Bro. Lydio "Jun" Trasporto
UI BSME, PBE 1975 Batch 12

 


I was born on the 4th of July, 1954 in Baluarte, Molo, Iloilo City, my mother’s home town. My father is from Tigbauan. I am the eldest of the 7 siblings (5 boys and 2 girls) and we all grew up inside the housing compound of La Carlota Sugar Central where my father worked as “pay loader” operator at the warehouse. Growing up in the manufacturing environment inspired me to become one of those hard helmeted mechanical engineers. Not only those engineers were “big boys” in the plant but they were also easily included in the list of the most eligible bachelors of our own little town. (Photo: Bro. Jun and Sis Malou Trasporto)

Without further ado, of course, I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Iloilo and graduated in 1976. It was in August 1975 during my final year in the university when I became a full blooded Betans (Batch 12). It took almost three years during the Martial Law era when the UI Betans realized that in less than two years, chances are that there will be no more resident Betans in UI. The lifting of Martial Law was nowhere to be seen in the horizon. During the first semester of the school year 75-76, the Betans decided to take a chance and went underground. I’m proud that I was one of the members of the Magnificent 7 that survived the very first underground batch of UI Betans during the Martial Law era.

We held our induction ceremony around 9pm at Villa Beach Resort and intimated to all our dates that everybody will be staying in because of the imposed 12 midnight curfew. Let alone, this was part of the whole scheme for everyone to have a chance to spend the entire evening dancing and hoping that something nicer will happen before sunrise. Lo and behold, something did happen right after 12 midnight when we all got arrested and brought to the holding cells at Fort San Pedro. We were later released around noon time but we had to cut some grasses and picked up a bunch of garbage around the camp ground. Considering that we got a bit scared when the military surrounded us with their M14 pointed towards our direction at the dance floor. Other than that, everyone enjoyed the evening including our dates. This is a fact, you put a group of Betans together anywhere in any given situation and they will be able to find a way to enjoy each other’s company.

After graduation, I was very eager to try my luck in the big city of Manila. At that time, I already realized that it will take years and years before my aspiration to be one of the “big boys” of Central La Carlota become a reality, that I have to wait and hope that one of the old timers would either resign, retire or pass on, not necessarily in this order for a young engineer to receive a promotion. I knew for sure that I do not have the time and patience to wait for these things to happen.

I vividly remembered it was Labour Day (May 1st, 1976) when I arrived in Manila. I then proceeded to 1133-A Danlig Street at Bo. Pinagkaisahan in Makati. This was the designated UI Betans residence in Metro Manila under Bro. “Tom” Lapizar and Bro. “Boks” Tigtig. This was also the regular hang out of Bro. Pangkoy Lagera and the current Major General Deypalubos (1st Lieutenant at the time) when he was not on mission flying his C47. He always tells Bro. Boks and myself that PAL pilots who landed planes smoothly were mostly ex-PAF pilots. He was proud to claim that our PAF pilots were considered amongst the best pilots in the world. Bro. Boks even added “you guys should also be considered the bravest considering that you are still willing to fly those old PAF planes”. Only Bro. Boks or any other Betans who belonged to the earlier batch like Bro. Pangkoy can make this type of comment, not from the younger Betans like me or the late Bro. Danny Tilos. Since the two of us were the youngest of the group, we usually ended up as designates to pick up their beer orders from the corner Sari-Sari store or prepare coffee and you know what happens to their coffee sometimes. It’s all part of our brotherly love. All UI Betans trying to start a life in Manila or just transiting were welcome to stay in this apartment.

I landed my first job in June 1976 as a draftsman and at the same time Installation Supervisor at a small marketing firm in Mandaluyong called Teknik Mining for their commercial/industrial ionizer equipment. I started making only a little over the minimum wage. Every time I did some cost estimates for their prospective big clientele, I made it a point to find out if these companies have job openings that I can apply for. One time, I told Bro. Boks that I needed at least a double income to be able to afford and pay for my review in time to get ready for the board exam. Only then when I become a licensed engineer that I can expect to make a decent living. “Sounds like a good plan”, he said and wished me good luck and hope that I make it. By September 1977, I was hired by PLDT and started to train to become one of their Quality Control Inspectors. This was considered the management training ground of PLDT and my starting salary was almost double as opposed to my last income from Teknik.

Just about a month after I finished my 3 months full time classroom training in PLDT, I received a telegram from Asian Development Bank (the Asian version of IMF-World Bank) scheduling me for an exam for a possible employment opportunity. By March 1978, I abandoned my dream to have an engineering career because ADB tripled the salary I was making with PLDT to hold a clerical position as Buyer in charge of building maintenance with full benefits and guaranteed yearly general and performance based salary increases. This was where I met my wife, Malou Dimaguila, from Novaliches, Quezon City. She worked as Indent Purchaser with the Bank. After working for 5 years in the Purchasing Department of the Bank, I saw a job posting that was interesting. It gave me the opportunity to travel abroad.

By May 1983, I became a Training Clerk in charge of administering trainings and conferences for Industry and Development Banks Department. During my first year on the job, I was administering programs that were held only within the Philippines. In my second year, I was given some assignments for programs held in Bangkok and Singapore.On the third year until I left the bank to migrate to Canada I was in charge of administering trainings and conferences in the South Pacific Islands. This gave me the opportunity to travel to Sydney, Australia; Auckland, New Zealand; Fiji Islands, Western Samoa, Kingdom of Tonga and the Cook Islands. I also had a chance to visit Honolulu, Hawaii. In 1988, I was given a special assignment to administer a training seminar for the power sector held in Oslo, Norway. This gave the Asian power plant engineers the opportunity to visit power plants across the Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Sweden and Finland. In this trip, I was also given a chance to visit other parts of Europe like Vienna, Amsterdam, Munich, Rome and London.

Please don’t ask what made us decide to migrate to Canada because most of the time my answer is "I don’t know". The only logical explanation I can give is that a few months before Malou and I got married in 1986, one of our supposedly Ninongs, who was Colonel of Manila’s Finest, was ambushed and killed a few feet away from the headquarters of METROCOM along United Nations Avenue. Other than the homicide department that was in charge of the investigation, almost everybody in the Western Police District knew or had some ideas as to who gave the go ahead signal to kill him but until now no arrest was made. My wife always said that if we were to be given a chance to migrate to another country that we have to take it before the situation in the Philippines gets worse. Almost regularly there was coup de etat attempt from our military.

Presently, I am in Toronto, Canada running my own bowling pro shop. This is a separate story and if some of you are interested to know how I ended up running a bowling pro shop, kindly visit my website www.bowlerspro.com and go to the Our History Page. Malou works with the City of Toronto Housing Department as Community Office Supervisor. We have two adorable and never complain “alagas”. The eldest is Jake who unfortunately passed away on July 2005 and the youngest is Harley. Other than my beloved wife, Jake and Harley, my other love is tenpin bowling and traveling.

Lastly and most importantly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the Executive and Special Committees of the Betans International for all the hard work you have done trying to bring us all together. For this, I am glad and proud to be a Betans! More power to our Global Community and let’s continue to keep us all in the loop via our website. This is our new-found “Tambayan” and hope to locate and bring in more Betans on stream, we already found you!

Editor's Note: Bro. Jun is the Personality Profile for the August 2007 issue of GTA This Month, a monthly on-line magazine with focus on multi-cultural social functions, event information, community news and other attractions including sports within the Greater Toronto Area. To view the publication click on http://www.gtathismonth.com/personality.html.