Melissa & Clinton Nheeda
I like to share you my observation last weekend June 13. I attended
my daughter's graduation from University of Chicago.
It was a double treat for us because President Clinton was one of the speakers. It was President's shinning weekend as Victory in Kosovo
dominated the week. He therefor spoke about the news-breaking
aftermath before going to the free trade issue that he was invited for. He
also spoke about the wide world Internet...…billion of e-mails exchanged
and thousands of new websites created every day.
I am not a great admirer of Clinton but even the weather cooperated
Saturday morning because the rain abated otherwise we would be all wet
including the President. The security was tight and we were all issued clear rain
"Ponchos" so the Special Service could see if we are carrying concealed weapon.
This reminded me of "barong Tagalog" the Filipino native dress that was encouraged by
The Spanish because it was transparent. Anyway I saw Bill Clinton as the President of the
United States and very impressed that he spent a good 4 hours with us. The news camera
even caught my sister in law napping as we were seated about 50 yards from the President.
He greeted and shook hands with every graduate except I saw at least a couple of
students who turn their back on him.
The number of Asian students in US College's campus is now proportionally
higher than any ethnic group and this is also evident in UC. The
Filipinos as individual group however do not always share these phenomenal numbers.
It is however far cry from the "school boys" and "Universicoy" I heard when I came here.
How difference it makes, century ago those who turn their back might be blacklisted as trouble makers etc.and suffer the curse of being branded "bulakbol"(Tagalog coining of blackball/blacklisted) during the early Filipino-American era. "Bulakbol" later became the description of school dropped outs and truants by our older folks. My two kids were never, for Nheeda just graduated from Georgia Tech as Summa Cum Laudi and Melissa in Bio-Science with honors from University of Chicago. Now if they can only find high paying job to pay for their loans (g).
The University held a pre-graduation party at the famous Museum Science
Center of Chicago. The only U S captured German U-boat is permanently exhibited
inside. As we were touring onboard the ship I could not help to comment
the hard life underwater and inside a submarine. My sacrifice to
pay for my daughter's future education.
Nestor Palugod Enriquez
The Palugod family Website