A memento

what friends are for?

sounds, like a song huh! seems not related to the subject… hehe…

for the past days, i have been tackling about friends.


it is always good to nurture good friends. good friends are our second number one fans… next to the family!

yesterday, i visited tony alimaza, and his family (bing, his wife; and netnet, 1yr & 5 mos daughter.) tony is a bestfriend since highschool, in the seminary- Our Lady of Peñafrancia Seminary, Sorsogon. he was my mentor in all subjects. a good model, i may say. tony earned the best seminarian award. and, surprsingly, me too! only in first year though!… hehe…

i was in first year, and he was in third year. i always compared grades with him. especially in math! we were the seminary contenders then for math olympiad, an interschool math competition. we were the bet of the seminary, plus some others. edu, tony’s classmate, was one. (he’s now fr. edu and currently the rector of the minor seminary. too young to be a rector huh!).

i also competed grades with tony in english, spanish, and latin! subjects, which were thorns among us in highschool! our priest-professors for the subjects were real tough!

fr. arwyn diesta, our english prof, always reminded us, “you cannot be good in other languages, unless you’re good in english.” he always told us to speak english even during simple conversations with friends outside the seminary. english rule then was imposed in the minor. so even in the basketball courts, we could not speak other languages, otherwise, we would pay 1 peso per word during dinner time. every seminarian was tasked to catch violators. it was real fun! it’s how we learned the craft.

fr. ding caindec was for me the best prof in spanish and latin. “unus, duo, tres, quatuor, quinque, sex, septem, octo, novem, decem.” counting latin words, that echoed to our ears. until now!…hehe… he recited them with great intonation and voice exageration. his words, “speak the word according to its language of origin.” so that, “vice-versa” is pronounced as “viche-versa.” it’s a latin word.

as usual, tony and i shared ideas, views about life, principles, politics, philosophies, business, work, literature, etc. sharpening our minds. having mental calisthenics. grinding the ultimate capacity to think and learn new ideas. just as the knife, how sharp it maybe, becomes dull if not being used. so we need to harness also our minds. tony is a friend whom i can battle mind with.

but of course! we had spirits! hehe…what’s a talk without spirits huh?!..;-)

while the night was passing, he showed me his bible. he said it was a gift from his cousin, erik amponin. (erik, was my classmate by the way. he is now a dentist.) i was impressed when tony showed the back page of the bible. in there were printed, all the names in our batch including our addresses. (note, for a batch in the seminary means a class. maximum of 30 students. filtered from all the boys in the province. so the students here are the best. they are the ones who pass the entrance exam.) i do not even know the exact number of our house in the province! hehe!… nice one erik!

our batch:
Erickson Amponin, Benigno Del Barrio, Jeffrey Chua, Dexter Co, Michael Co, Kahlil Diño, Rogelio Endaya, Allen Erestain, Roy Estillero (deceased), PaulF, Dan Grefal, Gerald Guevarra, Manuel Gutlay, Mark Guirindola,Ernesto Lim, Edgar Magbanua, Gerald Narvadez, Ral Rocha, Philip Renovalles, Mark Marbella (deceased), Christian  Zaragoza, Joseph Yao

thanks boro tony for the good time. till next! (“boro” is how we call each other. it means brother.)

boro is working in PCSO. supply officer III, admin dept. so guys, if you have kins or friends who have difficulty paying hospital bills, just inform me, and i will refer them to him.

a memento… a bible…


  1. felicissima said,

    November 24, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Thank you father for visiting my site. Yes, what we learned in the past serves as a “lamp” in our journey called life. One way of thanking our mentors is by giving them recognitions for the values, knowledge, and culture that they imparted us. God bless all.

  2. Fr. ding Caindec said,

    November 11, 2006 at 9:18 am

    It’s indeed encouraging that as we get older and “wiser” we remember with passion the things we took for granted in the past. Thanks for remembering Latin and Spanish. I am sure in your present life situation,those things you’ve learned in the seminary are helping you a great deal.

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