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About Florencio Exclamador Gulle
« on: January 18, 2017, 04:21:45 PM »
Published: December 24, 2006 by The Bohol Standard
By Loreto "Loy" Palapos

The Boholano perceives life in a kaleidoscope of perspectives and defines success in his own terms. With a keen sense of family and an unbridled determination, he has the propensity to crave for upliftment and venture even into some unchartered oceans in his quest for a better life. Uncowed by the negative prospects, he plunges headlong into an untrodden path, equipped with religiosity and armed with an unlimited supply of talents and ability to conquer the unknown. This is one of the reasons that Boholanos prosper all over the Philippines and all over the world.

In turning over a new leaf, the Boholano utilizes varied means, all of them proven effective. There are those who leave their jobs back home and commence their adventure in solitary flight. Florencio Exclamador Gulle is of this mold. He resigned from his lucrative job in the Philippines, packed his bags, and landed in New York alone in 1969. It was an Odyssey that would forever be a part of his life, for it made him realize that in a quest a man must rely on himself and his capabilities in order to realize his dreams. His bachelorhood was both a boon and a bane. For one, there was not much pressure for him to strike gold at once, compared to those who have mouths to feed in a strange land. His movement was also unlimited, which is not true to a married man. But the loneliness was intense, and his sense of isolation was desolate.

Flory was born in Cogtong, Candijay, Bohol on November 7, 1937. His father was Paterno Gulle, who supported his family mainly through a logging business in the island municipality of Dinagat, Surigao del Norte. His mother was Rufina Exclamador, who helped the family’s upkeep by tending a store in Candijay. His early childhood days were spent in the war years. After the liberation of the Philippines from the Japanese forces, he enrolled at the Cogtong Elementary School. He finished his secondary education at the Bohol High School.

At a time when everybody wanted to be an engineer, a lawyer, a teacher, an accountant, a priest, a banker, a doctor, or a nurse, he opted to take a course unheard of by many. He passed the entrance exam given by the University of the Philippines, where he took up Bachelor of Science in Sugar Technology, a rare course worldwide. Only a few have graduated from the course, with him earning the distinction of being the only Boholano who finished it.

Right after graduation, he worked as a Bench Chemist at the Insular Sugar Refinery in Mandaluyong, Rizal. He was in-charge with quality control, aside from performing an administrative function. He was already contented with his job; but then another opportunity beckoned. He was offered the position of Acting General Supervisor for the Visayas by the Sugar Quota Administration. It was an opportunity for him to climb up the bureaucratic structure.

This new assignment made Flory a busy man, as he had to fly to the different sugar producing provinces of the three Visayan Regions. He rubbed elbows with the sugar barons, made deals with government technocrats from sugar importing nations, occasionally cavorted with the elite ladies in sugarland, and lived life to the hilt. Yet, something was missing. He could have picked one of the ladies making obvious their availability, settle down in marital bliss, and raise kids. But he knew it was not what he wanted. To confound the problem, he had no idea what it was he yearned for.

Until he learned of a few of his friends and officemates deciding to seek their future in some foreign lands. It signaled a fresh interest in him. The wanderlust that laid dormant in his subconscious took an upper stead. After several weeks of indecision, he applied for an immigrant visa which, because of his clout then, was not much of a problem.

New York was his target, and New York is where he has gained roots. His first job was as Quality Technician and Control Supervisor at Amster Corporation in Brooklyn. It was during this time when he learned the big difference between employment in his own country and a foreign land. But he readily adjusted to new situation. Eager to make use of his time away from work he took up a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the Pratt Institute, also in Brooklyn. Then he was hired by an export forwarding company (Strassi) in Manhattan. The new job entailed other forms of adjustments, which he complied with without negative thoughts. His propensity to adapt to any novelty was once more to put to a test when the National Nydegger Transportation Corporation took him as Export Documentation and Traffic Manager. Until he ventured into another phase of his professional life when he made a partnership with John Johnson for Export Processing, of hardware and war materials to the Middle East, most particularly Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, and United Arab Emirates. The adventure from Candijay had gone international.

For Flor Gulle, everything that transpired in his adopted land was never an easy climb. But now the struggle is over. He had an early retirement in 1997, and is taking life easy. But if there is one part of his life he would like to keep on reminiscing, it is meeting and marrying the girl who helped him fulfill his dreams. He was on his third year in New York when he met Gloria Malimas from Gingoog City. She was then working as a nurse at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Jersey City, when he saw her for the first time. It was not love at first sight, but an affection that started from admiration, and was nurtured to full bloom, until they tied the knot in 1972.

Flory and Gloria are blessed with two children...The eldest is Joseph, a Doctor of Dental Surgery in Florida. Greta is a BSN graduate from White Plains General Hospital and is an Operating Room Nurse.

Flory Gulle has five other brothers and a sister. Miguel graduated from the Philippine Nautical School in Manila and is now based in Long Island, New York. Agustin finished Bachelor of Science in Commerce at the University of San Carlos, and is now an Examiner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Manila. Crispulo is a Geodetic Engineer from Rafael Palma College, was once a Survey Team Leader before the Vietnam War, and is now enjoying his retirement years in Cogtong, Candijay. Mariano finished Bachelor of Science in Forestry. and was once a Regional Director of the Bureau of Forestry. Apolonio has a Bachelor of Laws degree from Ateneo, and now works as a Legal Officer, the third ranking lawyer in the Bureau of Immigration, Manila. The youngest is the only girl, Veronica, finished Bachelor of Medical Technology from the University of the Philippines. She is presently a Medical Technologist at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.

Even as a student Flory Gulle had been involved in various organizations and service groups. To single out one, which until today has an indelible imprint in his mind, he was an active member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi Fraternity of the University of the Philippines, which had for its members Ferdinand Marcos, Benigno Aquino, Roberto Benedicto, Richard Gordon, and Joker Arroyo. He was a Secretary of the Kings Bridge Heights Homeowners Association; and was the Treasurer of the Science Parents Association of the Bronx High School. As cog-in-the-wheel of the CONBUSAC (Confederation of Boholanos in the USA and Canada) he has been a pillar of patience and formidability in all of its projects. His participation in the two TBTK (Tigum Bol-anon sa Tibuok Kalibutan) were manifestations of his concern for Boholano solidarity. He was once President of the Bohol Circle of Eastern USA. In his retirement years, he may have found it convenient to close all doors, and concentrate on his own welfare. But this is not the way he and his brothers and sister have been trained by his parents. Serving others is a dictum he will uphold, as this gives more significance to his life.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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