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.2 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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A Note from Rocel: The Best We Got This Christmas (2017)

December 26, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

THE BEST that Gie & I got this Christmas is this personalized greeting — a labor of love truly, from Rocel, the middle child of our very dear friends, Rosemer and her husband, the late Sen. Tobias Jun Enverga.

(Click image to enlarge)

After the noon mass on Christmas Day this year, Gie and I spent the afternoon till evening with Rosemer, Rystle, Rocel and Reeza — including, among a few others, Jun’s siblings and their families, Kuya Ernesto N. Guinto/Ate Nini and Kuya Angel/Ate Noni.

It was a prayerful day with peace, bright hopes and optimism for everyone.

We look forward to a HAPPY & BRIGHTER INCOMING YEAR!

***

To connect with Ace Alvarez on Facebook, PRESS HERE.

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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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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.


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.

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One Key

February 17, 2016

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — The things of immediate use for me on a daily basis are assigned their pocket in any among my winter coats I use for the day.

(Click image to enlarge)

(Click image to enlarge)

Waking up on the cold winter morning today, I stepped out outside, but was surprised that the spare key for the car was not in the left front pocket of my coat, nor in any of its pockets. I stepped back inside, wondering if my wife Gie took it by mistake, ‘though, I doubted if she had it.

Not wanting to bother her while she was having time for herself either in church, or at our local grocery store, I opted to wait for her, and, in the meantime, took a shower.

Still bothered by the disappearance of the car key from my coat’s front left pocket, something came up to me while I was dressing up – and which gave me a smile.

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