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Dinner with edja
9/9/2007 10:11:25 AM

the dinner with EJA and Ed was more than just the standard SoCal welcome-dinner. from the most senior to the most junior, we braved the monster LA Friday traffic to join Sen. Angara, his daughter and son-in-law and Ed Escueta to a Filipino-dish only dinner. And, from where I was sitting, EJA and Ed were pleased and appreciated the warm welcome.

SoCal brods are partial to EJA (BoyV works very hard to make sure of that). we showered him with love and attention - presented him a book, David McCullough's 1776, as a reminder that nation-building is hard work and a bloody business. we gave him the last souvenir coffee-mug from the reunion and the item that he really liked best. Apo Leo's World Summit watch. like a kid with a new toy, he wore it proudly at dinner. i do not know if Ed Escueta got a watch. he got special treatment though. a golf game with Don Ramon Pellicer.

i sat beside EJA, not for any special reason. i came late. i was trying to carry a conversation and he obliged. but i could tell that the fellow on the other side had a more interesting conversation going. i listened as they were talking esoteric issues - raising chickens, cholesterol levels, erectile dysfunction just name some. the fellow on the other side was Roger Vapor.

EJA was here for the US gathering of the UP Alumni Assn. in SF. he is actively involved in planning for the Centennial Celebration next year. the US Alumni Assn has fund raising prowess, it raised $1M for the UP system. he also challenged brods to get involved on issues at home, endorsed dual-citizenship, pleaded to eligible voters to vote in elections (1M US based Pinoys are eligble, about 45% actually cast their ballot). He believes this can make a big difference in future elections. He is upbeat about the future and feel optimistic that his party will prevail in 2010 presidential election.

another reason the dinner was extra special, EJA's birthday is coming up. I knew this, because I just finished reading Nick Juaquin's version of his biography. it's a good read. I told him so. what i did not tell him was my take-away from his life-story. his journey at this point in his life is a similar journey that great leaders of men and nations have followed before him. it is a clear and singular belief that you can make a difference, a passion in your belief and the determination to pursue irregardless of the stumbles. Senator Angara, do not give-up, continue the journey, there maybe more stumbles, the destination maybe at hand. Thanks for spending time with us. Safe travels.
boy g



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