M. Albert Rile
While it is true that Bel Air Bacolod Homeowners have expressed their sympathy for the victims of the recent ruthless super typhoon "Yolanda", they too have to move on just like everybody else. As a consequence, they will rejoice with the whole world over the coming of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by holding their traditional Christmas Party on Sunday, December 16 at 6PM in the home of NDB’s Albert Rile where the meeting took place lately. As decided, there will be a 500-peso contribution per family for the lechon and each one will bring his/her favorite dish for potluck. There will be exchange gifts and a lot of surprises in store for those in attendance.
Bel Air Socialites present at the meeting were Leo and Ailyn Sibala, Luz Tamayo, Raquel Perez, Catalina Talde, Marylou Merida, Capt. Johnny Legaspina and Connie Vergoles representing her Mommy Dr. Piring Vergoles. So far, the different food contributions indicated were as follows: Lechon Manok, spaghetti, Brazo de Mercedes, sotanghon, etc. Mrs. Talde will take care of the drinks.
Bel Air’s Socialites discussing their annual Christmas Party for 2013. Clockwise: Connie Vergoles, Raquel Peres, Ailyn Sibala, Catalina Talde (partly hidden), Marylou Merida, Luz Tamayo, NDB’s ACR, Capt. Johnny Legaspina and Leo Sibala.*
BELATED HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
I first initiated the celebration of Thanksgiving Day in my home in Bel Air-Bacolod City after I had my hernia surgery which was successfully performed by Bacolod City’s Best Surgeon, Dr. Rafael L. Jocson a couple of years ago. I only invited my close friends and relatives who visited and prayed for me while I was in the hospital and we feasted on lechon, roasted chicken, fruits and veggies, etc. Those who were present suggested that we would make it a yearly affair and next time it would be potluck. However, the following year, I was out of town hence, I decided to reactivate it supposedly this year but in deference to our fellow Visayans who perished (to date over 5,240 and counting) during the super typhoon "Yolanda," I have decided to postpone it probably next year, God willing.
My closest cousin Boy (Jesus Ramon) Cuadra who is a brother to me now here in Bacolod (as all my biological brothers are gone, 3 succumbed to cancer because they were smokers and drinkers and one to cardiac arrest) and his beloved wife Manon have joined me in celebrating Thanksgiving. Next time it will be with them and my good neighbors whom I have established close relations through the years and it may turn out to be a traditional affair, hopefully. Among them are Leo and Ailyn Sibala, Capt. Johnny Legaspina, Piring Vergoles, Natnat & Luz Tamayo, Raquel Perez, Doming & Marylou Merida, Catalina Talde, Grace Genovea, etc. - Bel Air’s socialites.
The fact that we in Bacolod were spared from that dreadful 7.2 magnitude earthquake (despite the tremors that we felt) and more recently from super typhoon "Yolanda," we have so much to be thankful for. We could only sympathize with and pray for our fellow countrymen in Bohol and Cebu, Samar and Leyte for what they had been through. It will take time but sooner or later they will be back to normal again. I’m sure they will.
Here in the Philippines, the biggest holiday celebration in November is the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls on the 1st and 2nd of November. In the Sates however, the most highly celebrated holiday aside from Christmas falls on the last Thursday of November which is Thanksgiving Day.
The devastating earthquake that recently hit mainly Bohol and Cebu has caused hundreds of lives and billions of property damages. It seems to be sending us a message- Keep the FAITH. We are quite fortunate that Bacolod was somehow spared, thank God!
Just when MonicoPuentevella was feeling elated that the Masskara celebration was a tremendous success, the Ombudsman’s case against him surfaced. It’s a pity that some local columnists are feasting on this issue. His lawyers have filed a motion for consideration however so, let’s hope he pulls through. If not, Vice Mayor Gasataya should be able enough to take over. Good Luck!
Former Pulupandan Mayor Magsie Pena was in the news again with the illegal possession of firearms. His lawyers claim that the firearms taken from Pena’s ancestral home in Ubay were license. There is a possibility that he will be exonerated then, "All is well that ends well."
Janelle Bargamento (standing between Sheila May Tamayo and sister Jenny) about to blow the 9 candles on her birthday cake. From Left: NDB's Albert C. Rile (standing), Tamayo grandaughter and daughter-in-law; Seated are Mesdames Luz Tamayo, Esperanza C. Ramirez, Elisa C. Unson, Pilar C. Mendiola, Manon Cuadra and her hubby Boy (Not the Drug Lord) Cuadra.
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.*