characters of the book are the older generation, but more specifically, his family.  but there are bits and pieces of everyone. 


Here's an article I came across about Mike:

THE SANTOS HOUSE TODAY, recreated as close to its image and likeness. Ceiling of ground floor had to be raised to make it more livable for Santos daughter Didi and her family.
Born again
to latter-day believers

Posted: 8:37 PM (Manila Time) | Jun. 12, 2003
By Chelo Banal-Formoso
Inquirer News Service

VICENTE Roman "Mike" Santos and his siblings always said they would take their ancestral home with them when they leave Navotas. And they did just that three years ago.

Piece by piece, the third-generation Santoses moved their lolo's large house-with its colonial architecture, lacelike pediment, capiz windows and sentimental history-from its site in Navotas to its present location in Antipolo.
Elevated now on a 2,600 sq.m in the Fairmont development near Hinulugang Taktak, the house looks healthier and brighter, thanks to high ceilings, big windows and fretwork through which air circulates generously. On a clear day, one can see Mt. Arayat from the balcony, which encircles the third floor. Look the other way and you'll see the Laguna lakes.

As fate would have it, three of the Santos siblings-Mike, Nanie and Didi-had inherited the house. The scheme and scope of moving and rebuilding would have been too much for one person. Thanks to Mike's sweet, irresistible efforts at selling the idea, his siblings lent them some money to fund the project. "We all loved the house," says Mike. 

Not wanting to end up looking like the Addams Family in a subdivision of uniform houses, Santos and siblings went looking for place to mount their heirloom house on. They got as far as Calamba, Laguna, but decided on a good-sized property in Antipolo. "We liked it instantly," recalls Mike.

Santos' maternal grandfather, Roman Santos, suffered from tuberculosis so he had a house built in a town near the bay for the sea breeze. Hiring only a maestro carpintero to scrimp on cost, he spent 2,000 pesos back in 1917.

The once bucolic Navotas, however, slowly but surely became a shabby town prone to flooding, victim of the ebbing of tide and time. And so over the years, up to here with the problems brought about by floodwaters, the children of Alicia, daughter of Roman, had mulled the idea of moving. Alicia was against it but after she died in 1998, her children put their dream in motion.

"The greatest challenge was to decide whether to demolish the old house and build a new structure using portions of it, or transport the whole house piece by piece and rebuild it," recalls architect Roberto "Bobby" Quisumbing, who came in as design consultant to oversee the project from drafting board to landscaping to completion.

The family decided to knock down, transport and assemble. "I would have done the same if it were my ancestral home," says Quisumbing.

With D.S. Rico Builders as contractors, the dismantling of the house started in September 2000, with such care (no wrecking ball here) that it took four months to do it. Every piece of material from the house was marked and photographed. Some 20 trucks then transported the materials to the Antipolo site.

As foreseen by his mother, "We couldn't reuse many pieces," says Mike. Substitutions were made; floor joists from the old house, for example, were turned into Tabla Rizal, the wooden sidings for exterior walls. Santos estimates that only 60 percent of all the wood from Navotas was reused in Antipolo. On the whole, however, new wood material made up only 30 percent of the Antipolo house.

Waiting on the wings to do the interiors was Armando V. Araneta, who approached the project with respect and restraint, creating thus, with the help of Quisumbing and the Santoses, an austerely graceful setting instead of a chaotic collection of things past.

Before the house was disassembled, Santos met writer Reynaldo "Ronnie" Alejandro, who convinced him to document the process and come out with a book on the recreation of the house.

Instead of doing it alone, Santos decided to team up with Alejandro and the result is a handsome coffeetable book entitled "Tahanan: A House Reborn," which will come off the press late this year. The book is crammed full of the history of a town and a family, as well as anecdotes on the Santos patriarch and the clan's culinary secrets. Pre-publication orders to avail of the discounted price of 1,800 pesos have been coming in.

The first family who lived in the house have all died. During the reconstruction, Alicia's brother Federico and sister Lourdes died without seeing the house remounted.

"I had to rely on the eldest of us cousins who is just five years younger than my mother. Among the cousins, not including us, he was the most attached to the house," says Mike, referring to Jose Santos, president of Prudential Bank, who made frequent visits to the house in his youth. Mike sought him out, before and during the reconstruction for help with details.

When the house was finally completed and standing proud and glorious on its hill in Antipolo, cousin Jose came visiting with their other relatives. When he said, "Napakaganda ng ginawa ninyo," Mike felt secretly triumphant. "That was the most important opinion to me," says Mike.

Upon completion of the reconstruction, Mike and his sisters moved in. "It was," says Mike, "like coming home again."

"Tahanan: A House Reborn"-For pre-publication orders , call (+63 2) 281-2852 or e-mail


After Baguio, we would go to their house in Navotas and read more comic books. They had a really good collection. I read a LOT of ‘Classics Illustrated’ comic books. Many of these comic books were based on historical events. They had, what it seemed, like boxes and boxes of comic books. And wait… they had more boxes in the ‘attic’. That attic was like the one in Malabon – a door opening to a stairway going upstairs. It might have been a torre. Well… everything that was higher than the living area I considered to be an attic.


... I don't know if I mentioned this earler but we had even more relatives that visited the

Quezon Hill home. I remember Cynthia and her sister (think her name was Sylvia) Syjuco (don't know if I spelled that wrong) also spent a summer with us. They took us the same way as Lola Alicia's kids did but we only had limited time spent with them. It was fun, though. I think (or I would want to say) that one or both of them were Lakers' fans. That was the first I heard of anyone having Gale Goodrich as his or her favorite player. I was into Jerry West, also from the Lakers but either Susan or Cynthia was definitely in for Gale Goodrich. By the way, Gale Goodrich came to the Philippines with the all star NBA teamk, which included Earl Monroe and other Hall of Famers (in their twilight years).

Another fun family we interacted with were the Icks. Particularly Jackie and Judy. They Princess’ cousins on her mom’s side.

(I just remembered the concrete house of their Lola in Manila. We used to go there for easter egg hunting. There was a scary feeling in that house. I don’t remember what street it’s in or what section in Manila, but it was referred to by some name. Like when we say ‘Malabon’, we mean Lola’s house in Malabon.)

The old house of Tita Mary was referred to as Santa Ana; cuz it was in Sta Ana, Manila. Their street was aptly named – ICK STREET.

Jackie and Judy, running around for the longest. Especially Judy. Judy running after Jumbo from day one. She must have been 5 or 6 but she seemed smitten (maybe a kiddy smit). Wherever Jumbo went, she would follow him, running, jumping around, big smile. Pretty funny. (I heard Judy became a teacher in UP and got married to one of my better friends from UP. One of the guys on our group that went to Baguio, experiencing some supernatural occurrences (story above). His nickname is Teroy. His real name is Ed Guzman, so I guess that’s why people called him Teroy. Just like the actor Teroy de Guzman).


Sometimes, when I feel like I've already reached the most entertaining parts, something clicks and I'm off to the races again - capturing images, reliving experiences and emotional feelings, settling down on the time and those moments that you want to relieve. These moments are hard to come by. Moments that were never valued, moments that have been pushed back to the 'non-important', 'will never come back to...' part of our self.

Okay, enough of that mental thing.

When we were younger, we used to watch local shows like Fistorama, Nida and Nestor Show, Gorio and his Jeepney. All these were in black and white (... just remembered 'My Partner the Ghost' series)



Today, I have finally gotten close to typing events that I have in my manuscript.

1970-1971. 10-11 years old. Grade 6. By this time, I already have adjusted to the new school and actually have met or gained many friends. Wait, I'm sorry, I have to go back to Grade 5. My homeroom teacher was Mrs. Joven. Her son was part of, what I mentioned earlier, the kids we picked up on the way to school. His name was Glenn. His mom treated me really well. I hope that's because I did well in school and not because her son was riding in our van going to school. She striked me as being one that had already been in the USA (she used to say "It's 'New Hampshire', not 'New Hemisphere'!"). So she made my adjustment into the new school less stressful and more seamless. Grade 6 was a non-action year, although the action was in the background. Parents left for Singapore in '68. Now we're going to that country that we always only imagined this coming summer. It's 1970, I'm 11 years old, ready to hit Singapore!

So we arrive on a Saturday evening, and you already know what happened that Sunday morning. We came to raid Singapore with our modern ways, which included the results of Tia (actually Lola) Estellita's sewing genius ('Tia' Estellita sewed most of our clothes. That included our school uniforms. Our white polo shirts that had the school logo on the left pocket and khaki pants. I don’t know if she sewed Twinky’s uniform too), where we picked ultra-loud colors for our ultra-wide bell-bottomed (or bell-buttoned) groovy pairs of pants (Yellow, Red, Blue, American Flag - name the color, and I think we got it covered!) all the way to metal-studded, multi-buckled, 6-inch wide fake-leather belts (that you'd probably still see in those Sado-Mas shops). Bracelets made of solid heavy metal, complete with necklaces like those pucka shell chokers, thight around the neck. Yeah! We were hip! It felt good, since the Philippines was still a respected country back then.

By that time, we had already made friends in our local neighborhood. We (at least I did) would also miss our 'gang' in Caimito. Our neighbors, whom we bonded to as the years went by.

Returning home from Singapore to Manila was always pretty weird. More of my classmates would come to me (and I'm sure this happened to the others) and be more friendly with me than normal. Even the big shots or bullies didn't bother with me. The school part (this part) remained the same throughout my grade school life.

I have to go back to the Caimito group - of which, was created the St Gabriel junior basketball team.

By the way, it took more than a few years before the first bucket (or whatever you call that thing you put cement in) of cement spilled on the street. I remember in 1966, during my second circumcision, Caimito was a dirt road. I remember them closing half the road when they were cementing it. The other half remained a dirt road but was open so that the residents could pass. At least half the road was open. Mom and I walked to PNR hospital one afternoon to get my stitches removed (from my ding-a-ling). We walked on the part of the road that had not been cemented yet. Another memorable day. We enter the faded blue entrance of the ER. "I guess no one was stabbed today". The doc pulled each stitch one at a time without any anesthesia or anything like that... It really stung!



(This part of the memoirs will focus on our childhood friends)

We had established a home base in Baguio making friends with all the caretakers' kids. They were our group in Baguio. It was not that easy in Caimito. We were 'forbidden' to leave the confines of the house (I'm sure this had to do with our safety). Our first major leap to make contact with the outside world (our next door neighbors), was to hang outside our steel gates. Our first interaction with our neighbors did not go very well. There was a lot of stone-throwing. This time it was us against the neighborhood kids (seemed like us and the entire neightborhood). If I remember correctly, the tension between us kids in the neighborhood dissipated that same afternoon. I don't know whether Fernan and Eming (Aling Fely's older children) scolded everyone telling them to stop along with Jimboy's taking on Alex for a fight. I don't remember exactly now (Jimboy also took Tony, Bordy's brother, on in Baguio. I don't even remember why. I can only think that this was because of a basketball incident. I know Tony was a rough player who used his elbows a lot when he played. It's the only reason I can think of).

The guys throwing the stones at us were mainly from the apartments facing Aling Fely's sari-sari store. Later, Boging Mata was Jumbo's classmate in Notre Dame and Jerry Callao also went to Notre Dame. I guess the main culprits were the older guys, Alex and Bong. These two guys were bullies, more Bong than Alex (Alex's stepfather was a poiceman). I don't know how the friendship among the kids developed but it became some sort of brotherhood in Caimito Road that will not be forgotten.

From stone-throwing and all came peace (I don't remember how it happened). After that, the whole block, litterally, suddenly became the safest place to be in. We watched each other's backs. We watched each other growing up from kids to adolescents to teenagers. From playing tex (with those cartoon cards) to playing basketball to riding bicycles. The older guys watched our backs too! Many of them lived at the Gella Apartments facing the Gella compound. Danny and Ding Sanchez, Mel Tolang (he would often ask us to bring our Beatle albums so he could listen to them), Eddie Gonzalez (brother of Panoy), Jun Gella, Fernan, Eming, and Vic (one other brother of theirs), Manuel (from the Imprenta), and the rest (I was going to say Boy Sapa and Ambet, but they were not members of the team). Fernan, Aling Fely's oldest son, was the playing coach and captain of the St Gabriel's men's basketball team, which consisted mainly of the elder guys in the neighborhood. He was well respected in the neighborhood. He was an intelligent, mature person.


We (talking about Jimboy and Jumbo, then later Bingo), would hang out in front of the Gella compound after school with our bicycles, just sitting by the big canal by the entrance.

These are the guys I remember starting from the hospital side of Caimito: Junior; Awan (the Chinese guy who taught me how to lay-up backwards); the three Chinese brothers who lived at the apartment to our left - Tong, Jimmy, and William (they opened a restaurant in Katipunan Ave. I saw William there when I used to study in UP); us; Alex, Allan, Bong, Jerry, Boging, Boy (Fernan's youngest brother, who's in Australia now), Boy Sapa, the Gella kids - Doni (attitude problem that time), Chiqui, Dennis, and this guy who was the son of one of the maids at the Gella compound;Panoy and Gorio. I hope I didn't miss anyone. Just as Tita Yeng would drive our friends out of our house, so did some of the Gella mothers (I mean driving us out of their compound when we played there), which reminds me, Jun Gella's son is my godson. Jun was the younger brother of Tito Paul's former girlfriend. Her name was Ludy Gella. She would always ask me how he was doing. She always liked to hear news about him, even though he was already married and she already had married afterwards. She called him 'Ambo'. I asked Tita Malou if Tito Paul's nickname was 'Ambo'. She said, yes, to a few, like Tita Ludy. Well I guess both Ludys called him 'Ambo'.



(This part of the memoirs focuses on our childhood friends)

Another coincidence since he's Jumbo's godfather. So let's put this into perspective. I am Jun Gella's son's godfather. Jun is the younger brother of Ludy, who was the girlfriend of Tito Paul, who had the same name as his wife, Ludy Paez, who got married to Tito Paul, who also called him 'Ambo', who has a godson named Jumbo.

The neighborhood, or our group, comprised mostly of kids in our age bracket, became the object of Fernan's desire to put a basketball team together to coach. He already was a playing coach for St Gabriel (which was the senior travel team). So he gathered all the boys around and decided that we could form at team. From La Salle or from anywhere, I always played the 'forward' position, which meant I'm just a shooter. I was a scorer and that was it. Pass me the ball and I'll put it in the basket! But no... I had to play the center position because (get this...) I was the tallest one in the group, at 12 years old and only 5 foot 6.

The uniforms were heavy, really nice and authentic looking. I kept my uniform for years. I even had it until the 90’s, but it was stored in the attic and gave much of the stuff away, probably inadvertently including that uniform.

Those uniforms cost P18.00. It was a big deal at that time because with that money, you could have bought a lot of stuff. The rate of exchange was not that bad yet. It may have risen to P8 to $1. It stayed that way for a very long time. The uniforms looked professional and we were really proud of them. I was sorry for one of the guys who didn't have enough money. I took him for a walk with a P20 bill hidden in my hand. I told him that I thought I saw something in one of the flower pots along the road. I bent down and pretended to pick up the bill from the plant. I said 'Look, there's a 20 peso bill in the vase!' I told him (Panoy) that he could now get his uniform. He didn't buy it. He was smarter than that.

What did he do with the money?

He knew I didn't 'find' it. But we used the money anyway to buy the uniform.

His sisters were known to be top-notchers in their schools. His sisters, Bernadette and Minerva, were pretty brainy. I remember Bernadette even showing me the propper way to sit (or cross your legs while sitting). She showed me how male's should sit and how 'swards' (that's the nice way of saying gays at that time. I don't think the word gay was used for a homo yet in the early 70's). So I learned the propper way of crossing my legs while sitting.

When we were younger, we spoke English at home. Not even Taglish in the early years, who ever spoke a tagalog word would have gotten laughed at. So during the early years, our friends spoke to us in English. Everyone in the neighborhood spoke to us in English. We spoke English in school and English at home. As we grew older, the stigma of speaking or incorporating tagalog dissipated. So, it became more comfortable to speak Taglish. Anyway, last I heard of Bernadette was she got married to a US serviceman from Clark Air Base. I don't know what happened to the others. Maybe Eming (Aling Fely's son and Fernan's younger brother) would know. I believe he still lives in Caimito.

I remember along this timeline coming home to see Jimboy with some guys in the 'gang' in the sala of the house. They were drunk! I mean really drunk!! I realized they had drank 'half the bar' that we had (of course this was experimental). I couldn't believe they could drink that nasty bourbon drink that came in a blue felted bottle with a picture of an old farmer with his wife in front of a barn. Just the smell of that thing was disgusting!!! (ironically, bourbon eventually became my favorite drink in the future. Thanks to Air France!).



[Footnote: Chris just graduated from high school the other day, 06/20/05] Congratulations!

My last entry was on 06/17/05, that was five days ago. I’ll recap the final years of the 60’s. 1968-1969 was my last year in Notre Dame de Manila. 1969-1970 was my first year in La Salle Green Hills. 1970-1971 was my second year in the new school and our first family get together overseas trip to Singapore. But I haven't finished 1970. We had just watched a movie in Manila (I thought it was one of three: ‘You only Live Twice’, ‘Our Man Flint’, or ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’). Shortly after that (I’m not sure how shortly, may have been the next week or the next couple of months), Dad made us ride the jeep… ALONE!!! It was scary at first because, to begin with, I didn’t know how to stop (make para) a jeep. I mean I know how you should do it but I had never done it before. So Daddy takes us to the end of the street (Caimito intersecting Samson Road). I’m fuzzy here now. But I think he took the three of us with him and made us ride the jeep one at a time. I just know I was standing there with him, making para a jeep that would take me to Malabon. I get into the jeep and didn’t know what to do after that. I think the driver put his open hand behind so I can pay him the 15 centavos to go to Malabon. The whole way, I had my eyes out to make sure I don’t miss my stop (What if I took the wrong jeep? What if I get lost? What will I do? Panic! No, don’t panic. Just stay calm). So, the turning point was when the jeep hit the Malabon municipal hall. I was praying that the jeep would turn right instead of going straight because if it went straight, I would have ended up on the way going to Navotas. The jeep turned right and I finally felt comfortable. My next problem was how to tell the driver to stop. I just watched the other people when they needed to stop. ‘Para, po!’. Phew, I made it to Malabon (and I really think it was the same day that the others <Jimboy and Jumbo> did it too! And I even think I remember waiting for them. I was glad he taught us how to ride public because we would need it in the future.

It was after a movie that I remember taking my first public bus ride. I was with Dad, Jimboy, and Jumbo. Tito Paul and Tita Ludy had been married and been staying with us in Caimito. They will have stayed until at least the end of 1971.

We were in Kowloon restaurant (I think it was Lolo's birthday) when Tito Paul and Tita Ludy took us to the Beatles' last film 'Let It Be'. The film dragged on to forever and was so excruciatingly boring and depressing. If only we knew what would happen next.

I remember it was 1970 when we were on our way home from school. After school, you would still see the normal flow of newspaper boys on the street. But this afternoon was no ordinary news day. These guys usually sold papers in the morning and I guess there was something that went on that so many newspaper boys were on the streets. Today, during that day, there was a full force of them in the streets. It was not difficult to read the headlines from even afar. You'd see one headline saying 'Beatles Breakup', another saying 'Beatles Split', the others carried the headlines along the same lines. I was thinking 'How can they split?, they're the Beatles!'. They were always there like an institution. I felt worse when John Lennon was shot dead 10 years later. 'How can a Beatle die?'. Shortly afterwards, a 3 minute silence was simultaneously observed around the world (radios were silent for that length of time).

1971 was an interesting year in the background. That's the year driver Doro and I killed this guy. Well, we didn't actually kill him like... kill him. Doro was driving me home from school one afternoon. I was in the front seat of the green Volkswagen Fastback. Because of the speed that he was driving, we (he) couldn't avoid this young guy pushing a cariton across the street. Mom had to pay for the victim's family for Doro's stupid driving. I mean, I could see the guy crossing the highway (EDSA - in front of Camp Crame and Camp Aguinaldo) and he was just going too fast to brake in time.

A crowd formed around the car. Doro got out of the car. Some people helped him carry the dead guy into the car. The crowd, as I mentioned earlier, was screaming at me for not helping. I couldn't. I was in shock. We ended up taking the guy to the municipio, where Doro was charged with something like 'reckless homicide'. I don't understand why we didn't take him to the hospital first. I guess everyone assumed he was dead. I was in the municipal hall to listen to the would-be lawyers talk about how to judge this case. That's the first time I heard we were in for 'homicide'. Of course I was freaking out. I was 11 and we just killed someone. Mom knows what happened in the background because I don't know what happened there. All I know was that I was called to some arm in the law system. I wasn't asked any questions. The outcome was that we had to pay like P16,000 for the guy. His family was there too. That translated into $2,000 during that time. That was what the lawyers for both sides agreed upon (the amount of money for damages I mean). Doro still stayed to be our driver. He eventually became the father (you mean husband?) No. I mean after sex, she became pregnant. I think he was already married before then.

of Bonjing's younger sister (I forget her name now. Edna I think). He 'fathered' her kid in Pasolo. Pasolo was on the same street as the Malinta compound. It was a bare-naked piece of land. Dad and Mom picked us up from Malolos one summer and we went directly to Pasolo. Pasolo WAS a humongous piece of bare-naked land, surrounded by hollow blocks to define it's borders. The only resting area was a small plywood built 'cottage' (?) that was in the center of the whole land. Man, this place was huge! You know what Mom made us do first, before anything else? She made us do some planting (aka gardening). There was a sari-sari store right outside the entrance where we bought soda. I remember the radio playing in the background. Tagalog station. One of those drama stations ("Ito ang inyong... Tiya Deli"). I remember a song played vividly (again in living color), it was an advertisment. I remember it because it had always been my favorite jingle on the radio. It went like this... "Remember your friends abroad. Remember your friends abroooooooooaaad. Send them lasting gifts -of Philippine music - on Villar recorrrrrrrrrrrrds!" I still am looking for clips of that jingle because they played it over and over again since I was little, even when Lolo was turning up his radio in Malabon in the morning when he woke up to listen to the news. I think I'm drifting a little bit now. Okay, I'm back. Got too inside myself for a while there I almost forgot what I was talking about. (Let me go back and read the previous lines. Okay, done.) I was talking about 1971. Kowloon was some kind of establishment then, it probably still is if it's still there (I forgot the name of that road Kowloon was in). Kowloon was not the place where you have your first sushi with wasabe (Mom would probably know where that Japanese restaurant was because I don't remember. I just remember eating that slimy raw fish with the strong green clay in soy sauce).

Is it the one on EDSA? Nearing Makati? Parang Takashimaya or Tamaya – I forget.

 That really sounds familiar. That must be it because I don't know any other Japanese restaurant

But we always went there for Japanese food and I would always order the same thing – Tempura Soba and Unagi – a big meal for my age, but I would always finish it to the last grain of rice. Then, one day, I couldn’t even finish half of the food – yun pala, I had contracted Hepatitis! I believe I got it from Baguio when we were at the Asin Hot Springs where we took Mom’s American friend (I forget her name) who was touring the Philippines. I don’t even remember how they met – parang in one of the trade fairs. I doubt if they ever contacted each other again after that. Funny story I remember that this American girl said – actually not funny, but quite dumb! Anyway, she asked your Mom, “If I were flying (in a plane) from here to there, and someone else (I think it was her boyfriend) was flying from there to here, would our planes meet and we’ll see each other in the sky?” Well, isn’t that such a stupid question? Or naïve? Or what?


I don't remember an American but I do remember the Italian lady. Her name last name was Oligetti. Baka she was the person because she looked spaced out all the time.

No, American siya - parang Janet or Janice ang pangalan.  Maybe your Mom will remember her.


Neither was it a place where you ate aligue (raw fat from raw little blace crabs called pehe(?)), that Mom and Dad would have us try a little of but were concerned that our system would not be able to handle raw food. They ate it with a lot of ginger, soy sauce. We used to get sacks and sacks of pehe from the fishponds (Cotabato & Pampanga) during October yata. When they opened the sacks to clean the pehe and to make them buro, you’d see all these teeny-tiny crabs crawling all over the kitchen floor, and we would have fun just trying to catch them. We put them in these huge batya. They wouldn’t be able to get out of the batya because the sides were slanted and slippery, so they would just slide back down when they attempted to climb out of the batya. A lot of excitement for everyone because they would be running around the floor, people would be grabbing them, but very carefully, because their pincers are deadly! You’d get bites all over your hand if you weren’t careful. What you do is you would push down on their back, then carefully pick them up holding only the sides of the shell so that the pincers are out of your hand’s way. Now starts the washing of the pehe; next you throw them into several tall containers which contained salt – then, shake, shake shake! When you don’t hear the pehe moving anymore, you open the container, then put the ‘cured’ pehe into flatter containers to be stored in the freezer for further curing. After a week, you have burong pehe. Proper way to eat pehe: you remove the top shell, look for the poo-poo vein, discard it cuz they say it can cause cholera; now squeeze the body until you get all the white (mucousy) meat; from the shell too, you get the fat (aligui) and some black stuff, probably also fat. Okay, you have 1 pehe ready, now, you get a mound of hot, steaming white rice, put your freshly-squeezed pehe on top, and shove the whole mound into your mouth! Heaven!!! Oh, I forgot, you also put lots and lots of your sansawan of suka, salt, and lots of ginger (which supposedly kills the cholera virus – believe that?) on top of the pehe; the more sauce, the better, especially if it soaks the rice too. After 10 moundfuls and mouthfuls of rice and 10 little pieces of pehe, you are contented and happy…

I remember after eating a lot, I had diarrhea a lot of times.


I just got reminded of a couple of things... one is my best food for a long time - Kabayaki. We had roasted eel in canned goods and this was not your regular canned item. The eel melted in your mouth. They were individually wrapped in some paper-like material within the confines of the can. I still see the brand nowadays. These guys are expensive! Instead of 79-99 cents a can for regular roasted eel, these ones cost up to more than $4 a can (and that's a little can - the size of a regular flat sardine can). The other food I remember (well it's actually spice), is peppers (sile). Dad introduced spicy stuff early in our age. I think he used to give pickled peppers to me, Jimboy, and Jumbo. That's when I started to enjoy eating spicy food. From the pickled sile he had in the glass jars to sileng labuyo to almuranas when I grew older.



I’m looking at my manuscript and I’m surprised by how much I had written so far. I only expected to go up to 30 or so pages. But right now, I’m towards the end pages of this once-empty ‘book’. One of these days, I’ll take a picture of it. It does look cool and fitting.


When we were younger, Dad brought us every weekend to watch a movie in Quezon City by Farmer’s Market. I don’t remember the names of the movie houses there now. But there was not much. If you were a tourist, the spot you would visit was Araneta Coliseum, where Dad took us to our first concert. Blood, Sweat, and Tears. The coliseum was so full – of empty seats, that, the group told the fans in the upper part of the coliseum to go down to the lower levels. Anyway, like I was saying, we would watch movies during the weekends and go to the Fun Arcade, where my favorite game was any of the rifle shooting. We would then eat at the Rickshaw (a small Chinese restaurant, which, if I remember right, sold mostly soup like lugaw. But, maybe not. Lugaw may have been what I ate there most of the time). Or we would buy corn dogs. These were breaded hot dogs on a stick. That tasted really good!


Anyway, where was I? - 1971 was not a significant year in school but memorable still outside of that. Speaking of school, I just remembered the most impressive P.E. (Physical Education) gear that I've seen. La Salle was a soccer school in sports (and a naval school in homeland security), more than anything else. Basketball was a distant second. We had to buy the outfit for P.E. (and it was not inexpensive). The 'gear' consisted of the shirt, which, by no means was an ordinary shirt. This shirt... was... reversible! It wasn't exactly like a T-Shirt or a basketball jersey. Rather, it looked like (imagine this), at least the shape of it, was like a T-shirt without the 'T'. A T-shirt with no sleaves. The material was comfortable and the design was really impressive. It was like 2 shirts sewed as one. If you had to wear green (Green was the school color and nothing to do with my childhood favorite color), you wear the green part. If you had to wear white, just flip the shirt the other way around and voila, you're wearing white. Very cool! So we had this 2-in-1 shirt. The shorts were forgettable. Just plain white shorts with the school insignia on one side of the shorts. But I'm not sure about those shorts now. What I'm sure of, are the socks. I used to envy the guys wearing those knee-high socks, which were colored alternately in green and white horizontally. They looked real good too! Especially with the soccer spikes on. Eventually, we had to buy them too (except for the spikes) and I was just thrilled to have them. So we got the shirt, the shorts, now the socks. Now for the shoes. Since football was the school sport, and it seemed like everyone had spikes, except for us. We wanted to have spikes too! The shoes were so expensive in the Philippines, we bought them in Singapore instead. As we look for spikes, my eyes turn to other rubber shoes in the Chinese Emporium. There were these colored rubber shoes, which weighed light as a feather and cost almost free as a bird! I did what a sensible guy would do and bought many pairs of these bright-colored-no-brand-made-in-China rubber shoes. I think they were track and field shoes because they were so light. I should have bought more then sold them in school to make some money. Like I made a 'profitable' business selling these 'LINOTYPE' (this was one of the machines in the imprenta that is used to print words for books using these lead pieces that produced the text) lead pieces that my classmates would order with their names on it. It worked like a stamp pad. Just hit the ink-sponge thingy and then stamp it anywhere and it shows your name! You want it in all caps? Italicized? No problem. Just go to the Printing Press and have it made. Nothing was free of course. I had to pay Tita Yeng per piece of lead. I think I paid her 35 centavos each and sold them for one peso. I had another money maker going on. It had to do with cutting square or rectangular cardboards. These I painted for the background to your name (also cut from cardboard) pasted over the background. This was great. I could draw well anyway. I used to use these 'Tempra'(?) thick color pastes (not watercolor). I don't remember who taught me how to do that, but I saw something like that in Tita Malou's room. She probably taught me or I got the idea from there. I don't remember now. It looked like a girl thing but they were really attractive that the guys in school bought them from me. It had a 3-D effect to it. I think I would charge P3 for each of them. 
Speaking of the Printing Press, the workers in the Press and all the workers in the house were all like family. They have 'lived' with us for many, many years. When the Press was small, I remember Tita Yeng as the earliest chief of the Press. I kind of remember someone else but it just seemed to be her. There were different secretaries at different or same times, from Aida to Lourdes to Emil (he used to be Lolo Pablo's 'go-getter', I assume he was there as an 'intern', he later became our accountant)  to Zeny (she came in much, much later). The people behind the door were Blanquita (she was whom I remember the female who stayed with us the longest. She could have been a teacher. She tutored most of us for school. Afterwards, she became in charge of the canteen that we had at the main Prudential Bank in Escolta. She was really very loyal to us), Linda (she helped Blanquita in tutoring us also. She was also there as far as I can remember but not as far as Blanquita). Anita (you don't want to have anything to do with her when she was in a bad mood. Of course this during the early years. Later she was really a pleasure to work with and earned much respect from her coworkers). Cora, Virgie,  and Nori were always on the road for deliveries and stuff like that. Always dependable. Then came Rebecca and Noemi. Both of whom had much success because they were the main persons who went to the fairs among all of them. Emil, Zeny, Fely, and Alice (from the house)  also went but both Rebecca and Noemi were considered the dependable ones. Fely now lives in Graz. Noemi now lives in Paris with Jean-Claude Greco. They have 2 daughters: Angela and Philippine. I happen to be the godfather of Philippine. 
Mang Mauro was the guy doing the Linotype, after doing something else. He used to cut our hair. Our in-house barber ('Ouch', I remember that iper that he had that was not sharp at all. It hurt everytime he cut our hair). Mang Jun had also been there for a long time. Celso and Manuel used to do the Minerva (that's what I think you call it. It's a paper cutting machine). These guys used to handle different machines at different times. I remember Celso having his finger caught in one of the machines. He had to be rushed to the hospital and I believe they had to fuse his finger bones together. Jojo was the guy in the dark room. That's where I spent most of my time. Firstly, because it was more of an art room, photography room, and it was also air conditioned. Pito, the guy everybody wanted to hate. People called him sip-sip. Nobody liked whether it was in Caimito or in Pasolo. As a matter of fact, the poor guy got stabbed in the back (no pun intended) by one of the workers in Pasolo. 


I only have a few more blank pages to fill up but I think I've covered a lot of stuff about myself and loved ones. Definitely, this went farther than I expected it to go... and I'm happy it did.



(Jumbo’s comments:

1972. My Birthday.

The day has just begun and it’s wet. It’s been raining since the time I got up and it’s already halfway thru the morning and still the rain keeps knockin on our sala panes. Why does it have to rain on my special day? Just yesterday it was balmy. And now, peering thru the glass windows of the sala, it seems the rain only swells up the swimming pool and will never ever stop.Mom sidles up from behind me and says, “Guess what?” Peevishly I say “What!” “I’m gonna cook you your favorite dish.” For an instant I think she’s going to cook Tuyo and fried eggs. But she scurries me into the dining room table and presents frozen lamb chops. “See!” She beams like a model showing off the newest line in Ford pickup trucks. Wow. Lamb chops and baked potatoes. And even more wow, my mom can work the oven. And even beyond that, she’s cooking just for me! So how did it turn

out? Medium Rare, Rare, or burnt to a crisp? It didn’t really matter. After an hour we have a hearty lunch and a spirited good talk. I’ll always remember that day because Mom made it special for me. Even if the lamb tasted like the Styrofoam wrappers it came in, which I’m sure it didn’t, it’ll be the gem of my birthday memories.

Notes: You’re right. Tuyo was my favorite food and still is. And I was allergic to it but the fear of death didn’t stop my 5-year-old spirit. I remember going to school with an extra set of cheeks with a bright red apple sheen.


Aromas and smells of what we ate then trigger lots of memories. Remember Lolo P’s dimsum lunches in BONANZA? How about Rodeo Steaks and A and W, plus Max chicken when they first came on to the scene?

End of Jumbo’s comments for birthday 1972)

I wrote about Max later. I don’t remember where Rodeo is na. I don’t even remember how Bonanza looks like anymore.


It’s on EDSA, right before that road that leads to Frisco on the right, coming from Malabon. I don’t remember the name of the street but at the corner also of that road is Congressional Lanes - a bowling alley; and there’s a market also there at that corner (Munoz Market yata, but I’m sure I’m wrong with that name) which always caused huge traffic jams in the mornings when I went to school cuz the stall owners would occupy half of EDSA with their caritons full of veggies; and garbage would be strewn all over the highway. Right beside Bonanza at that time was Kentucky Fried Chicken, kasi the Quesada family who owned Bonanza, were, also the Philippine franchisees of KFC. When Bonanza closed down, Kentucky Fried Chicken stayed in the same place pa rin. To this moment, I think it’s still there, probably beside the Amway Distribution Office, which, opened in ’96 or ’97. To reminisce about Bonanza, it was quite a hit before cuz it’s motif was rodeo/country, but they served everything from steaks to halo-halo to Indonesian Nasi Goreng. They were open till the wee hours of the morning, if not 24 hours, so there would be a constant flow of people day and night. They were one of the better restaurants along that long EDSA strip during their prime. Later on, when their sales dipped, they would go into karaoke, disco, and night club-type entertainment. Many years later, and if I’m not mistaken, they were the first to introduce the whole roasted calf, which, of course, every other restaurant and caterer later on copied.


There was also Barrio Fiesta (the very first one they opened) which was nearer Monumento. It was on the left side of EDSA coming from Malabon – I think it’s where the Toyota Monumento Sales Office is now. I remember many a times that we had lunch there, always ordering the same stuff naman – kare-kare and crispy pata with sinangag, and of course, halo-halo or sago at the end of the meal. I have to admit that all these eat-outs has resulted in adding to my fat cells and cellulites, which to this moment, I haven’t been able to get rid of no matter how much diet and exercise I do – oh well, there’s always the last resort – liposuction!

I remember where it is na. I was thinking of Kentucky, where, Tito Freddie always bought his chicken. Also remember Barrio Fiesta now that you mentioned it. It was one of the fancier restaurants we used to eat in. I remember it used be near that ‘Motel’ area (which everyone told us was a ‘bad place’ when we were younger. Later I realized that it was a bad place because that’s where people had their ‘rendezvous(es)’. Jumbo also mentioned 'Rodeo'. That one I don't remember at all! I do remember A&W in Green Hills. I think they did still serve you in the car earlier. I just remember ordering the same stuff everytime we went there. Rootbeer, and Barbecue ribs.


About A & W:

It was in Cubao, EDSA, in front of Araneta Coliseum.  I shouldn't say IN FRONT, but IN LINE WITH.  There was nothing else behind A&W, that's why you could say it was IN FRONT.  I remember the pickled cucumbers there which was always in a bottle on all the tables - in other words, freebies.  That is where I learned to eat cucumbers.  Even now, I still prefer pickled cucumbers.  I find them too bland that's why I don't really like them fresh in salads.  Or probably because of the trauma of Lolo not wanting sayote, because he said it had no nutritional value, and was all water.  Well, that's how I envision cucumbers, just water.  Buti pa zucchini, there's taste pa, especially if roasted.  Another favorite item from A&W is the root beer float (really weird-tasting at first until you get used to it) which I still order here in Canada.

 About RODEO:

No recollection of this one either.  Baka Ponderosa?  Or maybe he means Bonanza, instead of Rodeo?  You know how these cowboy terms eventually merge into one word in our aging brains...

 about Barrio Fiesta:

Exactly what you remember - it was near those motels. 


1972 – Grade 7.

This was my final year in grade school and my first year in high school. 1972 was another good year. I still have my guitar (which I will have until college. I really liked that guitar. When it was falling apart, I tried to save it by putting ‘fur’ to cover the guitar itself. The fad that time was having ‘fur’ on the dashboard and other places of your car. Fur? Yes, fake fur! Tito Paul had it in his car. I guess it was designed to make your driving have a feeling of coziness. That was the feeling I got when riding with Tito Paul. But then again, it also may have been used by others to show-off other people that they had fur in their cars. At any rate, I used the same material for my guitar. A goldish brown colored furry material. I really liked this guitar because the size was 3/4th the size of a regular guitar. It fit me because I was small (I didn't know at that time that I wouldn't have grown any taller) and because of the size of the guitar, it was so easy to play. John Lennon played a guitar called a Rickenbacker. The Rickenbacker was also a 3/4th length guitar. Check it out. Look at the Beatle pictures with them holding their guitars and you'll see the neck of John Lennon's guitar is really small (or short). I graduate from grade school and have zero recollection of it. I can't understand why I can remember my graduation from Nena Garcia but I can't remember my graduation from grade school. We even had a performance in the Nena Garcia stage. I think it was some kind of a dance. My partner got lost and I started looking for her around the stage because the presentation was about to begin.

It’s also strange because I have vivid memories of my first day in high school. I still had not shaved then... because there was nothing to shave (I think guys remember the first time they shaved). We didn't have disposable shavers yet back then and the price of an electric shaver would blow Mom's mind! (but she did buy us an electric toothbrush. I don't think I ever learned how to use it. The others probably had a better shot at it than I did. So, for some reason, this year we don't stay long in Singapore but we did stay long in Baguio. This was when the music started. So I have my guitar. I prod Jumbo into playing the drums. Our first drumset, like I mentioned earler, was made up of an assortment of Tupperware plastic containers. The cymbals were represented by the lids of Fita buscuit Sky Flakes tin cans. It was the closest thing to a cymbal. It was round and made of some sort of metal. So we started 'jamming'. Well, not really, but we tried some songs from the Jingle magazines in the drivers' quarters in Baguio. It was just Bubot, Jumbo, and me, trying to do something.

While trying to be musicians, we also tried to be cool. We did something stupid by trying to fool everyone to think that we were doing drugs. So we said we had heroin and marijuana and I don’t remember what else we said we had. We showed our friends the white powder which, was really Johnson’s Baby Powder. Then we showed them a matchbox of ‘marijuana’, which was really only ‘pud pud’. It’s a green leaf that Aling Auring and everyone else used to smoke. I mean you actually just rolled up the leaf and smoke it. But we crushed it so you can’t tell (if you didn’t know how marijuana looked like and we didn’t know how it really looked like!) if it’s real or not.

That became a really stupid move for me and Jumbo and Bubot because of what happened next…


Faye about to sing in Pasolo with the family band.

To be continued..


In the summer of 1972, we tried to impress our Baguio friends that we were hippies. Most of them bought the idea, except, for this guy named 'Nick'. He wasn't really part of the Quezon Hill group. He may have been a relative, or even a son of the caretakers of the house located towards the front left side of our house (there's only one house on the front left side, that's the one where Quezon Hill makes a turn to the right if you're walking around the hill starting from the left part of the house). But he said he lived in the 'lowlands'. The 'lowlands' was what the locals called anywhere else but the mountain of Benguet. We shortly realized he was a 'certified' hippie. He invited us to his place (the basement of the house they were caring for) because he said he had some stuff to make us try. Oh no! To save face, we (Jumbo, Bubot, and I) just couldn't say no. We decided to meet at about noon that day. What we kind of talked about was 'Just don't inhale!' Not a big deal to do that because we already had tried smoked cigarettes and 'pud pud' at that time. 'Pud pud' was a common leaf around Baguio. It was smoked, I think because it tasted better than cigarettes and it's natural (Not that it's healthy or anything like that). It even smelled like marijuana. So, going back to this Nick guy. We start walking to his place, which was probably 25 steps away from home. We get to his room and... BOOM! He's got the real thing all prepared for us on a table. I didn't know what to do. My first thought was "Oh no, this is for real! Real drugs staring at us!" I don't know how Jumbo felt about the situation because he was just about 10 years old. But I think both he and Bubot (who was already 14 then) felt the same way to some degree. So, that's what we did. We puffed but didn't inhale. No harm done. I remember this because we came out of there feeling the same. Of course, there's got to be a twist somewhere. And that twist came at 5PM that same day. We see Bubot (he's started to call himself 'Butch' by then), walking around with his eyes bloodshot! We asked him what happened and he told us that he just had to try the stuff by himself. I ended up doing the same thing, out of curiosity, that evening. I don't remember who else did. I don't remember if Jumbo did either.

I didn’t like the feeling at all because I got a headache and felt queasy. I did look at myself in the mirror to see if I would change or something. My eyes started to get red. Other than that, I didn’t feel much different.

By this time, I had already known how to play three or four guitar chords. I composed my first songs that night. The first one was the best one but I totally forgot how it even sounded like. The second was so-so but I remembered the refrain of the song. It went like this: "Crazy woman won't you please help me? I got problems 'bout my shakin' head. I'm going too far off to the sky - Crazy woman..." That's all I remember from that song. The third song was garbage. I wrote all of them down in a brown paperbag.

The next time I tried marijuana again would be three years later (later on, we would also try 'Angel's Trumpet' in Baguio. It was a wild plant that had a flower that looked like a trumpet facing down. This was not a drug. It was one drink the jeepney drivers in Baguio drank to get their highs. The effect of this plant was, in my opinion, worse than LSD. The events that have occured post 1974, will be included in a sequel to this memoirs. I had originally wanted to limit this phase to 1972 but am contemplating on 1974 instead).

I had already mentioned a bit of the summer of ’72. Martial Law (Sept 21st). Total blackout from all the TV and Radio stations, ‘The New Society’. Then finally, or rather, suddenly, one station emerges – “BBC, a Big Beautiful Country” (channel 2). We get stuck with one government controlled TV Station that seemed designed to control our psyche as a nation. What happened to Channel 4 - “ABS-CBN “The Philippines’ largest network”? (-or was that Channel 2 before?); What happened to RBS Channel 7 – “Uncle Bob’s Lucky 7 Club” (of which I was a member of); RPN 9?; The two Filipino channels 11 and 13?. 

I was a member of 'Uncle Bob's Lucky 7 Club', where you get 'autographed' pictures of TV stars and miscellaneous toys from series like 'The Man From Uncle'.

I also mentioned that before Martial Law, we had the torrential rains that left us flooded for most of the summer, along with Martial Law, gave us another 4-6 months of vacation time, where, we spent most of that time in Caimito. Come to think of it, it’s probably why we didn’t leave the country either. The flood couldn’t make you travel very far and Martial Law didn’t make you travel at all.



By this time also, the Pasolo factory was being built. It eventually became a stop for Japanese tourist buses to see how we manufactured ‘hand made’ products (handicraft).

Meanwhile, back at home, we were harnessing our ‘musical genius’ by the week. We did not have a bass guitarist yet so Mang Temyong

brought with him his bandmember, who was a bass guitarist to play for us (I mean to play bass with us). One of the first songs he taught us was a song called 'Crying Time'. But I think he based it on the version sang by Roy Orbison (or probably even Diomedes Maturan, or some other local). The vocals went like this "Oh it's crying time again, you're gonna leave me. I can feel that far away look in your eyes..."


wow! you must've been ecstatic to learn that song! it wouldn't appeal, even to me. talagang kantang pangkanto or pang-inuman while in a little sari-sari store, where half of the listeners are already drunk.


About the 'Crying Time' song. That was our first instrumental complete song so we were happy about it.


He taught us the instrumental version of it (one reason was because we couldn't sing). We had Mang Temyong teach us every weekend how to play. Poor guy. We subjected him to get the chords of rock groups, such as, The Rolling Stones, Grand Funk Railroad, and other stuff you don't see in the Jingle magazines that we had records of. The first gig that I can remember was in Malabon.

whose party?


There was no party in Malabon. I think the other Titos and Titas just wanted to see us play.


I remember this day. we (meaning the family) were all hyped up cuz you were going to play 'as a band.' I forget who the singer was (Jimboy? cuz his singing voice was the best amongst all of you!!!) but someone did - Joy to the World.

He probably did because I remember he had the best voice.

The second came in one of our neighbor's apartment in Caimito (I think it was Alex's birthday). But our first official gig was in Las Pinas, where we were billed as 'The Young Ones'. Ooof! What a stupid name. And a far cry from what we wanted to call ourselves. We already named ourselves either 'Satan's Transit' or 'Perpetual Motion' (from one of the 'Dennis the Menace' books). It felt like more of an open-air night club or some kind of drinking establishment than an eating one but people were receptive to us. We never played for money during these days, we just played for experience and exposure (fame and glory, etc).

Other first songs we played were “Joy to the World” by Three Dog Night, “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Hawaii Five-O” theme song and other rock songs that we made into a medley. I still didn’t know how to play lead guitar so we just made a montage of great but easy songs to play. Although our best group was the Beatles, we tried to play anyone but them (because we knew we would never get there <or at least I couldn’t get to that level>). Local TV shows that time were like ’12 O’Clock High’ with Ariel Ureta and Tina Revilla.


I'm slowly entering my teen years and leaving my pre-teens. Up until 1972, I thought the world was still okay. I'm twelve years old, towards the end of 7th grade. I'm learning the first 12 years of life is mainly uncorrupted. The pattern of life I lived may have been a 'normal' one up to this point. The first years was all about family. The pre-teens were more into finding your own identiy, hence the friends and experiences of life outside home. Forced independence, which, made us grow up faster than others our age. I have had few major regrets but have reconciled the guilt feelings and remorse that I have carried with me throughout my childhood years until only in the recent past. A big weight has been lifted off mine and others' backs and I cannot express that particular raw and basic happiness that I had lost and now have gotten back. God works in mysterious ways.


I graduate grade school and am on my first year in high school.

I hadn’t spoken much about Dad. That’s because he worked behind the scenes. Dad was a straight-shooter, he would tell you flat out what was wrong with you and yet he would make you feel that you still have a chance to correct yourself. I remember in high school, we needed our parents to sign our report cards to bring them back to school! I flunked my math on one of the grading periods of my sophomore year. I think that was the first time I had a red mark. What's made it worse was that I got a 68% out of a possible 65%, which was a zero. And that was an average score for that marking period. I came home (again I remember this in living color), and I'm sure Dad remembers this too: I folded the report card so he wouldn't see my grades. This was an act of desperation on my part. I was a sophomore in high school and I just couldn't get problem solving in Math. He labored to teach me how to approach a problem. He showed me how to come up with solutions to the problem. What struck me was that he did not get mad at me because I failed (ever since I was ready to read and write, I always felt that I was expected to pass everything). I think I pressured myself into that and developed a guilt complex because of it (like if something happens and even if you had nothing to do with it, you just feel guilty). I still have that stupid feeling now and I don't know how to get rid of it. But that's another story...

Dad taught me, as I said, how to approach problems. It was some method that I learned from an engineering perspective, and guess what, during the next grading or marking period, my grade went up to a 96% (out of a possible perfect 98%). All of a sudden, I knew what I was doing again and I remember my teacher couldn't believe it. I will only touch the years that lead to 1972 or 1974. Dad came from a family that wasn't rich. In a way, I'm glad it happened that way. We had the best of both worlds. Dad instilled the importance of treating everyone on the same level with respect, no matter which level they were in. He said, which I will always remember: 'Put yourself in the others' shoes and you'll understand." That was one of the biggest things that made a difference of who I am now than what I may have become. He taught about the poor and how not to put down or look down on people because of their status in society. I had the best of both worlds. Mom's family was old-money rich, while Dad's was old-money not rich. But I'm glad I have a first hand understanding of both sides. I am what I am now because of both of them. I can relate to the upper class and can equally relate to the non-upper-class and receive and give the same kind of respect to and from both. I've learned a lot, although the hard way, but it would seem to be the most practical way to learn life on either side of the poor and rich scale.

you can say we were in the same situation.  Lola may have been filthy rich, BUT Lolo was filthy smart!!!  so what he lacked in money, he made up for in intelligence.  that's his most important legacy - his 'genius genes.'


In college, I became the president of a socio-civic organization called 'UP Simbuyo' (simbuyo means 'an outburst of emotion'). We went to squatter areas, homes for the sick, aged. We did that once a month every month. We were always ready to help the needy. We have hundreds of members now. I was one of the founding members and became it's third president. The organiztion is comprised of doctors, dentists, psychologists, and other specialties. The people we helped, especially those in the squatter areas, were always thankful and receptive to us. The feeling of helping others is indescribable.  true 


That is the feeling of giving and expecting to receive. I grew up to not think of waiting or expecting something (even thank yous) in return. Another thing I was taught was not to flaunt what you have. I guess I overdid that during college because I was going to school dressed up in jeans and T-Shirts that were torn, just laying low. After all, what did I have to prove (and why and what for)? again, true.  lay low and nothing bad will happen to you. 

Dad and Mom also used to take us to restaurants like Max's during the weekends. I guess it would be the same restaurant for a period of time until we got tired of it then change to another one. I still can 'taste' the crispy fried chicken with the tamis-anghang ketchup in Max! We used to sit 'outside' more often than not. I mean in the open area, not inside the restaurant. There really was not much of a difference since Max was not air conditioned but the fresh air flowed through the restaurant. Now I'm thinking of other places we used to eat in. Another place I remember (I don't know if I already said this), was the swimming pool area in Fil-Am. Come to think of it, I don't even know why we needed to have swimming lessons when we knew how to swim. Oh well, maybe we needed to know swimming techniques or the correct way of swimming. Anyway, they had a food area (kind of like a snack bar), where they sold hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hotdogs, etc. Those were my best hamburgers ever! I remember just putting (or showering) black pepper all over them and it really tasted great! Let me side track for a little bit because we're talking about swimming pools. Dad and Mom took the family to some hot springs. Probably Asin? But all I remember was the diving boards! There were 2 levels of diving boards. One was normal, and the other seemed to be a thousand feet above water. So Jimboy and I test the normal diving board. No sweat! Then we both climb to the OTHER-OH NO!-DIVINGBOARD! Looking down, I was scared stiff! I think Jimboy was too, but, as far as I remember, he managed to go to the end of the board and jumped! I don't even remember if I did or not. I'm comfortable to say I chickened out. I don't think I jumped (if I did, I probably don't want to remember). The water in the pool came directly from some hot springs. At least that was what was said to us.

Back to restaurants. I wanted to say that we also went to 'Alfredo's Steakhouse' but I don't think so. I think that was beyond our budget. When you have parents who are business people, you just can't have the money and the luxury at the same time anytime. I don't think we ever ate in an expensive restaurant. Unless you call Kowloon expensive. I can understand the thinking business-wise. Why eat in an expensive restaurant when you can afford not to? We can eat at home or in a cheaper restaurant that would probably taste the same but for a lot less money. I guess that's one thing the rich have is not to spend money if you don't have to. It's called business. Why spend your profit when that's what you're working for?



My pre-teen years were the most relaxing part of life. I would think it is the most relaxing part of any normal person's life. 

I take that back!!!

I did not consider other people's situations during their pre-teens. Let's just say we were blessed with parents who were good to their kids. That's an oxymoron because I wouldn't have had a happy childhood otherwise.

I spoke to Tita Malou last night. We talked about, well of course, the past for one. Then I made her listen to some old songs from Cliff Richard's 'When in Rome' album and other 60's songs that we grew up with. Very interesting. I think we said that this memoirs would be thicker than it is now, especially if Princess read it. We also talked about why I have not sent it to Dad yet. I will send it to him once I am close to done (which is about soon). I haven't been in touch with him as constantly as I should. Even when I go home. I should be more in touch with him. But as he told me: "Take care of your family first before anything."

the problem with this statement is: your kids will follow whatever you show them; and if they don't see you being close to your parents, they may do the same in your old age. 



I got my first 'gun' on Christmas of 1972. It was a Crossman air rifle. I really liked that gun. It shot straight up to 150 or more feet depending on how much CO2 you had in the 'tank' of the gun. By this time all of us (me, Jimboy, Jumbo, Jenjen) had air rifles or pistols. Many of them were made in Malabon. I don't remember the local brand now but those local brands were good too! They were as accurate as the Crossman. It was also along this time that Jumbo was talking about those Maya birds. We were 'hunters'. We hunted in Caimito, Malabon, Malinta (Princess house). We were shooting birds while flying or as they were sitting on the telephone wires. The 'kill' we had in Malabon, we ate once. It was surprising to see how tiny these birds were without the feathers. We ate them fried to the crisp. I really didn't like them because I guess I didn't like to eat something that I killed. Yuk! That hunting period, we would just shoot, shoot, and shoot... at anything. During that time, these air rifles and pistols were common place. You could buy them 'anywhere'. We were kids and we could buy them. So were the tanks and pellets that you needed to shoot. So were the places you could go to, to refill your tank (and this is just in Malabon). The 'hunter mentality' thing that Jumbo was talking about was for 'real'. Or, how we pretended to be like hunters were for real. We even posed to take pictures of us with our guns, wearing the Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett raccoon hats and cowboy jackets (during the summer) and even boots. I remember shooting really well. There came a time that I would pass my time shooting stems of plants. That was an enjoyable time. We even went to Pagsanjan to shoot the rapids staying at Tita Eddie and Tito Joe's hotel. We brought our guns with us (but not to shoot the rapids). Later, during my college days, I would apply for the UP Sharpshooters' Club to get out of ROTC. Actually, it was my friend Dodo Concepcion and I who applied. We went through all the tournaments and only had the finals to go to. I was so confident, actually overconfident, because I was rated #2 of a list of more than a hundred marksmen. My friend got to #32, which would still be valid for the finals. I think both of us would have been in the team had we not woken up late during the final showdown. Another stupid move. We were late because we celebrated the night before. Woke up 2 hours after the tournament ended. We just totally missed it! I ended up defaulting my chance and what made it worse was I even got dropped from my final semester in ROTC due to absences.



Twinky, Me, and Dodo on the left. Carol and me (with the ROTC haircut) on the right in Baguio by the steps leading down to the basement.



1973 - By this time, I already knew enough to play decent guitar. We had this contest in school called 'Battle of the Bands'. Me and three other classmates of mine participated in the contest. There were probably 20 or more bands that participated. It was open to the whole high school. We were one of I believe at most three freshman bands that joined. The others were all upper-classmen. I don't remember what we called ourselves. We played early in the contest (because we were freshmen). I was really scared - stage fright. But somehow we went through it. Before the show, I had asked Tito Nelson to teach me what I can do with the guitar so I could play it better. It helped. We won third place. Second place went to a third year band and of course first place went to a senior year band called 'Petrified Anthem' (which consisted of mainly foreigners I think. But they were really good and became good friends with Sam Sen, their bassist. Quick future - In my senior year in high school, we produced, which I believe was the first original Filipino rock opera called 'Dreammare'. It was done by Apat Na Mata Productions (our section 4-I) and covered by DZRJ. This was in February of 1976. I still have the newspaper clips somewhere. In college, Jumbo, Bon Ruiz, and I would eventually call ourselves 'Third Stream'. Jumbo played the drums, Bon played the bass, and I played the guitar. We played mostly original avant-garde-progressive-fussion-jazz that DZRJ recorded and played in the evenings for a program then called 'Pinoy Rock and Rhythm' and did interviews with them. Bon and I eventually played as a band called 'Double Orchestra'. We also performed at the 'Concert at the Park' TV show being the first electric band to play for the show. We had about 20 instruments that Bon and I played). 

Here is part of the newspaper advertising our stint at 'Concert at the Park'. Read the last paragraphs. I think this was from the Bulletin. Can't believe it's been more than 20 years. 


Anyway, back to where we left off... If I'm not mistaken, this was the year we (kids) started going to trade fairs. Jumbo and I went to Auckland, New Zealand with Mom and Tita Emma. I don't remember if T Malou was with us. 

This was the motel we stayed in during the New Zealand fair in Auckland. 


I went to NZ once, with Jumbo (I don't remember if you were with us).  The reason why I remember Jumbo was cuz of his stinky shoes, which he had to leave outside the door cuz everyone was complaining about his smelly shoes.  Best thing I remembe about NZ was you could smell LAMB in the air, whether early in the morning or late at night - heaven!  I went to the Sydney fair twice.  But I enjoyed NZ more, only because of the lamb.

New Zealand was a very friendly place. Jumbo and I would go to the music booth all the time to play the instruments. The name of the stand was "Kingsley Smith's". I remember the name because the manager (he may have been the owner) had guitar pics that read 'Stolen From Kingsley Smith's' (that's where I got the idea to put 'Stolen from Angelo Dulay' on my things). New Zealand had only one TV station, and it was a public station too. So, that’s how nothing-to-do it was. The Sunday of the fair was closed, Jumbo and I (actually my idea) were able to enter the fairgrounds then went to the music booth and ‘borrowed’ a guitar. We returned it early in the morning before the fairgrounds opened. No harm done. When we played with the instruments in that booth, we attracted quite a crowd. We made friends with a couple of youngsters named Jason and Campbell. Jason was half Chinese and half New Zealander. I think his full name was Jason Chang. He didn’t look oriental at all. He asked me to teach him how to play the guitar. I started to and his mom was very appreciative that they even invited me and Jumbo to their home (I don’t remember if we had dinner there). Jason and I had correspondence for a couple of years but eventually lost touch with him. He must be in his 40’s now too. I don’t remember which fairs Jimboy, Twinky, and Bingo went to during that time.



Anyway, 1973 was the year that Dad took us on our 'first' real camping trip. We went to Kaingin, loaded with camping paraphernalia (which was the tent, folding beds, flashlights, and some other basic things). This was exciting because it was the first time we really camped out (we had a treehouse at home but that was not really camping). No bathrooms, food, or anything that reminded you of luxury (except for the car, which was parked near the tent). We camped by the river, so it was comfortable and windy. Looking back, I'm glad that Dad knew everyone in this town because otherwise, we would have been in an 'open-season' for tourists. Our tent... our tent with a floor... our tent with windows... our rectangular tent that could accommodate 8 people... was in the middle of nowhere. I mean, we just had the river and the path to the river from Nanang Feling's house on either side. It was a great experience. I had to take a crap in the morning and had to dig a hole somewhere and cover my work of art with soil. Then to wash , I had to go to the river and have the force of the current wash my butt. In the morning, I remember Nanang Feling bringing us Carabao's milk and I guess tuyo and rice went with that too! That river was not unfamiliar to us, though. We had spent many times by that river before, to swim.


Jumbo peeing on the river by our campsite.

He was cool in other ways too! He wanted to get into 'rock' music (I guess to relate to us when we were kids). So he bought a couple of rock albums from Singapore. The albums he bought were too heavy even for me! But, he tried to relate. That was in 1973. Yes, it was because the album was called something like 'Rock Groups of 1973'. Very heavy! In other words, NOISY! I did get a kick out of it because I brought it to school and the would-be know-it-all rock gurus were shocked at the sound of this album. So far, they were just have heard of 'Led Zeppelin' and some other regular famous rock groups. Well, this was an album that contained a group of not famous bands playing loud, hard, rock. It blew them away! I became a hit in school once again because of this LP.



School-wise, 1973 was when I had my first eyeglasses made. I really thought I was normal, until one day, we (kids) were in a car, reading the plate numbers of cars around us. I couldn't read the number of the car directly ahead of us. I thought that was normal. I thought it was just to far to make out. But everyone else could read it. I had just realized that I needed eyeglasses. The first pair I had were really dorky! Plain, rectangular, silver framed glasses. I think I was wearing them in my picture (yearbook) when I was a freshman in high school. First year hight school was a strange, uncomfortable year. First of all, we were subjected to 'initiation' rites, where you were owned by the seniors. They could do whatever they wanted to do to you. Fortunately, nothing bad happened. Some guys had to go to the clinic because some seniors used brake fluid and some other toxic substances as part of the 'initiation'. Also, La Salle had more than one grade school but only one high school. There was the Taft grade school and the Green Hills grade school. Both schools would merge into the La Salle Green Hills High School. So, there was tension between the Taft guys and the Green Hills guys because of the grade school rivalry between both schools. So, one can only imagine how it went when both schools merged. Plenty to argue about. Who had the better football players? Who had the better basketball players? etc... It did not stop in sports (by the way, I mention this because this is what each freshman had to go through). Anyway, one thing that unified us was our 'contempt' for Ateneo. As the year flew by and teh NCAA games were played, we all cheered for the same school against one common enemy.

The Ateneo-La Salle rivalry was a brutal rivalry (violent at times), not even heard of in Universities. I think it still lives on today. Although I heard that La Salle went to the gay side and didn't live up to the standards of old. Speaking of standards (academic), I remember what I did in my Economics class. Our teacher (whom we called Golem because he looked like that cartoon character Golem in the newspapers before) was a plain, boring-looking teacher, who seemed like he had no sense of humor. Anyway, Golem scheduled us for a periodic exam. I didn't really like Economics. I was passing anyway so I didn't ever bother opening my books to study. Unfortunately for me, the test turned out to be really difficult. I think there were like 10 questions that you had to answer in essay form. I had no clue to any one of the questions. So, smartie over here, decided that the next best thing to do was to confuse Golem. I answered each and every question. The problem was, I made up the words that I used. I figured if he didn't understand what I was saying, he might think I knew what I was talking about (even I didn't know what I was talking about using words that came from outside any dictionary). The words I used sounded heavy and high-falootin' (but none of them had any meaning. ha ha ha). So I'm sure I got this Golem guy and he'll probably just pass me because he might be embarrassed to say that he didn't understand what I was saying. Great! Got the exams back, going to check the grade I got now, with confidence! What's he going to do? Give me a flunking score? No way!

So I get my paper. Open it up... check the score... 


HE GAVE ME A ZERO!!! (why was I not surprised?)

That son of a gun apparently knows more than he looks. Didn't take my teachers for granted after that.

1973 – When In Europe:

Jimboy, Jumbo, and I go to Europe for the Frankfurter Messe (Frankfurt trade fair). Here's a laundry list of what you do and don't do when you're at this age:

1. First of all, you don't want to be there when you're 12, 13, 14, 15, unless of course you have to work for your money. You have less stressfull activities waiting at home.

2. You arrive Germany via Sabena Air Lines at about 10AM and it's totally dark outside. (What's this? The Twilight Zone? It's almost noon, and it's evening outside!) (Jimboy: remember really havin a hard time in those small sabena planes,smoking pa and most of the time i couldnt breathe)

3. We're still dressed in this silly hippie summer style that Europeans weren't accustomed to (remember, this was February... winter).

4. Who would want to get up at 5AM when the fair closes at 11PM and you don't get to sleep until after midnight (everyday). Which reminds me. I just had bought my first alarm watch from Lok, and it worked well for this occasion when you have to get up early in the freezing morning.

5. Who would want to smell Jumbo's feet? We had to put his (and ours, but especially his) shoes outside the room before we went to bed.

6. Who would want to get followed around in Frankfurt because you looked different. That's what happened to me and Jimboy. There were these two obnoxious characters pointing at both of us (as though they have never seen a chink before) and decided to follow us around (gosh! I've never been so humiliated in my life!). Jimboy will probably know how we shook them off because I don't remember how we got rid of these bastards! That was the most discriminating situation that I have ever been in. These two guys (older fat guys with grayish hair in suits) pointing at us laughing at us like we were clowns. From then on, I really never cared about Frankfurt. The least hospitable place in the planet. All of a sudden, I could relate to how the Jews felt during the holocaust. Those Nazi bastards! This was 1973. The other cities were not as hostile as Frankfurt, though. Bonn was nice and courteous. Munich was nice and courteous. Later, even Berlin was friendly. I have never gone back back to Frankfurt since 1973 and don't look forward to going or visiting there again. It was, though, to our benefit to see how wholesale business went (in the fairs). We were there mainly for 'wholesale'. People from other countries came to make deals with Mom and Dad ordering this and that from our black and white catalog (eventually it became colored). In a way, I'm glad Frankfurt was the worst experience of my life, because it made the other European experiences better and are yet to follow. (Jimboy: place i hated the most too, i just remember total descrimination in Frankfurt, everybody staring at us like we were part of a circus. i think that was why i hated to be beside Zeny, i put in my mind that people were staring at us because of her, kawawa naman.) That's funny because I felt the same way too after the bad experience that we had, we didn't need more aggravation to put her in our group just waiting for people to point at us some more.  After Frankfurt, we went to Vienna for the 'Wiener Messe' (trade fair). I think Jimboy and I spent our time just looking who the prettiest girls were because our booth was not as big and so you could look at everyone who came in. Anyway, I don't remember who made us drink beer (maybe it was not even beer), But, we wanted to pee fast! When we couldn't hold it anymore, we just went somewhere around the fair to pee on the walls. Little did we know it was unethical (yeah! call me Mr Ethics) to do that ("But in the Philippines, people pee anywhere!"). I remember peeing in the freezing temperature. You could see the 'smoke' or mist coming out of our little 'fountains'.

Then you go back to work and pack up each and every single item in newspapers (so it can absorb the shock or impact so that the handicraft won't break) to be packed in crates, boxes, you name it, we did it, we sweated it (where were the maids?).


Ethics from Dad and Mom:

"Ladies first" as Dad would say. "Keep your elbows off the table.", "Open doors for women and the elderly.", "Always use the fork with your left hand and never use the spoon unless it's for soup and stroke the spoon away from you when you eat soup bending the bowl away from you", "You can put food under or over the fork (preferrably over, after all, it's more sophisticated doing it that way)", "When they give you bread and butter in a restaurant, tear pieces from it and don't make it a sandwich <Mom went further to just eat the crust of the bread, which, I still do>". One of the more memorable ones from Dad was "If you're taking a bath in a hotel, make sure you wipe the stains you made around the tub (because we don't want the locals to think that 'Asians' were not clean)". He said discrimination will always be there and that the acts that we do will only help our image (especially true in Europe in the 70's). So, I'm taking a bath (it was safe to take baths then. No AIDS epidemic yet). After I'm done, I had to wipe the 'ring' around the tub. I had to make sure there wasn't any 'libag' left. Also "always leave a tip" (leave a tip? I didn't even have money to pay for a regular meal!). Many a time, even to this day, I would go to the waiter to apologize if I did not have enough money to make a decent tip. At least he/she knew I had the intention to but just could not afford it at that time. This was Dad as a dad and Mom as a mom.


Our next stop was Paris. I don’t know about Paris. I mean, at that time, I didn’t get Paris. We were friends with every Philippine Consul or Ambassador to every country we went to (of course, we represented the Philippines). There was this lady from the Philippine Consulate, who would come to our stall with her acoustic guitar and just sing folk songs like Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and that other singer who sang ‘Both Sides Now’, Claudine Longet (not that anyone’s interested but I had Claudine Longet’s single on that song. I liked her version better than the original Judy Collins one). I couldn’t make this lady out, if she was just eccentric or just a weirdo. I think Mommy knew her personally or she introduced herself personally to Mom. She was like some kind of clerk in the embassy (I’m not sure, but that’s what I thought she was – secretary or clerk <these days, it’s Administrative Assistant or Office Manager>). I wonder what ever happened to her. I really didn’t care much for Paris at that time.

After Paris, we probably went to another fair in the area. But that was it for another couple of months before the next fair.

Back in Manila, we hired this woman named Zeny for company. She was a teacher. She seemed to have been a strict teacher. But hey, if it’s her first time going to another country, and that country was somewhere in Europe, then she wouldn’t have minded if one of her main jobs was to chaperone me and Jimboy. I had just turned 14 and Jimboy had just turned 13 by that time. We really wanted to lose her all the time. (Jimboy: we would walk really fast to try to lose her and make believe she wasn't with us, after a while I think she just knew and would just keep a safe distance from us. i dont know how she was able to keep her temper and control but she did, in spite of our abuse.) Although, she absolutely tried her best to keep us in line, she finally broke down and just went along with me and Jimboy. Of course, what would she do? We were the ones who ended up being her chaperones (well maybe I’m pushing it here. We were chaperoning ourselves is a better description. But we didn’t need her. But she had all the…) She got laid back that much that she even had an Arab guy after her, following her around. So anyway, Jimboy and I mapped out where to go using the Eurail Map and Train schedule.


Sample of a Eurail Pass. But Jimboy and I had a 90 day pass in 1973.



Jimboy and I were finally free from the fairs! Like I said, we had a couple of months to kill! We had our Eurail Pass. It was cheaper than going back to Manila and coming back to Europe. Zeny, like I said, was supposed to be the chaperone on our journey. Our journey meant riding trains everyday. We had planned our trek and were really good at it too! We had to be because we didn’t have any money to spend. No hotels, except for emergencies only. So, we traveled in the evenings and started to go ‘sightseeing’ during the daytime. The excitement of sightseeing probably only lasted a week. We didn’t have money to go sightseeing. (this was the most memorable trip of Europe i had, even if we didn't do much but ride trains and sleep in them)

Anyway, if I remember right, our point of departure was Vienna. I remember this because we were at Mr and Mrs Gonzales’ home the day before. Mr Gonzales, I think was the Consul in Austria. He wasn’t the Ambassador because I remember us getting invited to the Ambassador’s house for dinner. He was married to a Japanese lady, who prepared dinner for us. She made one of the best soups I ever tasted. It looked like taho. But it was hot and tasted like real soup with realy food inside it. It was like a thick soybean smoking hot curd.

Back to Mr and Mrs Gonzales. Their children (2 grown-up girls. One of them I remember as Mimi. I forget the other daughter’s name) gave us tips on how to travel backpack by train. They talked about needing ‘wind-breakers’ (jackets to keep you from the cold wind) and what to eat in whatever country we were in “When you’re in Zurich, you have to try this particular ice-cream. When you’re in Venice, etc, etc…(like us kids could have afforded it). (Jimboy: remember those anorak jackets we bought, even bought adidas vienna or roma ata at that time. we had those backpacks nga also. we went thru geneva, zurich, bern also after innsbruck. you're right, innsbruck was the only place we had some class, getting that limo up to the skiing area and checking in that nice hotel.)  Yes, I remember the anoraks. I forgot. That's what you called them. Not windbreakers!. Also we bought our backpacks, I think the same time we got the anoraks. You had the brown backpack and I had the green one. I still have your brown backpack with me. I can't believe it's been more than 30 years since we first used those backpacks and it's still being used now.  Off we went. Cocky as ever. We were the youngest travelers. And we considered ourselves solo travelers because we really didn’t need Zeny. She became our extra luggage. That’s why we always wanted to lose her. We didn’t need her. But she had all the money! Let me rephrase that. We didn’t need her if not for the money. (In the end, it made little difference anyway! I don’t remember one place that we ate out in. We would only stay in an inn or hostel (whichever one was cheaper) because it was necessary due to there was no connecting train in another half a day or so, and it would have been after 12 midnight or some crazy hour. I’m sure it was tough for her in the beginning (to ‘take care’ of us). But at the end of her duty with us, she was no ‘teacher’ any longer. She just was one of the travelers in the train. The towns we actually went sightseeing was……(blank)…… THAT’S IT! (I don’t remember. Well actually, I only remember Innsbruck. And I believe it was our first stop. Innsbruck, Austria. The first time I touched snow and said to myself “What’s the difference between this and an overloaded air-conditioner that’s iced up and needs defrosting?” But at least we went in style. I guess in 1973, only a few people knew about Innsbruck (tourists, I mean!). It was a skiing resort. We went off the train and this guy with a Mercedes Limo asked us if we wanted to go sightseeing for like 1/10th of the regular cost (which was low enough to begin with). How can Zeny say no. This was going to be the first time she’s going to see snow too! So the guy takes us to the slopes (the SNOW! Snow during the summer and still powdery!), then he took us to more sightseeing, which was the sight of the Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn??? First of all, I was surprised that there was a Holiday Inn. Secondly, I was surprised to see that it was one of the bigger hotels they had. And I was even more surprised that this it was part of the short sightseeing tour that we had! He even took us inside to see the heated swimming pool! The price wasn’t even expensive. But for Zeny (and later Rebecca), everything was expensive (until of course they wanted part of it). After Innsbruck, we went to Salzburg (my Sound of Music) but we couldn’t afford the tour. So we just stayed a couple of hours looking around the train station, taking as much pictures as we could, JUST to say that we were there. 

Finally, after 15 years, I was able to go to Salzburg and the rest of Europe as a tourist with Carol and Carl. And yes, we were able to make it to the 2pm tour of my favorite movie 'The Sound of Music'. It was great!



In reality, I think both of us already had lost all hope in going sightseeing (unless you want to walk for miles without anyone telling you what you’re looking at). We were tired from the fairs but we had so much boring time to waste. This was our Modus Operandi – We hit a town or city; We take pictures at a place that shows the name of the town or city; We go back to the train, or take another train to go somewhere else, take pictures, over and over again. Every third or fourth day, we might be lucky enough to stop for the cheapest place we can stay in (near the train station) so we could take a shower and pooh. I always liked that because all I wanted to do was rest in a real bed and go to a real bathroom (even if none of the bathrooms we had at our cheap hostels were private). But NO! We couldn’t afford to rest. ‘Tomorrow is another day! We have to catch the next train just in time to go to as many towns and cities as we can and finally catch the evening train where we can spend night in, which was really the primary intent of our schedule. What happens in during the daytime did not really matter as long as we got on that train for an overnight. I mentioned earlier that I couldn’t think of even one restaurant that we had eaten in because ‘we couldn’t afford it’. Which is such an oxymoron because Jimboy and I didn’t have money but our chaperone did and she would only buy us train food. TRAIN FOOD??? Train food is twice the price of a restaurant. One 8 ounce bottle of Coke was $4.00. It seemed like everything was $4.00. Almost empty cold sandwiches, juices, everything. They were all train expensive! I don’t know who was worse, Zeny or Rebecca. I mean in ‘torturing’ us. (Probably Rebecca was worse. Later, Rebecca was the keeper of the gold. I remember the sardine days. These were the days when we had the same brand of sardines everyday, three times a day. The first few days weren’t so bad. But after a few weeks, it felt like your body was actually building a defense mechanism against it. It became more intolerable by the day <or by the meal>. Sardines with bread! There came a point when Rebecca would open a can <of sardines>, and as soon as she poked a hole through the can, I smelled it instantly and also instantly proceeded to throw up.) With Rebecca, sightseeing is not an option (if you’re living off sardines, you absolutely have no hope in sightseeing!). For sightseeing, we took pictures outside the windows of our ‘hotel’. We took a picture of a fountain and I don’t even remember what else we took around the train station. No Vatican, no Collosseum, no places of interest, no money. It was bad, the nourishment we had. It was kindda depressing – “Hey, why go all around Europe when you can’t do or see anything?” I never liked it when people got envious when we went to Europe. I gave up explaining to them that it was not really a good experience.

People used to say, “Oh, you’re lucky you’ve been to Europe, blah, blah, blah!” Yes, we were lucky to have been there, that’s true. But I don’t think they would have felt the same, experiencing what we went through as young teenagers. Excuse me but these were not holidays. Please don’t tell me me it’s fun to be in Europe when you’re not there to have fun but there for the family business. (My first European holiday was 15 years after my first trip to Europe – 1988. That’s when I worked for Air France). Later in college, I would take summer courses to have an excuse not to go to Europe. But we were very young then. And I’m talking as a 14 year old. Later, I would realize that all the hardships and frustrations in Europe paid off in our growth in life. I don’t regret it. It made us better individuals better equipped for the challenges in the world. Europe taught us how to survive with nothing.

Mom waiting for a train in Rome (eating a snack - my guess it was a baguette. It was the most frugal thing to eat. An inexpensive long bread that would last the longest.)



1974 was packed with trade fairs. Before that, let me move back a bit. Sometime during the fairs, Jimboy and I bought a decent camera and binoculars. The money that we used, were ‘clipped’ from the sales of the fairs. It wasn’t much but I think we were both surprised to see the money we had hidden (or pocketed or stolen). Our chaperones didn’t really care where the money came from. They probably thought it was our own money. But we needed a camera and binoculars to at least take pictures while we’re on trains and binoculars to see sights that we couldn’t walk to. But for me, stashing some money started just because I was hungry. I don’t know where or how the others (brothers) started, but I started in Paris. I just couldn’t eat the same food over and over again. We had never eaten in an Parisian restaurant (and we were in Paris!). We were making enough money a day to buy a brand new car a day. I remember one day, I was able to get enough to buy myself an appetizer from a real restaurant. During that time, most, if not all restaurants (especially true in Italy, where Jimboy and I had a really difficult time finding some restaurant that would only serve one course), served a full course meal. None served only part of a course. But since I came early (probably 11am), I was allowed to order an appetizer. I sat in a real restaurant chair. The only problem I had was that, because I ate spicy, I put a lot of pepper into my meal. The waiter got offended and told me I’m not supposed to do that because I’m offending the cook. I did not understand that then because for me a cook was ‘only’ a cook, not knowing that a cook had a high stature in European culture. I guess part of all these was because I was only 15 (It was my birthday. I just turned 15). 

Paris exhibitors' entrance card (cut off a bit) to the fair (That's really 'CARTE DE SERVICE' on top and 'PORTE DE VERSAILLES' in the middle. I'll scan it again and put in the full view of the card. Anyway, we get one of these for all the fairs. 

Back to buying the camera and the binoculars: The brand of camera we could afford was called a ‘TOP CON’ camera. I don’t remember what brand the binoculars were because Jimboy handled it, while I handled the camera. The binoculars were also used to spot chicks. Looking back, that’s just what a teenager would do. 

Me and Faye in a Milan trade fair. It was a retail fair and we were selling goods. I'm displaying the Baguio snakes, which in most fairs sold like pancakes. This year, we were opposite the Austrian booth.


We started to do a lot of trade fairs, consecutive ones. From the regular Brussels, Paris, Vienna, Graz, Milan fairs, to the Bari, Palermo, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Belgrade, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Sarajevo, Maribor, Bucharest fairs (I probably missed a lot). The last fair I remember in 1974 was in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. I remember this because we actually rented an apartment where we could cook and Dad cooked this meal which consisted of rice and chili peppers. It really tasted great! I thought it was a Yugoslav dish at first but could never find it later anywhere. I guess he just made it up.

Tito Paul was with us that time. He was even there when we had the fair in Madrid. He had his favorite drink – Carlos Primero. That’s when he spilled everything out. He told us all that happened when he was in London. Let’s just say he gave us sex education with his first-hand experience. He finished the whole bottle by himself! At that time, I would never have imagined I would be in the same spot with the alcohol. “Alcoholism – a hereditary progressive disease that you hav to fight for the rest of your only life.”

Later, Jimboy, Jumbo, and I went to London with Tito Paul that year, where he took us around. Hey, so we did go sightseeing with Tito Paul. We even watched this stage play called ‘John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Bert’. That was nice because we were able to eat in restaurants, watch a play, stay in a hotel, rent a car (a red Ford Cortina). So, I was mistaken. We did have a holiday break with Tito Paul. There was no fair in London.


Tito Paul took Jimboy, Jumbo, and me to London after a Fair break (Top is the Cortina we rented. To the right is the three of us in Hyde Park I think)



This was the last year we would go to fairs as a family (although we were split up into different fairs, we still went as one to ‘conquer’ them all. I remember reading an article in the Manila Times. It read something like “RP makes ties with Yugoslavia.” The article proceeds as Intersales, a Philippine wholesaler being the first ‘Western’ (?) country having trading ties with Yugoslavia. I was proud of that. I cut it out and kept it somewhere. That was Yugoslavia when Marshal Josef Tito was still alive. Tito eventually died and was replaced by seven presidents. It was also in here in the later years that I got to shake hands with a President. Bingo and I shook hands with the seven Presidents of Yugoslavia. We were in the Novi Sad fair during that time. They all went to the Sajam (fair), not at the same time of course. But all of them went: Presidents from Croatia to Montenegro. Novi Sad was the best fair I’ve experienced. Bingo and I were like the Beatles. We were being followed around everywhere we went, literally everywhere we went all these girls. We had to hide in other country’s booths to stop these groups of Novi Sad people following us. When we reached our stall, our interpreters would try to protect us from these ‘fans’. You could actually see them crying outside the booth. They just wanted to talk to us but the interpreters didn’t allow anyone in the booth. The interpreters told us that they wanted to date us. It was probably because we had black hair. The other countries were aware of this and when we were walking and they see a crowd following us, they would ask us to come their booths to hide. If you see the first part of the movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, that’s me and Bingo being run after by this mob. Twinky and Jackie had their own fans too. But Twinky will have to tell you about that because Bingo and I were ‘too busy being the Beatles’. We had an apartment in Novi Sad too. We were like VIPs. This whole tourist bus would pick us up from the apartment. And there were only I think 5 of us. Bingo, me, Twinky, Twinky’s friend Jackie, Mommy riding in this tourist bus that would fit like 50 people. 

Bingo and I (Lennon-McCartney) in Graz. Ready to conquer Novi Sad.


It was also here where Twinky had got sick. She just fainted one day after the fair was over. I had to carry her out to the taxi to bring her to the hospital. I almost dropped her on the way to the taxi because I was either too weak or she was too heavy. She was probably too heavy!

In all these European fairs, I would spend the little free time we had (don’t get me wrong. We could have spent more time on our own but it was not the right thing to do… unless the fair was a dud!), I would only go to the music section of the fairs, where, they sold all types of instruments. So more or less that’s what happened in trade fairs. No time for yourself. No time to go sightseeing In the place you are in. No money to spend. Basically, not as much enjoyable time as you would think. The best thing I remember was that I persuaded Mom and Dad to buy me an electric guitar in the Milan fair. It was a 'Hoyer' Les Paul.  


Above is the Graz Fair with Twinky and Bingo and  Maria Langhoff (we stayed at her place during fairs in Graz). To the right is one of the Milan Fairs


Above was the year I was able to get a guitar from the Milan Fair. Although this picture was probably in Brussels or Paris. From the left is Jackie (with her back towards the camera), Mom, Jumbo (with Dad's arm around him), Dad, Twinky, and me. 


Before each fair, you have to build your stall/booth/stand. Then you would open the crates and boxes to take the goods from. 

First, you have to build the stand. This one was the first one in Europe. This was in Frankfurt.


But before that, you would have to go through customs to release the goods. Spain was the most corrupt country in Europe I’ve been in. Even more corrupt than Yugoslavia. I had to go to customs to release the goods. They told me to give them $3,000.00 or else they would send the container back to Manila. It was as blatant as it could ever be. I was 15 at this time. I thought they knew they were taking advantage of me, but I also knew that they knew that I knew what they were doing! I ended up paying the $3000. They had calculated the cost of sending the container back to Manila and given me a no decision but pay. I think our friend, Mr. Sales, tried to help me after I told him but we couldn’t do anything. Before the fair began, we already lost $3000.

1974 was a culmination of so many things. It was the year I learned to walk independently. Ready for the future years. I was ready. 

Mom and Dad taught us the world, both sides of it, and I love them both.


"Bambi, binata ka na." - Nanay Paring on my first day in High School.





The contents of the memoirs will change indefinitely, mostly for additions and/or corrections as new memories from me, or others. There have been suggestions that I go onto the following years but I’ll keep that open for another day. I'd like to thank Tita Malou for helpling me out with the facts. And also both Tita Malou and Carol for providing me with these pictures, that I thought had been lost