Archive for the ‘Andy Gimpaya’ Category

More of Andy’s Whaleshark (Butanding)

September 15, 2008

About this time of the year till December to May, the Butandings (Rhicodon typus,) the huge whale sharks come around to their usual haunts in Bicol in the farthest tip of Luzon Island in the Philippines. Many sightings of these gentle creatures which can grow to about 15 to 40 feet are in Sorsogon Province particularly in towns of Donsol, Pilar, Castilla, Magallanes, but may occasionally be encountered in the neighboring seas like in Camarines Sur, Albay and as far as Bohol in the Visayas and parts of Mindanao.

Harmlessly docile and friendly, the butandings allow people to go near and swim with them. With characteristic white spots (reminiscent of leopards,) on their gray-blue bodies, they quietly feed on minute planktons and krill abundant in the area at certain times of the year.

Supervised tours to see this giant wonders of the sea are available in the area. For more information, check the PDOT web site at, call (63) 52 435-0085 or e-mail The Donsol Tourism Office in Dancalan headed by Salvador Adrao Jr. can also be contacted (0927) 233-0364. Snorkeling gears can be rented from the resorts.=0=

Unveiling of in Naga City

August 15, 2008

The UP Ibalon Bicol headed by Butch Robredo met at Bob Marlin’s in Naga City, Philippines on August 8, 2008 to unveil its improved, user-friendly site: developed by Dr. Andy Gimpaya.

The attendees were: Butch Robredo, Ann Mariano, Waying Manlañgit-Tam, Sieg Borromeo-Bulaong and husband, Dulce Bernardo-Dionisio, Alaine Alberto-Fornoles, Jun Olin, Totoy Badiola, Dan Daz, May Velasco-Yorobe, and Andy Gimpaya.

Here are Dan Daz’ photos of the event:

Dr. Andy Gimpaya presents, the UP Ibalon Web Community’s flagship in the Web. is a full-feature Web 2.0 site and shall also host as sub-domains the UPCAT Resources Site and the UPCAT Support Forum. Special domain shall also be donated to the mother organization in UP Diliman and to members who request their own sub-domain. This blog site (UP Ibalon Bicol) shall remain in its own domain,

The photo may also be viewed and downloaded in the link below:
http://groups. group/upibalonbicol/spnew

UP Ibalon Bicol Fellowship on 08/08/08

August 7, 2008

Dr. Andy Gimpaya and Ibalonians in Bicol are inviting members to come for a gathering in Naga City, Philippines at Bob Marlin’s, 8 p.m., on 08/08/08. The auspicious date offers new opportunities to have a little fun and strengthen the bonds among members.

Exciting personalities like Ate May (Dr. May Magdalene V. Yorobe,) Jun Olin, Ann Mariano, Totoy Badiola, Melissa Sieglinde E. Borromeo-Bulaong, Dulce D. Bernardo, Carmela Magpantay, Dan Daz, Edna Fatima Balaquiao et al are expected to attend. The occasion will provide the group a chance to plan its projects in the future. Contacts: Andy: 09196041633; Ann: 0927006705; Totoy: 09178210315 =0=

Bicol Bus Crash Update: Ibalonians mourn the demise of George Evangelio

July 31, 2008

Flash news lang ini pero mamundong bareta. Kaibanan sa nagadan sa banggaan kan Executive Carrier bus and Silver Star bus sa Pamplona si George Evangelio ta. Saro siyang late ’70s na Ibalon na gikan sa Daraga and Aquinas. Sabi ni Arnel Astillero, na nakaolay na an eldest na aki ni George, an agom daa ni George ay irido, naka-confine sa sarong ospital sa Naga. An bangkay naman ni George ay nasa Funeraria de Nuestra Senora de Salvacion sa Legazpi (pakatapos ibalyo haling Funeraria Imperial sa Naga). Calling tabi sa mga nasa Naga and sa nakakabisto ki George. Me bareta akong paduman na da’a si Totoy Badiola. Salamat.“—Mighty Baylon, Davao City

“An narurumduman ko ki George, he was a happy, hopeful and kind
person. I’m sure he led a fruitful and meaningful life.”
Benny Rayco, Legazpi City

“Sincere condolence to the family of George and prayers for the speedy recovery of Beth. Her children need her in this most difficult time of their lives.”
Ona Vigil-Baylon, Davao City

“I remember George as a very gracious host samo ni Arnel, even inviting us for drinks sa videoke bar nya sa taas kan old daraga market.”
James Sabio, Albay, Philippines

“I first knew of George’s fatal accident when his name was shown on TV. I had my initial doubts if it was our George of UP Ibalon. But when i saw Daraga, Albay across his name, I knew it was him alright. Mighty’s text only confirmed it.

I dropped by today at her sis in laws canteen in Sagpon, Daraga, Albay where i last saw George maybe a year ago. She told me that George and his wife Beth was on the way home in the Executive carrier bus after the check up of her wife in Manila. He was dead on the spot while his Beth suffered fractures and had stainless implants but is otherwise in stable condition. Their check up was reportedly already delayed by one week because they were still waiting for collectibles, having been saddled by the medical bills of Beth among others. Condolence to the family of George.”
Dan Daz, Legazpi City

“The only agendum at Kopi Meeting in Naga is to know how to help the family of the late George Evangelio. Let us all come. I am one of those who did not have the chance to meet George in his lifetime, but this tragedy in his family really touches everyone of us deeply.”
Andy Gimpaya, M.D., Naga City

“Hello everyone! Ini po an latest na bareta ko. Divided ang attention kan pamilya ta si Beth, yaon pa sa BMC. Dai pa daa puede ibyahe. Si Joshua, eldest son, ang yaon duman. You may contact him through his cell phone 09175580099. He is with his uncle David Supeña. Sa Daraga, you may contact members of the family through the following numbers: Home: 435-3457; Gigi Canteen: 483-0136 (Bing Supeña, Aunt)”
Arnel Astillero, Albay, Philippines

“This is indeed a tragedy, a family of six to cap it all. I don’t know George, his wife, or any of his kids. Since Simon is studying in Goa, Camarines Sur, tell him to come to my parent’s house and introduce himself—- to my mother specially, and my wife Rebekah who’s still there. I’ll give him some contribution as well. Be safe.”
Jose (Boy) Remo, M.D., St. Louis, Missouri, USA

“Kun maaraman ta su insurance company kan carrier; kun may kabisto, hil’ngon ta
kun pwede kita mag lobby for an early claim payment. On the family’s end, kaipuhan mag-prepare ning mga documento to support the claim: birth certificates of George & family, burial and funeral expenses, police report, medico-legal report, medical certificates, medical expenses including projected expenses for Beth if there are future treatments necessary na resulta dahil sa saiyang injuries.
Honesto Oliva, Naga City

“Let’s all pray for George’s soul, for the speedy recovery of his wife and for his whole family.”
Edna Fatima Balaquiao, Naga City

“Hi, Benny & Grace! Hinahapot ko pa si Naning Mariano kun puwede gamiton su account duman as conduit kan gusto magpadara nin tabang.”
Apolonio (Mighty) Baylon, Davao City

“Itinao ko na sa padara ni Mighty through BDO. Cherry Uy padara man through RCBC… Atty Alan Badiola and Boy Inigo were also there. We stayed up to 7:30PM.”
Mac Pavia, Pio Duran, Albay

“Naka-receive man ako ning text from Mayor Bem Dycoco kahapon about the accidental death of George. Si info na pigtao sakuya is kaipuhan daa ning legal advice kan family niya on how to get financial assistance/claims from the bus company. Nakaulay ko for few minutes by cellphone si David, brother ni Beth. Si David yata ang nag-aasikaso kan pagdara kay Georgefrom a funeral parlor in Pamplona to Legazpi ngunyan na aldaw. Ang contact number niya: 0928-4238888.
—-Atty. Alan V. Badiola, Rawis, Legazpi City

“Condolence sa pamilya ni George Evangelio. May he rest in peace. Hoping for the complete recovery of his wife… I asked my sister Ritzy Bermillo of Balatas, Naga City to call Ann Mariano to send in my donation to the George Evangelio fund.”
Totie Mesia, M.D., Astoria, New York, USA

N.B: George Evangelio’s bier is presently at the Nuestra Sra. de Salvacion Funeral Parlor in Legazpi City, Philippines. Those who desire to help his family, please contact Joshua Evangelio (09175580099; 435-3457); Bing Supena (483-0136) or Andy Gimpaya, M.D. (Naga) )==0==

Part I: The Mighty Guy of UP Ibalon

June 29, 2008

Apolonio (Mighty) Baylon carries different tags like admirable multicolored feathered ribbons on his sleeves. Many call him the “father of UP Ibalon.” Some think he is the “Yoda of the Bicol group in Diliman.” Others assume him to be the “college day’s vessel of poignant memories,” and another the “merchant of friendship and goodwill.”

Once the indefatigable leader of Bicolano students, the mighty “idealist-CEO-enforcer” from Guinobatan, Albay takes real life head-on. In a two-part interview, more than 30 years after UP, here he is—cogently enlightening, down-to-earth, and thought-provoking.

Sabi ninda, ika da’a an “Ama kan Ibalon.” Ano an si’mong komentaryo?-Magayon dangogon. Maski bako lang ako an founder ta 20 man kita kaidto (o 24 ngani ta me nagtarabang na invitees na dai nag-member arog ki Dr. Jean Cortes o naghale like Prof. Egay Rosero.)

Baka dakula man su naging papel ko in setting the vision, setting the tone and the oplan/concept on how to establish UP Ibalon amidst a very difficult situation. Kadto dae baga mai-deklara tulos ang threats hale sa ibang grupo.

Mga siisay kadto saimo an nakatabang sa pagpundar kan Ibalon?
-An sarong leader siguro tata’o man magpalataw kan maitatabang kan iba. I recall the admirable contributions of the likes of Nestor Raneses and Steve David. The original members had their valuable inputs. And so was the support of the Molave Kurahaw. Si Grace Princesa-Escalante, pasalamat ako sa mga tabang satuya, an Mata Hari kan panahon.

I also want to recognize the subsequent contributions of Dr. Yasmin Paje-Banzon in normalizing relations with Alpha Phi Beta (APB.) Her effort eliminated the threat of another group, assuring us that there’ll be no other varsitarian except UP Ibalon.

Mac Pavia was helpful in defining relations between the politicals and the non-politicals. He was partly responsible for fostering the goodwill and friendship which brought unity to all the personalities in the group.

Sa mati mo, sobra daw su panahon mo na tina’o sa UP Ibalon?
-Dae. Pero iguang nagsasabi na sobra-sobra da’a an itinao ko. Dae ko aram kun ano an tama. But history spoke later ta in later years whenever I’m recognized for my role in the group, namamate ko an trust, respect, and love na itinatao sako kan meimbros lalo su mga naka-iba ko sa UP.

An confirmasyon kaini iyo su pag-aasikaso ninda sakuya whenever may problema ako sa health. Nagiging mover pa man guiraray ako maski mayo akong gayong resources. An puhunan ko lang: naipundar ko an tiwala sagkod respeto. Nakua ko siguro ini, hale sa pagta’o ko nin oras para pakusugon an pag-aramigo sa grupo.

Ngonian yaon kana sa cuidad de Davao, may pagbag’o an hiling mo sa grupo?
-Sa pagrayo ko sa Bicol, lalo kong na-appreciate an UP Ibalon.

Dae ka man napupung’aw, harayo kana sa lugar na si’mong guinikanan?
-I miss Bicol terribly. You can only understand this if you know my history. I was denied normal freedom of movement or travel. Nag-iwas ako kan yaon ako sa lugar na yan.

Living in other places made me feel like an exile. Kun saen naghaloy nag-grabe su longing ko sa satuyang native place, tongue and taste. Not hearing our language for a long time, any spoken Bicol feels like music to my ears. Pag nasa Bicol nahanap tulos ako nin Bicol na kakanon.

Yaon pa su copya mo kan constitution ta? Ano, iguang kaipuhan bag-o’hon duman?
-I think may copya ako kan iba’t ibang constitutions kan Ibalon alumni. After all these years kan pagtabang sa Ibalon, I realized an magic sa pagbuhay nin grupo dae masusumpungan sa constitution. Nasa vision yan, nasa mga tawong nagpapadalagan.

Hil’nga an chapter sa Naga. Nadalagan baga maski kadaklan dae man nahiling na constitution. Uyogon mo, mayo nganing regular set of officers may naguiguinibo sinda. The constitution is secondary. Padalaganon ta na ngona an pag-iriba.

Ano an prosopuesto mo para abuton su mga Ibalonians na dae pa nakakabalik sa grupo?
-Primero, kaipuhan ta an marhay na database. Natapos ko na su sa generasyon ta pero kulang kitat duman su mga masuronod. Segundo, kaipuhan na mag-assign nin mga respetadong personas na ma-reach out duman sa mga mayo.

Importatent ibalik su dating pag-aramigo, recuerdos, pagka-buronyog, dangan, siempre—an interes sa organisasyon. An pag-kaigwang mga proyecto arog kan naguinibo na Butch Robredo, Dr. Andy Gimpaya, Ann Mariano, Alaine Alberto, Dr. Eden B. Fernando atbp.(halawig an lista) an makakatabang makaburunyog satuya.

Iguang mga Ibalon na yaon sa Diliman nag-aadal pa, ano an dapat guibohon para sainda?
-Complikadong hapot. I-reserve ko na lang an pagsimbag digdi. This is a weighty and controversial topic. Although nasabi ko ki Butch Robredo minsan na we can act like a donor agency. Aram ta man na nata’o lang an donor agency kun gusto—if someone is deemed worthy to be given assistance. Sabi ko okey lang na mapa-rani an mga jovenes kan UP, para madangog man ninda an senior members.

Igua kang gustong ipa-abot sa mga jovenes?
Kaipuhan ma-araman ninda na bakong totoo an naglalakaw na kaputikan—idtong pigsarabi na an Ibalon da’a “po’on-sa-po’on ay political organization.” Iyo ini an saro sa mga razon kun ta’daw nagka-igua kita nin ibang provincial Bicol orgs.

Sa UP, ano an pinakadefisil mong inaguihan?
-Maski bright ka, dae mo puwedeng biruin an academics sa UP. Madali lang ang ma-cinco. An mga teachers duman sanay na sa pagbaragsak nin estudyante. Hard if one is a student leader. (to be continued…) =0=

Brother Sun and Sister Moon

June 18, 2008

It’s a re-play of the old tradition which UP Ibalon-Bicol follows. Like big Brother Sun who treats young students as little Sister Moons and small Brother Earths, the organization of former students and alumni of the state university had successfully concluded the UPCAT Review and Orientation.

Youth seemed to bloom in Dan Daz’ pictures and Andy Gimpaya’s video appeared like the wild promise of summer. Those who attended the review had their dreams clearly painted in their gawky faces; their expectations, welded in their diffidence and in their laughter. Notably, for unclear reasons, the girl-participants outnumbered the boys.

Meeting the students at Dr. Eden B. Fernando’s Medical Plaza in Naga City, UP Ibalon members (the memory of their student days still tucked in their minds,) wasted no time to establish bonds and share important information. For the first time, in a path less traveled, the kids got generous helping from their Ibalon friends. In that cheery June day, they were introduced to a way of daring—a calculated strategy to deal with the prospects of scholarship and study in the most competitive school in the country.

Naturally, the students were delighted. Like virtual sponges, the youthful souls were apparently unbridled in their motivation. They had the fast instinct to learn and assess the horizon ahead. They absorbed as much as they could to prepare their guts for the next grueling college entrance test, the UPCAT. Hoping to make it, they had their game-plans set.

They found friendships among themselves. They reached out for the “elders” who wore symbolic UP crimson colors in mentoring them. With vast energy which might well be the next hope of the country, the students were poised to labor and wait.

Truly, youth is an asset, a precious investment that all of us must take care and nurture. In little acts of kindness such as assisting kids to pass a test or plan their future, the nation may move forward.

So well, Brother Sun, why don’t you keep your bright light burning? On your hand, the planted trees, leafless in hibernation, need your warmth—for them to grow and the nation to thrive =0=

Thanks for a Great Post, Totie!

February 17, 2008

Great article, Totie! I get this feeling that after reading your article, Sharing a Narrative, prospective article contributors to this blog, myself included, may be too intimidated to put their post side by side yours. But there are stories that must be told. Anyway, I learned in Diliman that geniuses are suckers for great stories and are very tolerant of even the worst writing style. So here I am.

How I wish all other Ibalon alumni, even the younger ones, just know you at personal level. Natural na maboot in a way that soothes the soul. There was no Ibalon yet and I was a freshman when I first met you —not in Diliman but at the chaotic ticketing section of the Tutuban PNR station while waiting for my turn to part with my precious P35 to buy a De-Luxe ticket back home to Bicol. There were over a hundred people before us and the crowd was getting unruly, so the young me was scared to end up in the Economy class and face, at best, the prospect of sleeping on my luggage in the aisle of the train, shoulder-to-shoulder with floor-spitting co-passengers. The worst prospect was to miss going home for Penafrancia (or was it Christmas?), unthinkable for a freshman going home to Bicol for the first time. There were no buses going to Bicol in those days. The over P100 airfare to Naga was beyond my budget; I could only console myself with the thought that all flights would by fully booked by VIPs anyway and there was a typhoon near Bicol. Then you came as a breath of fresh air, a Bicol-speaking, handsome young gentleman from Naga, UP Diliman pre-med sophomore, who took all the confusion in stride and talk about the whole scene with academic interest.

To me, you are the collective personification of the Ibalon members I met in my UP Diliman days. Maray na tawo gabos, with pure hearts. As you enumerate names, beautiful faces of innocence keep flashing in my mind. Parang mga tupa ngani in their goodness. Where are they now? May they be afflicted with bouts of narcissism and search their names in Google so they find their way into this blog!

Of course, may mga misunderstanding man. During my senior years, I recall one flare up by Min. Ini man kayang mga kids— Ruby Sevilla, Cheche Pandes, Abet Guballa, and others—mahali na an bus pa Naga, nasa bowling lanes pa nagkakarawat. Nagbubusina na an Philtranco bus. Nagsunod si Nanay Yasmin and on the way she accidentally shattered the glass door of the bowling lanes. Iriwal dikit. Sabi man kan mga kids dai man daa sinda nag bowling. Nag snack lang ta nagutom. Yaaaan!

May duwa man mataray-taray daa (dangog ko lang, kaya hearsay): si tarty Vines and Susan Tootsie Septimo. Is it any coincidence that they are both in America? Kayang kaya makipagsapakan maski sa mga Negro? Tootsie came home last year. She is married to an American. My wife is looking for Tootsie’s e-mail ad. They are batch mates at Colegio.

Bebeth Espeso is also in your list of recollection. I remember Bebeth as a 3rd (or 4th year) year BS Chemistry student. And I remember her wake and funeral at Tulay na Lupa, Labo. Even after 30 years, I still picture the face of her grieving mother as she sat beside her coffin. I could sketch her expression from memory. I’d gladly join an Ibalon project in Bebeth’s name. She is part of the history of Ibalon.

On the brighter side of 1977, it was during the Kami Minagalang preparations that I found my future wife, Nancy. One of the beneficiaries of that project was the Don Susano Rodriguez Mental Hospital. Don Susano was still alive then, and lived with Nancy’s family. I was tasked to solicit donation from Don Susano. A tall order considering that the old man was a well known miser. Nancy was there during my meeting with Don Susano and acted as interpreter through hand signals because he had difficulty speaking. Nancy needed to shout into his ears because, at more than 80, his hearing was already impaired. I probably stayed more than necessary at the house and it seemed Don Susano could sense that a romance was about to begin because he kept on gesturing his finger at Nancy Hala isusumbong kita! We’ve been married for 23 years now and we have two sons. The eldest, 22, works as engineer at Globe. The younger one is in the last year of his ECE course at AdeMU. Two angels much like the Ibalon members I meet in Diliman. Too pure hearted to lie and cheat. And that worries me because our government do not like people with these traits. I do not encourage my sons to leave the Philippines, but given the atmosphere here, I wouldn’t mind if they do. At least, temporarily.

Binabagyo kami digdi ngunyan. Sana matapos na ining typhoon Gloria, so we can help clean up the garbage she leaves behind.

Halaba na ini, Totie. More to come. I take your prompt post as a gesture of appreciation for the creation of this blog. Thank you. Laba labaan mo pa an sunod mong article.