I Dont Want To Retire!

Probably the real essence of not retiring is not to stop thinking about beautiful ideas and experiences and sharing them.
I aspire to inspire with a message from God to mankind and lessons learned from parenting, travels, home improvements, blogging, Feng Shui, Traditional Chinese Medicine, health and wellness, and many more.

10.03.2009

Musings of a "Batang San Miguel"

Today is my eldest daughter's birthday, I wonder how else can I make her day happy aside from cooking her favorite pasta. Oh yes, I made her use my laptop practically the whole day until the desktop computer was vacated by her brother.

I thought maybe I can search youtube for a song I can dedicate to her so I'm now searching. But my search brought me to an article she wrote for my former employer's newsletter, "Kaunlaran". Here it is:

MUSINGS OF A ‘BATANG SAN MIGUEL’

‘Ang Batang San Miguel’- 1. The epitome of the humble Filipino patriarch, who works day in, day out, to provide for his family. At the end of each grueling day, he finds himself weary, nevertheless still inspired by the blessing that his family is as he reflects and relaxes over a bottle of his favored Gold Eagle beer; 2. The hardworking Filipino laborer, who, in the hard slog of manual drudges, finds time to loosen up with fellow laborers, over warming shots of Ginebra San Miguel Gin; 3. The much-idolized San Miguel cagers, who, in their ‘game-less’ nights, take on the flippancy of your ordinary ‘barkada’ in your ‘inuman sa bahay’ thing, guzzling none other than the ‘barkada’s’ favorite pick-me-up, San Miguel beer.

Much of the familiar personas of a ‘Batang San Miguel’ are owed to the ideal images indicated in San Miguel beverages advertisements. The lesser known of all these personas, is the ‘Batang San Miguel’ that I claim I am. I hardly fit into the embodiment of a modest patriarch, or of an industrious laborer, and especially not of a vigorous San Miguel cager, though I enjoy the liberty of drinking the famed beer in moderation. But I am a ‘Batang San Miguel’ in the most literal sense I could think of. How? Let me walk you through the prospects of an unassuming San Miguel ex-dependent: Myself, a ‘Batang San Miguel’.

My mom became a San Miguel employee in 1987. I was seven years old then, and all I knew was that mommy holds office in a big building of slanted glass poised in a big space of greenery and ponds of orange fish. I did not know that her employment would have repercussions on us, as I did not understand why we should drink Coke (not Pepsi), or consume Magnolia Ice Cream (not Selecta), or even why we should root for San Miguel Team (and not any other when San Miguel is on the court). We just had to because her company endorsed the products. I got used to being a loyal consumer anyway, and that was not so difficult especially when we got product freebies, discounts, and free tickets to San Miguel games. Through all those years I grew up in amusement of San Miguel celebrity endorsers, and my teenage years were consumed in admiration of the hunks that San Miguel cagers were.

I basically grew up reaping most of the benefits of the common dependent. Of course, your usual San Miguel dependent enjoys a whole lot more benefits than product freebies. I, for one, at fourth grade, had my first pair of spectacles prescribed by and loaned from San Miguel. I was entitled to subsequent visits to the San Miguel clinic in Makati for free check-ups and consultations, taking on the San Miguel route through my mumps, chicken pox, measles, typhoid and other childhood ailments I do not even remember having. For the more pleasurable benefit of it, I always tagged along in company outings, which took our family to different scenic summer places such as Cavite, Antipolo and Batangas. I also had the opportunity to suit myself as a spectator in San Miguel events and programs (singing contests, photography exhibits and the like), but the ones having the most impact on me were the performances of the recently founded San Miguel Orchestra and Chorale, which I beheld with much amusement and pride, as they, I believe, are the best in the country.

Though I personally think that all these opportunities and benefits were a great deal to earn, our family’s ‘involvement’ with San Miguel was not limited to mere advocacy of the products, nor to the ‘event-crashing’ we constantly did. Not long after my mom’s employment, San Miguel Corporation organized summer workshops for the employees’ children, which ended with a culminating activity at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. My brother and I were made to join the workshops, myself in the beginner ballet class held at the gym, and my brother in the singing workshop they had for little kids. It was a fascinating experience for me, a shy seven year old, to socialize within the San Miguel complex, then energized and animated with more than enough kids my eyes feasted on (and WOW they were all potential playmates!). The workshops were fun-filled with much dancing, singing and acting, as we prepared for our production entitled ‘The Wiz’, directed no less by the Bernardo Bernardo. It was my first taste of ‘stardom’ as I tottered on stage, as one of the flowers in the play. From then on, I was no stranger to public performance, and my brother, as a Batman action figure, had his debut in the theater at four years old.

Now, at almost twenty-three years old, it gets a little different, I guess. No more perks for me because I AM an ex-dependent. But come to think of it, I got more than what was given to me, that in this adult juncture in my life, I regard myself someone who has a far better title than “The Ex-Dependent”. I am a ‘Batang San Miguel’, because it would be hypocritical of me to say that I was made nothing by all of my ‘dependent’ years. After all those years of product endorsements, event spectacles and glitzy productions, I found myself in a “destined deja-vu”. Interestingly (for me, at least), I turned out to be a public performer, because I took up a course, the love for which, was instilled in me by my San Miguel workshop days ---- MUSIC. I came to love music and I found myself in proximity to the stage, and all the love for that started when I was designated a flower in a glittering powder blue tutu. It was also all those years spent as a spectator to San Miguel’s creative programs that I was unknowingly honing my own creativity and imagination, as I sat through each singing contest, choral competition, dance intermission, photography ehibit, and most of all, the breathtaking performances rendered by the San Miguel Chorale and Orchestra. Not only was I given the privilege to witness all these happenings, but to a greater extent, I was given the honor to become inspired by it all.

I guess for the most part, the benefits enjoyed by San Miguel’s dependents do greatly to ease the everyday lives of the employees, that they are assured of aid to come especially in times of need. Little do they realize that they are in store for more significant advantages, like what being a San Miguel dependent did to me: it gave me the inspiration to find out who I was, and to seek where I belong to. I now deem myself a part of the San Miguel family, as I deem it a valuable part of me. With all of these musings in mind, I am full of pride in claiming myself a ‘Batang San Miguel’.


Lauren Lois Venida
11 Sept 2003

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