Fellow Augustinians Living in Canada


Tagudinians Association of Canada held their annual reunion

SAS Alumni International (SAS Ai) gives a warm shout-out to our fellow Augustinians living in Canada for their support and commitment to our mission of helping bright kids from poor families finish high school. Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the New Year bring you prosperity, happiness and good health.

We have members of SAS Batches 1980 and 1981 living in Canada who have generously given to the school fund. Thank you. So too with Batches 1958, 1959 and 1966. At the last grand reunion in 2012, we heard some folks have retired and others soon to be retiring. Most of them belong to the earlier batches who have recently celebrated their silver jubilees, or golden jubilees.

Funny how jubilee celebrations always bring out into the limelight (some though reluctantly) those among us who like to lie low in the grass. Perhaps because they are finally reaching retirement age, they have more time for leisure. Whereas before they were hustling, working two or three jobs to raise their families.

Listen. There’s talk on the grapevine about some very nice retirement living facilities there in Canada. Okay. Give me a break. Canada is big country. We know but hey, such as, there are places like Wallace Living, (http://wallaceliving.ca/) that offer assisted living for seniors, apartment living for folks looking for a place to rent, etc. Have you heard about them? That’s in Nova Scotia though. But more importantly, their company website is accessible and user-friendly so you can browse it at your own leisure. As a side note, we heard members of the Manzano family from Bangar just arrived and may need housing assistance. Let us know if you need some contact information. We can put you in touch with some of our fellow Augustinians living there, near the area.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


The Tinkerer

Mr Ateneo Dioscoro, the son of poor sharecroppers, was class valedictorian of his 1967 high school graduating class. A math and science whiz kid, he never took notes during lectures, much to the chagrin of his home room teacher. Fact is, he didn’t carry a notebook. His pad paper was a small gum-shoe spring-bound notepad that he carried in his hip pocket. Never studying for tests but achieving high grades, young Dioscoro just seemed to coast.

He found classroom activities boring. He wanted to work with his hands. His favorite after school activity was vocational shop, carpentry, and machine shop. He loved the touch and feel of woodworking tools, mechanical tools, and various tools used in the welding business. To him using a pair of long-nose pliers didn’t just involve twisting fine wires or pinching tiny sheets, or retrieving stray screws in tight places. No. To Dioscoro it was not using the tool. It was also a time for discovery, a time to scrutinize and admire such a fine invention of a tool. Concepts fascinated Ateneo to no end.

you-have-an-idea-for-an-invention-now-what-1Before he graduated high school he confided to his favorite shop teacher, Fr Van Pelt he was ruminating on a revolutionary idea that could enhance how wrenches work. Fr Leonilov Van Pelt, Dioscoro’s teacher was a Belgian missionary priest, who flew planes early in his career and worked as a metallurgist for a European conglomerate before entering the seminary to be ordained into the priesthood. Fr Leonilov was an accomplished engineer. He took care of the mission’s water system and the emergency back up generators. He and Dioscoro were like two peas in the same pod. They would discuss and talk on end about tools, machinery, and the general manufacturing processes.

“So what’s this idea of yours?” asked Fr Leonilov. “Can you talk about it? Anything interesting?”

Dioscoro beamed. “Well, it’s just a concept in my head mostly at this time. I can see the entire system though,” he replied.

“It seems like you have a good grasp of your idea. Whatever you do you must seek professional help,” said Fr Leonilov.

“What sort of help Father?” queried Dioscoro. “Are you talking about legal help, or engineering help, or what kind of help?”

“Professional help – like, graphic artists, prototype builders, testers to test your product, to name a few. And then you must protect your invention by filing for a patent. The best way is to turn it over to licensing and promotion professionals. Here, why don’t you check out this group. They seem to have their act together:  http://2innovative.net/

“These folks are the best at what they do,” Fr Van Pelt continued. “They’ll take your project from start to invention and patenting. This much I can say. Do not wait too long to get your ideas down on paper. But you must hide it from prying eyes. Work feverishly and complete your concept presentation.”

Dioscoro became quiet. His eyes lit up. He grinned widely. Fr Van Pelt had an idea of what Dioscoro was thinking. But then again no, he didn’t have any idea. Because you see, Dioscoro had been busily working on his idea for the past year. He was already beyond just mere conceptualizing and mentally massaging his invention.

“Father Van Pelt?” asked Dioscoro. “If I can assemble my stuff – you know, sketches, dimensions, projections, drawings, calculations, mock-up and end product prototype … do you think I can come over and show them to you?”

“How soon are we talking about?” asked Fr Van Pelt.

“How about now?” And Dioscoro was off and running to his house.


Fun Way to Learn Spanish

“Today’s word is ventana,” announced Cleotilde, our self-proclaimed Spanish instructor. She hails from Central America and she’s full of zest for life. She tells us countless stories about how she managed the arduous thousand mile trek across the desert to come here. It took her a couple of years, working odd jobs along the way, scrimping and saving. And, here she is.

officewindowsventanaCRPD“Okay fine, but what does ve…, or did you say wenta…” one co-worker began to ask.

Cleotilde cut her short. “Oy… listen. I said, ventana, the ‘v’ is pronounced with a ‘bea’ sound, not ‘v’ as in ‘Victoria’… O keh?”

“So what does ventana mean?” asked Isidro, our Filipino accountant.

“It means, window,” replied Cleotilde. “So today, we learn window… ventana. Ventana… window.”

A voice from the mail room joined in. “You mean like Windows? Like Windows 7?” Laughter.

Cleotilde was not amused. “That is windows,” she said. “More than one. So ventanas.”

“Yes. Sem ting,” chimed in Lee Ku Huang, our senior sales clerk. “Window is window. So ventana is ventana. O keh?”

Huh? Oh boy, this lesson is quickly turning out to be a UN meeting. But the lesson is free, so we keep going.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea.” It was Cleotilde. “A quiz.” She comes up with these pop quizzes – like clockwork. She says it’s good for understanding and word recognition. “Okay. So Windows is ventanas and 7 is siete.”

I think she lost the whole office crowd at this point. We went back to work. I thought about the word for the day, “ventana”. Good word to know. Ventana is window. Window is ventana. I mentally repeated the word – even silently mouthing it, you know, like Milli-Vanelli. I had the sudden urge to use the word. Why not? All they can do is laugh at me, right?

“Hey Lee, do me a favor and open that ventana,” I looked at Mr Lee Ku Huang who sits by the office water cooler. “Yeah that one,” I said, pointing at the window by his desk above the water bottle.

“O keh. I open ventana,” Lee said grinning as he reached up to crack open the tiny window. “Ventana… window,” he mumbled the words to himself.

Later that afternoon, Linda, our executive secretary came in after attending a corporate luncheon meeting. “Hey guys,” she waved as she zipped by our desks. Slowing down, she looked back our way. “Oh… ya’ll want to know where next year’s presidential awards will be held?”

“Sure, we do… but who all is going?” asked Cleotilde.

“You guys are eligible,” replied Linda. “All depends on the sales, the profit margin, you know, the bottom line.”

“Okay where?” we all chimed in. “This better be good.”

Linda, with dramatic flair said, “In Costa Rica… and… ta da… drum roll please. We’ll be staying at a place called… let me see….” She opened her case. “Ah… here it is. At a resort called Las Ventanas. Ain’t that cool?”

We looked at each other. Well, well… we know what that word means… ventana… yes, Ventanas… windows. We surely learned a good word today.