By Jay Bolusa

November 16, 2008 – I spoke with my friend Nida yesterday and I was saddened to learn that Virgie Fabello already passed away sometime last month.

Virgie was the loveliest girl in our batch 60 from the Puerto Princesa of the good old days. So beautiful that Johnny had to be always on guard when we were in college in Manila lest he lose the love of his life.

If I recall it right, Virgie and Johnny were the only high school sweethearts in our batch, who really made it and lived happily together, blessed with their lovely children. There were a lot of happy moments with Virgie that I refreshed in my memory last night when we were still together at the bank… the togetherness we shared, the joy of raising our children, the simple things we did in coping with the realities of life.

I could go on about the many things we shared, but Virgie had joined our friends Gracie, Glory, Luchy and Scarlet and I am left with these memories.

Larly and I talked about this with sadness and loss. But who are we to question the will of God? If we listen to the teachings of our religion this is everlasting life and so now we pray for the eternal repose of Virgie’s soul. To Johnny Fabello and children, Vicky Santa Clara and Dodoy Bajar, our deepest sympathy.

YP has come back from a very short stint in Puerto. It was a very meaningful one. She gave her mother a birthday party on her 85th birthday. She updated me with a lot of fresh news from some of our friends at HTC.

Carmen Ledesma and daughter Annabel and Tina Macolor hosted a birthday party in memory of the late Carlos Macolor. Milet Sabando came with Mr. & Mrs. Arturo Sabando. The Sabandos are here for a visit. We enjoyed their stories from San Pedro. I felt nostalgic just listening to the names of people back home.

Veronica Escalona came earlier than Joy who worked late last night. Most of us left at 5 p.m. but the Escalonas are still there at this time, 11:00 pm.

After lunch we prayed for Manong Carling and enjoyed the sing-along with the guests. I met again Tina’s friends from Mindoro, Edna and Jun Alba who brought me home.

On the way home we talked about Palawan and Mindoro. Edna visits her 87 year old mother in Mindoro every year. She told me that the trip back home was ridiculous. From Manila she had to take a two-hour drive to Batangas and a four-hour ferry to Mindoro and another 13 hours bus ride to her mother’s place.

This is what she has to endure now to visit her mother. Twenty years ago when she was in college; when she goes home for vacation; she took airplane rides from Manila to Mamburao and then a bus ride home.

Her alternative then was a 24-hour boat ride from Manila to her place in Mindoro. At present neither of this is available just the ferry ride.

I thought we are so remote in Palawan, now I know we are luckier. We can just take a one-hour airplane ride from Manila to Puerto Princesa and we are home.

Until next week, ciao and God Bless.