WHAT A MONTH THIS HAS BEEN FOR ME!

January 3, 2018

By Ace Alvarez

It is with sadness that at noon today, I learned of the passing of my good friend, Adolfo Makuntima Makwiza.

Adolfo Makuntima Makwiza (Click image to enlarge)

He passed away last Friday, December 29, from a heart attack.

Adolfo was a teacher, a television producer, a writer, book author and a musician/composer.

Adolfo and I met in 2002 during a briefing for new independent television producers by the administrative and technical managers of the newly-licensed Rogers OMNI.1 Television. It was therefrom that our beautiful friendship begun.

Adolfo would phone me occasionally to share with me his work: books, CD recordings of music that he composed and, at times, confided with me personal matters affecting him and his family.
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The Amazing Dedication of PCCF Volunteers

December 27, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

(Click image to enlarge)

Gie and I were amazed with the dedication that the men and women of the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF) give of themselves and their time to their volunteer work for the good of the community and the organization’s charitable causes; that regardless it was a statutory holiday in Canada on Tuesday, December 26 — and even given the weather and road conditions around us, they were present in the planning meeting, that Gie and I have been privileged to participate in and opened its door to. 

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MY MEMORY TOOK ME TODAY to … and with Kuya Vir …

December 5, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — As I sat alone in this dimly-lit living room, my memory took me to the week before Christmas Day back in December 1977, where a co-employee for a company I was working at the time and I took off one evening from our hotel — the venue of our national convention that year.

Between sips of draft beer and bites of pizza on the table at the Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in the heart of downtown Baguio City, I complemented the guy I was talking with on his car — a 1969 Toyota Corona Mark II Hardtop (similar to the photo in this post) and that am saving money to buy a car, too.

1969 Toyota Corona Mark II Coupe (Click to enlarge)

In the Philippines at the time, not too many were privileged to buy decent cars.

He asked what have I a need for another car when the company was providing one for me. I responded that I didn’t want the company car model issued to me; that I wanted a car under my name, regardless that the company car I was using did not bear any limitation on use.

He counseled not to buy a pre-owned 4-door Toyota Corona, as it could be an ex-taxicab.

He continued, “If you really want to buy one, I’ll sell you my Toyota Corona Mark II. Just give me P2,500 in initial payment and pay the rest to complete the P5,000 when you are able.”

My eyes lit in disbelief, knowing that such car model and his car’s condition would easily sell at between P7 to 12-thousand.

Christmas and the New Year came and my dream of owning the sports car seemed to see realization. But around Valentine’s Day of 1978, Cupid struck me. I had to inform my co-employee that I would no longer buy his car. Instead, I used the money to wed Gie after meeting her February 13, 1978 (for emphasis, a day before Valentine’s Day that year), ensuing a whirlwind romance.

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EULOGY on Senator Tobias ‘Jun’ Enverga

November 26, 2017

(An Insight from One Who is Attributed by People As the Closest Personal Friend of Senator Jun, delivered late afternoon today during the Visitation with the Enverga Family at the Highland Funeral Home, Scarborough, Ontario Chapel)

By Ace Alvarez

Note to Readers: This Eulogy is limited only to my personal friendship with the late Senator Jun Enverga and does not cover his initiatives, nor work he did in the Senate of Canada for the betterment of his fellow Canadians — which were covered in eulogies delivered by his fellow politicians in the Senate and other levels of government in Canada. 

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Sen. Tobias ‘Jun’ Enverga

He was attributed as the First Filipino Canadian to have been elected in office in Toronto.

He was attributed as the First Filipino Canadian to have been appointed to the august halls of the Upper Chamber of Canadian Parliament — the Senate of Canada.

These were just two of the countless ones that have been attributed to the late Jun Enverga in his work acting in several capacities as, firstly, a community advocate and leader; secondly as a Catholic School Board Trustee for Ward 10 in the City of Toronto; and thirdly, as a Senator in Canada.

Jun’s accomplishments in life have had always been aligned to one of his mantras: “God, Community, Country.”

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Remembering Ben Viccari — a very good friend, mentor and a father to me

July 2, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — Today, in what could have been his 99th birth anniversary, I remember writer, journalist & broadcaster Ben Viccari, who was a very good friend, a mentor to me in Canadian multiculturalism and who was a second father to me, too.

Wherever you are, Ben, please know that I haven’t forgotten you; your innate goodness on, close support for, and encouragement to me.

I offered the Holy Mass I heard today for your eternal tranquility.

Thank you so much for all what you have done for me and for all your fatherly love and care.

Ace Alvarez, Madeline Ziniak and Ben Viccari (Courtesy: Manila Media Monitor/Front Page Philippines TV /Click photo to enlarge)

In photo, Ben Viccari – at the time president of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA), an all-inclusive national association of publishers, editors, writers and other professionals engaged in print, radio and television, making a point before Madeline Ziniak, Executive Director of CEMA and at the time, Vice President for National Television of Rogers Media, Inc., and me. The meeting occurred shortly before passing on the gavel to me as the elected successor to Ben for the presidency of CEMA.

More on Ben Viccari on Wikipedia.

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To connect with Ace Alvarez on Facebook, PRESS HERE.


IGNORE SIGNAGE AT YOUR OWN PERIL

April 27, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Since the 70s through even mid 2000s, the zoo keeper did his best to feed and tend to the animals at the zoo, regardless that he himself had a farm to attend to.

The zoo keeper has since retired from that role to devote his time fully to his own farm and flock.

Having been away for almost twelve years, the retired zoo keeper decided to visit the animals at the zoo again recently, bringing food stuff in a plastic bag.

He tried to feed the animals only to find his hand oozing with blood.

While trying to reach for his hankie to wrap his hand around with, the retired animal lover’s attention was drawn to the sign he has had always known was there, but simply ignored all those times: “DO NOT FEED ANIMALS”.

“Yes, they’re wild, as I’ve always known they were then. But I don’t regret having ignored the sign,” he thought.

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To connect with Ace Alvarez on Facebook, PRESS HERE.

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HAVE A VERY GOOD ONE, FRIEND!

April 25, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — A Chinese proverb states, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

For Paul Yee, his journey of a thousand miles in the production business for broadcast advertising is almost completed.

Paul is now winding up the operation of China Syndrome Productions, Inc.

For me and Gie, our first steps in the industry in Canada were taken with Paul Yee, when his China Syndrome Productions facility was located on Niagara Street in the lower west end of Toronto in 1995.

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