By Herman M. Lagon
I RECENTLY found myself in the enviable position of being invited to a series of reunions. These gatherings ranged from my grade school classmates at Bo. Obrero Elementary School to my Ateneo de Iloilo family via their “Big Blue Night” for alumni and through the wedding of my former Ignatian formators. Sadly, I had to decline these invitations due to a prior commitment—attending a work training workshop in Boracay with my ISUFST family. However, this Boracay trip turned into a fun-filled reunion party at the end of the three-day session. And if that was not enough, there is yet another reunion looming on the horizon with my former co-teachers at Ateneo de Iloilo Senior High School, fondly calling ourselves the “Proud Founding Fathers and Mothers” of the unit. This time, I promise not to miss the fun of reminiscing about our shared roller-coaster journeys against the backdrop of sumptuous meals, juicy discussions of issues and intrigues, and the usual videoke highlights.
The excitement surrounding reunions is always surreal, especially during the holiday season, powered by the 13th-month pay and various Christmas gifts and bonuses. Reunions, whether with family, friends, co-workers, or classmates, hold a special place in our hearts, offering many valuable experiences and benefits.
Initially, the thought of attending a reunion can be intimidating. Childishly, we sometimes want to present ourselves as young and successful as we once were. Anxieties and fears about facing old classmates or friends can creep in. However, bridging the gap between old friends has become easier thanks to digital communication platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Snapchat, and Viber. These platforms help maintain connections, reducing the sense of physical distance and making it less daunting to reconnect.
In my personal experience, the Messenger Group Chats (GCs) with my grade school and high school classmates have fostered a sense of connectedness. It brings together diverse personalities and viewpoints, creating a vibrant online community where we share updates on our lives, discuss various topics, and reminisce about the good old days.
But what are the real benefits of attending these face-to-face reunions? First and foremost, they offer us a chance to reconnect physically, bridging the gap created by time and distance. As we meet again, we appreciate personal growth and achievements, celebrate the memories of departed friends, and reaffirm the value of old friendships.
Reunions also serve as a reminder to appreciate life’s journey, regardless of any perceived failures or unmet aspirations. They prompt us to be grateful for the gift of life and the opportunity to share it with those who have walked beside us.
One of the most joyful aspects of reuniting with old friends is reliving and recounting shared memories from our younger days. Laughter and nostalgia fill the air as we exchange stories and experiences, making us feel young again.
Old friends are irreplaceable. They provide support, understanding, and a sense of belonging as we all navigate the complexities of adulthood. These friendships are like timeless treasures, growing more precious each year.
Attending reunions offers valuable emotional and personal growth benefits. It emphasizes the significance of physical meetings, allowing us to relive precious memories and reaffirm the enduring value of old friendships. They bring us back to a place where laughter is abundant, shared experiences are celebrated, and the bonds of friendship are rekindled.
Furthermore, reunions with loved ones, be they family, friends, classmates, or former co-workers, provide a wide range of benefits, including emotional connection, support, stress relief, a sense of belonging, shared traditions, access to networks, personal growth, celebration, relationship nurturing, and the preservation of legacies and traditions. These experiences contribute to overall happiness and well-being. They remind us that, as Richard Bach writer puts it, “meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”
Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.
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