Rotary Club of Tagbilaran
December 3, 2014
His Finest Moment
What he had been through could break and shatter an ordinary individual with less resolve. If he were a boat navigating unresilient in some uncharted seas, he would have succumbed to the relentless, monstrous waves buffeting him from all directions, rendering him helpless against the forces engulfing his whole being. Yet, he confronted all the onslaughts lined up along the road he had chosen, and proved to the four winds the sturdier stuff he is made of, making him a victor par excellence in the Darwinian world
where only the fittest survive. Or, he would not have been an A-1 Rotarian today, ably flexing his muscles in the vortex of service.
He was an eager-beaver who, in his youth, believed some greener pastures awaited him halfway around the globe. At 22 he packed his bags and crossed the Pacific Ocean to the fabled “Land of Milk and Honey,” to find himself a place under the scorching sun. Enticed by his boyhood dream of conquest, he welcomed his recruitment as a soldier in the US Army, despite the Herculean right of passage. He passed the acid tests with flying colors.
It was the height of the Vietnam War, and being flown to the Vietcong turf (to kill or be killed) was the utmost in all adventures. But he proved equal to the challenges, and came back to California a War Hero. Euphoria was on the air, Utopia was at hand. He fall in love, raised a family, fall devastatingly out of love, and “let it go,” rather than be frozen in the aftermath of turbulent predilection.
That Fil-Am is cool-as-cucumber Tony Maquindang, soft-spoken, meticulous in his words, and definitely a gentleman of the first order. Wednesday is his finest moment. The very first to arrive, seated on the first chair nearest the lectern, the first to smile and speak, and be everybody’s first friend. When he donated some video gadgets without banter ( when I made the suggestion), I knew first-hand that he is not a “material boy.”
Tony is back in the land of his birth, finding solace among the murmuring hills and the whispering river. And most important – because we are the first to know…he is in love again.