All in the family.

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Ryotaro Kato Hosaka

This photo was sent to me by my brother in California. it’s a photo of our Grandfather Ryotaro Kato Hosaka with a GSD at his garden in Tokyo. Yeah I know it’s not even a good specimen of a GSD by todays standards but the point I’m making is that it’s all in the family. He also owned Japanese Spitz,my uncle (Philippine Canine Club Inc. Charter Member) Jose T. Hosaka believes that my grandfather was probably one of, if not “the first” to bring into the Philippines the Japanese Spitz breed.


Mario P. Magsaysay-An FCI All-Breed Judge with a SV License as Foundation.

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Author with good friend Mario P. Magsaysay over a bowl of Ramen.

This has been in the backburner for quite sometime. Going back to what I have researched and started, I realized that I started this for almost a decade ago, and between the moment I started it, to now as my fingers glide and punch the keys, I have accumulated more dots to connect and figure out. This will be just my second article about someone, the first being Rafael De Santiago. So who is this guy?

He got his first dog at the age of 19, it was suppose to be a “Police Dog.” His first purebred was at age 24, and this would be the same year he became a member of the Philippine Canine Club Inc. He is a charter member of the German Shepherd Dog Association of the Philippines. He worked with the other German Shepherd Dog Club and with the GSDA would form the German Shepherd Dog Federation of the Philippines. I was privileged enough to work in the same board when he was President of PCCI. It was during his watch that computerization was finally implemented and a significant increase in annual income would be generated. It was also during Mario’s watch wherein a decision was made to implement the Jimmy Trillo vision of the club and start finding a suitable property to serve as show grounds.

Mario Magsaysay comes from the renowned Magsaysay clan, he is related to a past President of the country, to past Senators, Congressmen, Governor, Vice-Governor, Mayor, Vice-Mayor and even Council Men, yup the whole gamut of the political hierarchy, if the name is Magsaysay, they could very well be family to Mario and Mario to all of them. My connection to the Magsaysays includes his niece Zambales Vice-Governor Angel Magsaysay Cheng. His cousin Jojo Magsaysay is a good friend of mine who lives across Mario’s crib. Jose “Joe/Jojo” Magsaysay, of Cinco Corporation (of the popular Potato Corner) and now a venture capitalist, is a cousin of Mario.

Time spent with him has revealed much of who he is. He comes from the renowned and respected Magsaysay clan. He is a gear head and appreciates well made and well engineered automobiles. He has a need for speed having owned a Mitsubishi Eclipse which he quickly sold because he found it soft on the twisties. He would then own a Subaru Imprezza of which I’ve seen him leave behind some racer kids on JDMs. He is a motorcyclist too, having owned Harley Davidson and finally falling in love with BMW. Automobiles and Motorcycles are a regular topic for us. He agrees with my owning and love for Vespas but ribs me for my love and ownership of a Honda and a Ducati, after all he is a BMW man. He appreciates good food, he cooks a mean Kaldereta, advising that the secret is in good beef and good Chorizo, with just the right amount of spice. He can also whip a delectable Putanesca, advising to use fresh tomatoes, slow cook the sauce and not to forget the capers. He decided to take up Yoga in 2000, around the same time I did, which he picked up during his judging assignments in India. He has shifted to Thai meditation which he finds very peaceful and has offered to mentor me on. His austere and simple ways quickly earned him the family company position of Treasurer early in his corporate life, of which now he is President.

He was part of the generation of Shepherd men during its golden years, when the Martin brothers reigned. Family business and his enthusiasm for the breed saw him travelling to Germany often. He initially had no plans of acquiring an SV license to judge, but being the practical man that he is, and with him travelling to and fro at a regular basis, Mario would eventually decide to acquire the coveted SV license. His first exam would be under non other than Dr. Ernst Beck. He would be mentored by both the Martin brothers who would eventually become personal friends to him. Mario described Walter as the maverick of the two bros. He was spending time with them since the seventies, broke bread with them and shared a laugh or two. So why not get an SV license?

I with the late Herman Martin and her daughter Iris at their Kennel in Virhiem, Germany during the mid 70’s. Herman Martin, President of SV Germany and owner of the Arminius Kennel.

He went through a wringer of a procedure to acquire his Auslander License. One time over dinner, I asked him about the process and procedure at the time when he got his SV license. We talked about it but not in story telling order but of memories that brought a smile to Mario. I had a difficult time taking notes so I ended up telling Mario, “find some time, sit down, and remember, compose your thoughts, write it down then email it to me.” I received this email 8 years ago, during the Christmas Holidays.


12/10/2009 at 3:24PM

Hi Jojo,

This is what I remember of what I went through in my journey to become an SV judge.

1. I wrote Verein Fur Deutsched Schaferhunde (SV) Germany informing them of my intention to become an SV judge. I submitted my curriculum vitae that was duly notarized. One of the prerequisites is that you should also be an experienced GSD specialty judge in your country of which I already was.

2. Once approved by their board, my letter of intent was forwarded to the SV Judging committee. The committee assigned me to a judge who is also a member of the judging committee, this judge who will be judging 6 months after my application is approved.

3. I then travelled to Germany. At the show, I presented the appropriate documents to the judge, in my case I was assigned to the esteemed judge Dr. Ernst Beck. I had to critique all the GSD together with the judge. I had to rate each dog as excellent plus, excellent, excellent minus, very good, good, sufficient and faulty. The judge queried me as to my ratings, on why I gave this rating or why not a different rating. Part of the oral exam included bloodlines to test me on how well I knew GSDs.

4. I submitted my ratings to the judge after we finished our critiques. I brought my critiques back home to Manila to format it properly, to type it guided by the SV format, after which I mailed back to Germany. This was evaluated by the committee together with the examiner judge. What’s very important is the ratings you give the judge after your critique.

5. After 3 months I received a letter from the judge informing me on how I faired at the exam and on the areas of improvement. I was also informed that I passed the exam and the schedule of my next exam six months later. I would then return to Germany to go through the same procedure.

Note: After I passed three examinations I qualified as an Ausland Richter or Foreign judge allowing me to judge Landesgruppen specialty shows world wide but not in Germany. In 1985 I was given my Ausland Richter license signed by Hermann Martin.

Six more exams would qualify me to be a full SV Richter, a German judge that will qualify me to judge world wide including Germany. I decided to take these 6 exams, and three years later, come 1988, I would be awarded my SV Richter license, also signed by Hermann Martin.

I was asked why I wanted to get an SV Richter license when the chance of being invited to judge in Germany is low. I just smiled and answered “why not?” To me it was a challenge and opportunity to show that Filipinos can. I would eventually get my All-Breed License. You and I were together in getting our FCI All-Breed license, you took more time because you had to concentrate on becoming a Surgeon and starting a practice.

Sometimes I wonder how many are qualified both as an SV judge and an FCI All-Breed judge? That my friend is the humble story of my journey in acquiring the coveted SV license.

Always be well my friend, regards to Cidette and a Merry Christmas to you and your family.


1985 SV Auslander, 1988 SV Richter ID Cards of Mario signed by Hermann Martin

Receiving a Certificate of Appreciation and an SV Pin for 25 years of service as an SV judge in 2012, in Ulm Germany at the WUSV Meeting, from WUSV President Wolfgang Henke

Photo of 1984-85 World Sieger Uran Wildstiegerland SchhIII taken by Mario

VA Quando Arminius photo taken by Mario

I asked Mario his opinion about the present problem of the GSD as to its sloping back and weak rears. He quickly answered that “the standard is clear, both upper and lower legs should be the same length and hocks being vertically straight. The problem now is the longer lower leg that brings about the sloping back, because of the long lower leg, the rear becomes weak, the back slopes and the hocks can’t stand straight.” I also asked his opinion if the Martins are to blame for this problem. According to Mario, the Martins made a conscious effort NOT to put up weak rears and taught him to watch out for this. Mario took me under his wings when I was working on my all-breed license. For three consecutive years, he told me to attend the annual Philippine Sieger Show. During those three years, Mario would invite me to the tent at the center of the ring and teach me GSD judging shop. For three years, I learned what to look for, what to watch out for, how to make a critique from Mario.

I think that email sums up his judging license journey. Sometime ago, early in our judging careers, while both us were in the board, Mario sat beside me and talked about a judging bind that he figured in. I told him “Mario there is a German saying-Fehler machen uns schlau and Ein fehler ist kein fehler, Mistakes make us smart and One mistake is no mistake.” At the end of the meeting, on our way out of the conference room, Mario would put his arm around me and say to me-“You’re right Doc.” That evening would be the start of a friendship a notch above ordinary.

Let me add, the few people in the Philippine Canine Club who has my high regard and admiration aside from Mario; the late Ralph Policarpio and Jimmy Trillo, Bobby Tesoro, Pepe Muñoz, are all past presidents I’ve worked with as directors and whom I have served under, all honest, above reproach, character without a doubt. Directors Carlo Mendez, Richard Syling, Capt.Lito and Maripi Cristobal, directors I’ve worked with and just like the past presidents I mentioned, their honesty are all beyond reproach. Some may not have left a lasting legacy but definitely left a reputation of character beyond reproach. They did not over stay in the board, have no dark clouds over their heads nor have they ever been “voted out” at any one point, what they had was for the best interest of the club and nothing for themselves. In life it is about character, character, character.

Some will wonder why write about an ordinary Filipino FCI Judge. In 2016, I chaired the FCI Show and Judges Commission Meeting held in Cebu, at one point in the discussion, the issuance of Asian licenses was alluded to as being easy and quick. This is very unfortunate and unfair to us journey man Asian Judges because we all get generalized. Does it actually happen, rumors are always rife on who these “fast tracked” judges are, club officers, club friends. Judges who got their All-Breed licenses, all 10 groups in less than 10 years and often much shorter. The worse part of it all is they get invited almost every where because of club politics. This is why I’m writing about Mario, I know he didn’t fast track his All-Breed license but most of all he owns the illustrious SV license, something few and far between among the judges in the FCI roster. A feather was added to his judging cap when in 2012, in Ulm Germany, at the WUSV Meeting, he was awarded by WUSV President Wolfgang Henke, an SV pin, a certificate of appreciation for being a senior SV judge and for service as an SV judge for 25 years.

I’m sure there are haters out there quick to hate and say things otherwise. But when I’m with the man, I rarely hear anything boastful, nothing ostentatious about and on his person, nor any gossiping or putting down of anyone, it’s always a fun time wether it is over a meal, or waiting for our flight, or during a break in a meeting, or a break during a judging assignment. He is the quiet guy in a judging panel, with a ready smile. I never receive a message from him bragging about a judging assignment or how many entries he had, or who he put up. In fact during the times I was with Mario, doing research, talking about this article I planned to write, Mario would always say-“Please make it simple” or “I’m not a Saint, I’ve made mistakes” he would pause then add “but I know I learned from them,” “I do my best to be good.”

He is the company I keep, so when I get a message from him of “let’s have lunch!” I’m always quick to say “sure!”

Merry Christmas to one and all!

The missing Bexley

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My red headed pens, a couple probably brunettes.

I’ve been using a fountain pen for quite a while as a user and haven’t really lost any, except maybe during my high school days when we didn’t care about our school stuff. I know I’ve lost a couple and dropped another couple of Parker fountain pens in the 70’s when in high school. Come 1980, forced to maturity in a coed premed, a Parker 75 flighter with a fine nib and a black Jotter (recessed clicker button and brass bushing) would see me through premed, medicine proper, internship and general surgery residency in the 90’s. Because I trained in a Government hospital which gave a higher salary, I was entitled to a separation pay after 5 years of surgical training. So in 98, I would use the separation pay to gift myself with my first Rolex and a Black Sheaffer Connaisseur. The smarter ones kept the funds to see them through a starting surgeons life.

I would lose the Sheaffer in the OR (operating room) dressing room in 99. I would then buy a Pelikan M600 at a DFS and later on a Sailor 1911 in Singapore. Since losing the Connaisseur, I’ve been both careful and lucky. Through the years, the pen collection has grown with nary a pen accidentally leaving the flock…until that fateful Monday evening January 23, 2017.

I got home after having dinner with the family at UP Town Center. I removed the 149 and the Duofold Rollerball from my shirt pocket and returned them to their space in a Somes 3 pen case. When I returned the Somes in its place in a Tumi Alpha 2 Organizer Travel Tote, the leather sheath containing a favorite Bexley was missing. I ran my hands through the Tumi, emptied it, turned the bag upside down and inside out but it was missing. Checked all my pockets again and again, still missing. Ran to the car and searched every space, every nook and cranny but it was nowhere to be found. Took out my torch to check the garage and driveway but nothing. I even checked the toys of the French Bulldog thinking she might’ve picked it up still nothing. I decided to call it a night, took a shower, then steeped a cup of Chamomile and while waiting for it to brew, I retraced my steps of the past day. Morning rounds…administrative duties at a Maritime Health clinic…out patient clinic duties…quick meeting…a Judges Seminar organized by the Judges Development Licensing Committee of the Philippine Canine Club Inc….late dinner with the family. It was the realization that the pen probably fell during a moment when I went down the car that made me sigh, a sigh of sadness because it probably is now in someone else’s hands.

The pen, as previously mentioned is a Bexley, a reissue of the Prometheus, this one in raspberry ebonite with a recently bought fine gold Bexley nib. It has been a favorite for the past 7 months because it made me appreciate fine nibs. The photo is my humble collection of red pens, from L-R. A Sheaffer Balance in Carmine Red Fine Gold Nib, Parker Mark I Duofold Centennial Burgundy Medium Nib, Montblanc 146 Bordeaux Medium Nib, and the missing Bexley Prometheus Raspberry Red Ebonite Fine Gold Nib, Visconti Wall Street LE Burgundy 1.3 Stub Palladium Nib. Some have told me “At least it’s just a Bexley.” With me, it never is about the brand, it’s always a case of “I know it when I see it” and when I saw and held the Bexley, I knew it. She had that warmth they say an ebonite pen gives you when you hold it and a guilty pleasure of mine, the industrial smell of ebonite. The fine gold nib instantly turned it into a favorite.

I was using this Bexley than the 149 this past 7 months. I was whipping her out on almost every occasion, till that 23rd of January when I had to dress to impress. So the 149 and the Duofold RB took center stage when I slipped them into the pocket of my Brooks Brothers white long sleeved shirt and the Bexley stayed in the bag. My wife said “Baka nag tampo yung Bexley when she realized she wasn’t good enough (Maybe the Bexley sulked in jealousy…).”  Yeah, she probably did…I’m hoping she will pop up when I least expect it and make my day.


Why you don’t trust your Kennel club

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I guess you know I’m a TED follower. So here is Rachel Botsman and why we’ve stopped trusting institutions.

The Difficult Right

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From “Civil Society Now”

Here is something nice to read. Imagine the bigger problem when somebody was never taught at all…seems like a lot of them going around. In management, failure to formulate and implement, processes and procedures, guidelines and improvements of internal controls is a criminal offence in some countries. How about when nothing was actually stolen, like the corporate officer who uses the credit card of his girlfriend in every possible corporate transaction so that the girlfriend gains credit card points beneficial to the couple instead of the corporation? How about outgoing Directors who arrogate to themselves high end computer equipment prior to their departure? Interestingly quite a number believe nothing is wrong with this.



From “Cheating Politicians”

Below is a related post that I wrote. Anyway, I made this post because of the interesting HBR article.


Something to Start the Year

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From the Jesuit News “New Year’s Resolutions:The #PopeFrancis List


A Happy and Prosperous New year to all of you!

A RB Duofold, a MB 161 and a MkI Duofold Centennial. The last three for the year?

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So when I thought the M1000 with the Masuyama nib was it for the year, 3 black beauts come along. The 2 pens on the left came from a thrift shop in California. The MkII Duofold Rollerball was supposedly missing the gold section which was why it was a bargain, I decided to buy it remembering seeing a section for sale online. The MB 161 had a stuck twist mechanism and was labeled as defective and was also a bargain. After keeping a poker face while calmly paying the bargain price, I headed back home and drove along the 101 with half a smile wondering what I had to do. When I got home I did a quick examination of the Duofold, then I lifted the plastic shelf and lo and behold the missing section was just under the plastic shelf together with a rb refill and its papers. The twist action of the 161 was stuck but had some give, I thought that maybe the lube in the mechanism gummed out. So I patiently rubbed the pen to heat it up and used a few drops of mineral oil and it eventually started to give some more. More rubbing and then it started to twist, and guess what, the bp refill had ink. A quick scrounge of my brothers toolbox and my nephews robotics equipment came up with a tube of Simichrome and the mineral oil. Both pens cleaned and polished well and by then I had a big smile. The Duofold MkI Centennial is from good friend Prof. Butch Dalisay. As Atty. Anthony Goquinco said-it has been a good year. The biggest bargain was the CS Churchill #176, the 149 Desk Set with pen and this Duofold RB and MB 161. With just a little bit over 2 weeks left in 2016, I’m wondering if this is it.

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