Her name was November, TOSP 1994
After graduation in college, i was chosen as one of the finalists of TOSP 1994. We were two from our university. Together with two chaperons, we went to Manila to participate in the final selections – interviews with senators and DECS’ bigwigs, and being promdi (from the province!), introduced to Manila’s glitters. We were housed in a hotel and the arrangement was that, two persons per room. My real name is a unisex name and the meaning is deep. So they paired us, two by two. That guy, that guy, that gal, that gal. Then my turn came, they mentioned my name and November. November was a nice lady somewhere from the South. And i am a nice lad from the North. I was so excited! And i just broke up with my beauty queen girlfriend that time (but courting then the love of my life now). In the corner, i was giggling inside, saying nothing… they called my name and November – and the rest is history! (errr… story). I did not make it to the ten. But the then senator from pampanga (who became president of PH) said – you are all TOSP, Thirty Outstanding Students in the Philippines (with her unique phonetics)… i know i did not win because during my interview, i talked about the poor, about the ‘gold’ from the land, so down to earth answers, and i am talking to people who in their lifetime might not even touch the soil from a farm (irony, right?), the consolation is that, i brushed elbows with FVR in Malacanang, that was the first and my last visit there, so far – WalrUS!