Right after our grueling three- month training as SmithKline Beecham medical representatives, we were immediately dispatched to our respective territory assignments. I had no expectations except to work hard, hit my monthly target and pass the probationary status
|infront of my Dumaguete digs|
|my very first car|
Rows upon rows of magnificent acacia trees lined up the main thoroughfares and served as canopies and umbrage from the elements.
Lazy Saturday mornings often stretched to afternoon while cooped up in bed. It was life in a perpetual slow motion
Dumaguete's rich cultural heritage and historic past that can be gleaned from its impressive turn- of- the century buildings, well- preserved antiquities and sprawling haciendas and quaint al fresco cafes contrast nicely with its youthful vibe courtesy of its students who come from all parts of the country.
Its laidback and moderate way of life has made it the perfect place to study and to pursue intellectual inclinations
|Typical scene in Holy Child Hospital|
I easily bonded with the sales force and detailmen in Dumaguete but I was closest with my SB counterparts.
The first one was Myra Cartago who aside from a keen business acumen knew how to whip up the best pastries and the best gourmet dishes. She can be quite mataray but deep inside is a super bait person
She always got the biggest sales orders and purchases from the hospitals and pharmacies.
|Me and Myra Cartago|
|Fun, Fearless, Fabulous & Fashionista Female Friend |
|Sharing the same birthday|
My circle of friends in the industry included Neil Alviola whom we affectionately call as the Prince of Calo, San Jose. We often go to his place for the cool sea breeze, the kinilaw and sinugbang baboy.
There is only one thing that Neil hates; Do NOT ever think of taking a stolen shot of Neil. He just hates candid photos and so this is the reason why I'm using his FB profile pic.
Neil, don't worry, YOU are gorgeous!
Martin Atayde, the Spanish mestizo from Bacolod City was the cool dude who was always the voice of reason
|Esmee was the demure baby of the group|
She had this unconventional type of beauty that proved to be very attractive to the opposite sex.
I bumped into her a couple of years back in the lovely island paradise of Panglao, Bohol where she has a villa by the beach
|Mesmerizing Mitch Just Knew How|
|Fashionable Kris & Vivacious Eileen|
|with Mico & Carlisle & medrep friends in Boracay|
On a sad note, I was shocked upon learning of the sudden demise of a dear dear friend Dr. Ambrosio Miguel "Ami" Madamba. His untimely death on February 15, 2009 was met with disbelief by both friends and acquaintances.
He was a well- respected and well- loved pediatrician not only of Dumaguete City but also in the entire province of Negros Oriental.
He was very close to us and never declined invitations to special occasions. He even surprised me and Eileen with a birthday cake when we turned a year older back in February 1996. He was one of us and never required special attention.
Very self- effacing and very private. He is sorely missed by everyone
Sleep tight Dr. Ami
|That's Dr. Madamba (with eyeglasses) during my joint birthday bash with Eileen|
|The good old days with Dr. Madamba|
|the boyish- looking Dr. Bong Rosario was another close friend|
After work and when dusk settles in, the place to go to was Lighthaus Café overlooking the Boulevard.
|Hanging out at Lighhaus Cafe with Patrick Lee|
|The guy in stripes is Andre Velasco, another medrep who was part of of the group|
|outside the Lighthouse Bar by the Boulevard|
I also miss those beautiful socio- cultural activities and celebrations in Dumaguete City. For instance, the Santacruzan in Dumaguete, always a star-studded affair that is highly- anticipated during summer.
It was with a heavy heart that I packed up everything, said goodbye and before I drove off, I took one last look at the place that I had learned to love and just like that, I zoomed away and Dumaguete with all its memories slowly became a blur and then, I was gone
It has been 16 years since I left Dumaguete City.
The years may have dimmed a bit of the memories but the feelings and my yearning for the place and its wonderful people would always be there