Hi, Tony, I was about to go to bed when your message came in. It’s good to hear from you after some time—I’m glad to hear you’re with family in San Francisco, though sorry to hear about your medical problems. We’ll all get there—well, not all of us, and I’d be lucky to hit 80 (I’m 63 now), although I do try to watch my health as much as I can.
Beng and Demi are fine—we had a chance to visit Demi for a couple of weeks last July. I’m back in university administration as UP’s VP for Public Affairs, my old job from 12 years ago, and not something I sought but when UP calls, it’s hard to resist.
These are very trying times for the Philippines again, as I’m sure you’ve read about; too much killing going on, too much vulgarity in high places. Our daughter wants us to move to the US but I still have work to do and battles to fight here.
I gave a speech at the Palanca Awards last week (attached) that you might want to look at. It’s my own appeal to young writers to keep writing for truth, freedom, and justice.
Take care, my friend, and talk to you soon. All best to your family as well!
On 8 Sep 2017, at 11:49 PM, Tony Joaquin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Yes, Butch, this message is long in coming and I must apologize. First off, as an 87 year old Pinoy American (I turned this number on August 24th, 2017) old age with its array of health issues have been bothering me.For one thing I have been in kidney dialysis for over two years. Then they attached a pacemaker a year ago, go regulate my heart rate. However, I can still drive a car, believe it or not, because Chita is not ready to drive in the freeways around Sacramento, however she can manage to go around the inner streets to shop and enjoy some social activities and driving by herself to these events.But enough of that, and let me just reiterate my undying admiration of you Butch and your magnificent and highly informative column which I try not to miss if I can help it. In fact, I have shared quite a few that you have written with fellow writers here in San Francisco and elsewhere - Filipinos living outside our mainland who admire fine writing in the English language.I also hope that things are well with your wife Beng, and daughter Deby who lives in San Diego.I realize that most of the time your extremely busy schedules prevent you from replying to messages such as this and I understand. Butch. Just the thought that you have read it makes me glad I reached out to you.As far as I am concerned, your regular quality output in your columns is quite admirable, and you stand out as one of the leading Filipino writers in English that I have come to emulate and be proud of.My best to Beng, and Deby Butch.Cheers!Tony Joaquin