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ROUGH CUTS: Hearing from our friends of old

WE’D like to congratulate our good friend Earle Ferrer, a retiree from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

He surprised us when we saw him in military uniform sporting the rank of Captain. We assume he is with the Army Reserve unit. But no, our congratulations for him is not because of his being a Reservist but on what he and his group is doing.

Captain Earle’s group conducted a medical mission somewhere in a barangay just within the peripheries of Davao City’s urban area. Captain Ferrer’s unit initiated an anti-flu vaccination in cooperation with local health officials.

The activity, to us, is very noble and that it could help a lot in the current battle the government is waging against the deadly Coronavirus Disease (CoViD 19).

Yes, it is admitted that the anti-flu vaccine is not a medicine against CoViD. However, health authorities are one in saying that if a person is administered with an anti-flu vaccine his immunity is strengthened. Thus, health officials believe his/her resistance to the CoViD could also be boosted.

Congrats again Pare’ng Kapitan. You really want to enjoy your retirement by continuing your service in the community just like the way you did while you were still working with the then National Power Corp., then with Transmission Corp. and finally with the NGCP.

But Captain Earle, are not Reservists also called to fight side by side with those in active service in the event of war?
May be you need to be warned that “War does not determine who is right, only who is left.” (Thanks to Wennie Gorres for sharing this paraprosdokian).

But of course your group’s present war against flu is one good fight deserving of everybody’s support and accolade.

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This week we are happy to hear from at least two friends. One is now based in the United States after his retirement from the Manila Broadcasting Network; and the other still in Davao City although we assume that he could be spending most of his time in Sarangani where the company he works with is located.

The first friend who contacted us first through Facebook and later through Messenger, is former Davao DJ in the late 70s to the 80’s Rex Ricarte. Rex who is from Medellin, Cebu went back to his native province towards the end of 1980s and there worked as station manager of Manila Broadcasting’s DYRC. He contacted us from Las Vegas where he now lives with his son who works as a nurse in a hospital in that Nevada city.

We were together in the batch of International Visitors Program (IVP) grantees by the US government in 1990. We were the only one from Mindanao and Rex was the only fellow from the Visayas. The remaining 5 were all from Luzon.

We thought Rex has totally set aside his passion for broadcast. But we were wrong. According to him he is now having a broadcast program in Nevada called “The Monitor” and “Magandang Morning Vegas Pinoy.” Both are through the facility of PhilVRadio – Vegas.

Rex mourned the death recently of broadcaster and former councilor Tony Vergara who he said was doing a tandem with him through Zoom to talk about the events in Davao City as well as the lives of media people in Davao nowadays.

We could not help but inform him of the other broadcast personalities in Davao who have gone ahead of us, as well as those who are still with us but are now retired or chosen to shy away from the media scene.

We informed Rex that one radio personality who has been reported to have died some two months ago is our common friend Bobby Diamante. We learned of the news from another co-employee of ours at dxDC of Radio Mindanao Network, Arturo Arocha.

We shared knowledge of the whereabouts of other media people the likes of Mike Balbin Jr., the late Bert Gorgonio, Flor Colina, and Tony Dadula; broadcasters Ike Cayudong, Jimmy Estoista, among others.

He told us that there are former Davao radiomen who are now in the US and have also retired. Towards the end of our hour-long chat we promised to update each other with the names of broadcasters as well as those who were with the print media whose whereabouts we would be able to trace.

The other friend of ours whom we developed a bond with is Ruben Tungpalan. When we were a new media man in Davao we met him while doing his PR work with Alsons Development Corporation’s wood processing plant. The company then was locked in a heated labor problem with its rank-and-file workers belonging to a militant union.

Popularly called Bong by his friends and acquaintances our friend survived those trying times for his employer, a wood firm owned by the Alcantara family. And he not only survived the hard time, he outlives the company and even moves to another member of the Alsons conglomerate – its power generation business. Bong Tungpalan is now Vice President for Corporate Affairs of Alsons Power Group with generating plants in Sarangani and Zamboanga.

Nice to hear from you guys. We look forward to meeting you in person again in our beloved Davao City, in God’s grace.

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