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CONNECTED @ 40 The Philippine Cultural High School Class 1978 Reunion              The day, July 8, 2018, will be long remembered as the da...

CONNECTED @ 40



CONNECTED @ 40
The Philippine Cultural High School Class 1978 Reunion

 
          The day, July 8, 2018, will be long remembered as the day the alumni of Philippine Cultural High School (now Philippine Cultural College) Class 1978 celebrated their 40th anniversary.

          When I attended the PCHS Annex Class 1978 25th Anniversary celebration in 2003, I was already fascinated by the reunion: “Wow! It’s been 25 years and the joy of friendship, the barkadahanstill remained warm and vibrant. We were all like high school students again, ecstatic and joyful of the event. Now, it’s 40 years! And the attitudes and vibes persist, even stronger!

Philippine Cultural High School Class 1978 during its Silver Anniversary (2003),
PCHS Annex, 8th Ave., Caloocan City.

 
Yours truly!
          It was a very cloudy day with a slight drizzle at the start as there was a supertyphoon (Gardo) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). I was worried I may not be able to attend, since I live in Malabon City where all surrounding roads are flooded during heavy downpour. Two of my companions were unable to go, one has an important work in the province and the other is just recovering from a flu. I made a promise to two of my close friends – Editha Sia and Jessie Uy – who are both officers of the Alumni Association (PCHS Batch 1978) that I would attend. So, come rain or shine I have to go, praying that the forecast heavy to torrential rains will not happen. Hey, and of course, I miss all the "girls" and "boys" of Class 1978.

          Since I don’t own a car and my share-a-ride friends are unavailable, I commuted still praying the downpour will not come. Well. it was really cloudy, but the weather cooperated. It was quite nice and even cool, as I needed to walk two blocks to get to the venue – the newly-constructed 9-storey Philippine Cultural College building. I thought, GOD was also happy for us to meet again, to celebrate our 40th anniversary. It didn’t rain for the whole proceedings.
 

Me and My first year high school science teacher,
Miss Riza Sotto.
          For most people, when they graduated from high school, they moved on, met new friends and companions, have a family, gained success and reached their ambitions. Maybe you’ll see a reunion one, two or three and then, it’s over. Seldom will you see classmates – schoolmates – meet again after 20 or so years together with their teachers. Rarely after 30 years. So, it makes me very, very proud to attend my PCHS Annex Class 1978 reunion. They are unique – one of a kind! Maybe one for the Guinness Book of World Records.



 
Section A of PCHS Class 1978,
and our science teacher.

 
          More than 90 of my batchmates, seven of our teachers, and the principal came to celebrate with us. It was hosted by the pretty and sexy Jill Ngo, belly-dancing instructor and leader of group "The Goddesses." She even taught the "girls" of PCHS Annex Batch 78 a move or two (4 actually: Watermellon, strawberry, guava and grape) on how to belly-dance and, also, did an eye-catching but "not-seeing anything" routine. As soon as Miss Ngo started wiggling her hips, all the boys started prompting their cellphone video cameras. By now, the videos are probably in YouTube already. Happy memories of our high school life, as well as our boyish and girlish student pictures, were shown on a huge screen to the theme of 1970s songs, to our delight. Actress Diana Zubiri even sent her greetings (Is she a PCHS alumni?). Of course, there was a brief sad interlude to also remember our departed classmates.

Presenting, by section (color coded), the PCHS Annex Class of 1978, (July 8, 2018),
PCC Bldg., M. Cuenco St. cor. D. Tuazon St., Quezon City.

           If was fun to see 50 to 60 year-olds playing games as if they were still students, now in the era of high-tech gadgets and the Internet. For several hours, whatever sadness one has disintegrated and turned into joy and laughters. As the emcee was a belly-dancer, all the games were about or involved dancing of some sort. The object was perhaps to keep or make the ladies fit and sexy again despite the age. But the old “boys” were near-hopeless, as most of them were complaining about rheumatism and having two left feet. Hahaha! “No wonder you didn’t have a prom day!” Reminded Miss Ngo. Come to think of it, we didn’t, we really didn’t have a Junior-senior prom. Oh well, that’s 40 years ago.


PCHS Annex Class 1978
in attendance for the 40th anniversary reunion,
together with faculty members (front row, from left to right):
Ms. Carmencita Manalo, Ms. Riza Sotto, Ms. Marilyn Tolentino,
Ms. Julie Cuan, Mrs. Susana Bairan (Principal), Mr. Antonio Cu,
Ms. Felisa Ng, and Mr. Zenon Zoriaga.
          There were even gifts – ang pao – to the participants and winners of the parlor games. Hey, the symbol for the 40th anniversary is ruby. It should have been raining rubies. Hehehe. And maybe next time, there would be quiz games ala-Who Wants to Be a Millionaire to exercise the mind also. Of course, one of the subjects would be Math. This batch doesn't fear Math. Nah, they ate Math for lunch and merienda. Well, our Algebra teacher, Miss Ng was there. I owe her almost everything I know about Algebra. We all do. She was a great teacher. Her husband, the ever witty Mr. Cu was also there. So was our resilient principal, Mrs. Susana Bairan, who gave us a short but still ever-challenging speech.

Schoolmates sharing photo moments
after 40 years.

          The service and food are also terrific, though there was not even a single seafood dish (not counting the salmon). The drinks, ice creams, and snacks are wan to sawa, as in "unlimited!" The souvenir t-shirt and logo-embroidered towel are something to cherish with. Of course, the pictures and the videos will give the event a lasting record. My compliments to the organizers. Hurrah!
More photo moments – 1 to 15!
umber 1 is the logo symbolizing "Still United @40!"
(Any schoolmate who has a photo with 13 persons in it,
kindly send me a scan so that I can complete this. Thanks.)
 



          My other reason for going to the occasion was to personally give my thanks, but didn’t really had the chance because of the festivities. I owe my alumni association a great deal. They were there to help me in my saddest hours during my Mom’s unexpected passing last October. Help comes within hours of my immediate need. My friends and schoolmates comforted me in my solitude. They pushed me up when I was so down. They helped me both emotionally and financially. I can’t imagined what would have happened if they were not there.


          In this day and age, the PCHS Annex Class 1978 Alumni Association is a rare breed. The  camaraderie is exceptional. The bond between schoolmates remained and got even stronger after 40 years. So, as I am now like starting all over again, beginning a new life, I dedicated this blog post to all of them, the men and women, my wacky schoolmates, my endearing friends, the crème de la crème, the alumni of Philippine Cultural High School Annex Batch 1978. MABUHAY!
 
    我的同学, 我的朋友, 全心全意, 谢谢大家! (My classmates, my friend, with all my heart, thank you all!)

          We’ve survived 10 Olympics, about 30 Marvel superhero films, yes including the Avengers: Infinity War, coup d’etats, recessions, earthquakes, supertyphoons, sinkholes, draughts, nationwide floods, landslides, and whatever-else. We’ve seen Darna’s mystical pebble passed on to nine generations. Ah yes, we’ve managed to remained together after seven presidents, from Ferdinand E. Marcos to Rodrigo R. Duterte. Indeed, we’ve lasted seven administrations. That's incredible! GOD must really love this group. It’s a force to reckon with. I wonder (and dreaming) if on our 50th year, I would be the sitting president! That would most likely be under a Federal system of government. Hahaha..... just a recurring dream! 

          SEE YOU ALL NEXT YEAR!


For the fun pics, click AFTERMATH

On the day this was being written and uploaded, short of a miracle, my wifi signal was even cooperating that I was immediately able to post on the same day. Thanks to my very diligent classmates, Jesse Uy, Pollyanna Consul, and Editha Sia, for providing the pictures of the event. For the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb7Z2ysIsnc.

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