I was generally not exceptional in my elementary days, although there were bright spots: first honor in Grade 1 in Argao and those tests I surprisingly passed before graduation–Science High and Cebu School of Arts and Trade scholarships (funny but I was in the top 10 among all takers in Cebu in the Science High exams when I didn’t like my Science subject), plus a passing grade in the Abellana National School entrance exams. No wonder I did not do good, even dropped out, in my first year in Science High.
I was sickly (battling asthma throughout my elementary years) and afflicted with a serious case of inferiority complex, especially after I transferred from Argao to the City Central School in Cebu City when I was in Grade 2. But while I wasn’t serious in my studies, I did manage to float in the upper levels of my batch, or in Section 1 in a school that had more than 20 sections. Thus the fond memories of those days in City Central’s main building that housed the higher sections of every grade level.
I recalled those days because some members of City Central School’s Batch 1972 have met twice already in the past several months, talking about the old days and planning a reunion. After more than three decades, it’s tough recalling the details of those innocent times because what is usually retained by the mind are only a few scenes that were either too painful or too joyous. Besides, the faces of classmates have changed, though there are a few features and twitches that remind us of the kids we were.
Our last gathering was on January 3, 2007 at the Laguna Garden Cafe. Among those who attended were Fe Marie Maningo-Perez, Wilfreda Lepiten-Misterio, Leonilo Llenes, Emerson Donaldo, Lilu Itaas-Aliño, Brenda Tamarra (who is now Maria Steffens), Edwin Colipapa, Eva Potot-Cabrera, Shirley Montebon-Concepcion, Lilibeth Verano-Branzuela, Antonietta Casepong-Plarisan, Anthony Borinaga, Erlinda Paican-Ponla and myself.
Because I am the only journalist in the batch, those who attended tasked me to set up the e-group, which I did after learning more about the technology through yahoo. With my experince in setting up this blog, I also busied myself initially setting up the Batch 72 City Central blog. That, in turn, took some of my time from this blog, which is now in dire need of constant updating with new posts.
Still, the experience was worthwhile. Communication with some of former classmates has picked up, constantly feeding the mind with new stories on those largely forgotten times. There are reports of new former classmates found, forcing us to try to recall the faces linked to those names. Actually, we should have done this ten or twenty years ago. But it is not too late.
This won’t be the first time then I will be writing about Batch 72. When you grow old, recalling the good days become sweeter and more meaningful. Especially because, for me, only my elementary and high school days provided many memorable moments. In City Central, the innocent frolic and in Southwestern University High School Department, my effort to finally excel in academics while enjoying adolescence.
–Candido O. Wenceslao (January 13, 2007)