Thursday, June 17, 2010

A night of proposals, presence, and puto bumbong

BnT Meeting
June 10, 2010

Pat Pascua and her team of officers for the term 2009-2010 had their penultimate meeting to preside last June 10, 2010. The Butter N Toast Toastmasters Club had another jampacked night of speeches, spiels, and shrieks of laughter as 22 people gathered together for a couple of hours of EXTRAORDINARY celebration of the BnT Life featuring STALWART and would-be STALWART toastmasters in Makati City, Philippines.

The bibong-bibong Bino, Alvin Abrantes, vibrantly set the mood as the Toastmaster of the Evening (TM of the PM) and led the group to imbibe the night’s theme – EXTRAORDINARY. On her penultimate session as President, Pat Pascua felt nostalgic and then revived the Toastmasters Club feature of having a Word of the Day by choosing STALWART.

After the Invocation led by Mayette Torreliza, the initial round of talk started as each of the attendees introduced themselves with the additional challenge of incorporating the night’s theme and using the word of the day in their introductory spiels. 16 People participated in this round and were later joined by six others as the evening went on.

The 22 people eventually had a night of proposals, presence, and puto bumbong. 16 BnT members, 2 guests from other Toastmasters Clubs, and 4 guests contributed off-the-cuff proposals, speech ideas on being there and giving quality time and reliving memories of Christmas past, applause and laughter, and unwavering camaraderie.

For the second round, Table Topics Master Tina Marcelino prepared the stage for a few romantic monologues by sharing an anecdote on a couple pursuing the same interests and then eventually ending up married after a one-of-a-kind proposal. She then called for four volunteer contestants, and Boom, Ed, Christine, and April boldly took the challenge. After being told to step outside until they are called, each table topics speaker marched forward sans wedding music, and Tina then popped the question: “If you are to propose to your partner, how are you going to propose extraordinarily?”

Boom, being “so Boom,” immediately regaled the group with his very own proposal, the real thing, which moved his so-called “bane of my existence” to say yes. For the single ladies out there, don’t be sad, don’t be mad, if only your officemates receive Chocnuts while you have none from your OJT. Check your locker as it may contain chocolates and flowers. Then be on the look-out for that OJT, for he may then deliver the words: “There is another one, will you take me?” Six months after doing so, Boom and his bane-turned-babe got married.

BnT’s resident funny man, Ed, marched next. Known to deliver speeches and spiels that never fail to elicit laughter, Ed then delivered his monologue, one that would put John Lloyd’s own script deliveries to a cheesy test. Yes, the funny man has leveled-up, giving a gut-wrenching and knife-wielding proposal. The gist: “I have been alone in this world for sometime. It’s time to have someone by my side. There’s only one person, her name is carved in my heart.” Ed then capped it, not by cutting-up his chest for all the world to see the carving on his heart, but by proudly proclaiming to everyone the identity of the lucky lady, whose name now occupies Ed’s heart, side-by-side with his cardiac arteries and nerves.

Then came the ladies. Quite a twist, since in Filipino culture, the women don’t normally do the proposing.

Christine started by acknowledging that it is “not an easy one on her part to tell a story on a proposal.” If she were a kid, she would have told a fairytale-like story. If a teen, one on bungee-jumping. But she is Christine, and as a person, she doesn’t know how the proposal should go, she “leave[s] it up to him.” Yet Christine still gave the audience a glimpse into her romantic side, as she gave her parting words: “Anything that he would do, if I love him, that’s extraordinary.”

April marched last, catching our attention with her opening lines: “I hope he’s listening, but I haven’t met him yet.” Not just a stalwart steward of Christ but a stalwart fan of Star Wars as well, April then proceeded to wow the audience with an out-of-this-world story on proposal. Katie Perry and her rockstar are getting married, and the future bride gifted her groom a trip to space. Someday, when April would have met her own rockstar, Jedi or not, she would want her own trip to space, too. With her groom, of course.

Proposal Master Tina then ended the round by counting the vote for the best proposal. Boom won by one vote over Ed and later enjoyed his free machiatto at Starbuck’s.

The third round of talk featured Jonathan Doringuez, Johnson Regalado, and April Anne Salonga (yes, same April who’ll bring her honey to the moon).

Jonathan presented his Basic Speech 1, Ice Breaker, entitled “Being in the Right Place.” A speech on presence, Jonathan went on to share his journey from Surigao to Metro Manila and his decision to change and improve himself. He then concluded by stating that he has found himself, that night, in the right place, with the right opportunity to improve his skills. Where would that be? Where else but at Butter N Toast! As practiced for icebreakers, everybody gave Jonathan a standing ovation, applauding his fortitude to transform himself into a future stalwart toastmaster.

Johnson next presented his Basic Speech 2, Organize Your Speech, entitled “Quality Time.” A father of three, Johnson shared the challenges faced by a father torn between the pulling demands at work and the tugging desires with family. Delivered ten days before Father’s Day, Johnson’s speech gave us a father’s viewpoint of how things are inside a father’s mind and heart. The tight hours spent at the Bangkok Airport juxtaposed with the carefree days spent at Clearwater in Clark. The guilt and other negative feelings had been banked aside and turned to the clear, pure love Johnson could show his wife and kids. The lesson that he learned after being with his family? “That despite the limited time I had, I should not fail to schedule quality time with them. Listen to kids chat, don’t comment.” His parting words: “Spend time with your children, don’t hesitate, be there.”

April then presented her Basic Speech 4, How To Say It, entitled “Christmas in June.” April wasn’t just there with us at the old MSE. She brought us back to her Christmases past. She cautioned us at the start of her speech to listen carefully, as she’ll tell us “a story somewhere in her past, a memory within a memory.” Starting from last year’s Christmas Lights & Sounds at the Ayala Triangle Gardens, April aka the space-bride then loaded us to a time-machine. We landed into several Christmas scenes: the sweet smell of chocolate mixed with the hint of mint, as April enjoyed a cup of chocolate mint ice cream; ding-dong-ding-dong ringing of Church bells, as her grandmother greeted her, “Good morning, sunshine, it’s time to go to church”; the delightful feast outside the church, as April presented us her “heaven from home,” detailing a “truly gastronomic experience” of bibingka at puto bumbong. April missed those days when “all kids do is have fun,” and the audience felt the same. Self-declared favorite of her grandparents, she then told us, with a hint of sadness, that she missed her grandparents, and I personally felt the same. Indeed, her “Christmases will never be the same,” but April vows to “bring back that kind of Christmas, for her nephews and nieces, and future children.”

The group then had a feast of, what else but, pansit (for that particular night, it was palabok). With a little imagination, the box of inipit substituted for the puto bumbong from April’s speech which whetted the Christmas appetite of the group.

The Evaluation Proper then took place afterwards, led by General Evaluator Pat Pascua. She called it the “educational portion.” Jun commended Tina on her creative way of conducting the Table Topics portion and recommended transition between speakers for a more cohesive portion. Jeff then presented his “constructive feedback” on Jonathan’s speech, after which Pat suggested the use of “you may want to” instead of “you try to” and reiterated that “language creates context.” Boom then jokingly told Johnson that he tried to “find enough errors to fail you,” but he himself failed. Pat then commended Boom for “authenticity.” Lastly, Rosette described April’s speech as having “appealed to all my senses,” and later told her, ”I have felt your speech.”

Jenny, Faye, and Christine completed the group of technical evaluators as Language Evaluator / Grammarian, Ah-Counter, and Time Keeper, respectively.

The night had the essential elements of a Toastmasters meeting – officers: Pat, Jun, Christine, & Boom; speakers: Jonathan, Johnson, & April; members: Alvin A., Faye, Tina, Mayette, Jenny, Ed, Owen, Gege, & JJ; guests: Jeff Garcia from Logica Toastmasters Club & Rosette Magpayao from El Presidente Toastmasters Club, “stranger in a strange city” Jan Wenceslao, second-time-to-eat-free-pansit-and-will-sign-up-soon Laarni, and guests of “Sir Owen” Rey & Laarni.

Another night of Butter N Toast fun came to an end. A night of proposals, presence, and puto bumbong; and of course, BnT’s famous pansit.

It was the penultimate meeting of Pat’s team of officers. In a fortnight, she will preside the ultimate meeting. It will be another night of Butter N Toast fun. May there be more officers, speakers, members, and guests. See you on June 24 and let’s have a bite of the BnT Life!

- by Faye F. Melegrito


Jun Roy said...

Wow! This is amazing, Faye. You haven't formally started your term as a Secretary, yet you're on a roll already. Keep up the good work!

Boom San Agustin said...

Absolutely fantastic! You are indeed an A-List writer, Faye. Woohoo! BNT Rocks!


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