Brod Fausto M. Manalili
UP Diliman ’49
October 28, 1923 - February 10, 2017
Funeral Mass / Betan Rites
BF Don Antonio Heights Chapel, Quezon City
February 14, 2017
[Photos from Dutch Aragones, Caloy Agulto and Joel Paredes]
U.P. Philippinensian 1951
Dr. Ted Topacio and Dr. Fausto Manalili are batch mates at UP Beta Sigma (UPD'49)
and classmates at UP College of Veterinary Medicine.
In memory of
DR. FAUSTO “OSTING” MANALILI,
UP BETA SIGMA ‘49
DR. TEODULO M. TOPACIO, JR.,
UP BETA SIGMA ‘49
February 14, 2017
I find it very difficult to write about a very dear personal friend, classmate and fraternity Brother, Fausto Manalili or Osting as we fondly called him. Doing so just saddens me as it brings back the many pleasant memories that we shared together in our close and fraternal friendship that endured the test of time.
I first met Brod Osting when we were both students in our freshman class in the UP College of Veterinary Medicine sometime in June 1946. In that class, there were only 7 Filipino male students and 1 female student, namely: Fausto Manalili, Marciano De Vera, Pacifico Rubio, Rodolfo Santeco, Ishmael Selga, Teodulo Topacio, Jr., Jose Vergara, Jr. and Marcelina Venus. There were also 3 male American students: Richard Archer, Daniel Mabel and Steward Parker, who were veterans of World War II called. I do not know if you still remember the name, American GI’s.
In our 3rd year in the College, Osting and I were visited by 2 students from the College of Law who introduced themselves as Teodoro Padilla and Manuel Alino. They told us that they were recruiting members of a fraternity: Beta Sigma. Osting and I told them we were not familiar with the UP fraternities and that we did not know of such a fraternity. They informed us the Beta Sigma Fraternity was a new University-based fraternity of scholars and emphasized that its members were top students of the other colleges of the university. Of course, we were impressed by this information. Since as per their inquiry into the college records, Osting and I were among the top students in the College of Veterinary Medicine they were inviting us to join them. When Osting asked me if we should accept their invitation, I replied that we should join this Brotherhood of Scholars to represent our College. Let me reveal here that the following week, 2 officers of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity came and were also inviting us to join their Fraternity. But we told them that we were already pledged to join the Beta Sigma Fraternity. They argued that Beta Sigma was just a new fraternity and not known among the University studentry. However, when we told them that the membership of Beta Sigma are from the academic creme dela creme of the University they did not insist anymore and left.
Osting and I underwent the rituals of initiation and later the formal ceremonies of brotherhood and became full-fledged Beta Sigmans. We believed it was a wise decision to join Beta Sigma because later Dr. Angel Gomez, Dean of the College, appointed us, being the top students of the College, as the 2 representatives to the UP Junior Council. There was no election for these positions in our College at that time because as per University rules there was no need for it when there were less than 50 students in a college. During the election for the President of the Junior Council, Teddy Padilla, representing Beta Fraternity, won beating the favoured candidate of the rival Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity. This victory convinced our other classmates, Marciano de Vera, Pacifico Rubio, Rodolfo Santeco and Ishamael Selga, to decide joining the Beta Sigma the following semester. All were also qualified to join as they, too have good grades. Can you imagine, 6 out of the 7 students in our class were Betans! In a funny aside, one of our American GI classmate, Richard Archer, wanted to join and told us he was willing to undergo all the rituals of membership, physical and mental. He asked me if I could sponsor him for membership. I said okay but I first asked him one question: In order to get accepted, was he willing to eat “balut” before us members? You know what his reply was? "I quit!" We knew that he could not eat the balut.
During the 5 year period we were together in the College, Osting and I became closer. He was just like an older brother to me. We were both serious with our studies helping each other to do well in our academics often landing at the top in the examinations and recitations. I was a self supporting student since my mother who was widowed at a fairly young age was the only one who supported my studies. Hence, I had to study harder in order to get a scholarship in which the tuition fee was waived. But Osting, I noticed, was a fancy dresser and came to our class very well dressed with shiny patent leather shoes. I presumed that his father was well off and fully supported his studies. Brod Osting revealed to me during the times when we confided to each other that he really wanted to take up medicine but decided it was too long, almost a 9 year course, and moreover, it was expensive. He then considered choosing between dentistry, a 6-year course and vet med which takes only 5 years. With its lower matriculation and tuition fees, he eventually decided on the latter. In my case, I also wanted, at first, to take up medicine, but for the same reasons as Osting and more importantly because I wanted to follow the footsteps of my father, Dr. Teodulo C. Topacio who graduated at the UP College of Veterinary Medicine in 1915, I decided to take up veterinary medicine instead. As fate would have it, we both had no regrets about our decision because it turned out that after our graduation, we were highly successful in our respective professional careers as veterinarians.
After our graduation, Osting wisely knew what company to apply to for work as he chose the San Miguel Corporation. Because of his impressive scholastic record he was readily accepted in SMC. He worked in San Miguel all throughout his lifetime career as one of its corporate key personnel. In fact, Osting wanted me follow him and also work in San Miguel. A gesture of an older brother. I was really tempted to join him and work there, too, but it was not meant to be because at that time I was already a faculty member of the College of Veterinary Medicine and my scholarship for graduate study abroad got approved. This time we went separate ways: Osting chose to work for a big corporation and I chose to work for the academe. But you know what? As in our college days, we both continued to succeed in our respective careers -- overcoming difficulties and challenges in our line of work along the way. Osting steadily went up the corporate ladder, taking every step of the way with flying colors but not after, as he related to me, going through much of the so-called blood, sweat and tears . He was finally appointed Vice President for Livestock and Chief Veterinarian of San Miguel Corporation. I believe that, with that position, he was one of the top veterinarians in the country in terms of rank and pay in those days. In recognition and appreciation of his outstanding services and loyalty, SMC rewarded him not only financially but with other privileges befitting his position, as well.
Osting and I remained close friends even as we were courting our respective ladyloves, Pris and Nora, who eventually became our beloved wives. Though we were separated in our work we still managed to share personal activities. Osting was my best man when I got married in 1952 and he invited me likewise to be his bestman when he got married the following year. When my first daughter was born, I chose Osting to be her Ninong at her baptism. Through the years, we always made it a point to invite each other to our respective major birthday and wedding anniversary celebrations. Indeed, he and Pris were thus among the honored sponsors at our Diamond (65th) Wedding Anniversary.
Aside from his innate intelligence and diligence in his work, I am truly amazed at Osting's physical hardiness. A true survivor, Osting has been through so much medical challenges and each time he recovered from them. He was not the athletic type as he was slim in built but maybe that was why he had a strong constitution as most slim guys generally are. Knowing his medical history though, I personally believed Osting was possibly the fittest among all the slim guys, I have known. During his last confinement in St. Luke's, I visited him and seeing him recover from a high-risk surgical procedure, I was thanking our Lord for once again helping Osting through another medical challenge. The next time I visited him, he was back home and he even greeted me happily. I told him I was confident that I will be seeing him up and about again soon. But sadly, it was to be the last time I saw him.
My dear friend Osting and I had so many shared experiences and memories. It will be very hard for me to accept that he has gone ahead and has bid us a final adieu. But I know that none of us are immortal and sooner or later all of us will also have to go. It is all in God's time.
I would like to end this with these words: My dear classmate, Compadre and Fraternity Brother, Osting -- farewell and goodbye.
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