Sunday, May 20, 2012


The University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE) is my alma mater. I belonged to 1984 Haraya Yearbook because I was supposed to graduate that year, but I gSot an Incomplete in my Econ 199 (undergrad thesis) under Prof. Winnie Monsod, plus a bad grade in Econ 131 (Econometrics). I worked at UPSE as a research assistant to Dr. Florian Alburo while completing my thesis, finally graduated in 1985. Thus, I belonged to two graduating batches of UPSE :-) It's a good thing too because I have friends in both batches, we still meet from time to time.

My student organization in UPSE was the UP Economics Towards Consciousness (ETC), formed in 1979 by now UPSE faculty member, Dr. Orville Solon and his buddies. But while I was in UPSE, I was also active in my UP Sapul group (see below) at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) then.

Upper right photo, I was at the right, with curly hair, I looked like a rebel then, haha. The three other photos were some of our reunions here in Manila about four years ago maybe. Lower right is clearer, from left: Jim Villar, RJay Garcia, Noel Ostrea, Jojo Desiderio, Roger Ynzon, Winnie Adorador, me, Ajie Papa.

In April 2004, I went to the US for the first time, was an international fellow of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Went to several free market seminars, conferences and meetings there for a month -- Michigan, Chicago, Washington DC. Before I flew back to Manila, I went to NYC. Two ETCers there (upper left  photo), Erlyn Barza and Esther Habana, beside me, toured me to some places there, had nice lunch. 

Next three photos, in some of the UPSE Annual reunions. Upper right, 2009 UPSE Homecoming; to my right is Popo Suanes, he's not an ETCer, he's from EcoSoc, but he was our batch valedictorian then, he finished Summa Cum Laude, the first summa alumni of the school, really bright guy. Lower right, 2010 UPSE Homecoming, having fun as "trying hard activists" at least in photo. g, the 

In April 2009, I went to Los Angeles, California, to attend the Atlas Libety Forum. After the conference, another ETCer, Joey Dayao, picked me up from my hotel the next day and toured me around LA. By afternoon, we visited Jim Villar in his place. Before that, Joey brought me to Hooters bar in LA, nice place. It was also my first time to visit a Hooters bar. The waitress who attended to us was friendly and wacky, I think Joey gave him a good tip.

Meanwhile, it is Jim's birthday this coming May 23, advance happy birthday Jim.

Below, a small group reunion here, sometime in 2005. Upper left, from left, with my girlfriend then (now my wife) Ella, Roger Ynzon, Fermin "Tarcs" Taruc, Arn Abundo, husband of another ETCer Debbie Flores, and Larry Lara.

Fermin died last year, heart attack. He is a big guy with a big heart, big humor. Three nights before he died, I attended a hurriedly-organized ETC reunion because Esther Habana-Matioli came home from NYC and Fermin is a very close friend of her, she wanted  a quickie reunion. It was fun, that Thursday night. By Monday morning or barely three days after that, Fermin died. One reason why as much as possible, I attend all reunions by friends 10, 20, 28 years ago, especially my friends, former classmates, schoolmates, dorm mates, org mates, from UP.

Larry Lara and Debbie are close to me. In "retaliation" for their friendliness to me, I made them among the godparents of my second child, Bien Mary, who will turn two years old this coming October. When I went to Sydney, Australia two years ago to attend the 4th Pacific Rim Policy Exchange mainly sponsored by the Americans for Tax Reforms (they gave me a travel scholarship as I was one of the panel speakers), Debbie and Larry (he happened to be there too) hosted me when I got out of my hotel. Lots of food and wine and tour. Larry brought me to Manly Wharf so I was able to see Sydney City proper from the sea.

Super thanks again Larry, Debbie.

More photos later as I dig the photos from our ETC yahoogroups.

1 comment:

pinoy23 said...

Very nice Nonoy; just saw this.--Noel O.