Joining the Joint

From the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, Substance Abuse was the In Thing.  From posh Forbes Park to penurious Governor Forbes; from polite New Manila to plebeian Marikina.  Martial Law or no Martial Law.

The daughter of a former President of the Republic was so exasperated with her drugged-out sons that she took to smoking “joints” herself.

Word reached her “amigas” [ friends ].  Horrified, they confronted Her during their afternoon “mahjong” game… 

She retorted in the “hippest” way [ in her Anglicized Spanish / Hispanized English ]:  “Hhheeeyyy… If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!!!”

Hahahahahah!!!   😛   😛   😛 


  1. Jan said,

    July 5, 2007 at 2:04 am

    Thank you so much.
    You’re not aware of the impact of your blog. Thanks.
    You have helped the less fortunate. Tapulanga is striving and we’ll persevere to help more.
    Thanks again

  2. cj said,

    May 20, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    The pediatrician, is that Joan Ledesma Mil*onado? How’s Eva Marie, the wife of Joey Benin (Side A band). Are they all related like first cousins?

  3. zippo said,

    May 9, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    cbxv, is it RRR or is it in-law JAR?


  4. Allie said,

    May 9, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Carrying on grandma’s vision
    breaking the cycle of poverty
    A school in Silay City is helping children of farm workers break free of the cycle of poverty and some are now working as engineers and nurses in foreign countries.

    This is because a family that could otherwise have just sat back and enjoyed the profits of their vast sugar lands chose to make a difference for others. In 1964, their matriarch Marietta Ledesma started the St. Francis of Assisi School in Hacienda Tinihaban, Silay City, because she wanted to provide farm children with education better than what was being provided in public schools.

    “My grandmother believed that given quality Christian education for free, children of farm workers would not have to be forever stuck to working on the farm, they could develop their full potential,” her granddaughter, Carmela “Micmic” Abello Golez, 37, said.

    “When our grandmother died in 1979, our grandfather Edgardo Ledesma continued the tradition of free education until he died in 1994, and for a period of seven years the vision sort of got lost,” said Roberto “Robin” Abello Jr., 36, a brother of Golez.

    Abello said he and Golez belong to the third generation of their family and they wanted to bring back the tradition of free education at the school their grandmother started.

    “My grandmother wanted to give children of farm workers a chance for a better life outside of the farm,” Golez said, “because for a lot of them their parents and their grandparents before them worked on the farm.”


    “We want them to know that there’s life beyond the farm, that they can pursue a different career,” Abello said.

    But as work at the school expanded to children beyond their own farm, funding from Hacienda Tinihaban was not enough to keep up their providing free education.

    When he died, my grandfather left money for the school but it was not enough for the scholarships for the poor, Abello said.

    Golez said they charge a minimal fee for students who are not from sugar farms and can afford to pay, but the children from the farms get free education.

    That is why, in 2001, they had to start the Tapulanga Foundation Inc. mainly to provide educational scholarships for students of St. Francis of Assisi School who not only come from Hacienda Tinihaban but from other parts of Silay City, Talisay City and EB Magalona today.

    Golez said today St. Francis has 370 students in pre school, grade school and high school. The school is supervised by the University of St. La Salle that helps with curriculum development, and its high school that was opened only last year has classrooms designed with large windows to capture maximum light and the breeze from a nearby creek.

    St. Francis of Assisi School not only educates its students in the classrooms, it provides many other opportunities to the children to go on field trips, watch movies, concerts and plays, learn how to use computers, get exposure to theater arts, have swimming lessons, annual recollections and more.


    Tapulanga Foundation was founded in 2001 with the vision to share God’s gifts and good news , Abello said.

    Golez is executive director of the Tapulanga Foundation while Abello is president.

    Golez holds a degree in economics from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños.

    Abello has an undergraduate degree in computer science a masters in software engineering from the Carnegie Mellon University in Maryland , and is married to Kate, an obstetrician.

    Abello and his wife live in the United States but send a lot of their earnings back to the Philippines to help run the school and also raise funds for more scholarships for the poor.

    Abello said those who wish to help them in their mission may get more information at the Tapulanga Foundation’s website Information at the website states $150 can provide high school scholarship and $125 for an elementary school scholarship for a year.

    Tapulanga Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization that aside from education, also provides health care and micro-credit opportunities, Golez said.

    Golez said their cousin is a pediatrician, so all of their students get free annual medical checkups including deworming and immunization, and when Abello’s wife, Kate, who is a pediatrician, comes home from the States, the mothers get free check ups.

    We also provide free eye check-ups and glasses because we noticed that some of the students did badly in school because they could not see, Golez said.


    But Abello said to further help farm workers increase their livelihood so that they will hopefully be able to send their children to college after high school, in 2005 they started a micro-credit fund to provide opportunities for small-scale entrepreneurship in the Hda. Tinihaban and neighboring communities.

    Abello said he and his wife take out personal loans in the United States where they live for the micro credit loans at 0 to 5 percent interest with no collateral to wives of sugar workers to start businesses such as piggeries and sari-sari stores to augment their family income.

    But Micmic and Robin are not the only Abello siblings doing their share at helping, their brother Jose Ramon Abello, 26, a Communication Arts graduate of Ateneo teaches at their school, while another brother Jay Abello, 35, who is into the television and film industry, has also held photo exhibits to raise funds for scholarships.

    Our work at Tapulanga Foundation would not be possible without the support of many who not only share their financial blessings but share their time, talents and material blessings, Golez said.

    The Foundation provides opportunities for as many people to help in any way they can make a small part of the world a better place for others, she said.*CPG

  5. May 9, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    cbxv, cousin paz, zippo, and gino:

    She was the daughter of one of our earliest Presidents. I can’t say more than that. 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  6. gino said,

    May 9, 2007 at 11:21 am


  7. zippo said,

    May 9, 2007 at 8:02 am


    Are you sure it’s a daughter of a former President? Could it be a daughter-IN-LAW of a former President with drugged out sons?

    Z 🙂

  8. cousin paz said,

    May 9, 2007 at 6:03 am


  9. cbxv said,

    May 9, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Triple R? R_by Ro_as Ro_as? Or are you talking about Dadong’s little girl??!!

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