Sorry for this late update.
What befell Ronnie was really, really sad. Just read about it on our blog. I really have missed a lot of events and happenings, no? I didn’t know the site had been existing for three years. I found June’s letter in Kapampangan funny. So he’s been looking for and asking about me. I didn’t receive Dado’s letter. I might have left the US already when he sent it. I also suddenly remember Eddie and the time when we used to hang out at their place. Eric’s prediction that you would track me down in 2010 came true. Thanks to my colleagues here in Thailand for making me a Facebook account. You would not have found me.
I actually left the Philippines on April 28, 2002, to teach in the US. I worked at Our Lady of Good Counsel, a private Catholic school in Manhattan, New York City. I was assigned to handle science subjects for grades 6 to 8 and as class adviser for grade 7. Prior to this, I was connected with St. Joseph School of Yorkville, where I did class observation and substitution work whenever a teacher was absent. I would eventually choose Lady of Good Counsel because of the higher salary it offered.
I enjoyed my teaching job, in general. I initially stayed with my brother-in-law, my wife Fe’s youngest sibling, in Mt. Poconos, Pennsylvania, which, one-way, is a three-hour travel from New York. Imagine my everyday routine: I would wake up at 3:30 a.m., take a bath and prepare everything to be able to catch the 4:00 a.m. bus trip to NY, then take the subway from the central station and get off at 86th St. and walk to 90th St. to finally reach the school. This was the reason why I moved to another brother-in-law in New Jersey. Dado was right, I lived in East Rutherford, a one-hour bus ride to NY.
In the summer of 2003, in June, I went back to Pampanga for a short vacation (or so I thought). But I suffered from Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis) after a month. According to the doctor, it was related to stress or hypertension. The lifestyle I had in the States could also be a factor. Imagine eating lots of steak and all those eat-all-you-can Chinese food. Then you don’t sweat because of the cold weather. So I was hospitalized for several days and had to undergo therapy because of the facial drooping I had.
It took me around two months to recover and was about ready to return to the US when Fe dissuaded me from doing so. I heeded her advice, despite the high salary I was enjoying there. I then decided to again teach at Guagua National Colleges and opted for an early retirement in 2006, although they asked me to stay for a while.
While working as college coordinator at GNC, I was hired by the Sta. Rita College to be their high school principal. That was in April 2007, and after two years I resigned from my post. Next stop was the Bataan Peninsula State University where I joined the faculty of the engineering and architecture department. After a year and a half with them, my dean recommended to the University president that I take doctoral studies here in Chiang Mai, at the Maejo University.
On the domestic front: Fe and I have produced five offsprings. Arlene, the eldest and your inaanak, is now a registered nurse and trying to acquire at least two years of experience at the Sta. Rita Public Hospital before she goes abroad. Second child Madel is also a nursing student and graduating this year. The third one, Froilan Rean stopped for a while because he didn’t like engineering at all, the course I recommended. Jake and Myline are in third and second year high school, respectively.
I will all let you know if I could be in the Philippines this summer vacation. I have classes here in July-August, and in fact even last December (they are Buddhists here).
This is all for now. Until next time. Please send email addresses of Dado, Didi, June, Eddie, and all the rest. Has Didi remarried? How about Eddie? Regards and God bless you all!