What are high school class reunions for?
By Mon Ramirez
Our Albay High School class of 1961 already had five reunions: in 1969, 1971, 1979 and 1993; our classmates in North America held a mini-reunion there in 1994. The sixth will be held in May this year at the same school grounds that our young feet trod on daily 45 years ago. Five years from now, in 2011, we will have the grandest of them all, our golden jubilee.
Organizing and attending a class reunion requires efforts of will and a substantial amount of time, quite apart from the fact that it grabs some resources from their original intended allocations. Nevertheless, all of us are truly excited to hold a class reunion and we look forward to it with eager expectation. This explains why our classmates, especially those in North America, even if they could not themselves attend a reunion due to some circumstances, would willingly lend logistical support and would enthusiastically encourage other classmates to attend.
What drives us to come together and meet each other again, flying in from as far a place as the USA and Canada?
There is probably no single and definitive answer to that. Whatever it is, it must have something to do with the reality that our high school years comprised the period of our lives when we knew we were no longer kids but still not yet adults. That period was the time of our lives when we were growing at a pace that sometimes bewildered us.
Thus, because our young minds were like sponges that could soak in water, we could grasp, sometimes with difficulty, what our teachers were telling us: floating on water and the Archimedes principle; the relationship of the three sides of a triangle and the Pythagorean theorem; the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly; better ways of planting corn and camote and the effective merchandising of soft drinks and snacks; new words and phrases and the world’s literature including JFK’s inaugural address which classmate Oca delivered so well on a fine morning in Mrs. Soliman’s English class; and many more that we came to know for the first time and which made a great impression on us..
At the same time, because our emotions were acquiring a certain complexity that we were not always able to understand, we were becoming keenly aware of the classmates around us in various settings that included the classrooms, the library hall, the grandstand and sports stadium and the wide open spaces with the famous volcano looming high in the distance especially at eight in the morning when no clouds blocked the view. Best of all, we were thrilled to cloud 9 when somebody we had developed a fondness for walked by us, as did a pretty girl in a junior year whose name I cannot now recall but whose face has been memorized to the last pixel.
A talk about a high school class reunion always triggers in our minds a parade of images from those years past which we like to view with much amusement and with the warmest of affections as the Beatles did in their song “In My Life” or Lucio San Pedro in his classic “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan.”
At a time when all of us are past our sixtieth birthday, with a few already having their second or third wind, collective recollection of those years and sharing of experiences since then and specially the recent ones prod us to meet our classmates again. As the mini reunions and the email exchanges have shown, we have become very comfortable with each other, we have become “jokative”, and we could enjoy a hearty laugh at our expense.
The May 2006 reunion previews the 2011 golden anniversary of AHS Class 1961. We look forward to enjoying this one and then the golden one that we hope we all could attend with our wits and health still intact and in fine condition. #