December 2, 2022

Author Anthony Trollope quoted the phrase “Still water runs deep,” in his novel “He Knew He Was Right” way back in 1869.

The saying may be profound as it basically talks of someone who is quiet, maybe shy, and withdrawn. I say though that like still water, they are in fact interesting and complex.

The next president of Rotary Club of Downtown Session falls into this category.

Tomas C. Ang Jr., or more popularly known among family and friends as “Kits” was born on Nov. 15, 1958 in Baguio City. His parents were Tomas Sr. (Ang Wy) of Fujien province in China and Catalina B. Cabinto, who hails from Kapangan,Benguet. Together with his siblings, he grew up at the old familiar Diego Silang Street where his family owned the legendary “Cathy’s Restaurant”, known for its “flied” chicken and other specialties.

Speaking of flied, I remember one visit in Beijing where I asked the town mayor “When was your last election?” and he answered “Just befo blekfast!” For us – Doc Willy, Mike Limbo, Boy “Pato” Liquete, the late Victor Keswani, Willy “Taba”, and Mate Ong, it was the venue of weekly Sabado nights year in and year out.

Breakfast – flied rice, dried fish, pork dipped in soy sauce, sili, kamatis, onions and the works with brewed coffee, prepared by Kits was heavenly.

“Cathy’s” was beside a Chinese pharmacy and when we were kids, we bought crystal candy and champoy and neighbors were his cousins Occidental whose middle name was Ang.

Naturally, his elementary and high school days were at Baguio Patriotic School and college was at Saint Louis University.

He met a pretty lass named Irene with whom he fell head over heels in love with in Manila where they established a home, going back and forth Diego Silang amidst the noise of Bontoc Cafe, the drivers and barkers of Hillside and later on Music & Magic resto-bar.

They raised their son Harold who is a Civil Engineering and Information Technology graduate of SLU and now pursuing a career in Manila.

Early on, he went into the car spare parts business and opened Manley Auto Supply in Paco, Manila which flourished from 1991 to 2009. He also served as kagawad of Barangay 675, District 5 from 2007 to 2010.

He was a charter member of RCDS, an active member of Manila-based Blackbird Communication and React Bado communication groups.

Kits is also part of Agila-Mamamayan para sa Reforma, the Fraternal Order of Eagle, the Phil Eagle 2021 and a staunch advocate for the Cordillera’s Diwa party-list then headed by Rep. Emmeline Aglipay Villar.

In 2015, he and his wife decided to go work in Canada amidst freezing snow and French speaking neighbors and co-workers. Irene stuck it out there but Kits came back supposedly to take care of his son but I think more because he misses “Cathys” and Mike Limbo as well.

Mahirap talaga ang long distance relationship and actually he cries to sleep every night thinking of Irene and can’t wait to go back. Charing!

He has reached the apex of his life and his crowning glory as a Rotarian when he was inducted into office as the 27th president of RCDS. He has set simple goals but like his predecessors, he too can steer his Rotary Club to greater heights.
Sigh.