The University of Baguio is my Alma Mater, too-A A +A
By Nars Padilla
Friday, August 30, 2013
FOR ONE reason or the other, I was unable to attend any activity of the 65th Triple 8 celebration of the University of Baguio during the month of August. But you can be sure, I was there in spirit full of pleasant memories about my youthful student day in college.
It was after my graduation from the Baguio City High School in 1949 when I joined the Baguio Tech. Red Cardinals senior basketball team led by playing coach, the late manong Ping Abubo. I was a presidential scholar in sports, courtesy of Tatay Fernando Bautista, founder-president of the technical and commercial institution. My teammates were Bob Corpuz, the late Jimmy Muller and Asiong Callao, Jess Baterina, Choy de Prado and Doming Imson. I was the youngest in the team.
After a year, while preparing myself for a teaching career, I expanded my activities in school to other fields of endeavor. On the invitation of Asian gamer Tomas Benet, I joined his track and field squad. Later on, with the whole-hearted interest and support of Tatay and Nanay Bautista, I organized and served as the band instructor of the first BT Drum and Bugle Corps which won honors for the institution. The corps won the championship plum of the Prisaa Regional D&B Competition in 1952.
Among the original members of the group, who are now successful professionals, were the Bautista brothers Rhey and Ben, Carlos Loyola, Dammy Bangaoet, Joseph Rulla, Eddie Ordas and Ray Valencia. The late Fer Bautista, Ben San Pedro and my younger brother Santiago and Ely Mallare were also key members of in the band.
Yours truly also organized the first Boy Scout troop in the school. Troop 88, which is presently led by Scouter Jorge Borja Jr., was ranked as one of the best scouting units under the former Baguio-Mt. Province BSP local council. I also served as the first president of the BT’s dramatic club, more popularly known as the Fine Arts and Literary Society.
Another highlight of my college days took place in 1951. After a series of practical and mental examinations conducted by the ROTC authorities in the institution, I was designated as the ROTC Corps commander of BT. This was an unprecedented move, knowing too well that the distinguished position of responsibility is primarily bestowed to cadets taking the Advance ROTC course.
I was just starting my second basic year stint when opportunity came. On record, BT’s ROTC unit was the second best of its kind in the 1st Military Area of the AFP during my term as the Corps commander. Thanks to the cooperation of my executive officers and cadets in the unit who worked very hard to achieve honors.
By the way, during the 35th Foundation Day Anniversary of UB in 1983, I received from president Rhey Bautista the coveted “Distinguished Alumni Award.” I was cited for distinguished service and meritorious leadership in the field of community service and for giving glory and honor to my Alma Mater.
I will never forget that with a monthly allowance of P40, I dabbled as the BT’s ROTC firearms storage room. At that time, the amount was something. As fate would have it, my spectrum of activities in school ended when I joined the United States Naval Training Center in San Diego 33, California. I graduated from the rigid four month training course as Recruit Chief Petty Officer or Company commander of Co. 333, early part of 1954. My company composed of about 62 American navymen-recruit from Uncle Sam’s country and at least four Pinoys from the Philippines.
Happy 104th birthday, magandang Baguio. We are praying and hoping for the best for you while forging ahead toward progress and prosperity. On this score, we are again calling on all residents to share and help meet the challenges of the times in our midst.
Together let us, throughout the day and through the years, give our beloved city what it truly deserves. Let us make Baguio clean, green, peaceful and beautiful. Let us fight against crimes and illegal drugs; conserve water and electricity; protect and conserve our environment; plant more trees and flowers and avoid smoke belching.
Follow strictly traffic regulations including those for pedestrians. Be guided by the ABC of life. Always be careful. Avoid being careless. Our law enforcers must always be on the alert. Implement the laws without discrimination. Over and above, pray always.
We are quite disappointed that our tourism officials or our Charter Day celebration committee evidently have not lifted a finger to refurbish the historic marker along Abanao Street, that of Justice George Malcolm at the Square, the City of Baguio Km. 0 arch and the cement topography map at the foot of Session road after their much ballyhooed budget and series of commemorative activities. We sincerely believe that people, places and events must be the centerfold of events. Please do something better for the mentioned markers.
Maraming salamat po!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 31, 2013.