30 January 2007


IT'S ONLY after checking my Technorati link yesterday that I found out, belatedly, that I've been tagged, courtesy of Urbano. So, to celebrate the return of dialup internet connection at home, courtesy of Bayantel's crew which worked on Grandview over the past week, I am indulging myself with the following:

1. Names

Like Urbano, his classmate and fellow blogger Juned, Gabby Bordado, Metro PESO chief Florencio Mongoso, and many other people nicknamed Jun, I am my father's junior.

To most friends, colleagues and acquaintances, I go by my nickname Willy. Only my childhood friends back at Sagrada, Pili call me Larry or Larion -- after my late paternal grandfather Hilarion.

Variously, I am also Nonoy to my mom; 'Nyor to my elders in the family; and Pa, Pappy or Ama to my kids. But I'm leaving my wife out of this.:)

2. Date of Birth

Except sharing the birthday of former Finance Secretary and University of Nueva Caceres (UNC) founder Jaime Hernandez, Sr. -- my alma mater celebrates its Founder's Day every July 11 -- I don't usually give it much attention, owing to the fact that Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate this occasion.

But to satisfy my curiousity after seeing similar posts on the subject, I had to google the date, leading me to this Wikipedia entry. Some fascinating findings:

(a) John Quincy Adams (as portrayed by the incomparable Anthony Hopkins in Amistad), Yul Brynner (no further introductions needed for movie buffs like me) and Michael Rosenbaum (the
übercool Lex Luthor of Smallville) were also born on the same date as I was. Give it a decade or two, I will most probably be sporting the same bald pate.

(b) July 11 is the World Population Day, according to the UN. Wickedly unfunny, for one who had become a father two times over than the average Pinoy.

3. Education

Nothing much here, except that my schooling was financed partly or wholly by other people's money. (My parents accounted for the daily expenses of sending me and my two brothers to a private school up to college, which was definitely not easy.)

I finished elementary at Anayan-Sagrada Elementary in Pili, Camarines Sur in 1981. Went to UNC for my high school and college degrees (AB Math, where I met Lynn in a Physics class) from 81-89. A Civil Service scholarship sent me to the Bicol University in Legazpi City from 93-95 where I earned a master's in management. A decade later, a fellowship from the Ford Foundation sent me here, where I earned a second master's degree.

4. Work Experience

In my final year in college, I proofread, and later wrote news articles, for Vox Bikol, a Naga-based weekly, earning my spurs under the tutelage of the late Boboy Ordas and publisher Joe Narvadez, editor Joe Obias and now RTC judge Junet Ayo. Save for some unforgettable humongous gaffes, like misspelling "Luciano Maggay" as "Luciano Laggay" -- authored by the naughty Linotypists at the defunct Balalong Printing Press
along Blumentritt -- I thought I did a decent job.

Right after graduation, Frank Mendoza recruited me to join Vanguard, official publication of the Camarines Sur provincial government which was being edited by the irrepressible Doming Alarkon. I stayed there for one and a half year, before joining the Naga city planning staff in 1991, again taking Frank's cue. Thus, if there is a common denominator in the careers of those in the top echelons of City Hall -- from Mayor Robredo down the line -- it is that we worked for former governor and now 2nd district congressman Luis R. Villafuerte at one point in time.

While studying at BU, I also spent time with the regional office of NEDA in Legazpi as part of the mayor's three-man Naga-based Regional Development Council staff (consisting of Francis Soler, myself and our driver Sandy Zantua). Robredo and the elder and younger Villafuertes all became RDC chairs; in fact, L-Ray is the incumbent chairman since 2004. For those interested, the NEDA staff can be an unbiased source for a comparative study of their respective leadership and management styles.

When Francis went private from 1996-2001, I also joined him and it enabled me to see the air cargo and passenger business up close through the Aboitiz, Air Philippines and Asian Spirit brands. At roughly the same time, I did consulting job -- mostly on urban governance -- under technical assistance projects (notably the Governance and Local Democracy or GOLD project) of the USAID, ADB and the World Bank through alphabet soup third-party outfits like the PBSP and ARD. When the business encountered rough sailing after the Asian financial crisis, I rejoined City Hall in 2001, handling the school board project among others.

5. Hobbies and Pastimes

In my youth, I played basketball and was a PBA fan (Toyota and then San Miguel when the former folded up, avidly following the exploits of Allan Caidic, Samboy Lim, Yves Dignadice and Hector Calma through the pages of the now defunct weekly Sports Flash). I ditched the PBA -- actually a second-rate, trying hard copycat -- when I discovered the NBA, got mesmerized by the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird, Lakers-Celtics rivalry, and marveled at the superhuman feats of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. When Jordan retired, I lost zest but in the process diversified my interest, although I don't play the games for obvious reasons -- including American football (am a Green Bay-Brett Favre fan), F1 motor racing (I like the recently retired Michael Schumacher), tennis (Boris Becker and Martina Hingis) and golf (Tiger Woods, of course).

I like to read, but not the really heavy stuff. During the recent Christmas break, I gave the Harry Potter books we have another go -- from Sorcerer's Stone up to the Half-Blood Prince -- in anticipation for the final installment in Jo Rowling's series.

So, having played the game, let me tag Kristian Cordero, Maryanne Moll and Frankie Peñones, for reasons I explained here; and Dave Oliva and Irvin Sto. Tomas -- Bikol bloggers all.


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dave (",) said...

sabi na nga ba, i'll be tagged.. congratulations for being the first blogger to have tagged me in a meme :) now i'm compelled to create a new blog (probably in Multiply or Livejournal) to contain memes that i get tagged with, and also as a staging point of original memes i have concocted in my idle times... abangan :)

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Will look forward to it, Dave.

Irvin said...

Tapos na. whew!

Maryanne Moll said...

Shy ako! :)

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