Bosconian at heart
I will always be a Bosconian at heart no matter where I go and where I’ve been and a PMAer second. I grew up in an all boy Catholic School raised by Salesians who have been my family a big part of my life. I was there from Prep to College where I was side tracked a bit when I briefly had my stint in the Military, first at the University of the Philippines when I joined the University of the Philippines Vanguards Society with which I became unwittingly the fraternity brother of Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos and Gen. Fabian C. Ver when I finished Cadet Officer Summer Training and got initiated to the fraternity after graduating summer training. However, U.P. was not offering Electronics Engineering at that time although I already found myself in the most prestigious University in the Philippines, I opted to go back to Don Bosco to take up Electronics Engineering whilst still having a Military career as my top priority in life. I then found myself 2 years within my Engineeing studies joining the Premiere Military Academy in the Philippines which is the Philippine Military Academy where unfortunately I got hospitalized in the Army Station Hospital due to extreme exhaustion and heat stroke brought about by excessive punishment exercises that I endured when I was a Plebe. Consequently after, I just decided to continue my Engineering studies back in Don Bosco Technical College rather than have my mom worry about me and eventually I finished my studies and got a B.S. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering.
Looking back, High School was the most fun I had since it was the first time I discovered Electronics. I became the president of the Electronics Hobbyist Club in my senior year. There was nothing we can’t build and so it seems. We were only limited by the funds and resources we can spend buying electronic components and etching our own printed circuits. I remember the most fun project I built when I was a Junior in High School, it was a 40 watt RMS per channel @ 8 ohms, Output Transformerless Complimentary BJT class ab audio power amplifier. I enjoyed years and years of using it until I can finally afford to buy my own factory made OEM Pioneer Audio Video Receiver the VSX 7500.
I also enjoyed a lot perhaps very much, building my own Speaker Systems. I would recommend this to anyone, it will be the most fun and rewarding hobby oriented project build you’ll ever have and you will enjoy years and years of using your homebrew Speaker System. I guarantee you, you will appreciate every note, every thump and every sound that comes from the thing if it is well-built and powered heftily in the order of 250 watts RMS per channel @ 8 ohms. My speakers have been the source and center of entertainment in the family especially on birthdays and festive occasions always most surely involving Videoke.
When I was in my senior year, I even built a Mosfet OP-Amp based Audio Mixer which we used a lot in our Dance Parties. Those where the days where you meet a girl, ask her out, invite her to your so called parties and be able to enjoy a night of dance, food and soiree.
I joined the Philippine Military Academy for two reasons, one was that our family business was not doing well and a college education was so expensive as well as I really had a genuine desire in my heart to effect change. This was the time when my country was in turmoil with all the insurgencies and coup d’etat. I wanted to do my bit in ridding the world of its evils and fight for what is right and fight for the powerless. Sadly, I was one of 344 cadets who were the last batch of an all Male Cadet Corps. Life and the world were so different then. Plebe training was even called “Beast Barracks Training” where ultimately it brings out the beast in you. Every other day there was a 15 km reveille road run inside and around the perimeter of the camp in “Camp Servillano Aquino”. I had very little rest and sleep because of the excessive punishment exercises and the regiments in training we all had to endure. There was no part of my body which did not ache and if ever there was hell on earth, I think that was it , the “Beast Barracks Training”. It is the equivalent of the 8 weeks training of the U.S. Marines where it is actually “Combat Training for The Individual Soldier” or CTIS. We lugged around our M14 rifle the whole day and relinquishing it only in our Barracks when we stow it away in our Rifle racks. But when it’s Friday night, we even sleep with it as we spend hours and hours cleaning it as Saturdays are “Company Inspection”. I was from the “Alpha Company” known for academics as opposed to my mistah Cdt 4Cl Rommel John Isleta Mendoza who was in the “Delta Company” where their battle cry was “Do or Die” and where these Cadets more often end up in the Marines. Alpha Company Barracks was nearest the Mess Hall but farthest from our Military Assembly Training Grounds where we report for assembly 4 or even 5 times in a day. Imagine being late for assembly where you would get your toes smashed by your upper classmen beside your left and right if you are a second late. Imagine accidentally dropping your M14 Rifle to the ground as it is quite heavy and slippery wearing white gloves….. “you die” All of these are behind me now and is a lifetime away in fact it was during the 20th century. I pray everyday and am thankful everyday that somehow things turned out well for me now even a bit. Life is not without its hardships and pain. A life without effort is a life not worth living.