Thursday, April 7, 2011


E-Special is short for Employees Special, a dress-up affair that gathers all employees under one roof for a song-and-dance event just before the start of the new school year. This year, I had asked the HRD, organizer of the event, to hold the annual service awards as the core of E-Special, the song and dance numbers built around the awards.

I was born under the sign of Taurus, and among the things I value most is loyalty. Therefore, I had always found it just short of scandalous that, in previous years, the service awards were given out with what, on the spur of the moment, I can best describe as a criminal lack of pomp and pageantry.

These are the service awards, hellooooooooo….!!! Each recipient of the award has dedicated one’s life in service of the institution!

In the past, one got called to the stage, did the cursory sticky handshakes, and then received a glass trophy and an accompanying long white business envelope. Then one got down the stairs to promptly be forgotten and – worse – likewise promptly forget about the glaring non-event.

I ought to know! Last year, I received my glass trophy for 25 years of service to the institution. That’s my lost youth drowned in a boring sea of lack of ceremony!

In fairness, we hadn’t thought of E-Special then. This time, the affair – which we used last year to launch the employees’ interest groups – seemed the appropriate stage for what ought to be one of the centerpiece events of the whole school year.

This time, the awardees were asked to dress up in something special – although many of the awardees thought a dress-up affair was too good to be true and did not really bother. In between awards, there were special numbers rendered by employees who were featured in concerts last school year.

I enjoyed myself! I really did! Helping to hand out the service awards to those who had rendered 10, 15 and 20 years of service was good for my soul. Finally, the names I encounter in checks, requisitions and all sorts of documents were there in front of me as persons!

I was also, in a way, an awardee. The Philippine District gives out the Medrano Award to Lasallians around the archipelago who have rendered 25 years in service of De La Salle. It’s thoughtful… really, it is! Only that I would have appreciated the award more if it was given on my Silver Anniversary rather than on my 26th year.

It just does not feel right…

Perhaps the other real highlight of the event was this guest female performer publicly looking for a male employee to serenade. The Chancellor and those around me went to great pains to point me out…

But she took one look at me and decided she wanted somebody more bagets…

Why she would call my secretary Von, of all people, to join her on stage, I haven’t the foggiest idea… But Von was game, so I could not really begrudge him the opportunity. But this performer, boy! She came on to Von so strong I could almost hear something go “boing!” down my secretary’s midside.

But I am being naughty…

Gil, who I am so proud of because his plucking skills with any sort of guitar just makes him the school’s resident Guitar Man, was not to be outdone and “grudgingly” – i.e. not grudgingly at all – allowed himself to be pushed by colleagues up the stage for one of the encores.

An arm wrapped around the performer’s waste quickly threw the “grudging” part out the windows. I caught every moment on video! Let’s see what Jill has to say about it, hehehe…

[This story was first published on Facebook on 13 June 2008.]

Security Guards
Chef's Table