Genes from my mother’s side assure members of our family long life, if properly nourished. My uncles and aunties lived beyond ninety years, mentally and physically fine with little attention required. God’s gift of long years is wonderful but to use it with purpose and meaning is another case. We, seniors of today, need opportunities where can use our talents after retirement to feel useful and become a happy member of our society and fare better and live longer with all the pollution and toxic elements on our environment and worries for money and health.
Having been here in our beloved Catanduanes before Holy Week posed a challenge for a retiree once used to the maddening crowd of the metropolitan city of Makati. After several months, most activities became routine that you ended getting bored. Seeing the same people every day, walking the same street, attending daily mass except Sunday with the same people and eating the same food sans the Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese food I crave for whenever in Greenbelt, Makati, made me wish I am back in Makati doing the things I loved doing. But God has other plans for us. Unexpectedly, the winds of change came to Catanduanes State University that many Catandunganons, me included, got hooked paying attention to what’s happening inside CatSU.
“The winds of change are always blowing
And every time I try to stay
The winds of change continue blowing
And they just carry me away”.- (Hal David/Albert Hammond Albert)
The major change at Catsu affected and benefited students, teachers, faculty members, rank-and file, utility workers and the retirees of CatSU. The enervated tempo of activities at CatSu for many years is transformed into a well-defined, energetic pace, inviting Catandunganons to pay attention, to join and participate in the coming ‘Golden Era’ of CatSU. Permit me to write about retirees in general and CatSU’s retirees in particular.
Flashback: at work I observed people nearing retirement appear to have lost the zest and spark in their eyes. Their personalities become morose and no longer invite the usual banters and jokes we did at the height of their employment. Could be the many travails of employment; you have not saved enough, no ‘pabaon’ for your blowout at home, the promotion you wanted did not happen, all the missing opportunities ad infinitum.
The ‘Segurado Ka Sa Catsu Retirees Inc”. envisioned by our hardworking, dynamic President Patrick Alain Azanza is novel, something new in the field of Personnel Management, pardon if I miss the recent advancements in this field. When you are retired from work in government or private companies, your salary and benefits are over and your connection ends. You return to being a private citizen and a pensioner.
In founding the Segurado Ka sa CatSU Retirees Inc., President Azanza presented a social phenomenon of marriage between Employees and Employer (CatSU) that transcends retirement not as an end to employee’s connection to CatSU but an umbilical cord up to his last moment on Earth.
This gives opportunity and hope to retirees who may not have realized what he/she dreamed of once retired: the opportunity to see and visit CatSU when you feel like experiencing ‘the good old days’, the basic needs of men, shelter (the housing project now on launching pad), medicine (health card-Medocare/Maxicare) and many more to be financed from sources to be determined by the Board of Regents.
Somebody in our conversation opined, quoting the poet Dylan Thomas, “that one should not go gently into that good night, that old age should burn and rage at the close of day.” Another shared, “I may look old, but I feel like the same person fifty years ago”, the speaker’s eyes was on me and I laughed at him.
CatSU is giving the retirees opportunities, purpose and reason to live meaningfully the last quarter of their lives.
(to be continued. . .)