By Jay Bolusa

June 14, 2008. My trip to the Philippines last March 15-April 19 was very rewarding. I spent Holy Week at Norzagaray in Bulacan, my mother’s town, where I brought Sr. Leonor Pagorogon, O.P. where she met my family and Joe Bautista at Siena College, San Jose, Bulacan. Sr. Leonor is the President of the College. Right now, she is here in the U.S. for a year’s vacation.

In Palawan, I brought my cousins to all the tourist places, such as the Underground River, Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, the Crocodile Farm, Brooke’s Point and Tabon Caves in Quezon, and Coco Loco in Roxas, where Mayor Dennis Sabando and his wife were our gracious hosts.

After two weeks of hectic trip all over Palawan with my cousins, I fell ill from exhaustion and heat. Thank God, Nida Kho brought me to Simpucan at Boy Macasaet’s Resort where I was able to rest my weary body. Jay Macasaet prepared for us sumptuous meals.

When I went back to Puerto, I still felt ill but I had to return to Brooke’s Point to settle some taxes. I was embarrassed inside the shuttle bus because I kept on coughing and the lady beside me was scared of me. Somehow, she thought I was contagious, I don’t blame her.

After paying my taxes, I just rested for three days there. I ate dinner with Bert and Beth Abiog with their daughter Sha, and Maning and Evelyn Setias Guzman who were also vacationing there. They are both retired now; they just divided their time, six months in Rapid City and six months in Hawaii where they have their properties.

They arrived last December and had been very busy. They bought a condominium in Manila so they could have a halfway house when they visit the Philippines. I heard they are also planning to build a house in Puerto Princesa.

They have two children born and raised here in America, who are now both married. One is a medical doctor and the other, a lawyer. It is really nice to get in touch with friends from high school. I hope to visit them either in Hawaii or Rapid City, South Dakota. I am really thankful to the young people in Brooke’s Point at the Assessor’s Office: Engr. Ronnie Cabasal, Alan Penalva, Marcial Salaver, Remie Linugao and Marina Balmonte’s daughter, Florence, and especially the gracious assessor Vic Buenavista. Vic told me that his wife knew me from high school at Sacred Heart. That was really nice that someone remembers high school days.

My prayers and thoughts are with Mayor Cesario Benedito Jr. and family in this hour of bereavement for the passing away of his beloved wife.

Palawenos here are very busy to welcome two Brooke’s Point residents, Emma Abiog Bautista and Manang Leony Paalan Lagrada. Emma is coming on June 23rd and will stay with Aveline Abiog in her pad in Manhattan. Emma is here to attend the wedding of Job Paduga, son of Joel and Ginny Villapa Paduga, in Indiana. Meantime Manang Leony leaves Brooke’s Point on the 28th of June and will be here in New York the following day. Dr. Liezel Lagrada will plane in from Tokyo and Rosa Lagrada from Canada before their mother arrives here. Aileen is now very busy preparing for her mother’s arrival.

Deal Espanola is giving a birthday party for Manang Leony at her house in New Jersey. This will be a reunion of Brooke’s Pointers at Deah’s. It has been a long time that Palaweños here have been together. May Sabando is going home to Roxas to be with her mother. I talked to her and we shared the same thoughts, we are just exhausted of the hectic life in New York and truly needs a long break. And where else can you have that, except home sweet home.

This is all for now, ciao and God bless!