About Me

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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

October 21, 2012


Last Saturday , I attended a salo salo for the October birthday celebrators in our Ateneo de Naga High School Batch 1983:  Jobel Belarmino (October 6), Pidong delos Santos (October 14) and Ernie Badong (October 20). This was hosted by our batch salutatorian, Art Puncia, in his house inside Filinvest East.  In attendance, in addition to the celebrators, the host and myself, were Bogs Abogado, Ed Balcueva, Franco Besinio,  Bob Castilla, Ruben “Fards” Fajardo, Ron Hemady and Rico Sabalvoro.

We always enjoy having our batch get2s in Art’s house.  He and his family, particularly his parents and siblings,  are very hospitable and we feel very much welcome.  Delicious  Pinoy foods are in abundance and the alcoholic beverages are free flowing. No wonder, a salo salo in Art’s house is a joyful marathon affair.  

The revelry last Saturday was a special one.  We were celebrating the birthdays of a trio of batch pioneers.

Ernie, Pidong and Jobel

Countless  years before it was a popular activity for 83neans to attend the annual alumni homecoming at the Ateneo de Naga, Jobel was already present in those “dark years”, as he calls it.  “Dark years” because nary a Batch 83 member was present except him.   I guess many of us Batch 83 members, including me, were either very busy with having our young lives started or very shy to show our ugly mugs in our alma mater. But not Jobel.  Year in and year out, he bravely attended the annual homecoming activities and he got to draw lessons from the experience. Lessons our Batch wisely benefitted from when we hosted the annual homecoming activity in 2008. Up to the present   year and beyond, Jobel continues to be a sage in helping map out the direction of our batch.  

Pidong is our  pioneer when it comes to utilizing information technology for the benefit of the batch.  Several years before the all important 2008, he initiated the establishment of  Ateneodenagahs83@yahoogroups.com. The yahoogroup was pivotal in harnessing active participation and generous donation from our batch members, a significant number of whom are scattered in the four corners of the globe. This was before the advent of Facebook. Now that “fb” is supreme in the social media world, Pidong is a leading user  and he always shares important batch activities to our classmates abroad via this tool.

Contrary to popular belief among our batchmates, the pioneer of modern day running in our Batch 83 is Ernie. I started dabbling with fun runs of the 3km and 5km varieties  in 2004 but Ernie was doing long runs already in 2000.  He was ahead of me and the rest in discovering the passion of running.  That is why he exudes far more enthusiasm for this sport than any other 83nean.  Rain or shine, day in and day out, you can bet,  Ernie is working on his love affair with running.


Of course, the salo salo last October 20 was not all fun and drinks.  It also became a venue for a round table discussion on future batch activities, especially that next year (2013) is our batch’s 30th anniversary.  Highlights of the activities being proposed include the following:

1.For the annual alumni homecoming this December 30, 2012, our batch plans to have a tent in the school grounds where the batch members can congregate and hold its merriment. This will be pilot to test our 2013 plan.   Fards will be taking the lead on this tent initiative.

2.To fund the scholarship program of the batch (we have 2 college scholars), we will have a major fundraising activity early next year.  Perhaps a golf tournament.  Art and Jobel  will be managing the fundraising.

3.Every September, it is proposed that 83neans come home to Naga to take part in the traslacion of Our Lady of Penafrancia. We have done this in our 4 years in high school back in the early 1980s.  It is about time we go back to this annual devotion as a group.

It was a lively brainstorming, at times bordering on hilarious. To accentuate their collective dedication to what were discussed, the batch members present passed the hat and were able to raise money to jumpstart the funding of the scholarship program for the second semester.

83neans are great talkers but we also let our walk do the talking.    


  1. thank you sir Vic! running is really addictive. a day without running is like a day without sunshine! hahaha btw mam Gemma Gillioz will arrive Feb. 01 next year. she wants to know the date of our Golf Tournament. I already told her that 83neans requested that she will do the ceremonial tee off:)