Friday, September 03, 2021

My mother's 6th anniversary in heaven

Today is my mother Consuelo Oplas 6th death anniversary. 

On September 3, 2015, I posted this in my fb wall: 

My father, my eldest daughter, my mother. At our house in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, April 2010. After battling her kidney problem & Alzheimer's for several years, Mama has rested today. Bye Ma... am very sad...

I thanked and greatly appreciate several hundreds of Condolence notes and comments from hundreds of friends. Thanks again, guys.

The next day, Sept 4, 2015, I posted this: 

Dear friends, your greetings and condolence notes are well appreciated, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Papa is beside me now in front of Mama's coffin. He keeps crying.He keeps repeating that they have been married for 62 years now, that he has caused her some sadness in the past, he misses her. He does not want to come home after the burial on Sunday. My younger brother will host him in his house for a few days. 

Mama and Papa, December 1995.

After Mama's burial. We're five siblings, from left: me, Manang Bebeth, Neneng Marycris, and Bobong. The fifth, our eldest Manong Nestor, died of prostate C with diabetes around 2005. My other photos during Mama's burial were in my other laptop that crashed.

Mama and Papa together up there since 4+ years ago.

Still remembering and loving you, Ma, Pa....

See also:, August 20, 2012, December 08, 2013.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

My US trip two years ago

Yesterday, these photos popped in my fb feed, about my few side trips after attending a climate-energy conference in Washington DC sponsored by the Heartland Institute.

July 28, 2019, lunch with Lorenzo Montanari and Chris Butler of the Americans for Tax Reforms (ATR), in a resto few blocks from their office.

After lunch I met with Wolfgang Mueller of EIKE, European Institute for Climate and Energy, based in Germany. Wolfgang also attended the Heartland conference. We have coffee at the Chinatown in DC.

The next day, Wolfgang and I attended the barbeque party of Tim Andrews, formerly with the Australia Taxpayers Alliance (ATA) then migrated to the US, with the US Taxpayers Alliance. He moved to another free market NGO. And Dr Pat Michaels of Cato was also there. Pat was one of the speakers in the conference two days earlier. He's a famous meteorologist and climatologist.

From left: me, Tim, Pat, Wolfgang. Filipino, Australian, American, German :-)

After that I visited an old and dear friend, Jo Kwong, formerly with Atlas Foundation, moved to the Philantrophy Roundtable, also in DC. Jo is very nice to me, she raised funds to sponsor my trip to Atlas conferences in 2008 (Atlanta) and 2009 (March in LA, November in DC). In 2010 she resigned from Atlas and Atlas has stopped sponsoring me too.

Jo is Chinese-American. Jo and her very supportive hubby.

Thank you Lorenzo, Chris, Wolfgang, Tim, Jo.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Construction of my treehouse in 2004

My treehouse in a barrio in Bugallon, Pangasinan was constructed in 2004. I have an architect who help design it and trained the local carpenters how to execute things -- my friend and former Narra dormmate in UP Diliman, Clifford Espinosa. 

Since the house is perched on a big and live mahogany tree, construction started from the top, the trusses of the roof of the second floor. Then the 2nd floor was built, then the 1st floor. Bottom right photo is Clifford with another friend from UP, Calmar Palma. Another friend from UP who came that day was Ding Aguila, not in the photo.

Clifford in another photo bottom left, support carpenter Charlie Espinosa looking up. Bottom right, that's me trying the manual driller.

Roof is cogon, well arranged. Danny Paragas and his father Nong Endring Paragas looking.

Near-finished house, after about 3 months.

This is the original treehouse in that tree, a small hut. It was dismantled so that the bigger, 2-storey treehouse could replace it.

Inside the treehouse, this photo taken about 2 years ago.

Thanks Clifford, thanks carpenters and others who helped.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Remembering Fermin Taruc

Ten years ago today, Feb. 26, 2011, my undergrad organization, UP Economics Towards Consciousness (UP ETC), had a sudden, instant reunion among some alumni who were invited by SMS just hours before the gathering. Our friend from NYC, Esther Habana, was in town and has a one on one with another friend, Fermin "Tarcs" Taruc, a Manila-based tech businessman. Later they decided to invite others, me included. Below from left: Gladys, Esther, Jojo, and Tarcs.

Three of us followed later. Below from left: Jojo, Roland, Esther, Tarcs, Gladys, Roger, me.

It was another fun-filled evening with fellow ETCers. Many others were invited but they could not come due to short notice, just few hours. 

That was a Thursday night. Days later, Monday morning, we just learned that Tarcs died. He had a heart attack Sunday night and since he was living alone in his condo, no one brought him to the hospital. His officemates who wondered why he was not responding by email or by phone call, went to his condo. The guards assisted them to come in, they found Tarcs unconscious inside. They brought him to the hospital, it was late.

Thanks for the friendship, Tarcs. You are a good and friendly man. 

Since then, I attended all reunions with friends from college. I have many organizations and groups of friends from UP, including former dormmates (I stayed in Molave, Yakal, Narra dorms).  

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Math with the witch, wand and broom

I got this from a friend, Noel Nieva. Really funny and a bit mind- or eyes-twisting, so you should zoom into each item. I posted it in my fb wall with this Spoiler -- that I will delete the correct answer and will pm guys who answered correctly.

If you have not encountered this before or know the answer before, go!


3 Clues:
Equation 1: the witch is holding 2 things,
Equation 3: there are actually 4 brooms.
Equation 4: there are actually 2 wands :-)

Most of my friends answered 32, wrong. 

Ok, here's the answer: 

Witch with wand and broom = 15
Witch without wand and broom = 15-7-3 = 5
Wand = 21/3 = 7
Broom = 12/4 = 3
Eqn 4: broom + witch w/o W&B x (2 wands), notice the double/shadow.
= 3 + 5 x (7x2) = 3 + (5 x 14)
= 3 + 70 = 73.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Elle and Bien, pics 2018

Some old photos of the two girls here two years ago.

April 2018.

October 2018.

May 2018, Ben Pearlman's Christening.

June 2018.

December 2018. Bien at GVS Makati with her Grade 3 classmates then. Beside her is among her favorite classmates, Tiana Malabanan.

Elle delivering her own short story before her classmates, GVS Pasig.

Rice University, Houston 2017

These are from the camera of my friends Glo and Ronald Villanueva when they hosted me in their house in Houston, November 2017.

First we went to the various hospitals, medical universities, research centers in Houston, it was impressive. Then they brought me to Rice University, a famous academe in Texas. My friend and batchmate in UPSE 1984, Dr. Butch Arroyo, took his PhD Economics there.

With James, the couple's second child.

While we were walking, we met two beautiful ladies, they are vloggers. The lady on the left is Filipina-American, originally from Pampanga and grew up in the US. Sorry I don't remember their names anymore.

After the tour, lunch at a famous steakhouse in the city. With Ronald and James.

With Glo and James.

Sooooper thanks again Ronald, Glo, for my grand time in your place.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Other parts of Houston, 2017

My Filipino friends, couple Ronald and Glo Villanueva, hosted me in their house after my conference in November 2017 at JW Marriott Houston. They also toured me to some interesting places there. I visited them also in 2010 in their old house in Houston, after my conference in Chicago. Here, some 2017 pics.

A wood building, first time I saw it. I read before of non-steel buildings, here's one example. The wood are properly treated to be fire-resistant. Cool.

Could be Houston's tallest building, I think this is JP Morgan Chase Tower.

A skyscraper for cars, I was amazed to see this tall carpark.

At the old building, Chase Tower. Photo from Ronald.

Shell headquarters. Nice steel-glass buildings.