Friday, September 03, 2010


The Secret

FAILURE OF APPLICATION. Lara has nonchalantly mentioned to me around the second week of the application that the applicants haven’t been showing up in so the members might just dissolve them. I shrugged it off. I wasn’t active in this application so I cannot pass judgment but if the applicants haven’t been showing up, and there are already talks of dissolving them then might as well, ‘di ba?

Around the third week of application, only two applicants are left. Neither one has been diligently showing up, but are also not showing signs of wanting to quit. IVP puts the decision to dissolve them to a vote by the body. Before that vote, most recent IVP Dina Luna spoke to the body and says, “If it were up to me, I will not dissolve them.” Membership agrees with her, votes not to dissolve the applicants. IVP gives an ultimatum, if the applicants still do not show up the next day, they will be dissolved. But I think IVP failed to strongly express this ultimatum, or at least get the body’s consensus to honor this ultimatum at that meeting.

Applicants do not show up the next morning. Some believe the 7 AM calltime may have been unfairly early for the two. One had class during that time so the other wouldn’t come if the other wasn’t present. That afternoon “sinundo ang mga aplikante.” A semblance of an application is pursued, but then applicant/s say something which pisses IVP off, prompting her to dissolve them. She supposedly said, “Assers, alam ko may usapan tayo pero…” It seems president wasn’t present when this happened.

Incident reaches president. He texts members and applicants, but not the IVP, that there is something wrong with IVP’s decision, and invites applicants back. Naturally, fight between President and IVP ensues. Alumni whose advise was sought by both parties include Lara who was vacationing from Japan so was very visible to the residents. Calls were also fielded to and by Erica to both President and IVP because she was with Lara and I and a few more Assers on the way to the beach.

President calls for a meeting that night, Friday before the scheduled Finals.

At that meeting, President and IVP agreed to uphold the dissolution. Bob says that in his conversations with President, they have not discussed what happened at that meeting that convinced the President to reverse his contention of the IVP dissolving the applicants. But this is pretty much how this grave problem transpired and was resolved among the residents, with hardly alumni intervention.

Bob called up last Wednesday and I was able to get his point-of-view of this incident that we are still trying to piece together, thus it is with confidence that I mention him in this post Bob only requested that he gets to read my account of our phone conversation before uploading it for all of you to read. However, while Bob was able to intelligently guess that I was taking down notes while on the phone with him, it was more for my visualization of how events transpired, and not so much to write down minutes of that conversation kaya do not treat this account as mere minutes of my talk with Bob, but rather a more complete story of Dear Ken with more info from Bob, Al, and Cheryl.

THE UP-AYALA TECHNOHUB MEETING. Of course news that the applicants being dissolved would spread fast. Friday morning pa lang nakikibalita na si Bob kay Faith Recile, the Memcom Officer assigned to textbrig him, kaya nabalitaan na niyang baka nga hindi matuloy. Bob is concerned because he has been fairly active in this application. He was present at the Acquaintance Party, and he was among the speakers at the Orientation so may there is some concern on his part na siya nga naman ang nag-encourage sa mga ‘to na sumali tapos ganito, madi-dissolve Friday before the Finals.

News reached Ianco who told Setset through Facebook chat. Setset asks Bob to see what’s going on. Bob calls up Al Saturday night asking kung tuloy ba ang Finals. Al was thinking, “Uh-oh! Nagfi-fish lang ba si Bob o alam na niya? Turns out alam na niya.” Bob invites Al to meet at UP-Ayala Technohub. This was around 10 PM already. Al picks up Cheryl along the way because she is former IVP, too, and “nag-e-emote siya sa Facebook status niya kaya sinama ko na rin siya.” Faith Recile and Andrew Valdez joins them. “It was basically a Joyce-bashing session,” is how Cheryl described the discussion. Al and Cheryl declare – and I believe so – that no conspiracy among them was cooked up at that controversial meeting.

Bob did say that it was at this UP-Ayala Technohub meeting that he questioned the validity of a dissolution at this point in when the applicants have been declared Assers at the deliberations. Bashing the IVP’s moves, discussing the ambiguous aspects of our beautiful application process are all valid talkpoints, in my opinion, but when I asked whether Faith, the only resident member present there, and a Memcom Officer at that, mentioned what I think is a crucial fact that the President and IVP both agreed to dissolve the applicants the night before, Bob told me over the phone that “that is new information.”

I was surprised! I’ve always felt that the reason why this issue has dragged on and on is because some parties did not find peace in the President-IVP agreement to dissolve the applicants. Now, instead of us discussing the whole thing on a theoretical/academic level, we have faced and are facing dire/real consequences – Chito has resigned, the advisers are at odds with the residents, the org’s recognition is in danger, and the IVP has been asked to resign.

Hanggang ngayon sana Joyce-bashing na lang ang ginagawa natin at ‘yun na lang ang problema natin. Bob then asks me a theoretical question: Rey, if you are a fairly new member and you see the president and IVP fighting and they reach an agreement and you are troubled with their decision, could you not talk to some alumni that you have “access to”? I replied, I would by all means talk to some alumni I have access to if I have questions, but I would tell them everything, including the fact that the president and IVP have agreed to dissolve the applicants. Bob then said that’s you, that’s what you and even I would have done pero iba-iba tayo, eh. I was still baffled whether there was some deliberate act on Faith’s part to withhold such important information in a meeting with important alumni members, when Bob said that in hindsight but he cannot recall with certainty, Faith may have mentioned that the president-IVP agreement.

TALKING TO RAFFY. The night before Bob called me up, Erica set a meeting with Raffy Barreiro. I tagged along. Inuman lang siya sa Ang Pulo, Ortigas Home Depot. Galing badminton si Raffy at nasa kabilang table nag-iinuman din ang ilang jocks at kasamahan niya sa RX. I sense a certain dismissal on Raffy’s part that I admire. Kumbaga, sana dumating din ako sa panahong ganyan na ini-involve ako sa usapang Broad Ass pero hindi na’ko ganu’n ka-emotional about it. Inuman lang siya. Sabi nga ni Raffy he actually enjoyed. Naman!

When I mentioned that I can help him with Ma’am Rose, he said, “Kaya mo na’yan!” So sige.

Meron din siyang kakaibang insight sa ginawang pagpapa-resign ni Chito kay IVP. While it was mostly deemed a pagdi-diva na kailangan na lang nating sundin para lang magka-adviser tayo, Chito may have also been “thinking org” because in case the dissolved applicants or the Office of Student Affairs (now headed by staunch Broad Ass critic Ma’am Betsy Enriquez) questions us on the botched application we can say that we recognized the mistake and in fact asked the IVP, the one assigned to handle the application, to resign. Parang protection na rin. Raffy even said Chito doesn’t even have to explain this to us para mas foolproof ‘yung argument natin in case the need for it arises. Galing, no?

He agrees to host a meeting with concerned alumni and residents to finally iron out some details about the whole thing dahil ang statement nga naming ni Erica sa kanya, ang “weird-weird” lang.

THE LEGEND OF SETSET. Napunta ‘yung usapan sa legend na new member pa lang ako eh naririnig ko na: ‘yung time na pinauwi si Setset during the Finals ang isang aplikante. Nagalit ang mga alumni dahil dito pero matapang na hinarap nina Setset at Bob ang mga alumni. Setset and Bob resigned as a result.

1. Almost two decades after, Setset tearfully talked about this incident at the alumni meeting last August 27, ganu’n ka highly-charged ang pangyayaring ‘yun, but at the same time, her biggest bashers then, like Jan, became her closest amigas up until now.

2. Alumni then were close or became close to that rejected-at-the-Finals applicants. A damage-control envoy was sent (Raffy recalls this must be Jan Arceo) to that reject to make sure she wouldn’t bad-mouth the org. Despire the alumni’s opposition, though, perhaps the concept of having a special finals were just too preposterous to them that it was never considered. The most was a more careful handling in case she decides to apply again. Special Finals was not considered then to an applicant who, by the power of the second deliberation, is essentially an Asser, and that her being sent home during the Finals was as Raffy said “chalked up as a mistake. That was a mistake.”

3. Raffy speculates that Bob sees an opportunity to correct that mistake in this recent situation.

SPECIAL FINALS. During the 90’s wala rin namang time na pinag-usapan ang Special Finals, though, napakadugo ng mga Deliberations namin dahil nga that will spell the difference kung magiging Asser o hindi ba ang isang aplikante. Ang una kong delibs, nag-hyperventilate pa ang president. Talagang nag-aaway at nagdedebate ang mga miyembro, kung ma-reject, sasabihan pa nga ang aplikante the next day, right before the Second Interview, na rejected na siya.

When I was IVP I even set rules sa order ng pagbibigay ng grades such that the highest ranking officers reveal their grades last so they can somehow affect the grade average of the applicant, which are rounded off to the nearest thousandths!

Sa 2000’s na lang yata nauso ang Special Finals-Special Finals na ‘yan. They’ve had it a few times already, but the only one I’m sure of is that of one female member whose name eludes me right now na pinag-Special Finals one week after her batchmates niya kasi raw nasaksak ang brother niya kaya kinailangan niyang umuwi sa probinsiya. I told this member that she is lucky dahil kung ako ang IVP niya hindi ko pa rin siya bibigyan ng Special Finals unless siya ‘yung doktor na kailangang gumamot sa kuya niya. I mean, my brother got married during my application and I was not able to attend! Some softer-hearted parties say at least her excuse was more valid than the two applicants’ na pinag-uusapan ngayon. DIYOS KO, SA HABA-HABA NG MGA PINAGSUSULAT KO, PUWEDE BA NATING TANDAAN ULIT NA DALAWANG WALANG KUWENTANG APLIKANTE ANG PINAGMUMULAN NG LAHAT NG ‘TO? GRABE!

Andrew Valdez once asked for Special Finals for an applicant because the applicant was asked to quit by his parents on the Friday before the Finals, at the whole time daw na pinagfa-finals ‘yung ibang applicants, nagmumukmok lang sa isang sulok si Andrew. Hindi ko alam kung presidente na siya nito. Hindi naman yata na-grant ang request niya. Incidentally, ang ganitong clinginess raw sa aplikante ang isang rason kung bakit hindi nanalong IVP si Andrew against a weaker candidate then, Edward, at kung bakit sa ilang attempt daw na mag-Memcom ni Habs eh hindi rin siya nananalo. Binoboto na lang silang presidente eventually, where hopefully they will be too busy with more pertinent matters aside from the application.

But to be fair to Andrew, he had the decency to ask the body for Special Finals at nu’ng napagdesisyunan, narespeto rin niya ‘yun kahit salungat sa gusto niya. Ewan ko na lang kung saan nakuha ng residente nu’n ang wisdom na ‘wag nang magbigay ng Special Finals kahit pa, technically, Asser na’yun kasi na-delibs na siya.

I am not sure if it is Special Finals per se that divides us now because as you all know kahit kami na ayaw sa Special Finals eh biglang nagkandarapa sa pag-organize nito nang narinig na nmin ang punto ni Chito at the infamous Bahay ng Alumni meeting. Ang difference lang talaga kasi ngayon ay ang gulatan, and true enough Habs and Bob were well aware of the possibility of a Special Finals almost a week before it was officially announced.

“KUNG PASOK, PASOK.” “Kung pasok, pasok,” ‘yan ang in-emphasize daw ni Bob kay Habs. Nililinaw niya na hindi sa kanya galing ang ideya ng Special Finals, at ang tanging kinakausap lang niya nu’ng week na ‘yun ay si Habs. “I was asking him to be the president. To be president for the org.” As I said nga naman in ‘Dear Ken,’ Bob called me that Friday I was driving to UP to question the president on the Special Finals and he said, “I am with you here. Ayoko rin ng Special Finals.” But it is the residents’ decision nga naman, something about what transpired at their meeting with Chito.
At this point, while writing this, nalilito na ulit ako kasi I remember asking Bob again in our most recent conversation whether he was for Special Finals or not. “Are you asking for a categorical answer… I neither encouraged nor discouraged it.” Nakalimutan ko na lang du’n tanungin what he meant pala when he told me na ayaw rin niya ng Special Finals, oh well…

Anyway, Bob also said that he was advising the residents to talk to Chito already Monday pa lang. Hindi ko lang din nalinaw kung ano ‘yung magiging agenda ng pag-uusap na’yun. Parang hindi naman advise kung paano magmu-move on ang residents sa pag-aaway ng President at IVP, at parang hindi naman para makapag-isip ng safeguards in case the two dissolved applicants pursue a case against the org. I just remember Bob mentioning his advice when I lamented that Chito’s take on the matter of dissolution was asked way too late, and presumably with the feeling of not finding peace with the president-IVP agreement, while exploring the possibility of Special Finals.
Whatever the point is of Bob asking Habs to talk to Chito Monday pa lang (the day after the scheduled Finals, two days after their Ayala Technohub meeting), hindi naman nakausap si Chito.

GULATAN. Up until this point, ang pinakamatatandang alumni na may take rito ay si Bob, si Ronnie, si Al, ako… Bakit biglang Friday night before the Special Finals lang kami nasabihan nito eh we have been very much involved in this case. Bob cautions me over the phone na wala rin naman silang responsibilidad to inform us kasi nga it is a matter among residents. True, I said, pero ang daming opportunities to tell us.

Habs admitted na Monday pa lang iniisip na nilang mag-Special Finals, sana pala nu’ng Wednesday sa Shakey’s Katipunan ay na-bring-up na nila ‘yun para na-address. I think we’ve proven naman na hindi kami ganu’n katigas ng ulo, nu’ng napaliwanagan nga kami ni Chito eh biglang naging for Special Finals na nga kami, ‘di ba? Thursday pa lang, according to Habs, napagdesisyunan na nilang mag-Special Finals, pero talagang the next day, gabi, bago kami tinext, kung kailan Saturday na ang Special Finals.

I was telling Bob na had they informed the alumni nu’ng Monday pa lang na iniisip na nilang mag-Special Finals, baka napag-usapan pa nang maayos, baka hindi pa gumulo nang ganito. Eh, kaso iniisip namin nag-agree na president at IVP na i-dissolve so nag-focus na lang sa pagmu-move ang alumni, we were kumbaga tackling a different problem kasi ang buong akala natin ok na sila, ‘yung naging paksyun-paskyon na lang among residents ang kailangang ayusin ngayon. That’s when Bob remembers something:

THE SECRET. Even without consulting Chito, Habs devises a plan. He want to hold Special Finals. He tells confides this Bob. Bob agrees but Habs must be the one to tell the alumni.
Bob does not regret agreeing to keep that a secret even when I said that that is the point when our communication lines broke down, because something was withheld from everybody.

Bob admits, though, that his only mistake was giving Habs too much credit as president, he thought Habs would keep his end of the bargain.

So, knowing that the president – and in essence the residents - even without talking to the Faculty Adviser, were thinking of holding Special Finals for the two dissolved applicants, Bob attends the meeting of alumni at Shakey’s Morato that night. Bob spearheads the discussion in finding that one voice we will have when we face the residents two days hence. MOVING ON. ‘Yan ang napag-agree-hang “one voice.”

ONE VOICE. Bob continually pressures Habs to inform alumni about their plans of Special Finals. Tuesday passes, Wednesday at Shakey’s Katipunan meeting ensues and ends. We don’t hear from Habs.

Sa Shakey’s Katipunan, movin on ang tema. The end.
Nag-move on sa McDo Katipunan sina Bob and the residents after the rest of the alumni have left. Hanggang 3AM sila ru’n.

Habs in this meeting daw brought up the “maghahabla si Chito” angle. When I asked how Habs knew this when they haven’t talked to him yet, Bob says Habs and Chito are close and this might have come up in some other way.

It is also at this moved-to-McDo meeting that the Special Finals was brought up. Bob gave them two pieces of advice: 1) To immediately talk to Chito and 2) To make sure the applicants, after one week of being regular people again, are still willing to go through it.
Finally, Thursday, residents get to talk to Chito who encourages them to induct the two applicants. Habs, however, when justifying the Special Finals to me, to Bob, and to who else I don’t know, claims that Chito threatened to sue them in the SDT (Student Disciplinary Tribunal?) if Special Finals are not held for the apps, one of whom is Chito’s recruit.

UNFAIR. I told Bob, when at McDo they mentioned the Special Finals, and he gave them two steps to follow, shouldn’t he have also cautioned them that perhaps holding the special finals a week after the dissolution, a week after the original schedule, be not in the spirit of moving on that was the theme of the dialogue with the alumni awhile ago? I kinda feel kasi na kahit sila-sila na ‘yung nasa McDo at tapos na’yung Shakey’s Katipunan Moving On talks, that still holds bilang alumnus siya na nag-agree sa one voice ng alumni na napagkasunduan sa Shakey’s Timog.

Bob replies, if you are saying that I should’ve said that Special Finals now may not be in the spirit of moving, “I think, Rey, that is unfair to me… We were there talking about my application…” Inisa-isa nila ang points ng application ni Bob until 3 AM… “I think that’s moving on enough.”


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