About Spencer Court

Mabuhay! (Welcome!)

I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines and attended the American (now International) School of Manila from K-12, graduating with about 100 others in the Class of 1970. On January 1, 1970, in the middle of my senior year, my classmate Rick Spencer died after a long struggle with cancer.

Many of us did not know Rick had cancer, only that he often missed class because he was “sick.” Throughout his ordeal, Rick was always upbeat and smiling for us. I doubt I could have been as courageous.

In honor of Rick, the senior lounge at our school was renamed Spencer Court and I understand there is also a teacher award in his honor. On January 1, 2000, thirty years after Rick left us, I opened Spencer Court, a website for American School alumni.

Since the Spencer Court website focuses on photos from our days in Manila and regular reunions that we hold, I wanted to expand it with a blog. This is it.

In Manila, Spencer Court was a place for seniors to relax and hang out when we were not in class. Although some of the visitors will be alums from the AS “barkada”, I welcome everyone because this blog is not about my high school. It’s a place to relax and hang out.

I was nominated for class clown in high school, and I still have a laid back view of life. I’m much more interested in the World Series of Poker than a Presidential debate or whatever the crisis du jour is.

My academic grounding is in philosophy, so I enjoy questioning everything. Probably the most influential book on my thinking was Niebuhr’s “Moral Man, Immoral Society” but I didn’t come to the same conclusion he did. I focused on the title; consequently, I traveled a twisting road from Buckley conservative in early high school to Trotskyite revolutionary in college, to liberal Democrat in middle age to Libertarian-anarchist now.

I”ll be blogging on all sorts of topics from light to meaty, but I don’t seek to persuade, only to plant a seed. As the title suggests, I’ll post only on Sundays, unless I’m on vacation. (On vacations, I may post a travel diary, or not post at all.)

To deter spammers and abusive comments, I’m initially requiring you to become a registered wordpress user in order to comment on my blog.  WordPress will verify you have a valid e-mail address.

I will also review, usually within 24 hours, all “first timer” comments before they are published.  Once I approve that first comment, future comments will be automatically published without my review.

This procedure will allow me to block anyone from commenting at all, either by having wordpress delete the account if abusive or by my specifying certain information about your wordpress username and/or e-mail address in a “banned” list.  (Please note: your e-mail address will not be published but you must provide it to comment.

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6 responses to “About Spencer Court

  1. Hello. I’m one of Oma’s regular readers, and occasional commentators. I thought it was about time I had a look at your blog and went straight for the bio. I was deeply moved to read the story about Rick Spencer. He was an extraordinary young man. I’m also impressed with what you have done in his name. I’ve bookmarked you now and hope to be able to read your stuff from time to time (between the many other blogs I have on my list) and maybe comment as well.

  2. It is such a pleasure to meet you – keep up the good humor.

  3. Rick Spencer must be very happy wherever he is right now for having a friend like you. Out of curiosity, is spencer court still up now at International School of Manila?

  4. Hello my friend! Thank you for visiting my simple blog. I’m glad I’ve come to know a bit of the history of ISM. In the future when I get back to teaching, I can say something to my students about how Spencer Court came about. I was so touched about the story of Rick Spencer. I lost a very good friend because of a bone cancer.

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