A couple sat in our table muttering about attending Southwestern University (SWU) high school department’s grand alumni homecoming last Oct. 21 to find out how many members of batch 1957 are still alive. Around a table not far from us was a rather boisterous group of young people. We later found out they were from batch 2006.
Funny how activities like reunions make one conscious of the years. Only three in our batch joined—Letty Sindo, Sandra Lomocso and me—and while we managed to look a bit younger than our years, there was no denying we were in the middle of two extreme ages. Those who married early have even welcomed the births of their grandchildren.
Which means that, unlike the newer batches of graduates, our main concern now is family. Eric Aguisanda, who belongs to the batch next to ours, talked about his daughter being sick with lupus and undergoing dialysis, which is expensive. Perhaps, talking with his batch mates like Erlinda Pongos gave him a respite from the worries.
Meanwhile, I didn’t know Gingging Lumapat, valedictorian of batch ’76, is now “Fiscal Lumanta.” Provincial Prosecutor Pepita Jane Petralba was not around but his brother Felipe, who is with the University of San Carlos, was there, together with his batch mate, the preacher Wilbert Yassi. The success stories were numerous to narrate.
And maturity does change our perspectives. The teachers we held in awe when we were younger we now hold with respect and admiration for their contribution to our growth. There was the still energetic Restituto Gabriel and Bobby Inoferio, who emceed the affair. So too Damiano Boiser, Romeo Babiera, Norma Quilope, Perla Anulao, etc.
In the end, this is all a cycle. Pierre Infante and Delita de Guzman, children of members of the school’s faculty, have taken over their parents’ jobs. Pierre, whom I got to know when I was a staff member of the Quill, is director of the student affairs office. Peter and Andrew Aznar are at the helm, representing their father Mathias III.
After all have been said and done, however, we have nothing to hold on to but the memories. We leave the homecoming site and go back to our private lives to face the challenges of the present and the uncertainty of the future. When given the time, we sit back and recall those youthful frolics and smile. That smile, I say, is what really matters.
–Candido O. Wenceslao (this came out in my column at Sun.Star Cebo on October 27, 2006)