From the Editor-in-Chief: When Friends, Balikbayans Come Home (Recalling My Foreign Trips) (Last of 3 Parts)

From the Editor-in-Chief

Sometime in early 2015, famed Negrense engineer Eddie Granada who hails from Victorias City, visited NDB and had a long recollection of his early years in Victorias before he left for good in Mississippi, USA where he made a fortune in business and meaningful pursuits, earning a huge income that enabled him to send millions of his savings to build a successful educational institution, the Grande Computer Outreach Training Center, offering free on-the-job trainings for out-of-school youths, benefitting hundreds and even thousands of poor but deserving students now earning substantially and getting good employment both here and abroad.

Among NDB’s former columnists and writers, Dan Cajurao is perhaps one of the most successful, being a certified chemist, now gainfully employed in Canada. His family has joined him and all their children have joined them also as Canadian immigrants. He often comes home for a visit and is deeply grateful for having been among the NDB pioneer staff members and stockholders. Dan has resumed his column,” Fil-Can Insights.”

Another NDB columnist, Teddy Locsin Vallejera, Jr., after several years of work in Los Angeles, California, USA as delivery in charge of gathering cargoes for several countries especially to Filipinos who are dependents of OFWs, Ted came home recently to Isabela, Negros Occ. and continued writing his column titled “Awakening.”

For Dan and Ted, it’s nice working abroad, but there’s no place like home, although it may take more time on the part of the Cajurao family to call it quits in good old Canada where they’ve found a better opportunity for them and their growing family members.

Among the former presidents of the Negros Press Club, two have found their “second home sweet home” in the US. They are (or were) Eddy La Gonzales in Jackson Heights, New York City and David C. Delfin of Reno, Nevada and Las Vegas, whose comfortable way of life had given both of them ease and more blessings for their families that life has brought them during their lifetime.

All of Eddy’s children had been fortunate enough to find gainful employment including one in the US Air Force. The same with Dave C. Delfin whose colorful stint while working as PR man for a long time with Victorias Milling Company in Victorias City before he worked at Las Vegas, Nevada has enabled him to succeed in that gambling capital of the US and the world.

As of this writing, we have unconfirmed reports that the two of them are too sickly, but these reports have yet to be confirmed. All we know is that they are both in good hands, with their families very much in control and able to cope with any misfortune or adverse consequences.

When they were younger and active, Eddy used to just come home and join the NPC elections and cast his vote, while Dave would just come and leave without informing his friends about his whereabouts. We hope and pray they are still alive and well.

My contemporary in the Iloilo media community during the Martial Law era, Sanny Rico was last reported in Texas after living with his children in Chicago where his family had lived there with his wife and other children, all professionals. He came to Bacolod City to meet me some years ago and was in high spirits. We seldom communicated but when I was in the US with my wife Cecille in Long Beach and Los Angeles, we talked lengthily via telephone every night.

I was told by our common friend, Limuel Celebria, Sanny is still hale and hearty, but his wife and children do not allow him to get busy or travel long enough to tire him. A sign of getting old, but I know he can still cope with the situation, being a strong-willed, happy-go-lucky guy and possessed with a positive outlook all the time.

Another good friend, retired Navy Capt. Ramon T. Lladoc of Los Angeles, CA in the US, in whose apartment I have stayed twice for several months when I was on vacation six years ago, is another balikbayan who relishes his good life as a pensioner in that so-called “Land of Milk and Honey.” Like me, he is twice married, having been widowed when his wife, a former school principal of Paglaum Village Elementary School in Bacolod died in the US. He married a second time like what I did and spent his time with a younger lady and had been coming home every now and then, still sturdy being a boxing trainer although now hard of hearing.

Every time he comes home, he makes it a point to see me at the NDB office for the latest news about what’s going on but goes back to LA like a true pensioner that he is.

The latest among my peripatetic friends who came home was the inimitable Pete “Rivera” Jimenez, veteran radio broadcaster who had stayed and worked hard in Canada for decades. When he got married before going abroad, he asked me to become his wedding sponsor and since then, he always surprisingly pops up and bring me Canadian wines.*