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My hosts in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, were Candy Wong and her daughter Tiffany Chua. They are members of Phoenix Gym, where a husband-and-wife team is working: Jojo Basilisco (Marikina City, Rizal), self-defense instructor, and Maria Theresa Sadio Basilisco (Bacoor, Cavite), finance manager.
My hosts, Mohamad Usop and his wife, Nisa Ramos Usop (Santa Barbara, Pangasinan), brought me to Aminah Arif Restaurant in Bandar Seri Bagawan Brunei to have ambuyat, a starchy dish from the interior trunk of the sago palm. Our waiter was Rachel Manoriña (Taguig, Rizal).
Sonny Ramos (Santa Barbara, Pangasinan is a supervisor at Hua Ho Tutong Supermarket in Tutong, Brunei. His niece Syazwani Usop is a creative-art-technology student at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
I was honored to attend two prenuptial ceremonies of Mahmud Saedon Razali and Hafeezha Binti Puasa: presentation of dowries and signing of the marriage contract. Mahmud is the nephew of my hosts in Brunei, Mohamad Usop and Nisa Ramos Usop (Santa Barbara, Pangasinan.)
I needed a new camera in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, and I bought it at Superb Photographic Studio. Jocelyn Avila (Parang, Maguindanao) is the supervisor, whereas Leo Jamorol (Dimiao, Bohol) is the photographer.
Victor Dagawin (Paete, Laguna) and Rocky Guiba (Quezon City) work in the restaurant of Badi’ah Hotel (Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei), where I stayed.
Francis Magpayo (San Rafael, Bulacan), Samuel Paloganas (Malasiqui, Pangasinan), and Harold Sobremonte (Baguio City) work at the facilities department of Brunei International Airport in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
Rhia May Tubilla (Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur), and Marnie Montinola (Silay City, Bacolod), work at stores in Brunei International Airport in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
Arnel Solomon (Quezon City) is a site engineer at Brunei International Airport in Bendar Seri Begawan, Brunei. Celso Oraiz (Macrohon, Leyte) was waiting for his flight to Melbourne. He is a sheet-metal fabricator in Mellura Victoria, Australia.
I stayed at the Crowned Plaza Hotel in Hanoi. I met Jemnah Daligdigan (Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur) and her boyfriend, David Lawson (South Shields, England). Both are based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Jemnah works in the food-and-beverage department of Hotel Intercontinental (Muscat), whereas David is the senior stage technician at the Royal Opera House (Muscat).
Rey E. de la Cruz, Ed.D., Positively Filipino Correspondent, writes from Chicagoland when he is not loving the arts and traveling. He is the author of the children’s book, Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines, which also has Ilocano, Spanish, and Tagalog versions.
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