A party, Pacquiao and Peyups

I was Filipino-ed out over the weekend. While the EU member countries held an open house of their respective embassies last Saturday, I was in a different sort of open house, but not of the European type. I had a view of an embassy and I was in a house, or at least on the rooftop of one- on the apartment of a Filipino diplomat whose wife celebrated her birthday (which was last month). As the saying goes, better late than never.

I again had another- small-world experience. I bumped into Crissy, a co-volunteer at the WWF-Philippines in 2003. She turns out to be in D.C. over the weekend after attending a retreat of their organization in North Virginia the past two weeks. She turned out to be a friend of one of my current colleague, Jeneen, also a Filipino.

Later that night, I was in the company of another group of Filipinos from work. We watched the boxing fight of Manny Pacquiao against Shane Mosley. I’m not a big fan of boxing, but kudos for winning the fight. It was worth the five-hour stay in the sports bar!

And yesterday I attended the PeyUPsbook gathering at the Lincolnia Senior Center (!), Thanks to Ferdie who invited me to a carpool and off we went to the suburbia of North Virginia. PeyUPsbook is a portmanteau of Peyups (which is the inverted way to say UP, which stands for University of the Philippines. The inverted wordplay was a slang and popular way of speaking in the 70’s ) and you guessed it right, Facebook. There I met members of the UP Alumni Association Washington D.C.-Maryland-Virginia Chapter (UPAA DC-MD-VA). They come from different campuses but a majority are from Diliman. It was nostalgic to listen to my university hymn, and a handful of OPMs (Original Pilipino Music). The event was also a tribute to the choir master who is leaving soon for professional pursuits in Bangkok.

There was good food, good music, and good company. If it’s from UP, it must be good. I recorded a video of their performance, but my filming talent does not do justice to their musical talent:

I can now proudly say that I am a published author. I did not write a book or publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal. It was an essay included in a book called 50 Kwentong Peyups (stories of UP)- a collection of stories about experience of past UP students.

It was first published in a newspaper three years ago as part of a series of essays called 100 Kwentong Peyups in celebration of the UP Centennial in 2008. A lady emailed me some years back informing me that my essay was selected for inclusion in this collection, and requesting for my permission to publish it. I never heard from her again, and the book project, until I received an email in the UPAA DC-MD-VA about the book. I googled about the book and after my frantic search learned that it was in March last year. I traced a Facebook page of 50 Kwentong Peyups, left a question on its wall inquiring if my essay made it to the select 50, and it (he? she?) replied a few days later that it was indeed, part of the collection.


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