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Posts Tagged ‘high school reunions’


Ah, reunions!

The last time I attended one of our grand high school reunions   was seven years ago. In between though, some of our classmates and batchmates organize pocket reunions every time someone takes a vacation here from abroad.

Last January 27, they had it held at  the Thomasian Alumni Center Grand Ballroom  at the University of Santo Tomas, our alma mater.  It was our 45th. I didn’t attend though because I  avoid sleeping late nowadays. Back in August last year, some members of the group organizers came over to visit me.

This morning, I   saw this photo on my news feed at Facebook which was shared by one of our batchmates. It was the last one I attended.

I am the one in the middle of the photo.

In all the several batches of graduates from our school, ours (Batch 73)  is always well-represented. Maybe because we value the friendship and camaraderie  we have created throughout the years.  I remember those times during  our high school days  where we have to go up to the fourth floor of our building, no elevators aloud.  All girl students attend the morning classes while the boys are scheduled in the afternoon. That was how strict UST was back then.  We are only allowed to mingle with them when there are occasions in school that we celebrate together.

Many of us have now our own families, some with lots of grand kids already and a few remained single.  Some have become doctors, lawyers and nurses. I think  half of us are now residing abroad. I could still imagine myself wearing a  below-the-knee school uniform which some of us managed to fold at the waist line to make it a little shorter. We usually do it on our way home as long as the school principal couldn’t see us.

I remember  our high school teachers. Our teacher in our Chemistry class was fond of singing Carpenters songs. another one in our Speech subject would always  tell us to get one-fourth sheet of paper so she could dictate new words every time she enters our room.  I remember some of our unruly classmates  who are so noisy  in between periods. I remember those times we  would walk the corridor from one end to the next memorizing a piece of poem  or a declamation piece. I still remember some paragraphs in Vengeance Is Not Ours, It’s God’s.  But this is all I could vividly remember:

Alms, alms, alms. Spare me a piece of bread. Spare me your mercy.  I am a child so young, so thin, and so ragged. Why are you staring at me?  With my eyes I cannot see but I know that you are all staring at me. Why are you whispering to one another? Why? Do you know my mother? Do you know my father? Did you know me five years ago?

High school life –  the day you saw your crush, the days you admired that guy playing the guitar and singing James Taylor’s songs, the day of  our high school graduation  where we cried.

High school days, the teenage years. the growing up stage in our lives.

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I’d like to think we are not that old yet. Most of us have just reached the ripe age of 60 and we call that being  senior citizens  here.

Tuesday afternoon was another day so memorable to me. A small group of high school batch mates came over for a visit.  The batch is having a grand reunion come January 2018 and the core group is busy contacting classmates and batch mates to attend. If I am not mistaken, this will be the 7th grand reunion since 2003.  We left the portals of  the University of Santo Tomas Education High School almost forty-five years ago.  I attended three  reunions in the past and some small get-together in between.  It is always nice to get in touch, renewing friendship and old ties.

Willie took some shots in his cellphone.

 

Of course, the smiles would always be there.

I remember our days in high school.  Coming from the province, it was hard for me to adjust during the first few months of my high school days. I was a shy kid, not really that friendly.  Imagine, immersing your student days in a big university with new  classmates, teachers, environment and all.

Life in high school.

There was a separate entrance for boys and girls. We were in the morning session while the boys were scheduled in the afternoon.  We only get to mingle together during school activities like the different programs, Sunday masses, Christmas celebrations and the like.  Some of my classmates though managed to meet the boys and became boyfriends/girlfriends.  The excitement of youth…haha  🙂

No stress.

We always emphasize that we would just enjoy the camaraderie when we see each other which is not often.  But always, always, there will be laughter. Most of us have our families now, some of us with grown kids and grandchildren.  We enjoy reminiscing about high school days, keeping up to date with news  about other classmates who  have gone ahead of us.

Food.

No get-together would be a success without food, right? I prepared a simple pasta dish for them  and ensaymada.  They brought me a big box of ensaymada too of a different brand. No matter how simple the fare is, what is important  is being together.

Hopefully, we will see each other again one of these days. Elsa, who came alone  ahead of the group said, ” Now that I know your place, I would surely come over to visit you again”.

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I remember taking this shot at a  casual get-together with some high school classmates at Shakey’s Espana, in front of UST where we finished high school. Those bracelets were gifts from one of our classmates who makes jewelry as  a hobby. I do remember the laughter, the camaraderie, the game I posted at Facebook if they could recognize whose hands and arms  are in the picture.  Cherished memories, lovely thoughts shared!

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It will be our fourth high school reunion  this coming Saturday, January 29, 2011  which will be held at 11am at one of our high school batchmate’s house in Tandang Sora (still in connection with the 400th celebration of our beloved university).  Since we found each other again in 2003 (our first reunion),  we’ve been in touch via an e-group at Yahoo and we were able to find those whom we haven’t seen since our high school graduation back in 1973.  I think more than half of our batch are now living abroad so it’s kind of  hard to see each other unless they go home and spend a few hours with the remaining members of our batch.   Though sometimes, some of our classmates hold instant get-together, we  are never in complete attendance. It would be nice to be able to  see them again after  two years.  Most of us are now on Facebook, but there is something more inviting and pleasant than just having those chats once in a while or sending those private message now and then, it’s called high school reunion.  Seeing them face to face is  of course a welcome bonus. High school reunions are more fun than probably attending college get-together. Come to think of it, I have only two close college classmates, the rest I have yet to meet again since our college graduation back in 1978.

This week marks a series of events to commemorate our 400th anniversary celebration of the university.  When I think of the days and years that I was  in UST, I can’t help but feel nostalgic and  happy to share these events with everyone.  My Christian values were enhanced further when I was studying there.  There is a certain kind of pride and gratitude that I was given the chance to study in a Pontifical, Royal and Catholic institution that speaks so much of  history and tradition and as they say, “400 years of unending grace.”

Revisiting the place, walking its halls once more, and appreciating the years of stay here and just plain reminiscing – I guess that’s what reunion is all about.

Our high school class picture during our senior year!

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