ENTHUSIASM and EXCITEMENT filled the cold cheery night. Everyone had a story to tell, some happy, some sad, others exciting while a few were debilitating. Whatever it was, we all paid attention to our diverse stories.
How time flies. April 21-22, 2017 at Eden Garden Nature and Resort spelled out our REMINISCING of fond memories of togetherness during our Bachelor of Science in Commerce, majors in Accounting and Management from 1981 to 1984.
It’s been a wonderful and colorful roller coaster journey for thirty-three years since we left the portals of our dear Alma Mater-Immaculate Conception College where our trim and sexy bodies (walang kokontra please) were then clad in our pink and white uniforms with black-heeled shoes.
Months-long of preparations were ably spearheaded by our event organizer-Esterlina Corpus Quirit and Treasurer Nellie Venus. The AVP was tenaciously done by Liberty Pablo as she also shared goodies from Australia. A number of batchmates/sponsors who are now residing here and abroad shared resources to help in our miscellaneous expenses and those who have financial constraints.
The two-day coming together was filled with meaningful significance and fun as we were embraced by Mother Nature at Eden Nature Park and Resort. Talks, shares, laughter and fun simply reverberated the air as we occupied six (6) rooms.
Excitement encompassed us seeing each other again. It’s the first big reunion as we had had several mini coming together in the past. There may have been physical changes amongst us (as vividly shown by our ‘unwanted’ bulges and sags) but the GLOW OF BEING COLEGIALAS was still noticeable. Fun and laughter cracked within our vicinity.
Mm. Thelma Toribio, our mestiza Española adviser, now at 72, was simply grateful to have been invited for our overnight reunion. She had the privilege to teach at the International School-IS in Taguig for 20 years after her ICC years of teaching. She has painstakingly yet beautifully survived her gift of life.
We had Christmas in April on Friday night. Each gave something that best describes her (the giver). We were more than glad to realize that everything that was given was received with great gratitude and appreciation; so apt for all the receivers so to speak. I gave seven (7) SUNflowers to my Manita Arlene (as the first gift recipient) in room 7; I received five (5) A stuff in room 5. Nothing happens by chance; 7&5 are serendipitous numbers for me.
The following morning was spent under the trees and in the open field with the cool and cold breeze. Yours truly shared on the benefits of being with Mother Nature-unplugging oneself thru barefoot walking, breathing in and out clean and fresh air, walking, and a little massaging each other’s back. Some of our classmates took turns in leading our morning exercises.
Our breakfast together was a never-ending story-telling while enjoying the sumptuous meal.
The tour was so much fun taking photos from the tribal dancers to the amphitheater (where we realized that we had unintentionally left some classmates in the room) with the diverse species of flowers; the wishing well, ending up with the farmers’ friend-carabao overlooking the panoramic view of our great city below.
The tour made us hungry that we enjoyed so much our lunch together at an exclusive area of the restaurant.
We were joined by our dean then, Sir Ed Acaylar together with Mm. Yolanda Sisi, our English professor and Mm. Valentina Huab, our Economics professor. It was great to have gathered the four (4) of them around one table. It seemed like they too were rekindling their togetherness inside the faculty room and/or dean’s office.
The whole afternoon was spent on just unleashing the kid in each one of my batchmates. Personally, I had to catch up though with an afternoon facilitatorship amongst the youth of Barangay Ma-a.
After my other commitment, I joined them again at Delongtes for dinner. Singing, dancing and last hours of chitchatting capped our fun-filled and meaningful reunion.
A number of us have become entrepreneurs. We joyfully sold and bought sweets, farm and health products to and from each other. We have touched different aspects and possibilities in our lives that made us prettily whole.
We realized that PRETTINESS goes beyond externals. It speaks of the kindred and beautiful spirit we have been sharing over these years since we met each other in our Alma Mater-Immaculate Conception College-our fairest college in Father Selga Street, Davao City.
It exudes belief and trust in our capacity to go thru the rigors of life. The spirit that chooses to rise after having fallen many times; the spirit that is so determined to work on end goals rather than stay in the mediocrity of life; it is that belief in our capacity to become a beneficial presence amongst our families, relatives, friends, workplaces, the communities and societies we respectively belong to, regardless of our roles. Whatever have become of us and wherever we are, we exude beauty that goes beyond the physical realm. It is a beautiful heart that responds positively to both the friendly and harsh challenges around us.
A beautiful rose can never be beautiful without its thorns, so is the case of a lotus that thrives miraculously in the murk. The sunflower awesomely smiles at the scorching heat of the sun. The more intense the sun is, the more beautiful sunflowers bloom in all its beauty and brilliance. Some of our faces may have all the marks and wrinkles of pains and countless challenges, but the LIFE WITHIN makes us continue to outlive everything.
So when you feel weary and gray, cheer up, THINK PINK (wellness) and All shall indeed be WELL!
As what Mm. Toots has been telling us, “your batch is so different. There’s so much fondness, and camaraderie amongst yourselves, beautiful togetherness.”
To all the of us who have remained Pretty@33, CONGRATULATIONS for our Teamwork that has indeed made our reunion work. We thank and appreciate each one for your cooperation, generosity and unity. Best of all, we express our heartfelt gratitude to our Maker and Sustainer who has made everything beautiful in His time. To Him in us and around us be all glory, praises and thanksgiving.
We are more than glad that technology played a vital role in our reconnecting. It made communication better, swifter and more convenient.
So to all the Señoritas (as Sir Flores fondly addressed us in our Spanish subjects), ASTA LA VISTA!