I'd really like to thank a good friend, Dean Rudy Ang of the John Gokongwei School of Management in Ateneo for asking me to be a part of this project. To Give and Not to Count the Cost is a coffeetable book about 150 Ateneans who inspired 150 other Ateneans and more. I wanted to write about four people -- Gregorio del Pilar, Fr. Manoling Francisco S.J. and my grandparents. In the end, my essay on Fr. Manoling and the Bukas Palad Ministry was used.
My third year high school teacher Esperanza Chee Kee was the second one to spur me to write (the first was Baybee Reynoso). In third year, she marked one essay in red ink with a note that said to see the Prefect of Discipline for plagiarism. She told me that no way could a third year high school student write anything quite like what I did. But the thing is -- I wrote my essay some 10 minutes before class and it contained profound bullshit. It was investigated and I got to see the details of this a few weeks ago when my mom found the letter of complaint she lodged against my teacher. When my essay was checked they realized that it was nothing but profound bullshit. She reversed my grade and gave me an "A+".
In the book, Bam Aquino wrote about Mrs. Chee Kee.
I was in the English Honors Section in first year college where I had Eric Torres as a prof. before we got into college, he was that terror prof that we were told to avoid. But fate had other plans. I was in the class or a mercurial yet brilliant teacher. I still have every essay that I wrote that he savaged. The highest I ever got for something I wrote was a "B+". And that college textbook that we used then -- The Elements of Style by Strunk and White? I still have it too. He changed the way I wrote until I got into advertising years later. This was a nice reunion! He even has that old English M t-shirt.
During the cocktails for the launch of the book. With some good mentors Fr. Ben Nebres, Monching Cruz, Fr. Bill Kreutz, and Eric Torres. We had a grand time catching up with one another.