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Level Two - Who am I?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 16:25 | Emil Alisangco

     First of all, I would like to remember my parents who passed away years ago, and acknowledged them for their relentless support and inspiration. They gave me hope amidst despair, and guidance when in doubt. Again, thank you for instilling the value of education, use of time management, and taught me how to embrace human values.

This is my road trip to re-integration....

     My childhood was centered on a small town of Southern Luzon, where my mother  worked for the Department of Health as a head nurse, and my father a business person traveled a lot to Manila. We had a simple life; both my parents and I loved nature and enjoyed the outdoors. On most occasions, we would go to the beach, flew kites, and watched the sunset. They were religious and practiced Catholicism. 
My high school experience shaped my future....

     During the 70's political unrest roared, and later Marcos proclaimed Martial Law in the Philippines. My parents did the right decision to enroll me in a local seminary. The seminary was secluded from the main town and the town had population of less than 20,000 people. My parents had envisioned that enrollment in a seminary was safer, and the best place for me to study. Besides, the school had the reputation for academic excellence.

     What I learned from the seminary were lifelong valuable knowledge taught by the priests, but has been deeply rooted by my parents when I was a child. In my opinion, I can compare my life to operating a business, where it requires accounting, planning, marketing, time management, sales, and risk. These elements must have a balance to achieve goals and satisfy a good return on investment. My parents were excellent versatile pedagogues.

     My parents imparted me with the greatest gift that any son could ask for - perseverance. My perseverance did not make me God's servant, but I learned lifetime valuable training such as: discipline, self-reliance, independence and how to meet life's day-to-day challenges. My parents used to say, “life is full of uncertainties, have faith and don't lose hope." There are times when I could not live-up to life's standards, but I tried not to give-up hope easily.

     Right after high school graduation, I stayed at my parent’s house and hang-out with my childhood friends. I figured out this the best time to bond with them since I spent four years inside the seminary.

     Few months later, I went to Manila, from where I lived it was a grueling twelve hours bus ride from the province to the city of Manila. The first time I saw Manila was a sprawling city and it was glittering at night with colorful lights and throngs of diverse people and tourist alike.

     I stayed at my uncle's dormitory. The next day after passing the college entrance exam, I enrolled myself at one of the oldest prestigious catholic university in the world. In 1611, University of Santo Tomas was founded by the Dominican friars. And during World War II, it saw wartime engagement in the Pacific Arena. The university was the home of allied forces during the Japanese occupation of Manila. They used the campus to treat wounded American soldiers and their allies. They stayed for periods of recuperation.

     I started my freshman years with difficulties adjusting to the real world environment. I was used to the routine schedules in the seminary and now, I was exposed to a real life challenged. My adjustment to the university life was so hard that I had to call my parents to bail me out and have me shipped back to the province.

     Later, I did adjust to the college life, worked part-time at a five star hotel in Manila and joined college fraternity. I did fond memories during my college days. Besides my academic life, I went to attend social fraternity functions and enjoyed what typical college students do to be wild and care-free.

     When the 80's came, when I got closer to graduation, I saw an opportunity to enlist in the United States Navy. I took a test at Subic Naval Base in Olongapo City, which was an hour and half drive from Manila. After three weeks of waiting, I finally enlisted in the US Navy. I flew out of Clark Air Force Base; Pampanga by chartered military commercial plane called Flying Tigers, and off to Recruit Training Center, in San Diego, California. After Booth Camp, I went straight to Naval Technical Training Center, Great Lakes, Il., for Machinist Mate Class "A" school - ship's propulsion engineering.

     My sea-duty assignments were the USS Flint (AE-32), and USS Samuel Gompers (AD-37). both based in Northern California. I made four deployments to the Western Pacific. Port calls included: Hawaii, Guam, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Diego Garcia, Perth, Western Australia, Bahrain, and Dubai. I enjoyed the navy life and especially the foods and experience other cultures from different countries. One of the deployment, I participated in the Shellback Ceremony when the ship crossed the equator from the Philippines to Perth, Western Australia.

     My first shore duty station was in Naval Air Training Station, Kingsville, Texas, where I completed my Associate degree at Georgia Military College, an off-campus school inside the base. And my second shore duty station was at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California.

     In 1991, after the first Gulf War, (Desert Shield / Desert Storm), I left the service after serving honorably over four years, did reserve, and pursued more of my academic aspirations.

     In August of 2002, I did obtain my 4 year college degree in Human Resources Management at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, California. In 1890, the university was founded by the Dominican Sisters. According to U.S. News and World Report Dominican University ranks as one of the top schools in California.

     In June of 2007, after due diligence, I obtained another degree my Master's in Business Administration, (MBA), at University of Phoenix, San Diego, California.

     Aside from taking care of my youngest daughter on weekends, I attend church functions. I am affiliated with the Knights of Columbus at our local council.

     To this date, I owe my academic achievements to God, my parents, and to my family for their patience and understanding, and without them I can't define who am I.


  • Sunday, September 06, 2009 13:08 | Carol Grice
    Hi Shipmate!
    You have had a very busy life and are extremely accomplished. I’m guessing even as a small child you didn’t ever put your shoes on the wrong feet. It seems to me you are a person that believes if you do it right the first time, so you don’t have to do it over and for that matter have the need to explain why you didn’t do it right. I salute you for your on going efforts and continued willingness to be educated and well informed. You are an inspiration to others. I believe that no one is stuck where they are, unless they make that choice. I wish you on going success and look forward to Level 3, which is “currently under construction”.
    Thank you for sharing your interesting life story.
    Link  •  Reply
    • Sunday, September 06, 2009 18:07 | Emil Alisangco
      Hi Carol,
      Thank you for your motivational response. It's an honor to work side-by-side with a seasoned and compassionate veteran who spends unselfish time encouraging others to move on amidst life's challenging situations. I applaud you for that!
      You are definitely the leader who brings inspiration to everyone and stirs this boat to accomplish its mission, but we have to collaborate as a team and aid our fellow learners to make it to the next level - bravo zulu well done!
      Link  •  Reply
  • Monday, December 21, 2009 19:45 | Jeffrey Backus
    Mr Alisango, I enjoy reading your blog, please keep up the good work. I wish the I had the forsight to get myself educated in the manner that you have!
    Link  •  Reply
    • Saturday, February 13, 2010 06:30 | Emil Alisangco
      Thank you Mr. Backus. I encourage everyone to pursue higher education.
      No one can deprive anyone the educational advantage!
      Link  •  Reply

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