THE SUNNY PHILOSOPHER | Keeping out a lonely life by Salvador D. Flor

ARE you retired, lonely and bored to death? Do not blasé your stars. There are places to “hang out” which may be to your liking. Not the watering holes with seductive, perfumed girls. Tempting to sneak  into but expensive.

So,  where? In big malls, that is where. They have coffee shops where you can have the best tasting coffee plus the sights of smiling food attendants. They are frequented by the old rich in Legaspi City, in the word of Dr. Boyet Loriaga and the city’s prominent professionals.

The professionals include lawyers, journalists, professors with PhDs and broadcasters.

They come in the afternoon when the day is oven-hot to sip coffee and talk of the day’s events, their businesses, the women they once adored and yes, anything under the sun. And before they know it, it is twilight, to go home.

There is the story of a rich trader who fell in love with a local beauty. He took the girl to a nearby province and lived with her in perfect bliss. The girl got tired and dumped him. The trader almost went berserk.

There is another trader. Once prosperous, he lost his wealth due to bad luck. With his children abroad, he lived alone. He fell seriously ill one day and was rushed to a hospital by his coffee drinkers-friends who paid for his medical bills.

How true are the stories I do not know.

I prefer the company of journalist and professors and lawyers because we share the same live for life and what makes it constantly with color. Before my days in the academe, I worked as a human rights advocate and journalist, earning libel suits as well as enemies.

Those yonder days are over.

Our group has interestingly people: Manila Times correspondent Manny Ugalde, AP correspondent Elmer Bando, broadcaster Ariel Ayque, once Legazpi’s top commentator, Dr. Boyet Loriaga and Dr. Pol Doma, both graduate school professors, businessman Lito Tuanqui, radioman Bobby Ala.
Lawyer Teodoro Almenie whose successful practice has earned him much respect from peers and Lawyer Luis Adornado, former Legaspi City vice mayor Dr. Rudy Ante, of Sta. Teresita Hospital sometimes drops by for a chat.

The late Glenn Lee of the 4-star Casablanca Hotel twice invited me to join his friends. He said he would introduce me to them. It is a little bit sad that he left too soon. He was a good man.

Glenn was an old friend from the heady days of the late businessman Delfin Co. Delfin Co and I were very close to former Philippine Ambassador to the UN and Immigration Commissioner Leandro I. Verceles, Sr.

I have another group in Bicol College where I teach. Wednesday Club, we call it. We meet every Wednesday in sunshine and in rain and talk of many things: Journalist Elmer Bandol, former Albay Kinatawan and Aleco boss Mon Lawenko, Dean Carlos Jacobo, Dr. Boyet Loriaga and myself. Dr. Santi Arana, before his DepEd days, was a member.

So you see, the humdrum life that one goes through after retirement is effectively kept out the door.
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