My Dad’s Award – Philippines

Originally posted: 2007-07-19 09:56:19

My Dad just received some major honors in the Philippines for all the work he’s done there. Rina was fortunate enough to be able to be there as well to represent the brood: read on for her account of the proceedings!

Dear Family,

I’m sitting here in Nellie Bautista’s house – they basically live under a bridge in the middle of Cebu and yet have broadband internet access! Grandpa is taking a nap, so I thought I’d take this chance to record what happened last night.

The School of Engineering at USC put on a truly amazing event for Grandpa. It began with many introductions about Grandpa’s life, his critical involvement in the school, their appreciation for all that he’s done, and expressing how he is truly a member of their family and a great friend. That was the first 20 minutes!

Then Grandpa gave a talk which was supposed to be about the effects of 9/11 on science and technology, but Grandpa focused the talk on change – the importance of embracing change instead of shying away from it, and pushing for change even if nobody else is on board initially. Then the School presented Grandpa with a plaque of appreciation, a book about the history of USC, and many more moving speeches about how much Grandpa means to the School of Engineering. It was very emotional.

Then came some really fantastic stuff – they put on a catered event that began with the USC Choir – they sang about 5 songs. They were strong singers and some of the solos were sung right to Grandpa.

Throughout the singing they showed pictures of Grandpa and Grandma’s life in the Philippines as well as in the States – everyone laughed at old pictures and really loved seeing photos of our family. Then the USC dance troop performed for us – WOW! They peformed dances from all different Filipino cultures – the Muslims in the south, traditional native dances, and some Spanish dances. Each dance had different elaborate costumes. Just for Grandpa! They were really amazing!

Truly the most incredible part of the evening was realizing how much these people value and adore Grandpa. We were really treated like royalty – everyone wants a piece of Grandpa. I wouldn’t be surprised if 500 pictures were taken last night – every one of them with Grandpa in them. Our time over the next 6 days was quickly divided up last night – everyone wants their own time with Grandpa. We are very lucky to be a part of this family – Grandpa and Grandma contributed so much to USC and the blind community in Cebu.

We documented the entire thing with photos and movies! Can’t wait to share them. I hope you’re all well!


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