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Time to smell the roses

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Fil C. Sionil

Fil C. Sionil

In an ordinary working day, he wakes up before the crack of dawn in order to easily navigate the busy streets of Quezon City to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Roxas Boulevard. His sleeps, on the average, only five hours a day. This was the daily routine of BSP Deputy Governor for monetary, economic sector Diwa Guinigundo.

“Now, I can afford to wake up late,” he said when I caught up with him Wednesday, the day after bowed out of the service as a central banker. For the first time in his life, he woke up late.

Last Friday, June 28, was still heavy with workload-from meeting visiting officials of the international credit rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, to entertaining BSP colleagues, who lined up for a courtesy call as well as partake in a despedida party prepared by wife Madame Apple and his staff, among them ever reliables Ms. Bebot, Stephen Ablan.

The last remaining days – July 1 and 2-he took a leave. However, duty called and this workaholic represented the BSP in the Pre-State of the Nation address economic and infrastructure briefing.

The following day, which accidentally was his birthday (he turned 65, the mandatory age retirement for government workforce, unless otherwise extended), he relished the opportunity to sleep more than his average of five hours.

He’s no longer the man in a hurry. In one of the series of farewell parties tendered for him last week, DepGov Diwa said that in not too distant past, there he was at a crossroad, seriously contemplating of taking an early retirement. He was 63 then. Smog covered the junction, but with the guidance from up there, he chose the right path. “I feel relieved after 41 years and five months working. Now, I have the opportunity to smell the roses and enjoy the time,” DepGov Diwa said. Holding hands while walking, he and Ms. Apple went around the block and later had coffee al fresco, savoring the surroundings and watching people go by.

Like most of the retirees – Gov. Amando M.Tetangco, Jr. before him and most recently, Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime “JJB” Bautista; Deutsche Bank Chief country officer Enrico “Eric” Cruz to name a few – travel is in their bucket list. Mr. JJB left yesterday with his two grandchildren and wife Ms. Joji for the US while Mr. Eric is scheduled to go to London to visit his grandchildren.

To kick start their new adventure, the Guinigundo couple is set to leave for Georgetown first week next month to lend a hand in buying and arranging the fixtures for the accommodation of their sons Daniel Alberto and Dan Abraham, both lawyers who will be taking post-graduate studies in Georgetown University School of Law. After which, they will be footloose. “I want to go back to fundamentals. To retrace the old civilizations… Egypt, Israel, Lebanon (if permitted), Greece, France, and Rome. See the countryside of Europe. But, of course, the new world is in my list as well – US and Canada,” said DepGov Diwa.

In between these journeys, he still has his hands full a book in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank on regional financial integration in Asia and being a more active with Fullness of Christ International Ministries as a senior pastor.

There’s no stopping this workaholic.

Talkback to me at sionil731@gmail.com

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