BEHIND THE LINES: Where Eagles dare PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 04 December 2014 14:05



San Jose, CA. — A super typhoon has been spotted entering the Philippines’ area of responsibility by Friday, Dec. 5, on the very day that the Ateneans in Zamboanga will observe their alumni homecoming. Susmariajosep! It’s going to be another wet reunion for the Eagles. My classmates (Bert Manalo and Jun Francisco, Class ’69) have been in touch with the schedule of activities. I’ll miss you, guys, this year.

Well, as usual and as always, the program for the three-day get-together remains the same for decades now. You know what I mean. But this time without the fireworks, thanks but no thanks to the ban on firecrackers and pyrotechnics. So, after the torch parade (a legacy) the Eagles, male and female, will converge at the back field for the usual hullabaloo of food and unrestrained alcohol until midnight (if they’re not dead drunk, yet). The oldies, some of them now residing in Metro-Manila, should wear caps and raincoats, lest they catch cold, otherwise, they’ll be humans described by Thomas Carlyle, hence, “Like a God-created fire-breathing spirit-host, we emerge from the inane; haste stormfully across the astonished earth, then plunge again into the inane.” In other words, guys, don’t do anything silly for the love of school just to get sick that will have incalculable impairment. To be old is to be old. Period.

This year’s high school golden jubilarians (more or less 66 years old) will be led by bar topnotcher Vic Solis, hotel necromancer Arthur Lopez and Elvis Presley voice replica Peter Respall, among others. Vic was the debater in their class. Bong Gollena was Mr. Basketball, and Vic Manalac was Frank Sinatra. They’ll have a great time recalling the good ‘ol days and good ‘ol hairs (he he). Class ’64: This is the batch, just like Class ’59, with great knowledge and persistent wisdom.

Twenty years ago, they’d frequent bristos and cabarets, devour “pulutan” with all the “gurdura”, drink like a fish and gormandize chocolates and pastries like a six-year old. Now, they’d pop all kinds of drugs for arthritis, hypertension and heart ailment before even thinking of eating edible substances swimming in oil. And viagra? You tell me.

Ateneo is a happy nation because of our blessed faith we owe to the Divine Providence. That happiness doesn’t come only during homecomings. It is probably the education that we earned from the Jesuits, exalted by the edification, the indoctrination, the guidance that were transmitted to us when we were not at home nursed by our parents. And in between school and play, we prayed (and still do) because prayer, as one evangelist said, is the “deepest impulse of the soul of man.”

To the jubilarians — grade school, high school and college —be reminded about what Joseph Addison once said: “The minors long to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honors, then to retire.”

“Pro Deo et Patria.”