Pen Strokes

May 7, 2010

Jay Gatchalian’s “The REAL Dick Gordon”

Last May 1, I read a commentary in the Philippine Daily Inquirer entitled, “People call me Dick” by Patricia Evangelista. In her commentary, Patricia said the she “won’t vote for Richard Gordon because he is Richard Gordon.”  Frankly, I find this statement – along with her entire article – more subjective than objective.

I wanted to write a response to Patricia’s commentary, but I couldn’t find the time. Then, just a few hours ago, I came across a “note” on Facebook from a certain Jay Gatchalian responding to Patricia Evangelista’s commentary.

At first, I thought that it would just be a bitter response by a Gordon supporter to the commentary; but as I read through the “Facebook note,” I actually found it very inspiring. So, I asked permission from Mr. Gatchalian if I could re-publish his note in this blog, and he agreed. This is a “must read” folks!

Jay, thanks for letting me re-publish your message…

The REAL Dick Gordon – A response to Patricia Evangelista’s “People call me Dick” – by Jay Gatchalian

Richard "Dick" Gordon

Patricia Evangelista spoke her mind and revealed her personal dislike for Dick Gordon. She’s entitled to voice her opinion. Dick Gordon is not her cup of tea. That’s fine, it’s a free universe. I’m sure there are people who share her disdain for the Man Who Would be President. You are entitled to your thoughts.

Now let me share mine. First, for the sake of public disclosure, let me say that I was a former volunteer and assistant to Senator Gordon during his days at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA). I first met him as a college student at a presentation at the George Washington University in Washington DC back in 1997. I was curious to see what he and his team created in Subic and Olongapo. He asked me if I wanted to help my country and I said yes. Good! he said, come out to Subic, volunteer and we’ll get to work. That being said let me share my thoughts and impressions of my former boss and his persona/temperament to lead a country of millions of Filipinos. (more…)

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November 11, 2008

A Hundred Thousand Swans

Cancer could not rob Jette of Life!

Cancer could not rob Jette of Life!

September of 1988… It must have been around 5:00am when we heard it; loud thumps and banging coming from my sister, Jette’s room! Noise loud enough to wake up everybody in the household! Naturally, we all rushed to Jette’s room to see what was happening; and what we saw would send a chill down my spine…

Jette was banging her head against the concrete wall of her room! Blood was oozing out of her ears and nose! Blood was everywhere! She had been complaining about migraines and headaches for the past several months but the doctors we consulted with found nothing wrong with her. But if there was nothing wrong with her, why was she banging her head against the wall?

Without wasting anytime, we carried Jette, screaming and kicking, to Dad’s car and took her to the hospital.

At the hospital, doctors ran several tests and procedures on her but found nothing. Finally, the MRI Result came out and indicated that Jette had a tumor the size of a one-peso coin wedged between her skull and her spine! She had Cancer! She had cancer? What? I started to worry about a lot of things! I worried about Jette! She was so afraid of pain! She would cry at the slightest hint of pain. And what about Mom? How would she cope with this? She worries about everything! And me? I didn’t want to lose my only sister! But in the midst of all my fears, one thing worried me the most… My Dad! (more…)

November 7, 2008

Through My Father’s Eyes

My Mom and Dad with my youngest daughter.

My Mom and Dad with my youngest daughter.

I think that I was just 9 years old when I first saw it… A handwritten sign taped to the upper right-hand side of my Dad’s medicine cabinet mirror. I remember just two words from that sign… “Discipline” and “Dream”…

I didn’t really pay that much attention to that sign since, at age 9, you don’t really pay much attention to those stuff. But, for some reason, the words, “Discipline” and “Dream”, stuck to me. It wouldn’t be until I was much older that those words would have a clear meaning to me and help me to understand the man behind the legend… that was my Father…

He was born Nunilon M. San Agustin in the shanties of Ilo-ilo City (Southern Philippines). But his Father, my Grandfather, gave him the name “Nene”, which meant “little girl”, because, as a toddler, he would often cry for even the flimsiest of reasons.

My Dad was also smaller than most boys his age.  The fact that he was small and that he was named “Nene” made all the other boys in his neighborhood pick on him… That would be the biggest mistake of their young lives.  For, you see, though my Dad was viewed as a “little runt”, he was one TOUGH LITTLE RUNT! (more…)

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