Monday, February 16, 2009

Memoirs ni Manoy by EVCabrera - Part 1 of 5

The Early Years

I am one of those Filipinos who’s lucky enough to survive the brutal bombings and killings of World War II. I can still remember a Japanese captain named Kiaraki whom I met when I was 3 yrs old. He liked me very much and loved to play with me almost every day when he was in Cebu City. He said my physical appearance always reminded him of his only son left in Japan.

When World War II ended I was 6 yrs old and started my primary and elementary education. This was the happiest period of my childhood life. I can still remember the girls who played with me who were very happy to have me as their leader in any kind of game. Because most of my playmates were girls, ‘nagduda ang akong lola nga bayot o bakla ko. Ha, ha, ha. Simbako uroy’. ‘Kay sipat man ko nga bata na-confirm sa akong papa nga dili diay ko bakla’ - that is why during my elementary years my father encouraged me to play baseball and football. …and of course I played the games very well… but basketball was more appealing to me – and I played the game until the age of 52. In fact I still played the game when our big bosses came to play in the NSC gym.

High school was the happiest and most enjoyable moment of my student life. I still feel it is - although I also enjoyed my college days.

In 1961 I earned the degree in Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. After receiving my diploma, my father, mother and brother (Jerry Cabrera) went to Times Kitchen restaurant (in Cebu) to celebrate the happy occasion. It is at this moment that my father said to me “Dodong, you are now considered a professional and someday you are going to have your own family. Always bear in mind that it is much easier to succeed as a professional practitioner but very hard to succeed as a parent. Therefore always be the model by doing what you teach your children to do”.

After graduation I immediately worked as Airways Technician in the Civil Aeronautics Administration and was assigned in the Manila Domestic Airport for six months. Because electronics field is just a minor part of electrical engineering, I decided to go to Mindanao and worked as an electrician in the installation and construction of the Pillsbury Flour mills in Kiwalan, Iligan City. Having no experience yet my co-workers called me “sil-sil” engineer ‘kay ang dala-dala nako kada adlaw martilyo ug silsil ra gayud intawon’.

After 7 months, I gained enough experience and got hired by the General Engineering Construction of Cebu and got assigned to be the General Foreman in the installation and construction of the Hotel Magellan in Cebu City. Having completed the project I went back to Iligan and became the City Electrician as appointed by the City Mayor Camilo Cabili.

After serving the Iligan government for two years I was given the opportunity to join the workforce of Mabuhay Vinyl Corporation (MVC). It was in this plant that I almost had a fatal accident - just two days before my wedding day. Had it not been for the presence of mind of my boss Mr. Eliseo Bacolod, I would have been a goner. The lesson of that incident - always assume that electrical conductors and wires are hot or live.

I was not happy with my job in Mabuhay Vinyl. But then because of IBCI agreement of “no pirating of employees” I couldn’t jump from one company to another. So when I decided to quit Mabuhay Vinyl, I had to go back to Cebu and then joined the faculty of the Cebu Institute of Technology (my alma-mater) for one semester.

Part 2 - The IISMI years

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