IT IS a basic rule in public speaking to know your audience before you talk to them. Vice versa, the people in the audience should be given the opportunity to know who the speaker is so they can decide whether or not to listen to him or leave him to talk to himself. That should be the purpose of introducing the guest speaker.
In the same light vein, I would like the prospective reader of this article, like you, to be given the same kind of treatment. Permit me, therefore, in this maiden article for interspersing a brief self-introduction to assure you that, from now on, reading what comes from my ballpen will hopefully not be a waste of time on your part and a waste of space for Sun*Star Baguio. Far from my thoughts, too, to disappoint Sun*Star scout Aida E. Boragay and Pres. Fred Balanag of BARP, who mentioned my name to her, by disseminating boring garbage along the way as we circle the sun.
Taga Abra tayo, apo, ngem addaacon ditoy Baguio idi pay la 1963. I came here for a teaching assignment in the fields of language, philosophy, and theology, particularly Spanish, logic, ethics, epistemology, at the then Saint Louis College, which was seriously aiming at university status. There I happened to meet the triumvirate of Dr. Alfonso Garcia, an Ed.D. from the Michigan State University, and Dean Felix Pamintuan and his very able wife, Julie. The three were sent by then Department of Education Director Narciso Albarracin to help a college that wanted to become a university to fulfill three stringent basic requirements, namely: 1. There should be at least three colleges, one of which is the College of Liberal Arts; 2. There should be a Graduate School with a research journal publication; and 3. There should be a library of at least fifty thousand volumes.
Dr. Garcia was the new Dean of Graduate School, the Pamintuans were with the Department of Education where Felix was dean. I was with Dean Fr. John van Bauwel in the Department of Liberal Arts and with Dr. Garcia as his Managing Editor of the Saint Louis Quarterly. A faculty member, who attended my class in Spanish 2, stuck to my mind: SLC Bandmaster Macario Fronda. For music is a strong hobby for me. I still indulge in this leisure-type activity unlike in basketball where I have now opted to enjoy more by watching and imagining because the spirit is willing but the legs are weak. The same with boxing where I received a stinging left in high school from counterpuncher Greg Dompor of Bohol but still floated like a butterfly (Excuse me, Ali!). In swimming, I was a certified first-aider from the swimming pool of Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City but I surely cannot duplicate the ability of a German SVD confrere at the University of San Carlos who could float like paper supported only by his belly for two hours reading a pocketbook up to like a kilometer offshore Talisay Beach in Cebu Island. Swimming, too, brought me to Half-moon Beach in Zambales although I was employed after USC Cebu City, in the classrooms of Immaculata Academy in Malolos, Bulacan. It also once endangered but saved my life at Dawel Beach in Dagupan City when I followed Dr. Garcia and the Pamintuans to assist Dagupan Colleges transform itself to University of Pangasinan as it was named later by choice of its founder, President Dr. Blas Rayos. I had to join them, leaving the work of college mentor and the editorial work of the Baguio Tech Journal that we had put up, because PAFLU came knocking at the doors of Baguio Tech so that the attention of Management was diverted from the pursuit of academic processes and efforts towards a university status to the work of adjusting and setting labor relations with manpower. Anyway, the blueprints of plans, so to say, for the brainchild of Baguio educational icon, President Fernando Bautista Sr., was already put in place. Soon Baguio Tech would be University of Baguio. (To be continued)