Brod Baldomero Villanueva

 UP Diliman '60

November 29, 1941 - July 10, 2019







Memorial Mass 

Saint Paul's Catholic Church, Winston Hills, NSW

 July 18, 2019








"This pic is of myself, mum and my sister, Mini." - Mitch





The Sydney Betan Family






Remembering Bal

by Sluggo Rigor'60


Batch mates Sluggo and Bal practicing with the balisong.


At the most fundamental level, shock, agony, and grief come and go, but the lingering sensation of emptiness and occasional tears remain when someone truly close to you dies.

Bonds that tie Bal and me, on contemplating this, is hard to explain. When we were young and reckless and were sure we were immortal, during lucid moments over beer-gin-coke or whiskey, fiery as die-hard fratmen on campus --- we would debate, curse, marvel at campus life and laugh endlessly and down to our guts. Most of all --- amused about how we ever crossed paths --- we created some chemistry of kinship that would survive untold, uncounted adventures.

As a thoroughbred U.P. Diliman campus denizen from grade four through high school and through a Fine Arts 4-year course, I had believed that I did not need to enter any fraternity. I felt safe in Diliman because most of the siga-siga in the areas were mostly former classmates or team mates in the varsity swimming team. Something unusual and funny stands out when I crossed paths with this swaggering, wispy, crow-framed dude on the first day of our freshman year at the College of Fine Arts atop the University Library.

It was late morning, first day of school. The fellow who had a noisy air about him moved as though he knew everyone he met on the hallway. A newbie freshman whispered to another that he overheard the dude say that he was from the Villaruel toughies’ area of Pasay. Later that noon when he and I stood side-by-side at the men’s urinal I could sense that he was eyeing me as he would other newbies. “Pare…may yosi ka ba?!” (Pare…do you have a cigarette?) the fellow breaks the silence rather menacingly. Hot in the ears because I was surprised, I snap back: “Meron…pero hindi kita bibigyan!” (I have…but I won’t give you!)

That exchange led to more encounters within the college which I sensed were maneuvered to draw us closer together. I too wanted to be friends with the guy because I soon found out he had a grim sense of humor and no-nonsense macho instincts. My kind of character.

Fast forward. It was Bal who challenged me in early 1960 to enter the Beta Sigma Fraternity, the popular brotherhood that resonated with most U.P. High alumni. Bal studied which frat would hew closer to our hearts. Fine Arts College figures Paking Verano and Ely Santiago, two talented Beta Sigman artists, helped us clinch a decision.

Fifty-five (55) initial applicants were presented. Each amuyong dreamt of wearing a Beta Sigman pin. After three bruising, bloody months of bingbangan and indoctrination, the 1960 U.P. Diliman ‘High Noon’ Batch produced 18 courageous Betans. Among them were Asiong (Boy) Morales, Johnny Chiuten, Erwin Castillo, Nonoy Bautista, Eddie Baguio, Pet Grajo, Ely Aglibut, Romy Perez, Louie Adecer, Jackie Doromal, Pong Lustre, Rey Patyag, Jolo Laraya, to name a few memorable survivors. Bal and I were in that batch. Looking back, it was Bal and Asiong who kept the gritty survivors’ morale intact during moments when the going got bloody and rough. Slight as he was, Bal was the emotional, teary-eyed, trembling but gutsy cheer leader, hollering, coaching, crying for all to stay together. Through it all he was the stubborn, unyielding warrior, a natural combatant, one who challenged mighty Johnny once to a sparring round!

Bal was Best Man at my wedding. He, Asiong and Dolf dela Rosa set up my elopement. After he migrated to Australia and I to the U.S., the bond was kept stronger even though he never learned to do the Internet. A dyed-in-the-wool lady charmer, Bal had a way with ladies. His love letters were winners, hands down.

No amount of words will assuage the grief in the hearts of Bing, Mini and Michelle. They must know though that their beloved family head was one heck of a gentleman, a sensitive artist, a loving, doting father. His memory will be valued by all those he had crossed paths with.

And the time for swan songs has come. As Bal would grimly put it: “Meron na tayong boarding pass.”

His journey home will be rough to many who loved him dearly. To us who moved within his inner orbit, there will remain a deep wound that will take time to heal. Knowing Bal up close, a feeling that is past the pain, past the reckoning, past the past, takes on a more profound meaning. Like candle light shining under his shadow, the good times he shared remains.

I borrow a line from the poet Rumi: The wound is the place where the light enters you.

Godspeed, dear Brother





Caricature invitation card done by Sluggo for party at his house in San Juan, 1962.


At the Libingan ng Mga Bayani in Fort McKinley where Bal as Best Man accompanied

 us in offering Marivic’s wedding bouquet to my Dad - August 20, 1966.


With Manny Villar in 2006 at Manila Shangrila with Bal & Bing, and Sisters Fe Cruz-Tantiansu and Rory Ortega-Carlos.


U.P. Beta Sigma 60th Anniversary Ball - Wack Wack Country Club, July 14, 2006

Seated: Bing & Bal Villanueva (+) and Marivic Rigor.

Standing: Freddie de leon, Mario Pasamba (+), Romy Buencamino, Mat Defensor,

Sluggo Rigor, Ding Navarro (+), Volet Buencamino (+) and Jet Arriola.








Norman, Bal died in his sleep this morning.


Tks for yours & Cherry’s loving thoughts. Bal had a very peaceful death. Drained & stressed but managed to arrange funeral plans for mass & final blessings on 18 July at a Catholic Church in Syd. Spoke to Eding at length today & we both had a good laugh when I told him Bal wants to go to Manila in Dec, then to Vegas to visit him. Exactly same as Eding’s plan - Dec Manila then to Syd to pay Bal a visit. Bal to see Eding & Eding to see Bal!


Bing Villanueva


From Brod Mario Manzano in Sydney, another beloved Brod and frat pillar since the 60s - BAL VILLANUEVA - has joined our Creator. All these are happening as we celebrate our 73rd Anniversary in a few days. Our prayers during our fratball will even become more meaningful as we celebrate the lives of two fraternity titans - Dean TED TOPACIO And Brod BAL. May they both rest in the bosom of the Almighty.



Farewell and rest in peace beloved Brod Baldo. In behalf of your brods and family from UP North, and the entire UP Beta Sigma Fraternity, thank you for sharing happy and memorable moments. Infirmity, nor physical weakness was not enough to prevent you from travelling thousand of miles to enjoy moments with your Betan Brothers. You will never be forgotten.

To Bing and daughters, please accept our sincere condolences.



When an Icon falls, a part of us dies; yet a part of them remains alive in us.

Pol Moral, UPD65. Black Saints


Rest in Peace, brothers.

Czar Michelena UP 75-A


I join with heartfelt sympathy with our Fraternity in condoling with the family of Brod Ted Topacio and Brod Bal Villanueva in this their hour of bereavement. May their soul rest in peace forever with our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

Mon Ventura Black Saints 65



Our sincere condolences and prayers to the families of Brods Teddy Topacio and Bal Villanueva.

Freddy Fajardo


Condolences to the families of Brod Ted Topacio and Brod Bal Villanueva. We pray for peace and strength in these times of sorrow.

Nap Cruz


To be absent from the body is to be present with our Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). While we share our deepest condolences with the Topacio and the Villanueva families, we take comfort in the thought that they are now with our Lord. Peace be with you.

Dan Lachica


Rest in peace Brod Bal. Condolences to the family.


Gines Samson


On behalf of the Midwest Beta Sigma Fraternity we would like to offer our sincerest condolences and sympathy to the family of Brod Bal Villanueva. May he Rest in Peace

Willie Ramos, GP Midwest Beta Sigma


Farewell, Brothers Ted and Bal. My condolences to their families.

Carlo Malabanan UPLB77C


Farewell brod Bal, I'll always cherish our good old days together.

Jet Arriola '63


Brod , I am saddened by this news. Malungkot!

Rest in Peace Brod Baldo!! And my condolence to Sis Bing!!

We were always together before you left for Australia! Baldo was with me when we travelled to Capiz to review garments for exports. He would make us laugh as he insisted to wear the samples.

Brod Baldo... The Noble and The Good Beta Sigman! I love you!

Iking Agana'63


Our sincerest condolences. Rest in peace Brod Bal, our batchmate.

Tony Frio, UPLB Batch '60



Our condolences to the families of brods Ted Topacio & Bal Villanueva.
May their souls rest in peace!

Rollie Santos


My deepest condolences to the loved ones of Brod Bal. May he rest in eternal happiness.

Edwin Acuña


Eternal rest grant unto Brod Bal Villanueva, O Lord! And let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Ollie Jumao-as


Will miss you brod Bal. A pillar of the frat and College of Fine Arts. We are all happy that you will be in God’s company.

Rolly Reyes


My condolences & prayers for another Betan on his way to eternal life!

Augusto Arreza


Prayers and sympathies for Brod Ball and family.

Billy Sevilla


Condolence and prayers to the family. Rest in peace brod.

George Balabag


We mourn the passing of Brod Bal, a quintessential Betan.

Vic Ramos


I got the best indoctrination from brod Bal -- one of the reasons that made me to join Beta Sigma two more times and made it on the third.

Willie Nep


Another great Betan has joined our Creator. May you rest in eternal peace and happiness brod Bal.

Jun Vale


Bal was one hell of a speaker.

Henry Gutierrez


Brod Bal, I remember when I last met you in Sydney, about 3 years ago in a gathering w/ the brods, you were so jolly but frail. A Betan Spirit lived on. As per request of Brod Vic R  & the late Ted T asking your whereabouts, I showed them our pictures & they were happy to see you! Now Brod Bal that you are in the hands of our Creator, we will pray for your eternal repose. Our sincere condolences to the bereaved Family!

Vic Tupaz


I will say a prayer for Brod Bal.

Jay Jay Jayme


Dearest Bing and family,

Our deepest condolences and prayers for Brod Bal. The surest consolation for all of us is the thought that he is now in the best place and our ultimate home with our Lord Jesus Christ.
I just saw your email this morning in my spam folder. But I found out in Baguio yesterday about the passing away of Brod Bal and Brod Dean Ted Topacio‘49 from the viber chat groups of the brods.
Again, we continue to say our prayers for Bal; for you, Mini and the other daughters as well.


Last night at the frat ball here in Manila, during the prayer invocation there was a Powerpoint presentation on a huge screen on stage of the departed brods in 2019.

Bal's picture was shown and, of course, all of us who personally knew him were so touched.

Our love and thoughts always,
Norman & Cherry (in Cubao, QC)






[Photos from daughter Mitch]


The young graduate Bal






[Photos from UPBSI-International website, Memory Lane]


UP Beta Sigma Diliman, circa 1961.

Bottom row: Alex King (+), Carlos Uyan, Martino Cajita, Jr., Oscar Dizon (+), Ernesto Fontanosa.

Middle row: Hernan Tabamo, Stanley Cabanatan, Luis Ruiz, Constante Tesoro, Winston Acevedo.

Top row: Erwin Castillo, Cesar Reynoso, Baldomero Villanueva (+), Willy Quejada (+), Ding Martinez (+).



UP Beta Sigma Diliman, circa 1961.

Bal Villanueva at top row, third from left.


UP Beta Sigma Diliman, circa 1963.

 Bal Villanueva at front row, leftmost.



"Amboy" days - mid 60's-70's.








[Photos from Ding Cavestany and Norman Bituin] 


Bal celebrates 66th birthday in Las Vegas, Nov-Dec 2007




Bal celebrates with the brods (for the last time) at UP North Frat Ball, May 2017












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