Larry and the Kapangan-Suyoc ‘mafia’

>> Sunday, January 22, 2017

March Fianza

            When I was still busy tripping over hurdles in bedding the Midland paper after the strong 1990 earthquake, break time meant a relaxing hot barako coffee at the Dainty Restaurant, with friends who are willing to update each other with the latest news, rumor and humor in town.
            One of the fixtures of the old Dainty that I clearly remember was Manong Larry Fabian Sr who always sat at the last table before the male comfort room. He would be there almost every break time at around 10 in the morning, sipping coffee and smoking while fixing jigsaw puzzle pieces of police matters in his mind.
            Manong Larry was a no-nonsense cop assigned at the investigation division of the old Baguio City Police Department. We were not formally introduced but became acquainted because our jobs were in a way related. As such, he would tell us younger newsmen quite entertaining stories of police work.
            After retiring from police work, he chose to farm at Chatol in his hometown in Barlig. One morning, he surprised me with a bag of green lemons he harvested from his farm. I wonder how he came to locate our house at New Lucban. Maybe the policeman’s instinct in him has yet to fade away.
            The last time I saw him was in 2014 at the Burnham Skating Rink where he was in a meeting with friends. Incidentally, I was with former DENR Lands Director Victor Carantes, and so he approached for a little chat and advice about lands. Director Carantes said manong Larry claimed he was I-Barlig but Ibaloy in spirit.
            Manong Larry passed on at the age of 75 last Monday after a long battle with diabetes. An Irish writer said, the demise of a friend or a love one ends a life, but the relationship remains. A friend and love one will always be missed, but the memories stay. So long, manong.
            Don’t get me wrong but the “mafia” I am pointing to is that wave of Chinese migrants to Baguio and Benguet who support each other get by and survive in times of crisis. Although Engr. Kane Chanbonpin clarified that they also help, not only their kind, but other races as well, especially their host communities.
            Proof of this is the fact that Baguio and certain communities in Benguet hurdled their difficult infant stages with the help of the Chinese migrants who crossed the seas to escape from a brewing war in Eastern China in the 1920s. This was the trend of discussion right after the Baguio-Filipino Chinese Community Fellowship Night for the “Year of the Rooster” with the Baguio Media at Peter Ng’s Supreme Hotel.
            Roland “Chongloy” Wong of Luisa’s Café clarified that the Chinese who settled and helped develop the vegetable gardens of Kapangan and the mining community of Suyoc in Mankayan could have been remnants of Lim A-Hong’s army who fought the Spaniards in Manila.
            All was well into the night after Fernando Tiong of Mega Pines Realty and Development, the Spring Festival Committee chair on Ways and Means Spring Festival 2017 and Executive Committee chair Peter Ng, along with Engr. Chanbonpin and Chongloy affirmed their commitment to Ramon “Mondacs” Dacawi’s proposal to come up with a “Dr. Charles Cheng Memorial Marathon” to be part of next year’s Chinese New Year celebration.
            The late Dr. Cheng was one among, if not one of the most dynamic promoter of the Chinese Spring Festival or Chinese Lunar Year in Baguio and Benguet since it was celebrated sometime in 1993.


  © Blogger templates Palm by 2008

Back to TOP  

Web Statistics