Baguio con­nec­tions 2

Sun.Star Baguio - - OPINION -

MARYKNOLL. This was the grade school my sib­lings and I went to. More specif­i­cally, we went to a Maryknoll Con­vent School, then with the acro­nym “MCS.” Stu­dents had to write MCS below (or across?) our names, me­thinks, on sub­mit­ted writ­ten work.

I grad­u­ated in 1970, Matty, Dan­dan, and Heli fol­low­ing suit all through­out that same decade. Our youngest, An­nette, grad­u­ated from a Mar­is­han some­time in the 1980s. And still gets told by Heli that there is a dif­fer­ence in the schools they each grad­u­ated from, haha. We were told when the name change oc­curred that "shan" was Ibaloy for hill, or knoll.

Look­ing back, I see in my mind’s eye th­ese fully nun-robed, wim­pled Sis­ters with rosaries dan­gling from their waists: Sis­ter Car­mencita, Sis­ter Maria Austin, Sis­ter John Eileen, Sis­ter Therese. If I re­mem­ber right, the lat­ter­most was also, to many, “the pret­ti­est one.”

Sis­ters Austin and Eileen also served as prin­ci­pals. When times were later “sec­u­lar­ized,” for want of a bet­ter word, the prin­ci­pal of the school be­came Miss Do­nio. I'm think­ing she came with the "shan."

Be­cause Miss Do­nio was Max­ima K. Do­nio, the K be­ing for Kitma, of the Mar­cos High­way Kit­mas, rel­a­tives of the Car­iños be­cause we all share a com­mon an­ces­tor, so the fam­ily sto­ries go. I be­came friends with cousin Mike Kitma some­time in the 1990s, when he was part of the staff of Plan In­ter­na­tional (their of­fice hav­ing once been in Campo Sioco, just below Maryknoll) as was Verge Carantes -- mar­ried to cuz Bobby – be­fore she went on to suc­cess­fully start up all things Smart Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in Baguio. Re­mem­ber those days when mo­bile phones were newish and as yet strange?

Mike also helped out Maryknoll when it turned into the Eco­log­i­cal Sanc­tu­ary it now is, af­ter the big earth­quake of 1990. He served as a val­ued ad­viser on or­ganic farm­ing, hav­ing been in­volved in it long be­fore it was fash­ion­able. Verge was from the on­set one of his reg­u­lar buy­ers of or­ganic veg­eta­bles. I bought them from Mike when I could and when th­ese guests from Manila would ask me where they could get or­ganic veg­eta­bles.

An­other au­then­tic pi­o­neer of or­ganic veg­etable pro­duc­tion in Baguio-Benguet is Pa­trick “Pat” Acosta, who was my brother Matty’s class­mate in Maryknoll, though that was “Andy” to Pat, since Matty was the home name and “Andy”

An apol­ogy af­ter. Fin­ished.

My brother and I headed large or­ga­ni­za­tions. Me, the city, him, the uni­ver­sity. In both in­stances, our duty was to make sure all is well. We both sub­scribed to the facts given. De­ci­sions were made from sta­tis­tics and num­bers. No room for fake in­for­ma­tion. No su­gar coat­ing. Facts. They don't lie. In­for­ma­tion from the bud­get of­fi­cer, the trea­surer, the ac­coun­tant and the au­di­tor. Just them, I refuse to lis­ten to any other.

Af­ter lunch, I de­cided to con­tinue on with my run in the hot noon sun. I be­lieved that I could do it. Easy. I had to tread on none stop in­cline. My pace was slower than ever. Ev­ery time, I would check on my watch that had a counter of how many steps and the dis­tance I make. I al­ways think I did more be­cause I was so tired. Just a few meters down­hill then up­hill once more. I was dou­bly tired, I thought I did more. Not so as it would not lie.

I re­ally wanted to im­press on the au­di­tors and in­spec­tors. I also wanted to show­case that the foun­da­tion was in good hands. Projects im­ple­mented are val­i­dated and ex­act. No ho­cus pocus or over-

-- af­ter my fa­ther, Matty be­ing his Ju­nior -- was the early school name. Pat now owns and runs an or­ganic farm called “The Mas­ter’s Gar­den” in La Trinidad, which gets rave re­views all the time.

Pat’s fam­ily also had this win­ery called Straw­berry House, on Naguil­ian Road. They pro­duced, bot­tled, and sold the house wine, Straw­berry Wine. It was a Baguio sta­ple for the long­est, long­est time.

Next week, we be­gin with that Straw­berry Wine from Straw­berry House. tol­er­ate acts of wrong­do­ing.

En­cour­age them to take up mar­tial arts as a sport and as a means of build­ing self-con­fi­dence and for self-de­fense; never as a tool to bully oth­ers or to seek trou­ble. True mar­tial arts teach dis­ci­pline and de­velop hu­mil­ity and pa­tience. In sports, you re­al­ize that there is al­ways some­one faster, stronger and bet­ter than you out there; if not to­day, to­mor­row. I would rec­om­mend tak­ing up Wushu, Taek­wondo, Aikido, and Box­ing for sports and self-de­fense.

Aside from build­ing self-con­fi­dence, teach them to be hum­ble, and to keep a low pro­file.

Ro­mans 12:19 “Never take your own re­venge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is writ­ten, “Vengeance is mine, I will re­pay”, says the Lord.”

pric­ing or even ghost projects. This I guess is what I learned in gov­ern­ment. There is some good too from my ex­pe­ri­ence in gov­ern­ment. I was care­ful. I had to be. I treaded slowly too like when run­ning. Slow but sure-footed till the fin­ish.

I wanted too to show­case how con­ser­va­tive we were. Fru­gal too. Just so Juan knows as pres­i­dent I am given an al­lowance of 6 thou­sand pe­sos only, in a year! Fact. 1,500 pe­sos ev­ery quar­ter. Not even worth my toll fees and gaso­line to at­tend a meet­ing in Manila. But I love what I do. To­day for the first time JVOFI has its own home. Af­ter 35 years rent­ing out a place.

Foun­da­tions to­day are ALL in the same predica­ment be­cause of what Napoles did. More than half of the foun­da­tions to­day are found to be fake af­ter be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. I am not wor­ried with Jaime V. Ong­pin Foun­da­tion. The find­ings will surely show that we mean well for the com­mu­ni­ties that we serve. Noth­ing fake here I will guar­an­tee.

Fake News has just been de­clared as the word of the year by Web­ster's Dic­tio­nary. Noth­ing fake from this. Fact.

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