Andres Chronicle Special Edition: Tau Mu Sigma Phi’s 70th Anniversary Celebration

By Bro. Dr. Primo Aquino Andres, Lucky 13

FELLOWSHIP NIGHT1The trip to the Philippines this time is full of adventure and unusual experiences that need going over, some worth going back for and others you can talk about and remember with glee but probably would not want to encounter again. Here is an account of my own personal experience. So fasten your seatbelts as you ride the following pages.

Induction Ball & Awards

It was 70 years ago on January 5, 1946 that Tau Mu Sigma Phi was founded by an elite group of young medical students led by Dr. Augusto Julian Ramos, Jr. So it was that hundreds of Tauans from the Philippines and abroad congregated to celebrate the Platinum Anniversary of Tau Mu Sigma Phi, the premier fraternity of the University of Santo Tomas.

An array of activities were scheduled by the organizing committee led by Bro. Dr. Elvis Llarena, the Tauan Alumni Organization (TAO) President, and Bro. Angelo Cruz, the Most Exalted Brother and Bro Dr. Ramon Contreras, the Tau Mu USA President.

First on tap was the commemoration of the founding on January 5 with a mass celebrated at the Santissimo Rosario church in the campus mostly attended by Philippine brods. Most of the US-based brods came to attend the subsequent activities that started a week later with the Induction Ball and Awards ceremony on Monday, January 11 as it was closer to another traditional event, the USTMAA Homecoming, that took place later that week.

The world-renowned UST Choir under the baton of Prof. Fidel Calalang was on hand to sing the Pambansang Awit along with a few inspirational songs.

UST Choir under the baton of Prof. Fidel Calalang

UST Choir under the baton of Prof. Fidel Calalang

Bro. Dr. Primo Andres and UST FMS Regent, Fr. Angel Aparicio, OP, unveiled the plaque that commemorated the significant role of Tau Mu Sigma Phi in initiating the campaign for the construction of the Thomasian Alumni Center (TAC) by being the first to pledge $100,000 and initially contributing $25,000 on the very first day an appeal was made by then Rector, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa.

Unveiling of the Tau Mu plaque in the TAC

Unveiling of the Tau Mu plaque in the TAC

The donation of a Sonosim and TV monitors to teach medical students were likewise turned over to the Department of Anatomy to help fulfill one of the ideals of the fraternity, Academic Excellence.

Sonosim and TV monitors for UST FMS

Sonosim and TV monitors for UST FMS

Officers and board members of all the three branches of the fraternity, the Medical Students, the Tauan Alumni Organization (TAO) and the Tau Mu USA (International), were inducted into office by Dr. Marivic Cruz.

The new members of the EXECOM are:
MEB: Bro. Angelo de Jesus Cruz
EB: Bro. Kevin Aldrich Rillon Melchor
BGE: Bro. Raphael Angello L. Obias
BKR: Bro. Jeff Angelo Faundo Taclob
BA: Bro. Abitim Saulo Atienza
BT: Bro. Juan Paolo Azarias Sapungan
BH: Bro. Bien Jindrich J Jovellanos
BKP: Bro. Kevin Reolada Managuelod

MEBs

Turnover & Induction ceremonies

Turnover & Induction ceremonies

The officers of TAO are:
President: Bro. Dr. Rollo Milante
Vice Pres: Bro. Dr. Gil Simeon
Secretary: Bro. Dr. Zaldy Ong
Asst. Sec: Bro. Dr. Benjie A. Jovellanos
Treasurer: Bro. Dr. Erbe Bugay
Asst. Treas: Bro. Dr. Michael Madarang

Officers of TAO, Bro. Drs. Rollo Milante, President & Erbe Bugay, Treasurer

Officers of TAO, Bro. Drs. Rollo Milante,
President & Erbe Bugay, Treasurer

The officers and Board members of Tau Mu USA who were present were:
Bro. Dr. Ramon Contreras – President
Bro. Dr. Rex Agtarap
Bro. Dr. Primo Andres
Bro. Dr. Ricardo Binsol
Bro. Dr. Noel Canlas
Bro. Dr. Nicasio Gutierrez
Bro. Dr. Ferdinand Magno
Bro. Dr. Philip Narciso
Bro. Dr. Stephen Pamatmat
Bro. Dr. Bernie Ponce

The President of USTMAA, Dr. Marivic Cruz, inducting the officers & board members of ΤΜΣΦ

The President of USTMAA, Dr. Marivic Cruz,
inducting the officers & board members of ΤΜΣΦ

The Tauan Sweethearts then marched in with the outgoing Sweetheart, Ms. Patricia M. Salonga, escorted by Bro. Patrick Talampas and the new Sweetheart, Ms. Joanna Franchesca D. Gonzales, escorted by Bro. Raphael Angello Obias.

Tauan Sweethearts turnover

Tauan Sweethearts turnover

This was followed by the Awards ceremony starting with the traditional Ten Outstanding Brothers of the Year (TOBY) awards given to the ten Tauans who have distinguished themselves in the year 2015-2016.

The awardees were:
Academic Excellence: Bro. Ramon Henry Dickson
Leadership: Bro. Ruffy Agudera
Service: Bro. Mike Soller
Brotherhood: Bro. Angelico Barretto
Most Active Member of EXECOM: Bro. Angelo Cruz
Most Active Undergrad: Bro. Ralph Que
Past Most Exalted Brother: Bro. Joel Smith
Faculty Member: Bro. Dr. Ramon Gonzales

New this year, in conjunction with the Platinum Anniversary, is the Circle of Tauan Excellence (COTE) given to living elder Tauans who are pillars of the organization and are considered to be role models for the younger Tauans to emulate and lean on. Included in this 70th Anniversary batch were:
Bro. Dr. Crescencio Abes
Bro. Dr. Sol Z. Alvarez
Bro. Dr. Primo A. Andres
Bro. Dr. Noel C. Canlas
Bro. Dr. Rafael Castillo
Bro. Dr. Florentino C. Doble
Bro. Dr. Jose J. Duran
Bro. Dr. Ruben Henson
Bro. Dr. Luis E. Kodumal
Bro. Dr. Rodolfo Lim
Bro. Dr. Mariano Loveranes
Br0. Dr. Cosme N. Naval
Bro. Dr. Ernesto Palanca
Bro. Dr. Romarico Suarez
Bro. Dr. Tito P. Torralba

COTE4COTE1COTE2

Circle of Tauan Excellence(COTE) Awardees

Circle of Tauan Excellence(COTE) Awardees

The next batch of fifteen will be nominated on the 75th Anniversary of Tau Mu Sigma Phi. So many are deserving, yet so few were chosen.

The party that followed was a little bit tamed by Tau Mu standards, perhaps hampered by the formal wear that we were not used to wearing in Tauan gatherings, but the band of Bro. Dr. Atty. Tony Rebosa was beyond compare in energy and enthusiasm setting a record of a non-stop one set performance for over two hours. He was soaking wet with sweat from top to bottom by the time the evening was over.

Bro. Dr. Atty. Tony Rebosa & his band

Bro. Dr. Atty. Tony Rebosa & his band

Just to experience how it would be like, we decided to check in that night at the BGPOP TAC Hotel run by the College of HRM. It was very convenient since we just had to take the elevator from the lobby and the ballroom of the TAC building where the Induction ceremonies were held. We woke up at 4 AM, unable to go back to sleep due to jet lag.

Sylvia and I decided to go down for a walk for exercise around the campus until daybreak when the in-campus restaurants in front of the UST Hospital opened. The McDonald eggdesal was very good. We brought some to Bro. AB Hermoso who was checked in with other brods next door to us forcing him to get up after only a brief sleep having just gotten to bed at 4 AM after finishing the previous evening’s post party affairs. Sorry AB!

BGPOP

BGPOP TAC Hotel by College of HRM

BGPOP TAC Hotel by College of HRM

Augusto Julian Ramos Cup, Wack Wack

It took sometime to check out of the hotel that morning and I was late for the Augusto Julian Ramos, Jr. Cup at Wack Wack. It was still enjoyable conversing with Bro. Dr. Rick Binsol and the younger brods who were helping dispose some Tauan souvenir items while waiting for the golfers to trickle in.

Lunch was delicious. The “Go Girls”, courtesy of Bro. Dr. Elvis Llarena, kept everybody focused as they wriggled their bodies like contortionist and even conducting some parlor games with excited brods. Nobody seemed to have minded not winning a prize during the raffle although an attempt was made to draw everybody’s number.

The golf trophies, and more importantly, the bragging rights, were then distributed. What fun it was and what a way to enjoy golf even without playing it!

“Go Girls” parlor games, Rick Binsol bringing home the bacon, and Henson all in the family trophy

“Go Girls” parlor games, Rick Binsol bringing home
the bacon, and Henson all in the family trophy

Taumulympics

Wednesday, January 13 was the Taumulympics that featured the athletic and not-too athletic prowess of the brods from all ages. Sad to say, I probably was the oldest Tauan to show up for the sports activity.

Basketball and bowling dominated the events because of the larger participation of brods, both of which were won by the yellow team to which Bro. Dr. Ramon Contreras and I belonged, and that eventually won the overall point average not necessarily because of us. There was badminton and billiard as well with the latter apparently being won by Bro. Dr. Sonny Vera Cruz.

photo(1)I was too busy with our own sport to pay attention to what else was going on. I sustained a knee injury that hobbled me the rest of the trip, not because of basketball but because of, would you believe, bowling. Sign of old age creeping. But it was worth risking injury being with younger brods who projected very well that Tau Mu is fit not only mentally but also physically.

This continued during the Fellowship Night where “tirador” shooting of soda can pyramids with rubber bands was done. This was followed by soda can pyramid building with use of tingting to pick up the cans with the mouth of two teammates. Needless to say, it was fun and kinky. Yikes! Leave it to the imagination of our organizers to challenge the brods.

Preserving the Tauan Myth

Perhaps the most important meeting that the fraternity has had in recent memory was the General Assembly on Thursday, January 14 in Room 415 of the San Martin de Porres building (Medicine building) in the Department of Anatomy next to the cadaver room. This is perhaps also symbolic because out of the dead bodies brought forth knowledge that became one of the building blocks of our career as physicians.

Shuffling between the Mariano Alimurung Postgraduate CME course and the Tau Mu meeting allowed me to participate in someway in both my functions as USTMAAA Executive Director and as a Tauan. It was in this GA that the meeting of minds among the members of the three branches threshed out the lingering ailments that bogged down the fraternity for the past several years, foremost among them being the Initiation Rites.

General Assembly

General Assembly

In a very systematic way, the Exalted rother, Bro. Kevin Aldrich R. Melchor, presented the proposed process that was then objectively criticized by the group and we came out with a document that everybody could agreed on and that is in compliance with the existing Constitution and Bylaws of the fraternity and with the rules of the University and the Law of the Land.

We came out very hopeful that we can now concentrate on more constructive projects that would continue even more expeditiously to enhance the image and stature of the organization. It is this commitment to excellence and brotherhood that will preserve the existence and perpetuate the myth of Tau Mu Sigma Phi that has been crafted and molded and polished in the past seventy years. It is not perfect by any means but we are constantly working on it. HTM!

A Tribute to a Fallen Brod

After showing up in the gathering of the Diamond Jubilarian Class of 1956 at the Manila Golf Club in Makati City, it was time for me to join the Tauan brods in a private party in an exclusive venue in Paranaque. This was in part a tribute to one of the most loyal and fanatic members of the fraternity, Bro. Dr. Lord Bernabe, who recently passed away from a chronic illness. May he rest in eternal peace. HTM! Hail Bro. Dr. Lord Bernabe!

photo(4)It was a more hair-down and let all hung out type of a party, and of course the inevitable jamming that we are so familiar with. It was a perfect pause to what has been a frenetic schedule of Tauan festivities that comprised the main events of the 70th Anniversary of the Tau Mu Sigma Phi. But it was not quite over yet.

Fellowship Night Galore

The most awaited event during the 70th Anniversary Celebration was the Fellowship Night. It was anticipated that this would equal, if not surpass, the record-breaking attendance of all Tauan events five years earlier during the 65th Anniversary of Tau Mu Sigma Phi that was likewise held at the same venue in Club Filipino in Mandaluyong City.

Following a day long Homecoming activities in the UST campus including the termination of the Mariano Alimurung Postgraduate course and the Jubilarian March from the Arch of the Centuries to the Quadricentennial Quadrangle through the lobby of the Main building, it was time to shift gears and head to Club Filipino trusting the driver to get me through the heavy traffic of Manila, Greenhills and finally Mandaluyong.

The main room was already filling up and the foyer leading to it was also crowded with brods doing a last minute shopping for those valuable souvenir items including shirts of various colors, jackets, cups and tumblers and stickers to name a few.

AA1AA2AA3AA4AA5Dinner was great with lechon na baca at baboy as the main entree.After a simple prayer and a Tauan pledge, the circle of Tauan Brotherhood commenced. Darth Vader (Bro.Ralph Que) with a slew of “Go Girls” Stormtroopers marched in and Bro. Dr. Ace de la Rosa weaved his way through on a hover board. How neat is that?

Then followed a string of titillating performances of the Go Girls to the delight of the now excited brods. Bro. Drs. Ed “ET” Tanhui and Rick Binsol tried to steal the show. The “rumble” dance between the younger brods with participation of the Sigma Tau Delta sisters added color to the whole event.

Our funny emcees brought even more laughter with their home run-hitting and not too corny jokes. It was hard to peel ourselves away from the still hot evening but us, old folks, had to leave earlier than we wanted to because there was still the need to get up the following morning to attend the Homecoming mass and Awards ceremonies of USTMAA. See the pictures of the Fellowship Night below.

A Mission & an Outing
Thrilla in Tagaytay

Gawad Kalinga Tau Mu Village in Towerville, Bulacan was supposed to be the recipient of a one day medical and minor surgical mission as a part of the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Tau Mu Sigma Phi fraternity. This was canceled however due to conflicting schedule with the GK Expo that was being held that weekend at the Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan that also celebrated the 65th birthday of GK founder, Tony Meloto.

Gusi Foundation mission in Indang, Cavite

Gusi Foundation mission in Indang, Cavite

An alternative site was offered instead by Dra. Luisa Ticson-Puyat, a board member and anchor of ABS CBN. The Gusi Foundation had a one day mission in Indang, Cavite on Sunday, January 17 and was expecting over 8,000 patients.

Although the Philippine Medical Association and the Armed Forces of the Philippines were already involved, they needed more manpower to attend to the anticipated multitude of patients. The USTMAA Homecoming festivity was also being held that same morning in the Medicine Auditorium and Tau Mu Sigma Phi was commissioned to usher along with our sister sorority, the Sigma Tau Delta.

Tau Mu & STD ushering at Homecoming

Tau Mu & STD ushering at Homecoming

We therefore formed two teams with the first team of missionaries going ahead at 6 AM and the second team following towards the end of the USTMAA Homecoming ceremonies. This mission was partly supported with funds from the USTMAAAmerica. By the time the second team was en route to Indang, Cavite on a rented coaster, the first team called and said the medical mission was pretty much over. Since the coaster was already engaged for the day, the undergrad brods were asked what they wanted to do. The unanimous decision was to go to Tagaytay at the Sky Ranch.

Tagaytay excursion at Sky Ranch

Tagaytay excursion at Sky Ranch

Not knowing what it was, I consented trusting on the better judgment of my younger brothers. It turned out to be an amusement park on top of the rim by a ravine overlooking the gorgeous view of Taal volcano. Lines were too long for the rides and a lot of them were for small kids anyway. The brods chose to try the zip line instead.

SKY11And so there we were, a dozen of young men in their early twenties and a 67 year old man pretending to be young again, trying for the first time to slide down a cable, trusting the harness to carry his weight and not plummet down the ravine to a waiting boiling cauldron of lava. It is of course an exaggeration and it sounds good now, although it felt like it then. We survived the thrilling experience without wetting our pants or letting out any unwanted body content. Whew!

SKY12We finished the evening with a nice dinner at “Josephine’s Restaurant” by the rim enjoying Filipino delicacies that were out of this world. The ride back to Manila was quiet and we were all curled up to weather the cold AC temperature inside the coaster that somehow could not be turned warmer. Despite this, we all felt hot inside, especially me, after having had a chance to spend a more leisurely time with our young brothers who were amused by stories of my African hunting days with Bro. Dr. Dante Gapultos.

SKY13

A view of Taal lake from Josephine’s Restaurant

A view of Taal lake from Josephine’s Restaurant

Koronadal Mission
Dodoy Sueno Memorial
6th Surgical and 1st
Medical Mission

It is hard to imagine that it has been ten years since our departed brother, Dr. Dodoy Sueno, first brought Tau Mu Sigma Phi to Koronadal to fulfill his dream of holding a medical mission in his hometown. Even following his passing a year later, the fraternity perpetuated his dream by carrying out surgical missions yearly since the first memorial mission in 2009.

Boarding PAL flight at NAIA 2

Boarding PAL flight at NAIA 2

And now, in conjunction with the Platinum Anniversary of the Tau Mu Sigma Phi, we were back in strength to do another surgical mission, and for the first time also a medical mission. The forty missionaries that included two undergrads and a few non-Tauan volunteers showed up by 5 AM at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 to load and then board the PAL flight to General Santos.

Arrival at Gen San Airport

Arrival at Gen San Airport

The mayor of Koronadal, Bro. Dr. Peter Miguel, and his staff were already waiting to welcome the rowdy group complete with a unique neck sash with a clip with the seal of the City of Koronadal printed on it and a badge worthy of a VIP. A caravan of five Toyota Hiace vans led by a police escort with lights blazing sped up the highway from the Gen. San airport to Koronadal “officially” ignoring speed limits even through the dreaded towns of Tupie and Polomolok that were considered to be speed traps.

Arrival at Gen San Airpor

Arrival at Gen San Airpor

We perhaps “abused” the opportunity a little by stopping the traffic at the National Road for a few minutes to take a group photo in the entrance to Koronadal City where a large “Welcome Tau Mu” banner was hanging from the arch. Oh well!

Welcome Arch to City of Koronadal

Welcome Arch to City of Koronadal

The reception at the Municipal Hall was brief but the ensuing late brunch was sumptuous. Brods from the area including Bro. Drs. Domeng Jacalan and Dante Eugenio from neighboring Tacorong, Sultan Kudarat, and Daniel Yap, Ryan Aplicador and Laurence “Toto” Escovidal from General Santos were around to welcome and help out in the medical mission.

Brunch at the Office of City Mayor Peter Migue

Brunch at the Office of City Mayor Peter Migue

The group was then divided into two with the surgical team going to South Cotabato Provincial Hospital to do a final check on the surgical patients and to actually start the operation on the already scheduled 15 patients. The medical team went to Cinco Ninas at the Paraiso Verde Resort and Water Park owned by the Sueno family to participate in the Health Forum with the health workers of the City of Koronadal.

I gave a talk on “How to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke” and Bro. Dr. LG Palanca talked on Gastrointestinal Surgery touching on various subjects. Dealing with a mix group of mostly non-medical people,we tried to speak simply, me in Taglish and LG in Ilongish. One score for LG.

photo(6)Lunch was served during the forum. We had eaten two full meals already, three including the sandwiches in the vans,and we still had to see the first medical patient. And tonight the Sueno family would be hosting us during dinner. Now I was beginning to see the pattern. Uhm!

Health Forum at Cinco Ninas

Health Forum at Cinco Ninas

The brothers of our late brod, Dodoy Sueno, Pitok and former Governor Mark, provided a sumptuous dinner with sashimi carved out of a fresh big eye yellow fin tuna, the first time for me to see such impressive presentation. There was a whole roast pig and multitude of other Filipino delicacies. There was a 4-piece live band singing beautiful Tagalog ballads and playing 60s to 80s music. Our brods contributed their pieces despite the fatigue that had consumed most of us.

SUENO20SUENO25We were quartered in two separate hotels. Some stayed at the Villa Amor, and the majority at the MD Hotel owned by our mission coordinator, Bro. Dr. Lawrence “Toto” Escovidal, where the Eye mission of Bro. Dr. Ping Duran also headquartered for the duration of the service.

Bro. Dr. Luis Kodumal conducted the Medical Forum on the second night at the Villa Amor Poolside pavilion where the local physicians were in attendance. He gave a very methodical and comprehensive presentation on the management of various gastrointestinal conditions that was of very practical importance. It was well received by everybody, including the missionaries, who picked up a lot of pointers to apply not only professionally but also personally.

LOUIE1LOUIE10The first Tau Mu medical mission in Koronadal commenced early the following morning at the Barangay San Isidro basketball court. There were already myriads of patients waiting by the time we got there. We got set up to do blood glucose test and screened for hypertensives. Patients were asked to attend a short lecture on prevention that was initially given by me and subsequently delivered by the City health workers under supervision by the City Health Officer and me to make sure that they can continue to do this even in our absence. And indeed they demonstrated a keen understanding of the disease processes and their management ensuring a more sustainable benefit.

photo(7)We were able to gather additional surgical candidates that were sent to the Provincial Hospital for management. ENT and GYN missionaries were asked to come to see the patients that needed them. This was repeated the following day in another Barangay that also drew patients from five nearby barangays. We saw close to 700 patients the first day and even more the following day.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the group later on the second day to keep Sylvia company after she was found to have low platelets from suspected Dengue fever. A sense of “panic” ensued and arrangement were made for her to be brought to another private hospital emergency room and be seen by an Internist-friend of Bro Dr. Toto Escovidal who had started her immediately on IV fluid hydration and confirmed the thrombocytopenia that had now dropped from 36,000 to 30,000.

SYLAn instant conference ensued among brods including Bro. Dr. Daniel Yap who suggested a transfer to General Santos Doctor’s Hospital that he owned where an apheresis machine was available in case platelet transfusion was necessary. We were transported there by the City van where Sylvia was given the best accommodation in a suite with a dining room and a second bed and enough sofas for me and Sylvia’s sister, Lela, and nephew, Andrew, to sleep in. And so the medical mission was not only for the public. It also became a personal one that we benefited from.

The buffet dinner was sumptuous as expected. Then followed the brief speeches and acknowledgment of the missionaries and expression of gratitude by Bro. Dr. Mayor Peter Miguel. The live band was very good and the lady crooner was fun, even indulging some brods with ‘naughty acts and gestures’ to the delight of the audience.

photo(8)The missionaries came out very satisfied from the whole experience, appreciating the pampering that the City of Koronadal bestowed upon everybody. There was nothing left undone to make sure the mission was accomplished to the satisfaction of everybody and all those who participated were cared for beyond compare. Thank you Bro. Dr. Peter Miguel. Kanami Koronadal! Kanami Gid!

Lake Sebu & Seven Falls
Rest & Recreation & More

Just when you think it was over, there was more exciting things to come. Saturday, January 23 was a special day set aside by the City of Koronadal to show its gratitude to the hard-working missionaries, as if they had not done so already.

Mass & breakfast at the Bishop’s residence

Mass & breakfast at the Bishop’s residence

Mother of the Mayor sharing breakfast w/ brods

Mother of the Mayor sharing breakfast w/ brods

A trip to the resort town of Lake Sebu and its natural wonder of a cascading series of seven falls was to be the setting. But first we visited the palace of the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel, Most Rev. Dinualdo Gutierrez, who con-celebrated a mass in his private chapel at the top of a hill overlooking the City of Koronadal.

Another sumptuous breakfast with native delicacies and fruits was served thereafter. The mother of the Mayor was around to meet every body. We proceeded to the National Government Offices Park where we planted saplings of mahogany tree by the slope of a steep hill to leave a Tauan mark in the Green Revolution that the City of Koronadal is staunchly supportive of.

‘Tree Growing’ at the City Park

‘Tree Growing’ at the City Park

I am sure my departed father, bless his soul, is today smiling and nodding in agreement for he was a career forester and he actually was the head of the Reforestation Administration during his heydays.

There was plenty of time to visit the B’laan cultural village where the natives have built houses that showcased and helped preserve their culture. Brightly clad ladies and girls and a few men entertained us even as they served native delicacies and food harvested from nearby hills to demonstrate their hospitality and willingness to welcome and mingle with their Christian visitors.

BLA10

A visit at the B’laan Village

A visit at the B’laan Village

But there is a price to pay if you misbehave!

But there is a price to pay if you misbehave!

It was close to noontime before we even realized it and it was time for that one hour ride up the hills to the beautiful region of Lake Sebu and its Seven Falls. There was lunch waiting for us serving locally cultured tilapias cooked in various ways, the most delicious being the one wrapped in leaves. Crispy pata was also on deck.

Lunch at Lake Sebu

Lunch at Lake Sebu

Local native villagers were again around to play various musical instruments to which young girls and their matron of honor danced. There was even an Elvis look alike singing with his lively guitar familiar songs for tip.

First of the Seven Falls

First of the Seven Falls

Despite having a full stomach, we all ventured up the hills on rough roads to go see the seven falls managing to see only two, maybe three, of them because of limited time. We spent most of it braving the zip line that spanned the wide and very scenic tree-covered canyon that was split by rivers seen waaaaay down below.

I do not know who screamed the loudest or prayed the most but everybody shouted Hail Tau Mu as they went careening down the line. And just when we thought it was over, we found out we were just half way through and there was another ravine to cross going the opposite way. I did not wet my pants but I sure needed to look for the restroom as soon as I got freed up from the wrap-around harness.

ZIP1This was more than the challenge I experienced at the Sky Ranch in Tagaytay but twice as much FUN and equally as beautiful, that is if you kept your eyes open to enjoy the panorama in motion. The Go Pro video that I took along the way did not do justice to the actual beauty of the entire experience. The ION sports video camera that I had Bro. Patrick Talampas use did not function. I can blame it on him but he looked braver than I was. It must be the camera. Hohummm!

Driving back to our respective hotels was a lot quieter, perhaps a time to pause and recuperate after that exhilarating kamikaze experience. Back in our minds was the invitation to end the Koronadal visit with a party at the farm of Bro. Dr. Mayor Peter Miguel.

There was already a band setting up and barbecue shishkabob and native free range chicken going on. The bar was open and so was the buffet table. We did not waste our time getting started but we had to pace ourselves as the handa was kept going all night long. The mahjong and card tables were crowded and the conversation was kept active as we waited for the “surprise” of the evening.

MIG15MIG16

Despedida Party at Bro. Dr. Mayor Peter Miguel’s Farm House

Despedida Party at Bro. Dr. Mayor Peter Miguel’s Farm House

It was full moon after all and the skies were almost cloudless and quite bright, but it was made even brighter by the fireworks extravaganza that ushered in midnight. Then came the show girls who had a fashion show going initially starting with slightly clad outfits and gradually shedding them off little by little until the final run when it was done in two piece scanty bikinis. It was a little chilly and with some hamog (maybe from the deep breathing of the brods) in the air. Brrrrr.

However the brods felt warm, maybe boiling hot, inside and stayed seated waiting for the next round and expecting more (no, maybe less). But that was the end of the show. It left us hanging (bitin) but that was the fun of it. Come next time and maybe you will see more (no, less). He he he! Yes indeed Koronadal was fun in so many ways than one.

Sunday was time to say goodbye. The group was split several ways. A few already left the day before on Saturday to attend to family matters. A scheduled golf outing was canceled with nobody wanting to get up early enough.

20160124_095403The larger segment went to the Dole Plantation by the foot of Mount Matutum, a not too extinct volcano, to have lunch before going to the Gen San airport to board their flight for Manila. A smaller group headed for the white sand beaches of Sarangani to stay overnight at the White Haven Resort in Gumasa beach in the township of Glan where Congressman, future Senator and penultimate and classy champion boxer, Manny Pacquiao hales.

Me, I was dropped off by this group at General Santos Doctors’ Hospital to spend time with my Dengue-stricken wife and perform by marital duties. It is not what you think.

There is a popular consensus that Tau Mu should be coming back next year, perhaps with families to enjoy the hospitality of South Cotabato. However, we should be prepared to shoulder our own fare and not abuse too much the generosity of the City of Koronadal despite the willingness of our hosts to pamper us beyond compare. We have to seriously consider this in order to ensure that the tradition that our brother, Dodoy Sueno, startedis sustainable and remains beyond reproach.

KANAMI KORONADAL!!! KANAMI GID!!!

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One thought on “Andres Chronicle Special Edition: Tau Mu Sigma Phi’s 70th Anniversary Celebration

  1. Kuya Primo,

    The Andres Chronicle is amazing especially for us who wished to be present in our 70th year celebration. The collection of pictures and the stories are superb and very entertaining.
    Salamat po for making and sharing it to the brods.
    HTM!

    enjoy life,
    Darnel

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