December 8, 2007 — I went to Albany, New York to attend the Christmas party of the Filipino Association of Schenectady with Nelo, Jinkee and Diego. When we arrived at the Polish Community Hall, the venue, Jinkee was so upset that they are on table 4, and I was to be on table 31.

The host was so apologetic for the error but advised us to just go where we were assigned and she’ll fix everything later. There were more than 300 guests and a live band playing. Jinkee brought me to my table, and to my surprise, Dr. Renee Argubano was there so I sat beside her. Also Dr. Valerio, who earlier Jinkee and Nelo told me will be introduced to me because he is a very good dancer.

Also on our table was Angelo Russo, a man who had a heart transplant eleven years ago. He was given a heart of a 22-year old. He’s with his girlfriend Regina, and Linda, Regie’s sister.

What amazed me was Angelo’s pep for life. He danced all through the night incessantly. There was a time he danced with Renee and I simultaneously twirling and twirling us and he twirled himself in the process. There were moments when Renee felt already exhausted but Angelo never felt tired at all. He’s about 70 years old and the rate he danced was incredible with a transplanted heart at that.

Well, maybe, it makes a lot of difference when you are given a very young heart I see that he is really young at heart. A real wonder of science! That party was one of the best I have attended in New York, if not the best.

Everybody, old and young, was on the dance floor, as young as two and as old as ninety. It turned out that the error in assigning me to a different table was a blessing in disguise. Aveline Abiog and Gelgel Baustista-Paras were supposed to attend this but both of them got sick, they had to stay home. It was hard for Gelgel to adjust from a Manila to New York temperature. She arrived here when it’s already 32 degrees F. That’s really tough. But I’ll see her and Jeck Jeck this 18th of December at the Philippine Consulate here in New York to attend the Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado. This is a yearly event sponsored by the different Filipino Communities here in New York to continue with our Philippine tradition of this nine- day novena which culmimates at Christmas Eve. Incidentally this is also Emma Abiog-Bautista’s birthday.

Sunday, day after the party, Rudy and Marie Marcelo Silan with Migo and Robbie arrived. It was really nice to just catch up with each other. This was just a prelude to Christmas and New Year which we all look forward to enjoy together.

Ciao and God bless!

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