First of all, I would like to remember my parents who passed
away years ago, and acknowledged them for their relentless support and
inspiration. They gave me hope amidst despair, and guidance when in doubt.
Again, thank you for instilling the value of education, use of time management,
and taught me how to embrace human values.
This is my road trip to re-integration....
My childhood was centered on a small town of Southern
Luzon, where my mother worked for the Department of Health as a head
nurse, and my father a business person traveled a lot to Manila. We had a
simple life; both my parents and I loved nature and enjoyed the outdoors. On
most occasions, we would go to the beach, flew kites, and watched the sunset. They
were religious and practiced Catholicism.
My high school experience shaped my future....
During the 70's political unrest roared, and later
Marcos proclaimed Martial Law in the Philippines. My parents did the right
decision to enroll me in a local seminary. The seminary was secluded from the
main town and the town had population of less than 20,000 people. My parents
had envisioned that enrollment in a seminary was safer, and the best place for
me to study. Besides, the school had the reputation for academic excellence.
What I learned from the seminary were lifelong
valuable knowledge taught by the priests, but has been deeply rooted by my
parents when I was a child. In my opinion, I can compare my life to operating a
business, where it requires accounting, planning,
marketing, time management, sales, and risk. These elements must have a balance to achieve goals and satisfy a good return on investment. My
parents were excellent versatile pedagogues.
My parents imparted me with the greatest gift that any son could ask for - perseverance. My perseverance did not make me God's servant, but I learned lifetime valuable training such as: discipline, self-reliance, independence and how to meet life's day-to-day challenges. My parents used to say, “life is full of uncertainties, have faith and don't
lose hope." There are times when I could not live-up to life's standards,
but I tried not to give-up hope easily.
Right after high school graduation, I stayed at my
parent’s house and hang-out with my childhood friends. I figured out this the
best time to bond with them since I spent four years inside the seminary.
Few months later, I went to Manila, from where I lived
it was a grueling twelve hours bus ride from the province to the city of
Manila. The first time I saw Manila was a sprawling city and it was glittering
at night with colorful lights and throngs of diverse people and tourist alike.
I stayed at my uncle's dormitory. The next day after
passing the college entrance exam, I enrolled myself at one of the oldest
prestigious catholic university in the world. In 1611, University of Santo
Tomas was founded by the Dominican friars. And during World War II, it saw
wartime engagement in the Pacific Arena. The university was the home of allied
forces during the Japanese occupation of Manila. They used the campus to treat
wounded American soldiers and their allies. They stayed for periods of
I started my freshman years with difficulties
adjusting to the real world environment. I was used to the routine schedules in
the seminary and now, I was exposed to a real life challenged. My
adjustment to the university life was so hard that I had to call my parents to
bail me out and have me shipped back to the province.
Later, I did adjust to the college life, worked
part-time at a five star hotel in Manila and joined college fraternity. I did
fond memories during my college days. Besides my academic life, I went to
attend social fraternity functions and enjoyed what typical college students do
to be wild and care-free.
When the 80's came, when I got closer to graduation, I
saw an opportunity to enlist in the United States Navy. I took a test at Subic
Naval Base in Olongapo City, which was an hour and half drive from Manila.
After three weeks of waiting, I finally enlisted in the US Navy. I flew out of
Clark Air Force Base; Pampanga by chartered military commercial plane called
Flying Tigers, and off to Recruit Training Center, in San Diego,
California. After Booth Camp, I went straight to Naval Technical Training
Center, Great Lakes, Il., for Machinist Mate Class "A" school - ship's
My sea-duty assignments were the USS Flint (AE-32),
and USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37). both based in Northern California. I made four
deployments to the Western Pacific. Port calls included: Hawaii, Guam, Hong Kong,
Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Diego Garcia, Perth, Western Australia, Bahrain, and Dubai. I enjoyed the navy life and especially the foods and experience other
cultures from different countries. One of the deployment, I participated in the
Shellback Ceremony when the ship crossed the equator from the Philippines to Perth,
My first shore duty station was in Naval Air Training Station, Kingsville, Texas, where I completed my Associate degree at Georgia Military College, an off-campus school inside the base. And my second shore duty station was at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo,
In 1991, after the first Gulf War, (Desert Shield / Desert
Storm), I left the service after serving honorably over four years, did reserve, and
pursued more of my academic aspirations.
In August of 2002, I did obtain my 4 year college degree in Human Resources Management at Dominican University of
California, San Rafael, California. In 1890, the university was founded by
the Dominican Sisters. According to U.S. News and World Report Dominican
University ranks as one of the top schools in California.
In June of 2007, after due diligence, I obtained another degree my
Master's in Business Administration, (MBA), at University of Phoenix, San Diego,
Aside from taking care of my youngest daughter on weekends, I attend church functions. I am affiliated with the Knights of Columbus at our
To this date, I owe my academic achievements to God, my
parents, and to my family for their patience and understanding, and without
them I can't define who am I.