Ruby Celebration


Feb. 18, 2008 -  "Sana Maulit Muli" - The theme of our 40th Anniversary Celebration best describes what every batchmate felt as we wound up our 3-day anniversary celebration yesterday.  "It was well worth coming home to."  "We hope our other batch mates would be encouraged to attend our forthcoming reunions once they see the fun time we all had."  - These are some of the comments of our batch mates who attended our ruby anniversary celebration last Feb. 15-17, 2008. 

Day 1 - Batch Party:
The evening's celebration began early last Feb. 15, 2008 as batchmates who attended the batch party started trooping to  the clubhouse of Corinthian Gardens as early as 5:30 p.m.  As they registered, each member of  batch'68 was given a plastic laminated ID showing his/her high school graduation picture and name with our 40th anniversary logo.  So, as we milled around talking to newfound batchmates, we couldn't help but look at their high school picture in the ID they were wearing and compare it to their present appearance.  In general, I must say that despite the added lines and pounds here and there, and for the "Top Gone" for some of the boys, the batch'68 has remained youthful looking.  (Mukhang mga silver jubilarians instead of ruby.)

An audio visual presentation of old high school photos and batch activities both here and abroad entertained the crowd as they waited for the program proper to start.  Chito Pangilinan led the opening prayers and grace before meals.  The buffet table was filled with a wide array of mouth-watering dishes to choose from.  We had crepes filled with crispy lechon and duck, rolled bangus belly, grilled tuna (donated by Ricky Yatco), lechon (donated by Ed Alimagno) and many more.  The Manila contingent prepared a special '60s dance number complete with their retro attire.  The group composed of Bebet Gozun, Odette Wallace, Baby Balatbat De Guzman, Liway Geronimo, Renee De Los Reyes Nolasco, Evelyn Reyes Laurel, Jojo Panganiban and Arminda Espenilla, together with Jun Tullao brought the house down with their dance number, reminiscent of the movie "Grease".  On the other hand, the West Coast group showcased their comedic flaire via a comedy skit featuring Chito Cardenas and Jayvee Omaña posing as main actors in a movie production with Chito Pangilinan as the clapper for the next scene and Chito Zuniga as the irate director.  The musical director was played by Ernie Morales with Cory GIllera, Luisa Acal Novenario and Rosalinda Ocampo Espejo as the make-up girls.  The East Coast group had an impromptu number - a swing dance featuring Merle Cruz Encarnacion with Rey Protacio and Peck Pecaña, alternating as her partners.  Andring Maranan provided the background music with his flute. 

To provide more fun and spice to the party, a series of contests were held.  First was the most "Top Gone" (or hair loss) among the boys.  It was a close fight between Andring Maranan and Chito Zuniga, that it was declared a tie.  Next, our heavyweights were called in front to determine who has the biggest tummy.  Gurmel Singh was the sure fire winner.  The last contest was for the batchmate who has the most number of grandchildren.  Lody Ramos Uy, who has fourteen grandchildren, won.  Actually, with her svelte figure, she doesn't look like a Grandma at all.  "Gandang Lola".

As promised, aside from give-aways  which consisted of the Veritas reprint, CD of '60s music (courtesy of Chito Cardenas) and an anniversary T-Shirt,  everyone came home with a raffle prize, thanks to our batch mates who donated the raffle prizes.   The major prizes consisted of a free stay at Club Panoly in Boracay (courtesy of Jojo Panganiban), 2 electric bikes (donated by Bebet Gozun and John Tan), an I-Pod (donated by Olive Tiburcio) and $500 (donated by a batchmate, who has requested to remain anonymous).  The lucky winner of $500 was Renee De Los Reyes Nolasco.

The emcees for the evening- Odette Wallace, Jun Tullao and George Tadena, did a fine job interviewing and introducing our batchmates.  There was dancing all evening with music provided by the  band - Behind Closed Doors who performed  songs by the Beatles, Dave Clark Five and other top bands during our time.  You can see most batch mates dancing the bye-bye, soul, watusi, cha-cha and bugaloo.  That evening, we were all  transported back in time and felt like we were in high school again, attending parties.  The party ended way past midnight.  I heard that some batchmates even went to McDonalds to continue their bonding and went home at around 3 am.  (Talagang feeling high school students pa rin.)

Day 2 - UST Grand Alumni Homecoming:
The following day, Feb. 16 (Saturday), batch'68 met at around 4:00 p.m. at the UST High School for a courtesy call at the office of the Fr. Regent, Rev. Fr. Rodel Aligan, O.P.     We were greeted with a performance by the High School Glee Club who rendered some Tagalog love songs.  Fr. Rodel even accompanied them in the piano.  When the glee club rendered some Beatles songs, the batch'68 led by Bebet Gozun, Don Mejia, Renee De Los Reyes, Ernie Morales, Flora Baetiong Leyba and other batchmates gamely danced and sang with the high school kids.  Our batch pledged to donate direct to the UST High School.  Don Mejia and Bebet Gozun promised to meet with the high school principal Mrs. Eden Tolentino (who was not around during our courtesy call since she was with the College of Education who was also celebrating their Silver Jubilee) and the Fr. Regent to determine the immediate needs of the high school and how our batch can help. 

At past 5:00 p.m. we then proceeded to the Main Building for the courtesy call at the Office of the Rector, Rev. Fr. Rolando De La Rosa.  The group of Odette Wallace, Baby De Guzman, Liway Geronimo, Evelyn De Los Reyes Laurel, Susan Pineda, Jun Reinoso, Gurmel Singh and others were already there when we arrived.  Fr. De La Rosa was a gracious host who accommodated our request for a picture-taking.  He even gave us a personal tour of the refurbished UST Museum which was then featuring the works of  Joey Velasco.  Mr Velasco is the famous painter of Hapag-Asa, a modern interpretation of the last supper featuring Jesus Christ with the street children instead of the 12 apostles.  When the boys saw a sample of an old printing press used during olden times, they were saying that this was the same instrument used for circumcision. Kulang na lang daw ang dinikdik na bayabas para pang buga. They started laughing, but to their embarrassment, they found out that Fr. De La Rosa was right behind them.  The good father pretended not to hear anything.  Another picture taking ensued at the stairs leading to the museum. 

The Grand Alumni Homecoming celebration started with a holy mass concelebrated by several Dominican priests.  It was held at the grounds in front of the main building.  In his homily, the officiating priest explained that as Thomasians, we are blessed to have the White and Gold colors as our symbol, since gold is something precious and white represents purity - these two colors embody our university motto "Veritas"  or truth which is precious and pure.  He also enjoined everyone to pray for and emulate our fellow Thomasian, Jun Lozada, who is  bravely battling for the truth to come out in his on-going Senate testimonies.  After the mass, we then proceeded to the tables designated for the UST High School Batch 1968 and partook of the prepared dinner.  The program proper started - with the College of Engineering Silver Jubilarians as the evening's hosts.  The homecoming was well attended with representatives from different colleges.   To our surprise, we saw batchmate Danny Singson, who was registering with the College of Medicine for the alumni homecoming.  Danny, who is now based in Delaware, U.S.A. and is practicing medicine there, was totally clueless about our 40th anniversary celebration. He stayed for awhile to chat with his high school friends.

The Grand Alumni Homecoming is sort of a dry run for the 400th anniversary of UST in 2011.  So we hope to see all of you three years from now.

Day 3 - Batch Outing:
The final leg of our 3-day anniversary celebration was  the batch outing at Eucalyptus Bay Resort in Muntinlupa City, along Laguna De Bay, which is owned by our batchmate Gani Buenaflor.  (Thanks again Gani for letting us use the place.)  The entire place was decorated with "banderitas" and really had the barrio fiesta atmosphere. 

The afternoon began with a cultural show featuring the Muntinlupa Dance Troupe.  They presented several native dances in colorful costumes.  As a finale, a tinikling dance  was performed with some of our batch mates gamely joining in the dance.  Wala namang naipitan ng paa.   We would like to thank Bebet Gozun for bringing the Muntinlupa Dance Troupe and for shouldering the group's talent fee. 

Lunch followed immediately after the show.  We wish to acknowledge the generosity of Odette Wallace, who provided for most of the food during our outing.  We had chicken and liempo inasal, grilled veggies with bagoong balayan, grilled fish (courtesy of Gani Buenaflor) caldereta, chicharon, sisig, laing (courtesy of Caloy Corsiga), pancit palabok, lechon (courtesy of Ed Alimagno) puto and dinuguan, lumpiang sariwa, crispy okoy (courtesy of Albert & Lorna Buenviaje)  and tokwa't baboy.   Our foreign-based batch mates had their fill of  bibingka, and puto bumbong which were cooked right on the spot.  For dessert, there was a wide array of native kakanin, fresh fruits, halo-halo and cinnamon roll (courtesy of Baby Balatbat De Guzman's St. Cinnamon).  There was also a sorbetero who dished out ice cream in cones in various flavors - cheese, mango, ube, etc.  As if our lunch was not heavy enough, there were again loads of food for merienda - nilagang mais, banana and camote que, and taho (donated by Marisol Lim Ibañez.). 

Aside from the overflowing fantastic food, batchmates were also given the option to avail of a  body massage  performed by masseurs brought by Emma Ruivivar Yeung and Liway Geronimo Pelayo.  Emma gave away free Katinko ointment for muscle aches which were used by the masseurs.  A lot of batchmates and guests availed of the relaxing massage.     

The real fun began after lunch when we had our games.  The boys gamely participated in "Maria went to market" where they have to dress up in a tie around skirt and bandana complete with hat and basket and sway their hips while walking.  There were two rounds of the "Blanket" game in which each team should be able to randomly name the members of the other team correctly.  The next game consisted of the "Boat is sinking, and you have to group yourself into a specific number of persons."  This is the game where there are no real friends - ilalaglag ka kung kailangan.  There was also a ball relay game featuring husbands and their wives.  But the game that really brought the house down was the Banana Version of the Trip To Jerusalem. The boys, forming a circle had a banana in between their thighs and the girls dance around them and  when the music stops they scramble towards the boys to grab a banana.  It was a close game between  Ruby Espiritu and Lody Ramos Uy who were both really determined to get the remaining banana which was then in between the thighs of Ricky Yatco.   In the end, Lody Ramos prevailed over Ruby.

We were supposed to end at around 4:00 p.m.  but nobody wanted to go home.  When the sound system started playing the music of the '60s everyone started singing and dancing and performed a line dance which circled around the swimming pool.  It was with a heavy heart that we had to part ways, but with a promise to repeat the same experience in 2011, together with the 400th anniversary of UST.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Ruby Organizing Committee led by our Chairperson Bebet Gozun and our President Don Mejia for leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the 3-day 40th anniversary will be a successful one.  Of course, in the end, what matters most is the attendance of our batchmates.  So we would like to thank everyone who attended the 3-day event - our batchmates here in the Phil. and  our foreign-based batch mates most of whom  had to leave behind their family and jobs just to celebrate with us.   Also, we would like to acknowledge the generosity of our foreign-based batchmates who, despite their absence, sent their donations to help fund our activities.  We hope you will be able to make it next time.   Mabuhay ang Batch'68!!!

Please click the links below to view some of the initial pictures of the event. .  We hope to post some more pictures once we receive them from our official photographer and as our batchmates start to send them. Thanks to Jun Reinoso,  Andring Maranan, Ruby Espiritu Magsaysay, Ernie Morales and Connie Romana Saavedra for sharing their pictures.  (Calling on other batchmates who have pictures, kindly share them with us for posting in our website. Thanks for your cooperation.)

Photos of Batch Party on Feb. 15, 2008 (Part 1)

Photos of Batch Party on Feb. 15, 2008 (Part 2)

Photos of UST Grand Alumni Homecoming on Feb. 16, 2008 (Part 1)

Photos of UST Grand Alumni Homecoming on Feb. 16, 2008 (Part 2)

Photos of Batch Outing at Eucalyptus Resort on Feb. 17, 2008 (Part 1)

Photos of Batch Outing at Eucalyptus Resort on Feb. 17, 2008 (Part 2)

Photos of Batch Outing at Eucalyptus Resort on Feb. 17, 2008 (Part 3)

Photos of Batch Outing at Eucalyptus Resort on Feb. 17, 2008 (Part 4)

Photos of Batch Outing at Eucalyptus Resort on Feb. 17, 2008 (Part 5)


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