Ship of Theseus

Any long hiatus from this space probably benefits from some explanation of the absence and some updates since then. My last entry was in early March, when I ended a few weeks’ run writing about social media. Really, I had hoped for a longer streak, but the truth of the matter is I don’t have the same stamina that I used to. Such, I suppose, are the vagaries of old age.

I’ve been through many of these fits and starts throughout the years with Metro Post that I know the patterns well enough. Typically it starts with a significant event that I feel compelled to write about, but the work being unequal to the ambition, I end up missing the deadline. Thus passes the muse, unanswered.

This time around, the catalyst was the death of Fred Dael. I had the privilege of working with Fred all those many years ago when the call center industry in Dumaguete was just the germ of an idea in his mind and he gathered us like-minded volunteers of the TVB Group — J–, D–, V–, and a few starry-eyed friends. (Was it 2002 or 2003 that we started courting the call centers? Certainly no later than 2004 or 2005. Oh, God, it’s been so long.)

But what can I say about Fred that hasn’t already been said? Just a couple of memories to share: that he called me a ‘blogger’ back in that brief time when it was still a badge of honor; and prior to that, our first meeting, when I gathered the courage to introduce myself as we took a flight from Cebu to Dumaguete. Fred was quite gracious with the brash intrusion and I felt certain the introduction wouldn’t stick, but he remembered my name the next time we met. I’m sorry these stories aren’t more significant, but this is all that I have.

As far as projects go, the campaign to bring BPOs to Dumaguete was a crazy one, because really who would have thought? But Fred’s decision as president of Islacom to place the fiber optic landing station in Dumaguete turned out to be a fortuitous bit of foresight and it gave Dumaguete an edge. And yet, at that time, we found ourselves mired in some controversy. Should a city negotiate with a BPO for exclusivity to operate? I had a hand in crafting that agreement and this is probably a topic to revisit at a future time. Still, I do hear echoes of disapproval from acquaintances at DTI in other cities.

Following this thread, next I learned that my like-a-brother J– had retired from DTI. Retired! J–, where did the time go that it should pass by so quickly? Wasn’t it just a few years back when we met in your parents’ house where I boarded for college? And I still remember the time when you came into the room and announced: “I’ve found the woman I’m going to marry.” Still many more adventures ensued with D– and you (plus, plus, plus) after that.

Myself, I will be turning fifty in a little over a year, and I feel my rosy lips and cheeks within Time’s bending sickle’s compass come. I still have a few more adventures left, though. I quit teaching because I felt disappointed and disillusioned by university life. Now I’m project manager of a young but growing software development team, a group I could not be prouder of. But…stories for another occasion.