M. Albert Rile
It took almost 50 years for me to go back to Sydney supposedly on a sentimental journey but my colleagues whom I worked with at LifeSavers (candy with a hole) are either retired or they are gone! Actually, most of them were older than I.
After a seven and a half hour-flight from Manila, PAL’s Boeing 777-300 finally landed at the Land Down Under. I took a shuttle bus from Kingsford International Airport to the hotel at Kings Cross. Australia is 3 hours ahead of the Philippines hence, we left@9:40PM Wednesday and reached Sydney @8AM the following morning. After brunch, I went around Kings Cross which is said to be "where the action is" but it was broad daylight so, I could only see old folks reading or chatting in the Park and a couple sun bathing. At night, there were men and women (probably pimps) trying to pull people off the streets to watch burlesque shows. I got that invitation but I turned it down!
There is a small group in Bel Air Subdivision, Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City, Philippines who call themselves "Best Friends in Bel Air." Actually, they are the former Officers of the defunct Bel Air Bacolod Homeowners’ Association who have been supportive of each other in good times and in bad times. This Group is composed of fun loving people who love to party just among themselves most of the time but it will hopefully expand as the years go by. They are Leo and Ailyn Sibala, Mrs. Catalina Talde, Bingbing Perez Villanueva, Raquel Perez, Grace Carpio and Grace Genovea, Ruel Lavilles, Marilou Merida and her hubby Doming, Capt. Johnny Legaspina and NDB’s Albert Rile and his assistant Buboy Bargamento.
Despedida Merienda for Leo Sibala and Raquel Perez (from left) Grace Carpio, Marylou Merida, Catalina Talde (partly hidden), NDB’s Albert Rile, Leo Sibala, Ailyn Sibala, Raquel Perez and Bingbing Perez Villanueva
Finally, Domestic Helpers DH have reasons to be happy what with the approval by President P-Noy of the Kasambahay Law or Republic Act 10361 which "institutes policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers," on January 18, 2013 and this takes effect 15 days from date of signing. Hence, from now on domestic helpers viz. yayas, laundry men and women, drivers, gardeners, cooks, etc. are entitled to a minimum wage of 2,500 PHP per month in National Chartered Cities, 2,000 in Chartered Cities and First Class Municipalities and 1,500 in other Municipalities. Aside from this, they will be entitled to a paid one month leave (meaning they get paid on a 13-month/ per year basis), paid day off, Social Security, Philhealth and Pag-ibig benefits. With all these changes that will take effect, only the wealthy, the rich and famous and probably families of OFWs will be able to afford domestic helpers. Since most Overseas Foreign Workers cannot enjoy the luxury of a household help abroad, at least their families in the Philippines can benefit from their hard work and sacrifices. They too, will have their chance only when they retire and/or when they have saved enough.
The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is an occasion that calls for a big celebration considering that His Coming gives us All HOPE for Redemption. As a consequence, the Homeowners of Bel Air in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City held their annual Christmas Party on Sunday, December 16 at 6PM in the home of Mrs. Catalina Talde on Carter St. Among those present were Mrs. Ailyn Sibala (Leo was unable to come due to pressure of work in Qatar and was missed by everyone), Mrs. Luz Tamayo and her grandchildren, Ryosuki Kashiwagi (Joe Owens chipped in for the lechon before he went abroad) who accepted the award for one of the best Christmas Displays for his Mom Neneng, Misses Grace Carpio and Grace Genovea, Mrs. Bingbing Perez Villanueva and her cute 2-year old son Tristan (who was the youngest in the group), Ms. Bebing Perez, Ms. Romilla Gelera who came rather late but was able to catch up, Mr. & Mrs. Doming and Marilou Merida, members of the Talde family, etc. and NDB’s Albert Rile with Buboy, Jenny & Janelle Bargamento. Menu consisted of crispy and juicy lechon (nice and crispy skin outside and juicy meat inside), chicken cordon bleu, pancit bijon, arroz a la valenciana, roasted chicken, boneless and fried bangus, spaghetti, dessert, etc.
Organizers of the Bel Air Party from left: Bingbing Perez Villanueva with son Tristan, Grace Carpio, Catalina Talde, Marylou Merida, Luz Tamayo, Ailyn Sibala and NDB’s Albert Rile.*
How would you feel if your own mother does not even know who you are? Devastated? Absolutely! That is exactly how I felt when Nanay called me "Big Brother" (she probably pictured me as her favorite older brother, the late Cesar Cuadra, Sr.) when I reached Orange County after driving with my sister Elizabeth from Chicago in my brand new Toyota Corolla. Prior to that, she kept calling me up and asking me to join her and my brother Rafael and sister Elizabeth in Southern California. When my sister confirmed Nanay’s condition, I became very emotional, I ran to the bathroom and cried my heart out! Her nagging insistence got me into selling my house and lot in Berwyn, Illinois, quitting my job and buying myself a brand new car. However, if she would take her prescription Aricept, her brain cells got reactivated and she regained her memory meaning that she had an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Proof was that she introduced me to her primary doctor as "her son" which somehow amazed her physician. I used to take time off work just to take her to the doctor and I even fed her as I was aware that she had a hard time eating. I got the consolation however that I spent some quality time with Nanay. Later, I learned that dementia is genetichence, I decided to do some research on this subject.
It’s very frustrating when one makes promises and fails to deliver them. That’s exactly how the active residents of Bel Air felt when the "Temporary" President of San Lorenzo Subdivision assured them of his presence at their meeting, but did not make it for some unknown reason.
Bel Air Officers (seated left to right) Catalina Talde, Grace Carpio, Romilla Genera and Luz Tamayo; (standing l-r) Albert Rile, Jojo Jurisprudencia, Ailyn Sibala and Leo Sibala.*
This article will dwell solely on two neighboring suburbs namely, Bel Air and San Lorenzo in Barangay Tangub, Bacolod City. Recent incidents triggered the reactivation of Security Guards/ Tanods for the safety and security of the homeowners and the residents.
A woman walking on the streets of San Lorenzo had her bag with her cell phone inside snatched by a motorbike-riding guy in broad daylight. On the other hand, in Bel Air, a couple was robbed of their jewels, cell phones, etc. (kuno!) in their house on Ford street. That was the second theft that took place in the same house also in broad daylight. There were reports of robbery in San Lorenzo Subdivision as well and laptops, cell phones and other personal properties belonging to the homeowner were taken by an unknown individual from their home, not to mention attempts of theft in some houses in the area. Apparently, the Burbs are no longer as safe as they ought to be.
Twinkle Rile Trayfalgar, the youngest of two daughters of Marlon and Socorro R. Trayfalgar turned 19 last Saturday, August 18. To celebrate the occasion, her loving Papa Marlon tendered a seafood dinner for her at Hyksos Restaurant in Bacolod City.
(from left, left row) Arturo Trayfalgar, Twinkle and Socorro Trayfalgar with the Vista children (right row, same order) Jay Lizares, Arby Borda, NDB’s Albert Rile, Baby T. Vista and son Erickson
The new LTO Head, Renato Novero seems to be heading towards the right direction with the implementation of at least, PHP 1000 fine on motorcycle riders violating the new law requiring them to wear DTI-Certified standard helmet for their own protection. Since then, the streets of Bacolod have been flooded with helmet-wearing motorcycle bikers, good start! Kudos to the Enforcement Officers who have been giving out tickets to violators.
Also, the anti-jaywalking campaign seems to be going quite well, but there are still many pedestrians who either ignore or just do not know what the pedestrian lanes are for. Proper warning should be given them and fines should be imposed on them as well. Only trouble is that many pedestrian lanes are hardly visible in many cross streets and intersections all over the city and suburbs.
At the invitation of my extended family from Chicago, I went on a sentimental journey to Cebu recently for the Grand Rabor Reunion. Their most kind and generous mother whom I fondly call "Mama Rabor" took care of me when I was ill in the Windy City that’s why, there is always a special mass for her on her birthday on March 24 at the Carmelite Monastery in Bacolod City and I always prayed and offered flowers at the Chicago Memorial Park for her each time I would be in town. Hence, there is a strong bond between the Rabor Children and me.
Formal Affair at the Casino Español with L-R: Brothers Sam & Willie, Sister Oping Rabor McNichols and Niece Florence R. Montalvo