Karambola! A de M U 198 with Almonte

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“Karambola!” is a more than decade old unique radio program aired from 8 to 10 am, Monday to Friday, on DWIZ, 880 Khz AM Band. It had a karambola or mixed bag of anchors, namely: Cong. Crispin “Boying” Remulla (Mountainous Southern District of Cavite), Cong. Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin (Makati; President Cory Aquino’s first Public Information Chief), Ed Javier (Paranaque Congressional Candidate), Atty. Dodo Dulay (MMDA and COMELEC Chairman Ben Abalos’ defense attorney), Cong. Jonathan de la Cruz, Cong. “Sonny” Escudero (Sorsogon; Marcos and Ramos; Agriculture Secretary) and Alvin Matthew Palmes Capino.

A week ago, Sunday, June 1, 2014, Alvin Capino was laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park along Santos Ave in Sucat, Paranaque. He was 64 years old when he died at his home in B F Homes on Thursday night, May 29. He died of cancer of the kidney. It was “Strike Three” for him. It was his third bout in two years. He was also diabetic and he did not like to drive and go out at night.

That is why, we did not see too much of him in our batch and class reunions. “We” are Ateneo de Manila University’s Batch 198. 198 is the sum total of 62 + 66 + 70, ie. Grade School ’62, High School ’66 and College ’70. Alvin belonged to College ’70 and was an AB Political Science Major.

After College, he worked with Lexington International, with Press Secretary Francisco “Kit” Tatad at the Department of Public Info or Malacanang Press Office, Pilipinas Shell and Mobile Oil Philippines. He wrote for the Observer, The Independent, The Phil Free Press, The Daily Globe and Today. He was an Anchor and Commentator for DZRH, DZRV and DWWW. Over a decade, he rose to Vice Chairman at Tony Zorilla and partners. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the BCDA from 2001 to 2010.

In four days our Batch 198 lost three members – Alvin on Thursday, May 29, Lito Villarama on Saturday, May 31 and Jed Natividad, BS Chemistry ’70, on Sunday, June 1. Thirteen years ago, in October – November 2001, I lost my best friend and classmate from Grade One to Third Year College, Gerardo “Gerry” Jaminola Katigbak Esguerra, to a stroke (during his son’s wedding) after a long bout also with cancer of the kidney.

Last Thursday, our Batch 198 organized and sponsored a forum with former General and FVR’s NSA Secretary Jose Almonte as the Resource Person. His topic ranged from Nation Building to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) to the Philippine China conflict in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea. He fleshed out his principles and theory on Nation Building by taking us through FVR’s journey of running for the Presidency in 1992, winning, winning over the opposition and running the government for six years.

Then, we jumped to the present and he put us through a crash course on China and our problems with them in the South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea.

The day before, on Wednesday, June 4, at the Fernandina Media Forum at the Club Filipino, our main topic was Women’s Issues including Marital Rape, Child Rape, Profile of a Rapist, Abused Women and Abusive Men. Aside from resource persons Atty. Rowena “Bing” Guanzon and Women Involved in Nation Building Chairperson Emeritus Baby del Mundo, we also had the second rape complainant against actor Vhong Navarro, Miss Bikini Contestant, Roxanne Cabanero, and her lawyer, Atty. Mendoza.

However, our resident fortune teller, Danny Atienza, also dropped by because he had some important and pressing matters to share with us. In general, he predicted impending doom. According to him, the government is bankrupt. The last two years of the Aquino Administration will continue to be a downward spiral. However, the next President will uplift the country in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He hinted that Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” C. Binay is sick and that the next President will be a woman. Late last year, he privately told me that it would be Senator Grace Poe L.

The removal of Gov. E. R. Ejercito was just the beginning and a sample of things to come. Many more would follow. However, E. R. would be able to make a comeback. The filing of plunder cases against the three senators, JPE, Jinggoy and Bong was imminent. Senator Revilla is sure to be convicted and jailed. Senator Enrile will get away. Senator Estrada’s future is an uncertainty.

The disqualification of Mayor Joseph Estrada will proceed and is imminent with a condition, “kung kaya”. Even if Erap is removed, the people will support him. He can even run for President with massive People’s support. DILG Secretary and Liberal Party Presidentiable Mar Araneta Roxas is a sure loser. Noynoy Aquino’s problems with Corruption, Pork, DAP and Malampaya Scandals as well as our conflict with China will continue and grow even bigger.

By the way, this week’s calendar is loaded. Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 10, the Supreme Court will deliberate and vote on the constitutionality of the DAP. My guess is that they will declare it unconstitutional but prospectively.

On Thursday, June 12, an anti Pork, PDAF, DAP, Malampaya, etc … protest rally at the Bonifacio Shrine near the Manila City Hall, will try to repeat the One million March August 26, 2013 Rally at the Luneta.
Where will these take us? To be continued…

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