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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

I did it again, which I have promised I will not repeat and do again. I attended a Pinoy party in the city. I did not enjoy the party. It is not the food, it is the ambiance and the atmosphere of the place. No offense meant, but for some reason the conversation of our Kababayans are all centered again on where they work, what they do, how much money they make, how many cars they have, the place where they live, how big their house is and the environment where they live and other things to show off, in my opinion.

My wife was mingling with her friends, I kept to myself in one corner of the house and pretend to enjoy the party. I like the food, and just kept on looking at the buffet table and tasting one delicacy, one at a time just to kill the time and pretend I am busy with my food.

One of the guest approach me and introduced himself. I gladly took the hand and smile with no pretense. I wanted this man to feel that I am not stiff and have a chip on the shoulder. I don't know how to start the conversation, so I just continued on eating and lookin at my plate. The guy was very polite and nice enough to strike a conversation about the food and the many guest and people that have attended the party. Amazing to note, it was a birthday party for a 4 year old girl, but majority of the guests are adults. I can only count with my fingers the numbe of children that attended the party. Oh well.

This gentlemen that approached me and introduced himself, gave me information where he works. Then he started asking where I work and I said to myself, I hope this guy will not ask how much money I make, because that will really spoil my evening. So our conversation went from culture to intellectual things and trivia. I gave him what I know and answered him straight if I don't know the answer to his question. Then the greatest error in our conversation did came and he asked how long I have been working with the airline and how much money I make. Politely, I said.... I don't make much money like the nurses and doctors and dentists and all those who work in the medical profession. This man said he was a radiologist and so I congratulated him and told him that he is fortunate because his profession cannot be outsourced.

I wanted to live and get out of the situation, but this man was so persistent. I kept on praying that my wife passes by infront of us and I could make an excuse and I also kept on praying that somebody call me in my cell phone so that I could stand up and move away from this guy. But I am stuck with him, so I did the role of a nice person and a good mixer. The conversation went on and on, circling around the work and salary and achievements. Finally, I was in the verge of giving a piece of my mind to this guy, until the host approached me and ask if I wanted to check his collection, whatever that is.

I went to see the collection of stamps of the host down at his den at the basement. And then, while we were trying to peruse the books of collected stamps, the host told me that he can see what is happening and so he rescued me. I told him the truth and he told me also, that we are the same. He always try to avoid Pinoy parties and get together. We talked about the stamps and I told him how King George of England collected the stamps and up to now it is at the vault down at the basement of the Buckingham Palace. He was so enthusiastic about it and we talked forever, discussing history and stamps and other collections that some famous and not so famous people do.

And so Auntie Patti Koh, the evening was not a waste for me. I was able to meet a person, who has the same feeling like I do and we have good time together discussing history and important events in the world. Then I found out before we left the house, that he was also a former seminarian like me who walked out of the ordination a month before.

What a conincidence.


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