Oct. 22, 2010 - We are reprinting below the email of Michael Mendonez, the Chairperson of the USTHS'68 NYC 2010 reunion:
"Dear USTHS68 Batch Mates,
After recuperating from the NYC 2010 Reunion, I find so many of you who have called or emailed or even made wonderful comments at the FaceBook website. It was such a success! I would like to thank all those who made this possible. The beautiful "Joey Bote" flower centerpieces on each table on top of the colorful lines and runners with sparkles, master mined by the Canlas-es, Jolly and Telits. The gifts, door prizes (donated by the Northeast group), tote bags with our USTHS68 NYC Reunion and pens concocted by Annie Viri-Pazcoguin, beautiful badges we all wore at the Salu-salo and the reunion party mastered and printed by Joji P. Linan, the colorful and unforgettable souvenir and banners put together by Mulong Yambao with so many stuff in it including some memoirs of the past by some of our batch mates. Then of course the endless reminders of Bing Macavinta via email or the beautiful website she created. We also have the rest of the Northeast group and its members too !
Thanks to those who worked so hard and to the extent went over board to make this reunion such a "grandeur". Thanks to Bebet Gozun (the contest maker- we should have played the "boat is sinking" while on the sight seeing cruise), Joey Crisostomo and Ed Alimagno (thanks for the 50/50 raffle donation) and the Nolasco's who all took at least a day of travel from the Philippines to be with us. I thank Andring for opening up his lovely home for the nightly dinner; to his sister who was ever so accommodating with open arms in assisting Andring with the delicious food. We were also gratified by the attendance of one of our teachers, Ms. Adrienne Hament (we all love you!). And of course, all of USTHS68 who attended the reunion. Without you, my batch mates, the reunion will not be as magnificent as it was.
The whole reunion actually started with the few early arrivals a day before - Oct 7, 2010. A batch played golf at Bethpage Golf Course, then at Andring's residence for dinner (seems we found some extra money from the fund). It was early morning when we all broke up. A caravan of mini vans went towards the city and some went east to Long Island. It was fun! Most had to wake up early for the "Walking Tour" while others were at the golf course (Edmond Lim as the champ!) at an earlier time. Both groups had such good times. Tired, but feeling good. The Salu-salo came after and Bourbon Bar and Grille at the restaurant row on West 46th street in Manhattan was "filled to the rim". We all said hello to each other once again. The food was Cajon and after that, we had the "picturan" of each classes and Bebet's unforgettable contests. It was fun!
The Grand reunion party! Well, with everybody being tired from the past couple of days (traveling included), it seems that everyone has nothing but grin on their faces topped by the beautiful dresses/gowns and suits worn by each of us. We all looked beautiful and handsome. We all looked like it was back in 1968 when were were just about ready to walk in the auditorium to graduate in high school. All beautiful and excited! The party was so much fun! We all welcomed each other, hugged and kissed everyone, gave tribute to our classmates who passed away, and we danced the night with group performances and some little speeches. . We have games and prizes. It seems everybody won something. At the end of the night we were all tired but we all had fun!
We all limped out of bed the following day. Some to shop and others to make it to Sunday mass and for the sight seeing cruise. The day was made to do this thing. It was such a beautiful morning that by the time we all got unto the boat on West 42nd street, there was just good weather, blue sky and the Hudson River water was so calm. The Statue of Liberty was there always greeting each person as a welcome gesture to the USA. The bridges on the East River also seem to extend their welcome sight to us - Two hours of beautiful sights. It was a fabulous sight-seeing cruise and it was fun! We all then did some individual stuff as some rested back at their hotels or apartments, some went shopping, while others ventured into Chinatown to celebrate the 10/10/10 Chinese parade celebration. At the end we all ended up at Andring's for dinner. Odette cooked (as she did the other day too!) and boy, was it delicious!
We all separated a day or two after an intriguing and impressive (to the mind, body and soul) NYC Reunion. Some found themselves at the Hampton's, some at West Point and others journeyed to Washington DC. Yet others stayed a bit to say hello to some good friends and relatives around NYC.
This thing about reunions - these should not stop! We need this! We love this! We all belong to each other, bonded with sisterly and brotherly love we bestowed upon ourselves back in high school and not to be thrown on the side ways but cherished forever. Therefore, I hope it will be 2011 in Chicago!
God be with you all, your family and may He give you abundant blessings.
Class reunions can be confusing ... When suddenly you show up and everybody has a haircut after 42 years.
One description of a class reunion; same old faces and many new teeth. It is also an opportunity to see who is falling apart and aching where we can personally lend a helping hand and give our moral support of acceptance....we are in the same boat!!!
A class reunion is when nothing helps you recognize your old batch mates as much as their name tags. It is a memorable gathering when we all come to the conclusion that most of the people your age seem to be a lot older than you according to you! You may even think... How have all your classmates gotten so fat and bald they didn't even recognize you... Because you have no hair yourself.
A satisfying class reunions is an opportunity to discover most of your batch mates have big problems like you. It gives you the opportunity to see the most irritating batch mates who have more money and yes..l ots more hair than you!!! Like you, Ithough it could be a the effect of a hair grower.
Truly, there is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under heaven.
So much to be grateful about, to see each other once again . Let us continue to count our blessings, to be thankful for what we have and most especially for what we don't have.
Remembering the importance to keep in mind how people come into our lives and quickly go, let us pray for our batch mates that had stayed for awhile and left. We will always cherish the wonderful footprints they left in our hearts.
So my dear brothers and sisters always carry a heart that never hates. Carry a smile that never fades, carry a touch that never hurts, and most of all, carry an unconditional love and compassion toward each other and the less fortunate.
Let us continue to live an inspired (in spirit) life. We will discover ourselves to be a greater person by far than we will ever dream to be . We become a source of inspiration to others and surprisingly learn to connect with the spirit through prayer and contemplation, for it’s that silence between two notes that make a music. It is then we find the answer to one important question ...as to why we are here and what is our purpose?
God bless my prayer of a continuing good health and bountiful blessings to you and your family. Hope to see you again in the coming years of reconnection and bonding. And yes, keep your aching head up high and let us continue to accept humbly and with meekness the many more changes we will experience with smile and gratitude to become a blessing to humanity and to our almighty.
October 14, 2010 - We are publishing below the poem written by batchmate Connie Romana Saavedra, which she dedicates to each one of the USTHS'68 Batch of Graduates.
Just seeing each other again,
Just enjoying each other’s company,
Just walking along memory lane,
Just reminiscing the good old days,
Just laughing and crying all over again,
Just reconnecting and bonding –
as a family, as friends, as fellow travelers,
on the long, winding path called life.
It’s a wonder, a pleasant surprise –
that we meet again,
that we cross each other’s path,
that we renew our friendships,
that we repeat the camaraderie of yesteryears,
that we have the same enthusiasm of being together,
in the same way that we had been when we were younger.
It’s just us – getting together,
for a reunion … of old-time friends,
to have joy and fun now, as we had before,
to enjoy the moment …
that even if we’re getting older,
we still are young in spirit and at heart.