TODAY I share about my best of friends, Rose Marie. A friendship that spans 34 years, some mistake us for sisters. We just celebrated her 58th birthday which she claims is her 18 year debut after 40. She was dressed in a yellow gown, with wings and wand and totally enjoyed herself.
We met when we were organizing the Association of Igorot Professionals way back in 1985. We were a group of starting professionals aged early to late 20’s, there were only two who were aged 30 years old, Manong Nestor Caoili and Medardo Aquino. For more than a year we struggled to define ourselves because the Cordillera Region was being formed and as young professionals we search for an identity. That ended with being called “Igorot Professionals” we did not want to use Cordillera, but choose Igorots and we choose “professionals” because we aspire to reach out and serve our communities and people with our professional expertise and experience.
Rose Marie was then very shy despite being the number 1 passing the Pharmacy Board Examination, being the first daughter of the very successful Jack and Lolita Dulnuan. Our parents were friends for ages before we even met, so hanging around with her and the other members of AYIP sits well with our parents.
Rose Marie was the prime mover of our Medicial Missions back then in the late 1980s until the 1990s when younger medical practitioners took over her role. She would coordinate with the community, the doctors and pharmacies so we have medicines, personnel and people. Together with Ruben Tinda-an, Richard Bawingan, the late Fr. Camilo Ongsit and Fr. Clyde Banasan, they will choose far flung areas for us to go and conduct the medical missions. We had to cross rivers, lakes, mountains and valleys to do our medical missions. More often we would hike, ride on boats or piggy back to cross rivers to reach our destination. Rose would sometime not even know where we would be the next stop as we will be led by the male members of AYIP into places where no medical mission has reached. Hindi pa uso noon iyong medical mission.
As Fr. Clyde shared that in one incident, he was the assistant Pharmacist of Rose Marie. Her instructions were clear, “I will write the prescription and you will explain to the patient, the dosage, the frequency and the contents. And do not sit down when we are the pharmacists” and that was exactly what Fr. Clyde did.
Rose Marie was has become a strong woman through the years and we saw her rise beyond her expectations as she continue to study in La Salle to complete her Master degree in Business management. Together with her father and youngest sister Madz they have expanded the Jacks Restaurant business and put up the Jack’s Grandview hotel in Kisad. We had fun as we used the facility for seminars and parties. I came back to Baguio after being overseas and she invited me to enroll so we could be classmates, so we were classmates and finished our Doctorate Degree in Management.
More than that we spent meaningful times like ukay ukay and food tripping when we need to de stress, we would open a bottle of champagne and make a toast as the New Year breaks or visit a new restaurant that just opened in town.
Our last travel together was in Nepal two years ago. She joined our mission trip together with other women who want to travel. She enjoyed her strip but unfortunately in the middle of the trip when we were in Damak, the southern part of Nepal she felt ill. However, she still got out of bed and did her part in the Women’s conference. The women and our team loved her. By the time we were in the northern Nepal she has recovered and was able to join as we greet the sun rise from the Annapurna ranges. She was enjoying herself as we traveled Nepal and Bangkok.
And then we celebrate her special day and she remembers AYIP whose original members included among others - Mayor Ruben Tinda-an of Buguias; Computer tycoon Jerome Gawidan; Luzviminda Saidro a practicing doctor now in San Diego; Judge Bill Buyuccan, Doc Marjie Bataclao, past president of the Dentist Assoc of the Philippines; Soledad Doligas Benwaren, Imelda Guinid and Phoebe of NAPOLCOM, and many more.
The fragrance of the rose that lingers,
the beauty of a rose that captivates
the best is yet to come
Rose Marie Pal-a Dulnuan.