Color Me Poncevic: A Father’s Day Special

In light of Father’s day, here is the feature article I made in En11. I wrote the first draft of this on the eve of my dad’s birthday and its final draft turned out to be the paper I scored the highest in. To the best father in the world, happy father’s day.

Color Me Poncevic

Poncevic Maramba Ceballos or Vic, for short, how do I even begin to explain Poncevic Maramba Ceballos? He’s a serious lawyer, a “legendary” law professor, a Dean of a college of law, a frustrated karaoke singer, a big Ateneo fan despite being a graduate of De La Salle University, a businessman, a father of four children who all look like him, a husband of 28 years, a fan of Lady Gaga, and a man whose closet is filled with colorful Hawaiian and Safari-inspired polo shirts, bright colored long-sleeved polos and colorful neckties. He’s a man armed with a very bright mind, words that could move and manipulate, a rock-solid foundation of faith, a face that could launch about 20 ships, and a Ferrari laptop that goes “vroom!” every time it starts up. Some may call him different, random or even weird but personally, the word that perfectly describes him is colorful.

Atty. Ceballos works in the judicial and academic world as a lawyer, a dean and a professor. If I were to give his work a color, it’d be gold to represent money and fortune since that’s where he gets it. He has been a lawyer for more than 25 years now. With a little research, I found out that he worked as a technical lawyer at the Supreme Court of the Philippines, a legal counsel of the Filsyn Group of companies, corporate secretary and general counsel of various corporations within the P. L. Lim Group of companies, such as the The Peninsula Hotel Manila and the Vazquez Group of Companies. After a while, he formed the Ceballos Law Firm, which has successfully received a positive and solid reputation in litigation involving labor, corporate, civil, and criminal cases.

Atty. Ceballos has been a law professor for the Ateneo Law School for 20 years now. After reading a lot of his students’ evaluations, I can’t tell whether or not they were sucking up to him to get higher grades or if he was that great of a professor as his evaluations are out-of-this-world excellent. His evaluations always speak of his different yet highly effective style of teaching. I guess it really speaks of the truth since he’s nothing else but differently unique and influential. I’ve also been told that whenever it was time for law students to enlist for their classes online, his class is always the first to be filled within the first minute of enlisting. I don’t really know much about picking professors yet but I do know it must feel great when people are all fighting for a class with you. Because of his excellence in being a professor, he is now also a Dean for Liceo de Cagayan’s College of Law.

He was originally a student of the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo but ended up graduating from De La Salle University. Despite earning his bachelor’s degree in La Salle, his great loyalty and love for the Ateneo brought him back to study and even teach Law in the Ateneo Law School. Also because of this loyalty, all of his children were and are Ateneans. As a typical Ateneo fan, he watches Ateneo senior basketball games live when he’s in Manila despite his heavy workload. When he’s out of Manila, he’d even call his wife on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and ask if there will be an Ateneo game so he can find a television with Studio 23 just so he can watch. Seems like a great Ateneo loyalist but here’s the catch, he doesn’t memorize the Alma Mater which leaves me to color him turquoise – blue with just a hint of green.

With his credentials in the field of law, it’s probably a little surprising for a man of great ambition and accomplishment to be a frustrated karaoke singer. In my 16 years of knowing this man, his favorite past-time has been and will always be singing karaoke. He goes to Music 21, World Music Bar and the other big karaoke chains in the metro every weekend to sing with his friends or just his wife and kids (much to their dismay).  He loves karaoke so much that he bought a high-end karaoke player, high-quality speakers and microphones for his singing pleasure at home. If you ask me, all he needs now is a stage, a microphone stand a spotlight to become a karaoke king. His staple songs are “Mr. Suave” by Parokya ni Edgar which earned him the nickname Mr. Suave for a while, “Closer You and I” by Gino Padilla, “You’re Still You” by Josh Groban, and my personal favorite and his karaoke show ender, “Magandang Gabi” by Nonoy Zuniga. If I had to brand his affinity for karaoke, it’d definitely be silver for the spotlight and the glitter a true Karaoke King deserves.

Being in the judicial and corporate world half his life, anyone would expect that his wardrobe would consist only of dark colored suits and slacks, a lot of neutral colored and patterned neckties and a few Barong Tagalogs. Since being a lawyer is a 24/7 kind of job, it would seem that a guy like him would live in his suits, Barongs, turtle necks, polo shirts and become his job. In his case, it seems that instead of his job owning him and taking over his life and fashion sense, he made his own fashion sense and carried it out the way he wants it and not the way he’s expected to.

Sure, he has all those but his wardrobe is certainly not as textbook as the rest. He owns about 20 hawaiian-printed polo shirts that accumulated through time. For now, his latest fashion craving is safari-printed polo shirts. And when he has a fashion craving, he has to satisfy it like when he was in America and saw a safari-printed polo shirt worth $40 in a catalog. Without hesitation, he ordered it and had it specially delivered to wherever he was since he was only there for three weeks.

His unusual fashion sense extends to his choice of shorts and running shoes. He has shorts that are red, green and yellow that he wears with tops that don’t match. His running shoes are the customized Adidas ones not because he needed the customized support features but because he wanted it in bright yellow and black with the words ATTY. VIC boldly printed on each shoe. Not to mention, he wears his running shoes with knee-high socks, which had been very much out of fashion for the past five years.

His fashion sense may not seem as eccentric piece by piece. It really becomes an interesting attribute when he wears his safari-themed polo (complete with ferns, flowers, parrots and some other animal) with his green shorts, knee-high socks and yellow customized Adidas running shoes. It’s not a usual sight to see and people would probably even deny knowing a man wearing such a getup. But based on an anecdote shared by his son who saw Mr. Ceballos in a coffee shop wearing that exact getup, the son was even proud of his dad’s getup. His friends, upon seeing Mr. Ceballos’ clothes, quickly exclaimed and even pointed, “Dude look at that guy’s clothes! He’s like a walking forest!” The son stood up proudly and proclaimed, “Dude, that’s my dad!” and went on to kiss him on the cheek as a greeting. I guess it’s safe to say that his fashion sense is already the rainbow.

He puts color in everything. He has made our house orange with blue trimmings, pale yellow and mango yellow. The color of our gate has changed so many times that the only colors I can remember are bight blue, kutsina orange, bright orange and yellow. His Dean’s office in Cagayan de Oro even has orange, red, yellow and blue all in one room. I heard the students of Liceo Law thought it looked more like a boutique store, like Lacoste, than it looked like a Dean’s office.

He makes gray days colorful when he starts singing “Gaga ohh lala, roma, romama, want your bad romance” out of the blue. He puts color in his voice in such a way that makes it hard for the listener not to listen and be persuaded. He’s so colorful that he should have a color named after him.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a color called “Poncevic” that represents a mix of the academic and judicial world with a lot of karaoke songs and out-of-this-world printed polo shirts?

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