OpinionHappy to be back

Happy to be back


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Here I am again.  Arnie and I are back here in Dumaguete City. To our home back in our youthful days, carefree, born to wander and wonder.

That is from the distant past, but here we are with Art and Hope visiting their chosen retirement home in Maningcao in Sibulan, some 1,222 ft. above sea level, and about five kilometers from the coastal highway.

With Art acting as tour guide and driver, we slithered through winding cement and dirt roads with ease. Hope also refrained with her familiarity of the panorama we passed by.  We arrived at their Payag 1 and Payag II at noontime.  Construction is on-going for their guesthouse towering over the two Payags.

I was amazed with the driving skills Art displayed, showing that he has mastered the techniques in driving in-and-out the chaotic traffic in the city or the winding roads in the countryside.

I asked Art and Hope why they chose to retire in a distant and remote mountain landscape?  They prefer tranquility and peace of mind. They describe the fresh and gentle breeze blowing as air-conditioning from the outside.

I had also the chance of renewing my chess connection in Dumaguete and Bayawan, Negros Oriental. Played chess again with Roy Mercado and Adji Alamillo, and renewed my connection with Miniot Carcasona.

Soon, I will visit the Negros Club 64 playing hall at the Provincial Capitol.  I want to play again with Wilmier Barron, Michael Barron, Al Dumalag, Bobby Torres, and a host of players whose names are just on the tip of my tongue.

I am eager too to meet chess patrons like Charles “Biboy” Sy and Mart Olendo.  Biboy Sy, especially, since he was instrumental in inviting the first Asian Grandmaster Eugene Torre to play a simultaneous chess exhibition during the 1985 fiesta celebration here in Dumaguete.

Ah, sweet memories.  Eugene played against 21 local chess players at the same time.  Eugene and Joe Quirino (Eugene’s patron) were highly impressed with the performance of the local chess buffs.  A teenage boy, Michael Barron, and Lester Bacay eked out draws.  I was the only one who managed to win against the first Asian GM.

Incidentally, the feat put Dumaguete in the Philippine chess map.

More than words, I felt happy in this return trip.  Happier to note that Arnie is the darling queen of the Toledo and Bantug families in Bayawan.  In the reunion of both families, relatives toasted Arnie left and right—laughing, smiling, giggling and musing.

By next week, maybe we will be on our way to Butuan City to visit my elder sister Rosenda Dalauta, and my younger brother Jose Pepe Capilitan. Then with them, we will proceed to Southern Leyte where Arnie plans well to celebrate my 81st birthday.

Honest to goodness I am looking forward to that celebration with my relatives, and my adopted family clan, the Mosot family.

Servanda, here I come!


Author’s email: capromeo@gmail.com



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