Ateneo De Naga high school 1980

Those who do not remember history are bound to live through it again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Peace to the King of Discipline

I am sure that many of you have heard the passing away of Mr. Rustico “King” Pasilaban. Like a warrior king, he fought a lengthy battle against his lung cancer. His loving family and relatives all pooled their resources to try to save their beloved “King”. Though the latest medical cancer fighting procedures were tried on King, his body eventually succumbed to the cancer’s deadly cells.

King Pasilaban has taken a recognizable spot in my memory because he used to be the assistant prefect of disciple of Ateneo De Naga high school during my high school years back in the 1970’s. Some students call him, “Small but terrible” because he will not hesitate to give a student a demerit whenever the student breaks a school rule. He is dedicated to his job and treated everybody fairly and is impartial in all his decision as a prefect of discipline.

During the 1970’and 80’s, the high school and college students share the same classrooms in Ateneo De Naga. High school classes were held during the day and the college classes were held during the afternoons until evenings. To prevent the high school students from loitering inside the campus during the evening, the prefect of disciple imposed a curfew rule. The student handbook indicated that no high school student is allowed inside the school campus after 6PM. Any student caught inside the campus during the curfew without a special permit issued by the prefect of disciple will be suspended.

I remember during my sophomore year back in 1977. My sister was a college student in Ateneo De Naga and most of her classes were held during the evening. My older brother was given the task by my father to fetch my sister every evening using our family van after her last evening class at 8:30pm. Once in a while, I would go with my brother and we would wait for about an hour at the school parking lot. One evening while my brother and I were waiting for our sister, Sir King happened to walk by and spotted me. Sir King called me over to where he was and asked me if I have a permit. I told him that I do not have one because I am just there to pick up my sister. He asked if I am aware that I am in violation of a school curfew rule. I tried to reason my way out but to no avail. Since it was a Friday, he told me to report to his office on Monday. During the weekend, I hoped that Sir King would forget about the incident. When I went to school the following Monday, Sir King saw me and immediately issued me a 5-point demerit, which is equivalent to a suspension. (Each type of Offense has an equivalent number of demerits. Each time a student accumulates 5 demerits, the student is suspended). Though I was suspended, Sir King gave me a minuscule break by allowing me to attend my classes because he knew that I was struggling academically.

Since I was not the usual culprit when it comes to spectacular mischief in high school, a lot of my classmates were surprised when they heard that I got suspended. The mischievous ones in our class commented, “Si Ivan Yuboco na suspended?! Grabing cabulastugan garo ang ginibo kaini ni Ivan para ma-suspend siya!” (Ivan got suspended? Ivan must have done something really bad for him to get suspended) Many of my class mates whose names are always on the suspension list of the prefect of discipline, happily greeted me and said, “Ivan, welcome to the suspension club!”

During the annual Ateneo reunion back in December 30, 1980, I was at the assembly hall drinking beer with some alumni when Sir King came by and joined our group. During our conversation, Sir King told me, “Ivan, getting suspended is part of a student life. Do not feel too sore about it. You will thank me one day because you will have a good story to tell to your classmates during school reunions.” Sir King was right. I have a good story to tell and I retold it to my friends many times and we always get a good laugh recalling the past.

Sir King’s height had been a subject of many humorous conversations. Fortunately, he had a good sense of humor and proved to everybody that height does not contribute a lot to the success of a person’s life. I think it was back in 1978 when the Ateneo faculty formed a basketball team and played against another school faculty. On the opening toss, the ball was immediately passed to Sir King and he quickly did a fast layup and scored the first basket. The crowd went wild with cheers and everybody would shout, "Dunk! Dunk!" whenever the ball was passed to sir King. The first few minutes of the game went on a fast pace and Sir King downed two more baskets before the opposing team finally recovered from its initial shock and began guarding Sir King more. Mr. Diggs Villabroza told me later that their team placed Sir King as the key player on the opening of the game because nobody suspected him as a fast player.

Last December 2009, I spoke to Sir King over the phone when I called my sister at her residence in the Philippines. Sir King spoke with a sign of optimism. During our conversation, I mentioned the time when he suspended me. He laughed a little bit and said that he was just doing his job and lightly said, “Kaibahan na yan sa pagiging estudyante” (That is part of being a student).

Sir King told me that a few years after I graduated high school, he suspended a popular Ateneo student that belonged to a very rich family in Naga. Though the student had sore feelings towards him back in high school, all those disappeared after the student entered college. The former student is now a very successful businessman and from time to time would see Sir King in Naga. Both of them have a common story to tell about the past and would share a laugh whenever the former student would recall the suspension incident.

During our 30 minute phone conversation, I mostly asked Sir King to share with me his memories about high school batch 1980. The following were the batch 1980 members that Sir King remembered and this is what he said about them:

Decio Turiano—Saro sa pinakamatagas ang payo sa batch nindo ini. Ang pagkaaram ko taga Iriga yan si Decio.(After I told sir King that Decio is already a family man, he said) May pamilya na si Decio at Nasa Canada na?! Maray man ta nag tultul na si Decio.

Rodrigo "Addy boy" Vibar—Pasawayon ning maray ini si Addy boy at miembro kang SRB na pirming nakatambay sa Avenue store.

Ronnie Arlante
—Garo pirming nali late ini.

Mike Moll
—Si halangkaw na payat at mestizo yan ano!?

Gabby Del Puerto
—Taga Calabanga yan mga Del Puerto. Garo may nagigirumduman akong ginibo yan si Del Puerto kaidto sa Santos hall pero dai ko na aram kung ano idto.

Mike Wyland
—Si Amerikano nindong ka-klase na gustohon maginum ning beer. Nadakop ko sarong beses yan si Mike Nagiinum ning beer sa patio kang Taste of Honey Disco sarong sabado.

Nestor Monte
—Si aki ni Colonel. Yaon na palan si Colonel sa California?

Nelson "Boyet" Tuico—Sinda ang may sadiri kaidtong D&S kitchenette? Masiram si toasted siopao duman.

Rogel Valenzuela—Si tisoy na halangkaw na barkadahon mo. Maurag mag basketball idto.

Gerry Borja—Nagigirumduman ko si papa niya.

Reynaldo “Jabords” Borja—Has the loudest laugh in the whole batch. Insists that he has nothing to do with the prank being investigated.

Cipriano "Mer" Mercado—Big time na attorney na si Mercado?! Maurag ay! Girumdum ko dakulang tao ini si Mercado.

Sem Cordial—Garo valedictorian nindo yan.

Raffy Yllana—Si mestizo na pasaway minsan.

Susing Guinhawa—May sanglaan sa centro.

Michael "Teks" Veneracion—Pirmi kong nahihiling sa Ateneo Avenue store nagtatambay. Yaon na siya sa New Zealand? Ok naman palan siya.

Edwin Luntok—Gadan na siya? Ngoarin binawian ning buhay?

Porfirio “Braggy” Bragais—Pulis baga idto digdi sa San Fernando.

Ben Dy—Idtong may sadiri kang Graceland restaurant.

Francis Calma—Engineer na idto na nagtukdo sa Ateneo

Fidel Surtida
—Bistado ko yan mga Surtida ta pirang Surtida na ang nag graduate sa Ateneo.

Perfecto "Pekto" Perfecto—Mautak na estudyante yan. Sa pangaran pa sana maurag na.

Ricky Sadiosa—Si Para guitara.

Sir King also remembered the LG-20 class of batch 1980 because we were the pioneering class of the Kataas-taasan, Kahulihulihang Klase sa Ateneo (KKK), which is now known by its name KiKiKs. He said that there were several high school batches after 1980 where the kikiks members did good things for Ateneo. Things went bad for the organization when a tough “Rite of passage” to kikiks was introduced. The requirement was for the aspiring member to consume a whole bottle of Ginebra San Miguel “bilog” gin in one drink. The Kikiks organization was banned from Ateneo after a few students were hospitalized due to overdose of alcohol. Though kikiks is currently banned from Ateneo, its leaders and members continue to operate below the radar of OPSA.

During our conversation last December 2009, I told Sir King that I have plans to travel to the Philippines on February 2010 and would like to interview him regarding his memoirs during our high school. He told me, “Ivan, dalian mo at magbisita ka tulos ta tibaad dai mo na ako abutan”. (Ivan, you better hurry if you are going to visit because I might not be around that long). I told Sir King that he will be fine and will be around for a long time. I said, “Sir King, dai ka pwedeng mawara ta parte ka kang history kang batch mi.” (Sir King, you cannot just disappear because you are part of the history of our batch). He did not respond to what I said. He told me to bring some pictures of my batch mates so that he could give me more stories for my book.

Last February, King's relatives from United States flew to the Philippines to be with him for the last time. His son, who works as a registered nurse in southern California, also flew to take care of his father.

After two months at the hospital, King was brought back to their home. A day or two before King’s demise, his eyes were always close. His daughter whispered to her father’s ears, “Papa, pagal ka na. Magpahingalo ka na.” (Dad, you are very tired. Rest now). With his eyes still close, King gave a gentle nod.

King left behind a throng of memories among us. His lengthy career to Ateneo De Naga showed his dedication towards our beloved school. Though some of us were given demerits by Sir King during our high school years, the guidance that he taught us gave us merits in our lives.

Peace and gratitude to sir King.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

King was the steady right-hand man of the Prefect of Discipline, Mr. Augusto Destura. Yet, King has a side that seemed to moderate the necessary strictness with his own experiences because he was once an AdeN boy himself.

Ivan, by the way, thank you for providing English translations. It's something a number of Fil-Am publications can benefit from.

8:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home