Protest Rally Against the Principal

Tension in MHPNHS

School Standoff Now Over

01/12/07 - Malolos school standoff over

01/11/07 - Students, parents, teachers urge principal to resign

12/08/06 - Protest rally to greet comebacking principal

07/06/04 - Prelude to a Golden Jubilee, By: Raul S. Cajulis

07/06/04 - 50 Years, 446 Songs, by: Raul S. Cajulis

04/23/04 - Dear Fellow Graduates of MHPHS, By: Belarmino Cruz

03/21/01 - Class of ‘85’s & Friends’ 16th Reunion, By: Ruth Dela Rama-Dizon

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January 12, 2007 06:23 PM Friday
Malolos school standoff over

MALOLOS City " It’s over!

Students and teachers have emerged triumphant in their mass actions against the embattled principal of Marcelo H. Del Pilar National High School in Barangay Sta. Isabel here.

The atmosphere at the MHDPNHS was highly emotional students and teachers cried shortly after Education Undersecretary Franklin Sunga announced that principal Rosalina Santos will be re-assigned at the DepED City Superintendent Office and a new officer-in-charge will take over immediately.

Sunga, who was acompanied by Malolos City Mayor Danilo Domingo, Rep. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and DepEd City Superintendent Romeo Alip, held a dialogue with the protesting teachers, student representatives and parents at the school compound yesterday morning to resolve the standoff.

The protest action disrupted classes for the third day yesterday. Hundreds of students wearing black arm bands left their classroom last Tuesday to denounce Santos and DepED Region III officials for suspending seven teachers.

Sunga also announced that the suspended teachers will return to their work and that the suspension order will not be enforced in the meantime, pending the outcome of their motion for reconsideration. He said the case will now be turned over to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.

He said the re-assignment of Santos was strongly recommended to prevent her from using her position and avert possible harassments against the students and teachers.

“Dapat na nating resolbahin ito dahil kawawa ang mga bata. Dapat ay nasa classroom sila at hindi sa kalsada,” Sunga said.

Earlier, Domingo briefed Sunga that the Sangguniang Panglunsod has passed a resolution urging that a new leadership be installed at the MHDPNHS to prevent the issue from recurring again.

“While we respect and recognize academic freedom, we have to act to resolve the problem by suggesting a permanent solution. Since the problem is leadership crisis, we suggest that a new leader should be installed at the school,” Domingo said.

“Isa ang Marcelo H. Del Pilar National High School sa mga institusyon na nakikita namin na dapat alagaan dahil maraming estudyante ang nahuhubog nito sa maging magaling at kapakipakinabang na mga mamamayan,” he said.

Lorena Estidola, president of Faculty Employees Association, said they are thankful that the crisis in their school has been swiftly resolved because the NCAE of the students is forthcoming.

Sunga said that the Office of the Education Secretary will now assume jurisdiction over the matter.
People's Tonight

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January 11, 2007 08:13 PM Thursday
Malolos school tumult: Students, parents, teachers urge principal to resign
By: Emil G. Gamos and Manny Balbin
MALOLOS CITY -- Student power is rocking the historic city of Malolos.

Tension continued to grip the Marcelo H. Del Pilar National High School in Bgy. Sta. Isabel here as the deadlock between the beleaguered school principal and the group of teachers and students entered second day yesterday.

Local government officials were taking action to douse the tension as parents have threatened to join the move against the principal and after more that 240 teachers joined the rally to seek for her ouster.

The local officials said they would call the attention of the Department of Education to settle the row immediately. A belated report said a dialogue has been set between DepEd Undersecretary Franklin Sunga and the teacher representatives today.

Yesterday, at least 80 percent of the teaching staff walked out of their classes and joined their fellow teachers and hundreds of students on the ground in protesting the suspension of seven teachers. Classes were immediately suspended after the teachers’ walkout.

The suspended teachers, said a class adviser, were criticizing the principal for various “offenses.”

Clad in black T-shirts, the teachers marched off the campus, to the delight of the students, and joined their students in urging Education Secretary Jesli Lapus to sack school principal Rosalina Santos.

“Many students were crying when they saw their teachers joining them on the ground,” a teacher said.

A student, who refused to be named, said they were “gladdened that the teachers heared their voices.” He said most of the teachers at first were reluctant to join the protest for fear of reprisal. He said they were calling the remaining staff and the teachers to make a stand and join them in their “quest for truth and justice.”

These reporters had tried to talk to Santos to get her side of the issue but were informed that she won’t grant interview to reporters. There were also reports that Santos did not report for work yesterday.

The issue had already called the attention of giant networks and more media entities have started to troop to the school to cover the unfolding event.

“This is little people power. Students at their pre-teens are seen voicing their protests against their principal. We just hope that the principal is listening and step down,” a teacher said.

Disgruntled students, some carrying plackards and wearing black arm bands, banged the gates of the school and shouted “umalis ka na diyan (Santos)!”

To ensure peace and order, Malolos City police chief Supt. Manuel Lukban Jr. deployed a team of policemen in the area.

Yesterday, several teachers and parents, condembed the presence of fully-armed soldiers at the campus.

Lukban said City Mayor Danny Domingo and other officials were meeting DepEd Region III officials to resolve the situation.

“We need to settle this before it blow out of proportion,” Lukban said. He said they were at the campus to ensure peace and order.

Lorena Estidola, president of the Faculty and Employees Association, said the teachers joined the protest to show their support for their fellow teachers and to support the cause of the teachers and students. She said the student unrest was triggered by the alledged injustices commited by the principal to the teachers and students. She did not elaborate.

“Saan ka naman nakakita ng ganito? Kami ang nagreklamo, pero kami pa ang nasuspinde,” Estidola said.

Estidola said the teachers were supporting the students’ demand that Santos be removed from the school and would continue joining students in mass actions untill the issue has been resolved by the DepEd.

The mass action entered its second day yesterday with more students joining the rally that was triggered by the suspension of seven teachers by the DepEd regional office based on Santos’ complaint.

Ordered suspended for 90 days were Rosario Bagay, Amelia Bulaong, Potenciano dela Cruz, Joseph Armin Antonio, Socorro Mendoza, Wilson Tan and Victorino Maclang.

The order was signed by Dinah F. Mindo, Director IV of DepEd Central Luzon, on charges of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and dishonesty filed against them by Santos.

Mindo came under fire from both the teachers and students for being biased against the teachers. There were reports that a group of alumni will join future rallies.

A teacher, who refused to be identified, said: “Kami ang nagrereklamo laban sa abusadong prinsipal, pero bakit kami ang binabalikan? Nasaan ang katarungan?”

Dela Cruz, who has been teaching for 29 years said: “Hindi makatarungan ang pagsuspinde sa amin dahil wala man lang due process. Nagulat na lang kami nang matanggap namin ang suspension order.”

Estidola said they have received information that Santos had threatened to place the teachers who joined the rally under AWOL.

Estidola also told members of the Bulacan Capitol Press Corps that the city school superintendent had suggested to DepED Undesecretary Franklin Sunga to re-assign Santos to difuse the growing unrest at the campus.

She said the students and teachers would not settle down unless Santos has been removed from MHPNHS.

Parents of protesting students have also appealed to Lapuz and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to resolve the situation as achievement examination of students is forthcoming. They also appealed to the principal to resign.
People's Tonight

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Protest rally to greet comebacking principal
December 08, 2006 07:19 PM Friday
By: Emil G. Gamos and Manny Balbin
MALOLOS CITY -- Mass actions from disgruntled students and teachers and some members of the Parents-Teachers Association will greet the the “controversial” principal of the Marcelo H. del Pilar National High School when she returns to work here on Monday.

The principal has pending administrative cases in the Ombudsman and the Department of Education, said some teachers.

Teachers, students and parents will hold prayer rally and demonstration in school ground to dramatize their protest against comebacking principal Rosalinda Santos.

Students, who were at the forefront of mass actions in September that forced Santos to take a leave of absence, expressed shocked when they learned that the principal will resume office on Monday.

The students said they were made to believe that Santos had been transferred by the regional office of the DepEd due to some controversies in school, but Lorena Estidola, president of the school’s teachers and employees association, told People’s Tonight that the principal had only filed a two-month leave of absence on Oct. 2.

Estidola said students and teachers can no longer bear the policies of the principal.

She said their group had filed admininstrative cases against Santos at the Office of the Ombudsman three years ago and another case at the DepEd recently.

She said DepEd has not acted on their complaint yet.

“Marami sa mga estudyante ang natatakot na balikan sila dahil sa pagpoprotesta nila laban sa kanilang principal,” Estidola said.

“Dismayado rin sila dahil akala nila ay tuluyan nang na-relieve ang principal pero nag-leave lang pala.”

Estidola said they will seek the help of Malolos City Mayor Danilo Domingo and
the city council headed by Vice Mayor Noel Sakay on the controversies besetting the school.

Tonight tried to contact Santos yesterday to get her side, but the teachers said she was in Baguio for a seminar.
People's Tonight

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07/06/04
Prelude to a Golden Jubilee
By: Raul S. Cajulis

The High School Golden Reunion is probably the most anticipated and celebrated gathering of friends. A simple walk of the mind into the past about the forthcoming event usually heightens emotions to an anxiety level. It prods the imagination to revisit times and places seen from the other end of half a century. As the day gets nearer, the excitement becomes awe just thinking of the sentimental journey to be with friends and classmates once again.

This is especially true for the alumni of Marcelo H. del Pilar High School (MHPHS) Class of 1954 living in the United States and Canada. After all, the diaspora was to North America, a big landmass that separates the two largest oceans. Although they live in the same continent and even in the same city of millions of people, they remain strangers to each other. Their chance meeting is likely to happen only to accidental tourists.

Seeing a familiar face from one’s youth after more than forty years is usually followed by a stunned "Ikaw ba iyong kaiskwela ko noong araw?" But right after hearing the sound of the name that reveals a certain smile, a renewed friendship begins.

Act I

Sometime in the year 1999, MHPHS Class of 1954 began to realize there were not many years left before the 50th anniversary of their graduation. They reckoned it was time to look for classmates known to have moved somewhere in this big country. Months after posting their names and e-mail addresses on the website, alumni from the East Coast began to talk about getting together. This started with a handful of New Yorkers who welcomed and entertained friends visiting the Big Apple. With help from the Alumni Association home office in locating former classmates, the list of contact names exponentially multiplied. From then on, the idea of getting together spread from coast to coast. And like a centrifugal accelerator creating a chain reaction of good fellowship, the number of known graduates and their whereabouts grew.

Thereafter, they regularly communicated with each other and occasionally met in small regional groups. Through the wonders of digital cables and cyberspace they decided to have a yearly reunion and started planning for the Big Bang in 2004. Also, they made it a point that these prelude gatherings would be as pleasurable as the Grand Reunion itself.

There were several gatherings and whenever there were new familiar faces in the crowd, the first hour was spent matching names with the faces and some reconstruction of the then and now look. Married classmates were more difficult to recognize as they acquired characteristic features of their soul mates. The single gals retained some of their innocent features but somehow exuded a mysterious aura. The receding hairline and bulging waistline diminished the macho appeal of the guys. All agreed about the sad irreversible transformation nature has wrought. But somehow the detective’s scrutiny retraced indelible facial features of the once upon a time high school student

Act II and III

The MHPHS Class of 1954 annual meetings were held on both coasts of the continent and twice held on board a cruise line. The group’s first cruise was on board the Celebrity Cruise Line at Fort Lauderdale for a week of Western Caribbean Cruise. They were together 24 hours a day for 7 days. It was an endless celebration enjoying international gourmet meals and the amenities and entertainment provided aboard the cruise ship. This was a milestone reunion, not only for the pleasure of each other’s company but for the opportunity to visit great places in the sun: Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Conzumel, Mexico; and Key West, Florida.

The second cruise began on Saturday morning of October 5, 2002 at Port San Pedro in Long Beach. The oldies, feeling young again, boarded The Princess Star for the Mexican Riviera. It was both a vacation and businesslike gathering while touring the playground of the western world. There was nothing more relaxing than conducting an official agenda while in a luxurious floating hotel with a four star ambience. On this trip the organizational requirements were finalized and it was agreed upon to obtain a Federal Registry ID for the US / Canada Chapter. While on board they practised songs to be performed before classmates when they reach home.

For one week everybody seemed to forget the worries of old age and mundane problems. With their small pocketbooks, they experienced the pleasures and carefree ways of the rich and famous. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.

The Fat Lady Sings

The final count down began on September 27, 2003 for a seven-day reunion and late summer vacation held in Virginia Beach’s Sandbridge Resort. They rented a beach house called ‘The Regency’ with nine bedrooms and a loft to comfortably sleep 24 people. As the name implies, it is regal in every way and is located no more than 15 yards from the Atlantic Ocean. It has 2 completely furnished kitchens; a formal dining room and a breakfast nook; a reception and dancing hall; a swimming pool with adjoining Jacuzzi and a Volleyball court with a portable Barbecue grill, and a 6-car garage. Because this was the last get together before the Golden Jubilee there were more attendees. Another Beach House less than 50 yards farther, The ‘Happy Daze’ was rented to accommodate more people.

It probably will take more than a Kwento ni Lola Basyang to relate the core of activities. This final prelude gathering is remembered in highlights that served as an introduction to the grandeur of the Golden Reunion.

Day 1 – After the long exasperating travel, the youthful smiles of classmates and friends reenergized the tired old bodies. Dinner was fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and other catch from the sea, a treat for the city slickers too busy supporting restaurateurs.

Day 2 – A Sun day of rest and re-acquaintance. A 3-table game of friendly Mah Jong. Guess what? Do you believe in beginner’s luck?

Day 3 – A Chicken Cacciatore and Lasagna luncheon aboard the Carrie ‘B’ cruising the harbor reviewing the Carrier Battle Group that just returned from the "Operation Liberation of Iraq". Dinner was a especially ordered roasted whole pig from the ‘House of Lechon’ and more.

Day 4 – Early morning stroll along the Atlantic Ocean beach. Dance practice to be presented at the Golden Reunion, if the oldies can still remember the step sequences and if their arthritic joints won’t give up before the music ends.

Day 5 – A game of golf and a walk at the beach to burn calories gained from the previous days. A show of good hand, making everybody’s favorite ‘Sushi’ and merienda of Halo-Halo.

Day 6 – Shopping for the ladies at the Colonial Williamsburg designer outlet stores, a tourist magnet.

Day 7 – A revered visit of the McArthur Memorial to relive the history behind the promise "I shall return". More Dance practice.

The Curtain Call

January 22-25, 2004 is the long awaited magical date, the 50th anniversary gala celebration of their high school graduation in their home country of long ago.

With apology to Lao Tzu, I would like to describe MHPHS Class of 1954’s traveled ways to the Golden Reunion as ‘a journey of a thousand miles (that) began with a single step’.

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07/06/04
50 Years, 446 Songs
by: Raul S. Cajulis

There were 446 songs written for the Marcelo H. del Pilar High School Class of 1954. It took 50 years to write the coda. There was a dirge, a slow sad song, for each of the 94 who had crossed the bar. Their names were memorialized in the pages of the Golden Jubilee yearbook. There was also a song, a wish, for the 114 whose names were remembered but who could not join the celebration. There was a paean, a song of trial, tribulation and triumph, for the 238 celebrating life and a once in a lifetime occasion.

The 4-day Golden Jubilee Celebration was held in 4 different locations: at the school's old site and in its new location; at the Paradise Resort in Malolos; and the gala night was at the Manila Hotel. Through all these 4 days these paean songs were heard incessantly. The medley of tunes is a collection of mischievous tales from Huckleberry Finn-like adventures to Horatio Alger rags to riches stories. There was also a libretto, a song of devotion, for each of those who gave their precious time putting together the program to make this occasion a treasured event. And a song of ecstasy for each of those giving the best rendition and interpretation of their art.

These were their stories:

A group of mischievous boys eyeballing the girls during their physical training class as they changed their outfits, only to find out that the bloomers covered them down to the kneecaps. The fun was in the boys' impish behavior. The satisfaction was in the serendipity and laughter after each misadventure.

The teen talks among girls about who was dating whom. Finding out their trysts was not a secret in a small town. However, after 50 years the baffling question was 'what happened?' They will never know but that will not change the friendship they knew during their high school's days.

The lame excuses for not submitting homework, for being late, and missing a school day. High school students knew that not all the teachers were gullible. Both the student and the teacher believed that accepting the rationalization was part of education.

Those who joined the Diaspora and became expatriates have their trials and triumphs. They all learned the difficulty of being an independent individual among strangers. Most of them are professionals and career motivated, but they needed to adjust to the new environment. Those with children found the task of being a mother, a nurse and a teacher to their kids was more than challenging. They had to learn how to cook and to drive in the fast highways or in snail paced school districts. They were called soccer moms or bench warmers in Little League try outs. They became an all ear audience for a hopeful Julliard School potential. But they found out that the hard lifeline to maturity, after all, was rewarding.

The boys worked hard to be good providers. Their macho image shrunk behind the vacuum cleaner and in front of the dish washer sink. But they did not forsake their dreams. These dreams revved up to first gear when they started to buy a brand new automobile for the first time, then a tire burner sport's car. Most of them ended with a two-car garage home. Behind each car was a story. It recalled the experience of passing the driver's license test and getting the first traffic violation ticket. This involved a feeling of anxiety when filling out forms and anticipating court appearances.

Stories most shared by these expatriates were meeting a classmate for the first time in the least expected places; their desire to find out if there were other classmates around, and the possibility of getting together; then organizing their reunion outside the homeland.

Stories from the homeland were mostly on reviewing the Class Prophecy from the Class of 1954 Journal 'The Republic'. And finding out the fulfillment and the surprise and unexpected outcome. They talked about classmates in the "Who is Who' in the world of academia and business. Where are they now? They talked of the Horatio Alger stories of the bright boy from Paombong; of another who was accepted to a prestigious military school; of the doctors, engineers, teachers, nurses and their struggles and status in life.

Behind the scene stories grew during the meetings of the past 2 years preparing for the occasion. Ideas, issues and suggestions for the yearbook were filtered through loving screens. The fruit of their labor may not be flawless but in every way accepted with gratitude by all.

Songs rendered by the familiar voices of classmates, now familiar to a larger audience in the country and even outside, took them back to the days of their youth. Fifty years may have passed but this Class of 1954 can still pluck the 'anklong' and do honor to the traditional Rigodon.

The surprise love song was etched by footprints on the sands of Virginia Beach before the reverse diaspora to the homeland for the big event, and a celebration of classmates and friends at the host's home.

The final aria was about the continuing reunions. Back of everyone's mind was the critical time factor for 65 year-olds who have watched the sturdy tree of their togetherness shed some precious golden leaves. They talked of getting together again more frequently, in year 2006 and 2008.

I am an outside witness to all these wonderful events, listening to their songs. I'd like to be there too again before my own swan song.

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04/23/04
Dear Fellow Graduates of MHPHS and organizers of this Website,

I just learned this website for about 2 months ago. And when I visited it, I found it very useful especially to our association. We don’t have one like this in our country yet as far as I know it. We thank God for giving you the time and wisdom to come up with one that would definitely let every graduates of our Alma Mater, here and abroad, express their thoughts and their greetings to one and all and keep everyone posted with what is happening to our school. Congratulations for a job well done. Let me, through this therefore, inform everybody of what is the latest, if in case, it has not reached you and circulated yet. The Marcelo H. del Pilar National High School (MHPNHS), formerly MHPHS and formerly Bulacan High School (BHS), Alumni Association has been organized last December 6, 1998 through a General Homecoming and the

Elected Officers:
President: Ernesto Ramos
Vice-president: Maximino Tolentino
Secretary: Arnelia Trajano
Treasurer: Esperanza Salas
Auditor: Illuminada Catap
Advisers: Felipe Cruz & Ruben Reyes

Board of Directors
Luis Santiago
Dioscoro Valenzuela
Celestino Geronimo
Rolando Valenzuela
Cesar Bautista
Ligaya Dinio
Mafras Gaspa
Teresita Mariano
Belarmino Cruz

We have been running the association through our own capabilities and effort, on a voluntary basis and of course through limited timed since everybody is busy with their own job. Our funding came mostly through the Alumni Fee that we were able to collect through the kindness of Ms. Rosalina Santos, the present principal of the school, and from donations of some of our benevolent alumnus. This fund is likewise spent through our scholarship program where we have 10 Fourth Year scholars every year receiving 400 pesos monthly stipend each for 10 months. (That’s 40,000 pesos a year.) For the last 5 years, modestly aside, we were able to accomplish this. Thank God. Our Alma Mater will be celebrating its centennial foundation next year, 2005. The association met through a convention of Class Governors/ Presidents, together with the officers, last March 7, 2004 and preparations for this celebration were discussed although no concrete plans yet. ( I am sending picture taken during the convention.) We are waiting for the program to be initiated by the school administration so we can think of what we can share and how and where we can come in. We are soliciting ideas on how we can participate actively in this coming centennial celebration. (Please send your ideas through this address and we will consider them in the board meeting.) The association is thinking of having again a general homecoming to coincide with this celebration. We will inform you especially the date once we have finalized it. Together with the homecoming is election of officers. We are actually overstaying officers, some of us has been replaced through appointment. We need new breed of alumni members to run the association. I hope everybody there will be informed about this. Also considered in the convention is the putting up of an Alumni Affairs Office in the school to be inaugurated during the celebration that will house everything about the school and the association now and before. Before the convention ended, on how its class organization can help in the scholarship program and to be able to sustain our limited sources of fund, it was agreed that each graduating class organization will be requested to donate at least 2,000 pesos in lieu of the annual membership fee of 100 pesos per member for the meantime until we have updated our membership directory, hence annual membership can be fully collected. Donations such as the 2,000 pesos and other amounts can be sent through our account name, MHPHS Alumni Association, Philippine Savings Bank (PS Bank Malolos Branch) Account # 028-112-000610. Just inform us through this e-mail address whether a class, a group, or an individual, has sent their donations for proper recognition and issuance of receipts. Thank you very much in advance and more power to you all.

Sincerely yours,
Belarmino S. Cruz
Class 1974
Acting Treasurer

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03/21/01
Class of ‘85’s 1V-Narra & Friends’ 16th Year Grand Reunion.

It was a day most everyone eagerly anticipated… and when it came, everybody wished that day won’t ever come to an end. If we had the power to stretch every minute of that day to make another extra day, I guess I wouldn’t be committing a mistake when I say that I think nobody would hesitate to do just that. It was a day like no other, the day when time stood still and brought us back to the way we once were.

I’m talking about Batch ‘85’s 1V-Narra & Friends’ 16th year grand reunion held last December 29, 2001 at Ciudad Clementino in San Isidro1, Paombong, Bulacan. Dubbed as “ batch85@sixteen.com,” the reunion brought back long lost friends, classmates and teachers who had the extraordinary privilege of witnessing the refreshing innocence and rawness of our growing up years. It was a carefree day of fun and games, of seriously catching up on one another, reliving the past and wondering what could have been…

Just imagine this?kinakanta pa lang namin ang Pambansang Awit, sa pagkumpas ni dating Binibining Rosalina ?Boots? Bernardo-Navarro, nagngisngisan na kami (shades of high school?) . Don’t get us wrong, we were not irreverent or something but somehow, even at that early stage, our hearts and minds were already so excited at the thought of having this whole day to ourselves, that we felt like being transported back in time?to the way we once were.

After the opening prayers were said by Chona Reyes, we immediately followed it up by a checking of attendance, (roll call baga, parang dati, with matching taas ng kamay and shouts of “present” or “absent” or the more familiar, “late!”) wherein we updated one another of our present status now, amidst the giggles and “kantiyaws” of our classmates. Nag welcome remarks din syempre ang aming class valedictorian na si Madonna Salonga-Mempin at talaga namang tumagos sa puso ng bawat isa ang kanyang mga sinabi.

And after that, naku…non-stop games na! Hosted by Roehl Cruz and Ruth de la Rama-Dizon, nagkagulo ang lahat sa mga makabago at makasaysayang mga laro tulad ng “trip to Jerusalem…talong version,” (bago yan, ha? Naging bayani rito si Gaspar de Guzman, matapos pag-agawan nina Cristy Almario-Santiago at Elisa Sumandal-________). Meron din kaming Hep-hep Hooray kung saan nagkapit bisig ang lahat (parang tuwang tuwa si Luken dito sa portion na ito...bakit kaya?), Lifesavers- kung saan naman aming napagtanto ang likas na kagalingan ng aming mga kamag-aral sa larangan ng teamwork.

That day, napag-alaman din namin na di pa rin kumukupas at wala pa ring tatalo sa MHPHS All-time Best Actress Awardee na si Boots Bernardo sa kanyang madamdaming pagganap sa role ng isang “baliw.” Imagine, kinanta nya ang isang pagkasaya sayang awitin sa saliw ng kanyang makabagbag damdaming pag-iyak! Ngunit di ata napigil ng kanyang mga kagrupo na humalakhak kaya ayun, natalo din ang grupo nila at nagwagi pa rin ang walang kangiti-ngiting grupo nina Gaspar de Guzman, Egoy Bartolome, Vec Santomin-Rosin, Eliza Nicolas, Rowena de Mesa-Valmocina, Apeng Almario at Fabian de Guzman.

Meron ding patalasan ng kamay (bago yon, ha?) sa larong “Find the Pin” kung saan nagwagi ang mag partner na si ___________ at si ____________. At syempre pa, mawawala pa ba naman ang paborito ng lahat na “Truth & Consequence?” na talaga namang hit na hit sa lahat. Sayang nga lang, hindi man lang naisayaw ni Roehl ang kanyang giliw na si Bel..hehehe. Hindi lang yan, nagkaroon din kami ng mga pa-raffle na talagang pinakaabangan ng balana. Merong nag-uwi ng mga cake, jacket, cd rack, payong, at marami pang ibang nakakatuwang papremyo. Syempre pa, meron din kaming mga “serious moments, ” sa ginawang Group Dynamics kung saan sinariwa naming lahat ang nakalipas na panahon nung kami’y mga musmos pa.

Laking saya at gulat din ng lahat ng kami ay bisitahin ng aming mga beloved teachers na sina Miss Trinidad Tecson (adviser namin nung first year) at Miss Imelda Galang na talaga namang lab na lab namin. Dahil sa angking kagalingan ng dalawang ito, duon naman nila ipinamamahagi ang kanilang kaalaman sa Division Office kung saan sila Secondary School Superintendents for Math and Filipino, respectively. Favorite din daw nila kami dahil kami ang ?pinakamaingay? sa lahat ng kanilang nahawakang klase?what an honor talaga, di ba? They also reminded us to always be united as a class and to help each other out in times of need. They also said that they were basically happy for us for they have realized that all their labor was not in vain?hopefully

Sayang nga lang at di sila nag-abot ng isa pang Filipino teacher na humabol sa aming reunion na si Mrs. Felicitas Calma. Kasama ang kanyang asawa at anak, nakisaya din si Mam Calma at masayang bumati sa aming klase.

After that, para ulit kaming mga bata na naglalaro ng naglaro ulit at talaga namang non-stop ang aming saya at hagikgikan. Pag nauubos na ang lakas kakatawa, syempre, kain naman dyan naman ang aming drama. Nagkaroon din syempre kami ng maraming “kodakan” para ipakita ulit sa susunod na reunion ang mga naging pagbabago sa aming mga physical attributes pagdating nga panahon na yon..naku, katakutakot na panlalait na naman siguro ang aabutin ko. Nandon din sina Paul Gatchalian at Tristan Zafra with Fred Pangan, who came all the way from Canada that day, to faithfully record the goings-on on camera.

Kung pamilyar kayo sa mga hit na hit na game shows hindi lang sa Pinas kundi sa iba pang bahagi ng mundo na “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” at “ The Weakest Link,” aba syempre, meron din kaming version yan. Mas maganda pa nga kasi ang sa amin, “Who wants to be the Weakest Link?” Kaya game na ba kayo? Dahil me mapapanalunang P1,000.00, aba sumali ang lahat ng bukal sa kanilang puso..walang pilitang nangyari Game na game na sinagot ng mga magkakatunggali ang mga tanong tungkol sa mga bagay bagay nung high school pa kami at talaga namang ang gagaling pa rin ng memorya ng lahat…pero syempre me isa lamang nagwawagi at siya ay walang iba kundi si Hermie Carelo, na pagkatapos manalo ay umabot ng pagkarami-raming kantyaw mula sa lahat para maglibre. Dahil dito, marami ang umuwi ng luhaan…

Bago kami naghiwa hiwalay, isa sa mga highlights ng affair ay ang panonood namin ng isang video presentation na pinaghirapang ginawa ni Tristan Zafra. Hango ang presentation na ito dun sa mga old pictures namin nung high school na inipon namin mula sa aming mga kaklase ng halos isang taon. Meron din mga pagbati duon ang aming mga kaklase na nakabase na sa abroad tulad nina Edith Soteco-de la Cruz at Ederlinda de la Cruz-Hennig. Magkahalong saya at lungkot ang emosyong aming naramdaman, una, dahil sa naalala naming muli ang saya ang high school at dahil sa tawa kami ng tawa sa mga makapanindig balahibong mga itsura namin nuon at pangalawa dahil alam namin na hindi na babalik pa kailanman ang mga panahon na iyon.

Sa paglubog ng araw nuong araw ng Sabado na iyon, katulad ng sabi ko kanina, kung mahihila lang namin ito pabalik, siguro, ginawa na namin. Pero katulad din ng high school, alam namin na kailangang matapos din ito para makapagsimula ulit at maipagpatuloy ang paggulong ng buhay. Pero siguro lang, hindi ako magkakamali kapag sinabi ko na somehow, that day, we were all wishing that we could all live those four years all over again…


WE WERE THERE !
( in no particular order)

Alberto Almario, Emman Carating, Enrico Tante, Hermie Carelo, Fabian de Guzman, Edilberto Bartolome, Ogie Bulaong, Gaspar de Guzman, Roehl Cruz, Paul Gatchalian, Florencio Dionisio, Jr. Felipe Urbano, Arthur Buendia, Tristan Zafra, Carlos Vistan, Fred Pangan

Vec Santomin, Jesusa Jasmin, Vicky Villanueva, Liza Mangaran, Niza de la Cruz, Vicky Javier, Boots Bernardo, Eliza Dacara, Elisa Sumandal, Chona Reyes, Carina Coronado, Eliza Nicolas, Ruth de la Rama, Rowena de Mesa, Brigida Ladia, Madonna Salonga, Cristy Almario, Bel Breboneria, Damasa Dionisio, Miriam Eusebio, Joan Capule, Analie Cervantes

Teachers: Miss Trinidad Tecson, Miss Imelda Galang, Mrs. Felicitas Calma




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