Four Ms: A Tribute-A A +A
Sunday, July 22, 2012
EARLIER this week, Atty. Marzo P. Agarao, Sr. of Victorias City passed away. His body lies in state at St. Peter Memorial Chapel, Alijis, Bacolod. Following a service Sunday morning, his remains will be cremated at 2 p.m. this Sunday.
Atty. Marzo is the father of Marzani, my classmate in Don Bosco. During our high school days, we sometimes went to Marzani’s place. They lived at the second floor of their family business, Four Ms Bakeshop and Snack Bar right beside what is now the Victorias Commercial Complex.
In one of those visits, we watched “Trading Places” starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd (still in VHS format, mind you). I recalled seeing Atty. Marzo sitting in front of the cash register watching over the brisk sales of their tasty bread products.
Back then I often saw Atty. Marzo, his wife Tita Anicia, their children Marzani, Marzo Jr. or Marilen watching over their business every time I buy sliced loaf and buns or eat miswa with egg at their snack bar. Youngest Marianne was still a chubby little girl back then who was too young to mind the business.
I had exchanged only a few words with Atty. Marzo and his wife during my more than 30 years stay in Victorias and I cannot claim that I know them well.
However, inferring from the growth of Four Ms (which has already spread out into several branches and is now a byword in Victorias) and the professional and business success of the Agarao children, I take my hat off to Atty. Marzo and I express my condolences to the Agarao family.
A tree is indeed known by its fruits.
The Agaraos moved from their hometown in Luzon to Victorias in the late 70s and took over San Pablo bakery which was owned by the Dumaraos family. They then changed its name to Four Ms.
The Dumaraos family came from San Pablo, Laguna and named their bakery business after their hometown. After selling their bakery, they went back home. Their eldest child, Giovanni, was my classmate in pre-school under Mrs. Mangco at the Our Lady of Victory Parish.
When Giovanni’s bakery business changed hands and names, the eldest child of the new owners, the Agaraos, also became my classmate.
Marzani and I were also classmates with Jaymar Bagaforo, the eldest child of the family which owned Jo-Jays Bakeshop which is located on the same street as Four Ms. Jo-jays Bakeshop was located in what is now either AP Department Store or BPI.
Jo-Jays was derived from the first syllable of the names of the two sons of the Bagaforos – Jaymar and Jomarie. On the other hand, Four Ms stands for the initials of the names of the four Agarao children – Marzani, Marzo Jr., Marilen and Marianne.
The other bakeshops back then were Royale Bakery right across the highway from Vic Arcade, Yanwon Bakeshop beside Vic Arcade and El Ideal Bakeshop at the eastern part of what is now McJade.
Vic Arcade used to be Vic Theater during the days of the jukebox. Betamax, VHS, CD and DVD players and pirated DVDs spelled the doom for theaters. (If you mention Betamax or jukebox to kids nowadays, they will look at you as though you have spoken in a foreign tongue.)
Royale Bakery, Yanwon and Ideal are now just memories. And so is Jo-jays Bakeshop after the Bagaforos moved back to Manila.
Four Ms and the Agaraos still remain.
Atty. Marzo may have gone to another world but the legacy he left behind in Four Ms will linger, perhaps longer than our lifetime.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
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Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 23, 2012.