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ROUGH CUTS | Holding daily class reunions

Vic N. Sumalinog

A little over half a century ago no one would have ever imagined that classmates during those times would be able to re-unite and interact with each other even without being physically present in a gathering.

     In our high school batch we had our silver reunion years back but only a few of our class of over 40 were able to attend the gathering at the Cebu Capitol Building social hall. Our class’ 50th year reunion was in 2017 held in a hotel not far from the same capitol building the name of which now escapes our memory.

     Among those who attended in that particular reunion were three of our teachers (if we remember it right). They were Mrs. Lolita Lapinid, Mrs. Heide Castro, both our English teachers, and Ms. Empuerto, our teacher in Spanish. Of course the weight of the years and the benefits of success had its impact on the physical appearance of each one present. There were a few who almost retained how they looked in their class yearbook picture. But still, the difference had its tell-tale signs. Yet not one from our class members present had departed from the pleasant and amiable personalities that we had when we bade goodbyes after our graduation ceremonies.

     Then there was that common wish of everyone expressed during that 50th year reunion. That is, that our class will be able to come together for our 75th year gathering. Somehow, it was one wishful thinking.

     These days however, our class seems to have our reunion on a daily basis – thanks to modern communications technology. Imagine, through internet, and such social media platforms as Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, and others our class members and teachers, all ageing graciously now, have been communicating with each other even on a daily basis and at any time convenient for everyone. Even those who were unable to attend our 50th year reunion because they are now outside of the country have established contact and are giving us updates on their lives.

     One sad note of this scheme however, is that this class interaction and communications platform also updates every member on the fate of some of us. For example we are made aware of the demise of some of our classmates. The latest shocker was the death of well-loved batch mate Cebu City Mayor Edgardo C. Labella. Then through our daily group chat we learned of the departure of our teacher Mrs. Heide Castro.

     Nevertheless, even at these times when our class members are already in our advance age we are still able to exchange bunters that can perk up our tiring bodies. We have our bubbly Estrellita Moring Guantero who seems to be so engrossed in taking care of her grandchildren. We have Norma Estremos Colon who is now widowed and still slowly moving on. She keeps an unusual style of marketing her dried fish, “ginamos”, shrimps and other sea products articles of commerce. She seems to have not developed any “rust” after years of teaching. She is now retired.

     Then we have our classmate Priscilla Solon Lim whose family is engaged in furniture manufacture and export. She is too busy keeping close guard to her three prized possessions – her handsome husband Robert and two lovely daughters. We also had Estrella, the star, who has taken a different path in serving the people. Without entering the monastery she chose to be celibate and made a mark in serving God.

     Among our male classmates keeping part of the chat group “reunion” scheme is Engr. Gaudencio Pinote. He spent most of his professional years working in Vietnam until his retirement. Guilly Paden is now in the US but he seems to have not left the Philippines at all. What with his almost daily contact with us with his religious quotes. We also have our class’ version of “white hair” in Abraham “Boy” Sevilles, a retired ocean-going vessel captain. He made a name when he and his men rescued several seafarers whose boat lost engines when it was earlier battered by a hurricane in the Carribean seas.

     Also among those keeping in touch with the other class members are friends like Fe Mondigo Antolin, Marilyn Rigor, Celestina Abarquez, Lucia Timosa Wall, Nilda Saballa and Amor Lao.

     The ladies among our class had more opportunities to band together until 2019. But with the onset of the pandemic they were also rendered “inmates” in their own households. Again, thanks to the modern technology they have a way of keeping in touch with us and our teacher Maam Lolit. 

     Perhaps, because of boredom or lack of something to do at home, they have introduced one unique game. That is, disclosing how they first find and met their spouses and some other details of their love life.  This is one funny game but interesting. “Mabuking kun kinsa ilang ‘infatuations,’ mga uyab, pila sila” before finally settling down. Let us see who are honest among our lady classmates.




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