Small talk


With the merger of Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank, it was a natural question to ask Tessie Sy-Coson if a union of Banco de Oro and China Bank was in the offing.

“No,” she said, as all around us alumnae of Immaculate Conception Academy reveled in the happy cacophony of a reunion that was also a memorial to mark the eleventh anniversary of the passing of the much loved Sr. Teresita Canivel, M.I.C., physics and literature teacher and, later, directress of the school.

No, replied Tessie, “No economic benefit” in such a merger.

Weeks later, I asked Tessie’s brother, Hans, the same question, and he said the same thing. “No plan.”

Reunions may be noisy but they’re also newsy. Dr. Rosita Leung, another alumna, long since a resident of the US, said she and her husband Ricardo have put up an Institute for Healthy Aging in Hawaii, which I look at as the next logical step toward a future where senior citizens live longer, “younger” and more fulfilling lives with more active, productive lifestyles, and not only in America.

Dr. Rosie’s credentials include founding the Metropolitan Hospital in Manila, and she and her husband have donated a building (or two?) named after them at the Ateneo de Manila Loyola Heights campus.

It was at the ICA reunion that I witnessed a blank check being pushed toward an astonished recipient, who was so stunned she didn’t know how big a check it should be, on behalf of the Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception. The giver of the check, Anita Yao Siy of the YSS family, coaxed the nun, “Write one hundred fifty thousand!” but that was because the good sister didn’t hear me yelling, “Write one million!”

Anita is used to issuing monthly checks for the medical needs of individual nuns.
Are you used to returning travelers telling you our Manila airport is not all that bad? I listened incredulously to a friend describing the ordeal she and other passengers experienced recently at Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Compared to the long lines at Immigration and similar kinks at our NAIA, O’Hare was a tangled web of confusion, she reported. One thing NAIA isn’t, though. Unlike O’Hare, it’s not among the busiest airports in the world.