SPCM HS'76 Jubilarian Dinner

6 PM Friday, 26 Jan 01. EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City.

(The following is a portion of the event recap from Eileen Niguidula-Redoblado, SPCM HS'76 webmaster and eGroup moderator. Thanks, Eileen!)

I arrived Friday noon from Legazpi & hurriedly showered & prepared the IDs we would use during the party. I scanned our pictures from our high school yearbook, cut them to size and put them in the plastic jackets DIANA donated. Sorry, Diana but I couldn't use your laser labels bec. my printer was a color bubble jet one. So we ended up just writing our nicknames. I was at Christine's place promptly at 4pm since the ever-reliable friend of Christine, PAUL, na nauuto niya to help us out with our computer problems, very kindly offered to bring me there. Siempre ang dami kong dala - a la flight stewardess with matching de hila bag, tote bag, videocam, etc. Kasi ba naman, I had the 60 pcs. of batch t-shirts + the IDs, etc. (na overweight ako sa airplane bec. of these and bwiset na ground crew, di pa pinatawad ang extra 4 kilos. L Mang Islaw parked at the basement of the hotel, then Christine and I walked forever to get to the function room. Ang layo talaga!!!! When we got there, wow!!!! Silver balloons formed an arch on the doorway to the rooms. A colored and enlarged replica of the party invitation was embedded in an ice sculpture at the entrance. The buffet dinner was so beautifully laid out. The food was good, especially the soup which was really to die for. And the rest of the menu was just so good. But guess what? Everyone was so excited. They just didn't care about the food. There was so much extra.

The early birds - TAVI, AGNES, GRACE, KITKAT, SUSY, VALERIE, CHERRY. (Okay, if I miss out names, I did so inadvertently. Charge it to all the excitement, euphoria and the ever-present factor, age.)

Siempre tilian na, and this was just the start of an evening of screaming, laughing, talking, beso-beso, chika-chika............

My first words to SUSY, "You shrunk!!!!" I know, I know, ang tapang ko to say this to one of the tallest girls in the batch, eh worse, I am one of the shortest pa naman. (I am not the shortest, thanks to SUSAN, ELLEN & GIRLIE) SUSY was on time kasi daw the invitation said 5:30 pm, pwes, she was there.

Siempre beso-beso with the balikbayans. Ay talaga, ang sarap ng feeling!!! I haven't seen Valerie since graduation and Cherry I saw a few times lang in UP Diliman. The rest of the girls at the table I would see a few times each year lang. And being so far away in Legazpi City, ay naku, what a welcome thing to see such faces......

At the registration table (read this also as tiga-singil ng di pa nagbabayad), were ROSSI, CHRISTINE & myself. At least most of the time, the three of us were there. That's what I remember kasi every minute, iba na naman ang katabi ko. I was trying to put names onto the pictures in the IDs but it was kinda chaotic. I misplaced the IDs of ADELWINA and Ms. DENG and I'll never hear the end of this. Told them I'll just make it up to them when we celebrate our Golden Jubilee in the year 2026. J

LIA had bad news - Although PEARL arrived, she was running a very high fever, 40 degrees, a really bad case of flu and was bedridden. She was thus unable to make it.

The rest started coming and from hereon, it's a blur na to me. There were stories to tell, lots of catching up to do, secrets to trade, endless shouting and screaming and being just like in high school. And of course, unending pictures to take for posterity. Ay, walang katapusang posing.........

The teachers & nuns came - Sr. GEORGE (Wow! Di na ako talaga takot sa kanya unlike in high school. I would just see her shadow, naku, enough to make me want to hide na.), Sr LUISA (your grade school teacher till Grade 4 after which she became my grade school principal in St. Paul Parañaque), Sr.THERESIA (your Grade I teacher and recipient of the books you all donated) and Sr. NIEVES. Ms. JARAMILLO is now with Colegio San Agustin in Makati. Ms. LUCASAN is with Active Group of Companies. Ms VALERA flew all the way from Denmark, fulfilling her promise that she will attend the Silver Jubilee Homecomings of Batches 75 & 76.

Everyone was just so excited to see everyone else. But I must admit that I was extra happy to see CLAUDIA (a.k.a. Dina) because finding her was just a miracle of sorts. It was one of those desperate things I did - I sent an email to all the eGroups I knew, including my husband, Bernie's Ateneo high school class regarding the list of our MIAs. In short, one of his classmates replied and said that Claudia is his kinakapatid. Dean found her email and Claudia and I corresponded. Of course, Claudia almost cancelled bec. of EDSA2. But she made it just the same. Seeing her at the hotel that night was really great. Of course, she's grown so much bigger but it's still her alright.

And JOSIE VILLARICA was there, too, making me kulit to tell her who her anonymous sponsor was. I was sworn to secrecy and so I did not tell her. I had a picture taken with JOSIE from Butuan, BERNA from Batangas and myself from Bicol. Ang mga promdis!!!!!

I gathered the other doctors in the batch and had another shot taken with MARILU, CHI ( Cecille R), MELJO and TONETTE.

DILLEANA (Daydee) came for a bereavement leave and we were happy she made it to the batch dinner. I have to mention ROSEMER who is really so pretty nowadays. I must admit we have a mutual admiration society kasi sabi nya she did not recognize me because I was so tisay. So move over, Marilen, Gina, et al. J

And because "in" ngayon ang short height, (thanks to Pres. Gloria), I was so delighted to see SUSAN LAUREANO. Aba, pareho kaming hindi lumaki but she has more kids - five!!!!

Matronix GIGI from Aussieland was ever so bubbly. Must be all the champagne she distributed and drank. Di man lamang ako nakatikim but that's okay. Seeing Gigi in the flesh was more than enough. Aba, and she was really showing a lot of flesh, kasi ba naman merong K bec. she must have lost all the bilbils from her body.

Irrepressible KITKAT was, as usual, the very lively host. But she had a most difficult time catching our attention, no matter what antics she did, how many costume changes she made or hairstyle shifts she had.

Jon Santos was hospitalized and was unable to perform his comedy act which was really such a waste. But to the rescue came DOC LARRY, one hell of a good-looking dentist who played the piano and sang songs.

Later on, to everyone's delight and surprise, JANETTE SAN JUAN sang some songs (samba ba yun?) Aba, meron syang ibubuga!!!! There was a game - Sing that Tune, which the nuns participated in as well. Doc Larry would play a tune and the two teams would race to the microphone to sing the words of the song. Grabe si VIVIAN!!!! In her race to the microphone, she pushed JANETTE to the floor, as in plakda with matching sound effects, to everyone's laughter. Imagine, hanggang kilikili lang nya si Janette, naitulak pa. But not to worry, no broken bones. Janette just disappeared from sight. Yun pala she was down on the carpet na with matching flying sandals. Sr. Luisa sang one of the songs, the title of which I can't recall, something like Ikaw Lamang ang Aking Iibigin Magpakailanman. And we all joined in.

There were raffle prizes. A surprise dance number was given by KITKAT, BABA, CARINA, LUI, TECHIE, BELLAY & ABINE. There were special rum cakes made by ROSSI & given to some of the Organizing Committee members. Siempre, TAVI was thanking everyone, acknowledging all those who helped and just being so nostalgic. The girls were enticed to learn the song, The Journey, for our Homecoming but I tell you, that was a formidable task. Siempre, chikahan ang inuuna.

I was so excited and happy seeing everyone, I almost forgot to take pictures and ended up with just some shots. The now famous shot of the group taken at the hotel stairs shows the 51 girls in attendance plus the nuns and teachers. Trying to assemble that noisy, boisterious, giggling, laughing and talking bunch of middle-aged but still so wonderful and beautiful group of jubilarians was another fantastic exercise in patience!!!! Some ballroom dancing followed. Abine had dance instructors to give the dancing aficionados the time of their lives. And then, the evening came to an end. But not so for a group which proceeded to the lobby of the Manila Pen where we had the longest table set up to accommodate all of us...!

2001 Homecoming Weekend: PAAM invitation. Volleyball Fun Day. Lunch at the Quad. Live at the Fleur-de-Lis. Vigil House visit. SPCM HS'76 Website.

Please send pictures to '75 Web Admin at SPCM_HS75@hotmail.com .

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