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.

***

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.

***

To connect with Ace Alvarez on Facebook, PRESS HERE.

Back to Top

 


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.

Read the rest of this entry »


Heartwarming Thoughts on the Birth Anniversary of my brother, Brod B

April 22, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

My dear brother, Brod B — Then and Now (Click image to enlarge)

Toronto, Ontario — Well, Brod B … I’m following North American Eastern Time, thus, if you find this a bit late in accord with the date and time at the part of the world you are in, I’m not really apologizing, nor, will I. The fact is, even if you say this is late, for me this is not; for what I am celebrating today is your birth, not only your birthday. You have always been a very good sibling to me. So, a BIG BIRTH ANNIVERSARY GREETING TO YOU, dearest brother.

Oh, I can’t really help it, but be nostalgic on this day. Today – and countless times, I remember all those happy times we have had.

Read the rest of this entry »


Brushing-Up on the Continuously Evolving Tagalog Language

November 20, 2015

New Trends in Tagalog Informal Writing

By Nancy Factura-Ampil with Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — My wife, Front Page Philippines TV Host, Gie Alvarez, and I are sharing with you one note sent to us by our niece, Nancy Factura-Ampil, which, we found pleasure in reading and made us smile all throughout, especially because of the humor incorporated in her letter — including the play on words picked from English, the old Tagalog language in formal compositions and the informal street-coined Tagalog words that have continuously evolved the Tagalog language — in the same manner that other languages do.

Nancy Factura-Ampil (Click Photo to enlarge)

Nancy Factura-Ampil (Click Photo to enlarge)

I apologize to my non-Tagalog speaking readers as I will not even attempt to translate Nancy’s writing. I will certainly get lost in translation.

Here and there, Nancy’s note contained “Jejemon” — a pop culture phenomenon in the Philippines, where the younger Filipinos subverted the English language to the point that their elders could not comprehend, and which the former usually used in text messages.

Nancy’s letter follows:

“Bago ako maging hilong-talilong na naman sa kahektikan ng sked ko ngayong papasok ang Disyembre, mag-email na kaya ako sa mga paborito kong Titas & Titos (di naman sumisipsip ha… totoo naman talaga yan). Speaking of Disyembre, di lang po Pasko ang inaatupag ko ngayon. Reviewer for 2nd Trimestral Exams ni Buch (Dec 1-4); parents’ recollection (Dec 4); birthday ng mabait kong honey (Dec.5); First Confession ni Buch (Dec.6); First Communion ni Buch (Dec 11); 17th Anniversary namin ni honey ko (Dec.11); HighSch. Batch Xmas Party (Dec 11) and so on, and so forth. Kung meron lang totoong ‘genie in a bottle’ ang 3 wishes ko ay: isang clone ko para gawin lahat ng gawaing bahay, isang clone ko para umattend sa mga school activities ni Buch at i-review sya sa exams, at syempre ang last wish ko is makapag-relax naman and pamper myself. Simple lang po ano? No material things (wink emoticon)

Read the rest of this entry »


On Pride, Prudence, Humility, Usurpation of Authority and Other Human Values

August 8, 2015

By Ace Alvarez

Dedication

My loving and lovely niece, Pipay Baltazar Alvarez (Click photo to enlarge)

My loving and lovely niece, Pipay Baltazar Alvarez (Click photo to enlarge)

This post is dedicated to my lovely and loving niece, Pipay Baltazar Alvarez, who, from time to time, when I would be busy and away from the social media, do leave me private messages to say hello and that she misses “my thoughts on everyday life.” Pipay wrote, “Messages … that you share on the wall inspire my everyday life.”

The last time I saw Pipay was sometime back in the early 80s. She was very young then. She wrote to me once, “my respect to you is so high as my dad’s brother. I love you (and the rest of my uncles from my dad’s side), even if I did not regularly saw you as I was growing up, I know that you are part of my life.”

***

Friends, here is an anecdote that I am sharing with you for the lessons that you may derive from this narration:

(Click image to enlarge)

(Click image to enlarge)

When Manuel L. Quezon was the president of what was then the Commonwealth of the Philippines, he dropped by one day at the University of the Philippines, proceeded to the office of Claro M. Recto — described as one of the foremost statesmen of his generation and likewise considered as “the finest mind of the their generation”. Recto was said to ably mold the mind of his contemporaries and succeeding generations through his speeches and writings — a skill described by Filipino writer and television host, Manuel L. Quezon III, as “only excelled by Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Manuel L. Quezon III, is the grandson of the Commonwealth of the Philippines President.

Read the rest of this entry »


“Faith can move mountains”

July 31, 2015
(Click the image to enlarge)

(Click the image to enlarge)

By Ace Alvarez

After Christine’s presentation, Abdelkarem asked her, “You didn’t show us if the market you are targeting in Scarborough (Ontario) will be able to sustain your start-up business for the long run.”

I interjected: “Christine, you know how you can get an estimate of the market that you are targeting?

“Christian churches in Toronto seat an average of 1,200 people. Go to the websites of the Christian Churches in the area that you want to serve. Get the number of services that each church conducts over one weekend. One-third of the people attending in each of those services are of South Asian descent. Multiply that number with the number of weekend services, times the number of churches, thus, you will have an idea of the size of your market.”

Christine started flipping back her presentation to the first slide, which serves as the cover title of her presentation. While doing this, she was saying, “To me, it doesn’t matter how big, or small the market is.”

Read the rest of this entry »