Archives - 2005

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SoCal Batch Holiday Time Out for Bebet Gozun

Dec. 30, 2005 - We received another e-mail from Bing Macavinta regarding the latest get together of the SoCal Batch, this time to welcome Bebet Gozun who spent the holidays in the U.S. together with her children.  Our SoCal batch seems to be unstoppable when it comes to holding mini-reunions - they really are on a roll.

 "Wed. 12/28/2005 8:50 PM local time - Christmas has come and gone and I hope wherever you are, yours was one of the best yet— and certainly, as we wind down with 2005, with all of its highs and lows that have touched our lives, directly or indirectly, huge or small and en-masse, we can say that we have been truly blessed with numerous things in many, many ways again and again.

The Yuletide season is always a busy, busy time for everyone, more so for us here in the USA—where we continue to juggle our time & attention to try to maintain a balance in our lives. Well, taking some time out from our busy life to spend with someone in our somewhat distant past does contribute to that balancing act. That connection with and among our USTHS’68 batch mates renders a camaraderie that is soothing, so to speak, at some levels.

And yes once again-- SoCal batch took some holiday time out to honor one of our dearest batch mates, Bebet Gozun, who is back in town (along with her children), spending the Christmas season with her family here in SoCal. Are we on a roll or what ;)?????

Ernie Morales was the one who coordinated the get-together for last evening, Tuesday, Dec. 27th. It started with a dinner in Eagle Rock at Isla Buffet Restaurant (a Filipino eatery). Everyone contacted was to meet there at about 6pm – after work. Unfortunately, there were last minute cancellations and some “maybe’s” (Raffy Eusebio, Al Ramirez & Pancho Tabora were among those no-shows). Ernie was already there when I got there, then JV Omana arrived, then Cory Gillera & Bebet. Ike Lloren was to meet us after dinner. It was a good meal!

Well, you know Ernie has found a new interest--- ballroom dancing, so he’s been really working at it. Cory has had lessons and is very good at it as well. Bebet—well, aren’t all of you in Manila pretty much into it? So that is a given without question. And JV, that goes without saying. So in short, there’s only me who appears to be out of place. And ballroom dancing was the next item on the list after dinner.

We checked out a place nearby, called Philippine Village, but the “dancers” didn’t like it. We ended up at a place called Superdancer in Glendale, which was what Ernie had planned anyway. Ike Lloren was already there waiting when we got there.

It’s my first to have gone to a ballroom dancing club. It’s really a nice place. Bebet, JV, Ernie & Cory took the floor in no time. Ike and I couldn’t possibly be just sitting there and drool ;). So, Ike and I took the challenge & boldly, joined the rest on the floor. We have the beat, but lacking the exact know-how of the steps needed to execute those ballroom dances seamlessly. That didn’t stop us though. We did pretty good trying to mimic the steps that others were doing . So we kept dancing away, laughing at the missteps & just totally having fun, despite our seemingly disadvantage. There were DIs for the ladies for an additional nominal fee. Ernie took care of that. So, then the DIs were able to show me how to do those turn-arounds and I really had a GOOD time! (thanks for the treat Ernie)— even better than the workout I do at 24-hour fitness gym. The DIs showed Bebet & Cory some of the tango steps. Of course, I danced with JV a few times too. That’s always fun. We were there until it closed- midnight. Everyone just had a great time!!!

Our Starbucks here do not stay open late. So, we went to a restaurant, “Conrads,” afterwards. We all had a warm beverage--- hot chocolate & cappuccino. By this time, it’s getting close to 2am and I was thinking we all have quite a ways to drive home. If not work, we would have stayed as long as we could and just talking away. And as the saying goes, “everything has to come to an end,” so reluctantly, we finally had to break it & went our separate ways. Ike had the longest drive home. JV & I have also quite a way. Cory & Bebet were not that far. And Ernie, it’s his hood—so he’s just a short distance from home. We took a couple of pictures from Bebet’s cellphone camera. So, if those turn out good—the lighting was dim outside the parking lot—then, we’ll send those later, It was another memorable get-together for the SoCal batch!

In behalf of the SoCal batch, I want to wish you all a more abundant 2006—abundance in all ways! And lastly & more importantly, God bless!!!" - Bing Macavinta

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Condolence to the Family of Regalado "Jojo" M. Montemayor, Jr.

Dec.29, 2005 - Our condolence to the family of our batchmate, Regalado "Jojo" M. Montemayor, Jr. who died in the grace of our Lord, on December 28, 2005 at the age of 55.  He succumbed to heart failure at the Philippine Heart Center.  His remains lie in state at the Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon Avenue, Quezon City.

Jojo's family ran and managed the famous X'or Studio,  the  official photographer of UST graduates for their graduation photos and yearbooks. 

You can read the brief messages posted by our batchmates about Jojo in our Transitions page.  Let us all pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Jojo.

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Where to Remit Donations For our Batch Funds

Dec. 5, 2005 - For our batchmates who have been inquiring as to how they can remit funds to support the various activities of our batch, hereunder are the details of the  bank account of our batch:

Name of Bank/Branch



 
:
 


 

Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom)
Corinthian Gardens Branch
Sanso St. Corinthian Gardens
Quezon City
 
Account Number : Savings Account No. 242-10-000357-4
Account Name : Elizabeth De Guzman or John Tan
Bank Code for Foreign Remittances :
 
CPHIPHMM

For remittances coming from abroad, please don't forget to place the Bank Code to facilitate the transfer of funds.  May we request those who will be remitting their donations directly to our bank account to inform our batch President, Don Mejia (donmejia@yahoo.com) or our treasurer, Elizabeth Balatbat-De Guzman (dcg@pacific.net.ph) of the details of the said remittance.  They shall inform you directly of the receipt of funds as soon as the same is cleared with the bank.  Official receipts will be issued.

We wish to thank our batchmates for living up to the Thomasian spirit of generosity and caring for others.  Mabuhay ang Batch'68!!!!

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2005 Christmas Party

Dec. 5, 2005The Batch'68 2005 Christmas Party was held last December 3, 2005, Saturday, at the residence of Ricky Yatco.  You can read Don Mejia's  update of the evening's festivities in our Reunion page.

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Christmas Party for SoCal Batch

Dec. 5, 2005 Our Southern California-based batchmates held their Christmas party last December 2, 2005, together with the Batch'69.  Bing Macavinta's e-mail  gives a vivid description of the evening's celebration.

"It’s an early Christmas get-together for us – Friday as it was and the first weekend in December. It was a little wet, sprinkles of rain in the air, but nothing to stop us from traveling a distance to the Holiday Inn Media Center in Burbank atop their beautiful “Crystal View” lounge on the 18th floor, overlooking the city lights of Glendale & Burbank.
This was actually the 7th annual Christmas party for the 69ers. Since one of our very own, Raffy Eusebio, is married to one of theirs, Lottie, it was easily agreed to have our holiday jumpstart by joining in with them. They have been a marvelous host! Thank you 69ers for having us. We had a wonderful, wonderful time!
We were hoping for a good size turn out for our batch, but-----
L . We even got excited earlier on when a few of our NorCal counterparts were initially thinking of coming. At any rate, I got there about 7:45 p.m. I was greeted by Lottie, then Raffy. Helped myself with the scrumptious array of finger foods (I must say-- excellent choices). The bar is right next to it, and Raffy bought me a drink (thanks Raffy!). Then, Raffy walked me to our small & loyal group in the back, JV Omana & Ernie Morales. I was introduced to their lovely & good–looking better halves – Evelyn (JV’s). JV, Ernie, Raffy and I are what I’ve called the “core team” and we are dedicated to build up our batch group here in the L.A. Metro area, despite the seemingly challenge. Raffy said that Joseph Bautista was planning to come- Sorry to miss you Joseph (& miss meeting you).
The venue is outstanding. The one-man band, the cd’s of oldies were just pushing us into the dance floor with or without a partner. Well, I’ve read about Ernie’s display of ballroom dance steps from the last get together. So, I was really waiting to see that. He was my first dance and we danced the cha-cha. I’m no ballroom dancer, and I’m truly impressed! He was just a smooth operator ;-)! Of course, JV has always been “THE” dancer in us. He showed me the swing and it was just simply fun following his lead. Raffy and I danced the cha-cha too and he’s one who still has the “midas” touch of yesteryears.
We had pictures from the 69ers official photographer and other cameras as well. As soon as I get the copies, I will send them to you to share the holiday spirit of fun and joy that USTHSchoolers as a whole embody. In the meantime, here are some shots taken from Ernie’s digital camera. These are great-looking pictures. Please take note especially of the pics of our very good-looking couples. We can say, that we still look good 37-years later!!!" -
Bing Macavinta

Here are some pictures shared by Bing Macavinta and Ernie Morales:

JV & Evelyn Omana - How Sweet!

JV Omana in white shirt and tie with three other December birthday celebrants. JV's birthday is on Dec. 6. Happy Birthday JV!

JV with the other December B'day celebrants.

JV and Evelyn Omana dancing away!

L-R: Raffy Eusebio, Bing Macavinta, Ernie Morales, Evelyn & JV Omana

JV with some of the batch'69ers.

Raffy & Lottie Eusebio - what a lovely shot!

Raffy Eusebio (2nd from left) doing a "foursome hot group" with the 69ers guys

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Jun Tantoco Meets Batch Mates in  L.A.

Dec. 1, 2005 -  Ernie Morales sent us the following e-mail and sent some pictures  of the recent visit of Jun Tantoco in L.A.:

"Jun Tantoco's surprise short stay in L.A. last Nov. 20 was complimented with a gathering of batchmates. Tasting and reminiscing good 'ol Manila at Max's Restaurant in West Covina were Javier Omana, Pancho Tabora, and me. Jun T. was soon back to his hometown Chicago.- Ernie Morales"

Here are the pictures sent by Ernie:

(L-R): JV Omana, Ernie Morales, Jun Tantoco and Pancho Tabora

(L-R): Pancho Tabora, JV Omana, Ernie Morales and Jun Tantoco

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Welcome Dinner for Manny Aquino by Southern California-Based Batch Mates

Nov. 29, 2005 - We received the following e-mail messages from Al Ramirez and Ernie Morales regarding the welcome dinner hosted by our Southern California based batchmates for Manny Aquino and his family:

"A warm welcome and tasty dinner at TGI-Friday was accorded to Manny Aquino & Family by his 68 Batchmates. Welcoming batchmates were Cory Gillera, Ernie Morales, JV Omana, Ike Lloren, Joseph Bautista, and myself. JV drove only 75 miles one way with Manny to make it to Porter Ranch at TGI_Friday. After dinner drinks and coffee was over at Joseph's huge home in Bel-Court Gated Community. JV and Cory ( DI's ) entertained everyone with their hot Salsa moves. Ernie surprised everyone when he started dancing the Salsa with Cory. Everyone had an enjoyable evening with Manny. Manny by the way is contemplating on moving to So Cal within a year if things don't go as planned in Hawaii.
Thanks again to Ernie, JV, and Joseph for your time and effort in the Welcome Dinner for Manny... a Success.
- Al Ramirez"

"Hawaii based Manny Aquino and family (wife Grace and son Miggi) spent the Thanksgiving weekend here and our Southern California based batchmates got together to welcome them. Joining them for the welcome dinner were Javier Omana, Alfred Ramirez, Ike Lloren, Cory Gillera, and Joseph Bautista. Later that night, Joseph Bautista and wife Vangie hosted the after dinner affair in their impressive palatial home in the gated community of Northridge. The usual jovial Javier brought laughter to the group and joined Cory in showing us their graceful dance steps.- Ernie Morales

Here are some pictures shared by Ernie:

Seated (L-R): JV Omana, Manny Aquino, Cory Gillera and Ike Lloren

Standing (L-R): Ernie Morales, Joseph Bautista and Al Ramirez

Clockwise: Ernie Morales, Joseph Bautista, Al Ramirez, Ike Lloren, JV Omana, Grace (Wife of Manny), Miggi (their son), Manny Aquino and Cory Gillera

Top to bottom: Al Ramirez, JV Omana, Ike Lloren, Ernie Morales, Joseph Bautista, Cory Gillera and Manny Aquino

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Yuletide Message from Odette

Nov. 29, 2005 -  We received the following e-mail sent by Odette last Nov. 26, 2005:

"To my dear batchmates,

It is that time of year again to recall remembrances, to celebrate our blessings, to unwind the tired body , to delete the unimportant, to give to the most who are in need and to share with open hearts.

It is an old feeling that gives us most satisfaction , the feeling that whatever we have we can share with our needy , homeless, suffering , and ill-fated kababayans. This coming year we hope to be able to work some housing opportunity for them through Bahay Kalinga and again with the Sisters of Mercy. The soup kitchens that we have done is now a an easy activity that supplements the batch-bonding activity. Thus we are headed towards a bigger venture of providing homes to the homeless with your generous giving.

For those who have found the batch website and voluntarily gave we thank you . Rest assured your life has been enriched because the family of B68 "will not leave you alone"!. I mean, it will be fun, fun, fun whether in the Philippines or in the U.S. Just let a batch know you are around and ready for the group. Or when you want to be a part of our many charity works that we have managed to combine with ballroom dancing, partying, etc...

Meanwhile we have received a couple of enquiries as to the logistics of gift-giving. We have an account number, a bank name with an address.* We have two treasurers who will acknowledge your gift-giving. If you should DECIDE that this holiday season you would like to sponsor a BAHAY KALINGA project in your love one's name, we will be most happy to write this dedication in his or her name (just a little suggestion for your XMAS gift to him or her).

Somehow despite the distances of our members, we strive and we have managed to turn excitement, anticipation, potential and opportunity into RESULTS , REALITIES, SUCCESS with a grain of good time in our daily lives. We know we have in YOU , a high energy, fun-generating, full of integrity, tremendous member that never fails to deliver when asked to perform when faced with a task to help. At this point we have just begun and the we await with great anticipation for your generous donation.
GO BATCH 68! - Odette LOURDES KO
"

*Note:  We shall be publishing soon in our website, the details of the bank name, account number and account name where remittances for donations may be made.  For your information, the batch treasurer is Baby Balatbat De Guzman.

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Final Plans for 2005 Christmas Party

Nov. 23, 2005 -  We will hold our 2005 Christmas Party at Ricky Yatco's Place at Mayon St. in Quezon City, right beside Sta. Teresita Church.  Hereunder are the details:

Date: December 3,2005

Time: 5 p.m. onwards

Cost : P300.00  ( Note:  In view of our limited funds, we will have to charge this amount to shoulder the cost of our Christmas party. However, those who cannot afford the said amount are very much welcome to join us for free.  To those who will be bringing their spouse, we will not be charging any additional fee for their partner.)

Exchange Gift: anything worth P100 and below

At your option, you may bring some gifts for door prizes and party games.

PLEASE COME AND HAVE FUN!!!

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Plans for 2005 Christmas Party

Nov. 15, 2005 -  Our batch President, Don Mejia, sent the following e-mail regarding the plans for the Batch '68 Christmas party:

     "We are planning again our Christmas party on Dec.3,2005....any suggestion is most welcome! It will be free!!! Part of our funds will be used to cover the cost. This is to ensure more batchmates will be able to attend without thinking of any cost.
     Initially we thought of holding it in a restaurant like Funnside at Timog Avenue, Quezon City from 6 p.m. onward.  There will be a band playing retro music and dancing starting at 9 p.m. There will be set menu, limited food, pay as you order on the drinks and cost is P350 per head but consumable. The place is open to the public.
     Others prefer Ricky's place as it is exclusive only for us, food can be catered at affordable price and eat all you can...drinks a bit unlimited!!! We can also save on cost.  Some want a place closer to all like Makati and suggested Petron, same as last year. (Per Danny Diy, just like last year the place, light and sounds are free but we will have to pay for airconditioning which will cost  Php 1,300 per hour.)
     We need your feedback asap.
   Proposed exchange gift will be approximately worth P55 or a dollar worth to challenge your creativity!!!
     Our GK activity/donation is our outreach for the year." - Don Mejia

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USTHS Batch'68 Supports Gawad Kalinga

November 3, 2005 - As part of its outreach activity, the UST High School Batch of '68 will be donating one house for the Gawad Kalinga project site located near Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City.  Gawad Kalinga is a project spearheaded by the Couples for Christ, a Christian family renewal ministry whose aim is to bring families back to the plan of God.  Gawad Kalinga 777, or GK 777 for short, envisions 700,000 homes in 7,000 communities in 7 years. GK 777  was formally launched last Oct. 4, 2003 and the target date for delivery of the 700,000 homes  is 7 years from Oct. 4, 2003, that is on Oct. 4, 2010.  The Couples for Christ is supported in this project by a host of partners from different sectors of society, local government units, civic organizations, schools and parishes, professionals and the simply concerned. GK777 aims not only to build houses but more importantly, communities whose members are made aware of their human dignity and are given the chance to have decent lives.  While there is still very much to be done, GK has enkindled hope in the hearts of the poor, as it has mobilized various sectors of society to a common goal - that of lifting up our distressed brothers and sisters from filthy despair in the slum areas.

Our batch President, Don Mejia, has sent the following e-mail regarding this activity:
     "Our batch will be donating initially one house for GK located near Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City, thru the initiative of Bebet Gozun. Last Oct. 8, 2005 at the birthday celebration of John Tan, they thought of pursuing this idea which was discussed in one of the fellowship meetings at Ricky Yatco's residence. Right then and there, they were able to raise enough seed money for the upcoming donation. Gurmel Singh responded by donating also $200.00. Other batchmates from the States expressed some interest too.
     This Saturday, Nov. 5, 2005 the group will meet at McDonalds at the corner of Mindanao Avenue and North Avenue at 9:45 in the morning and will proceed to the GK site to inspect the project site and make the formal offer to Gawad Kalinga. The cost of one house in GK amounts to P50,000. We have raised more than the required amount. This is the reason why we said initially, mayroon pang kasunod!!!
     Then the group after the GK formalities will continue their fellowship at the residence of Ricky Yatco in Mayon St. for Ricky's birthday celebration.
     Please join us in this outreach program. You are cordially invited to participate!!!" - Don Mejia

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Welcome Party for Ricky Yatco by Batch Mates from Southern California

October 13, 2005 - It was indeed a busy weekend for our California based batchmates. After the October 8 birthday bash cum welcome party held in Enrie Sabio's house, the following day, October 9, our Southern California-based batchmates held another party, this time, to welcome Ricky Yatco, who is visiting the U.S. together with his son who has recently graduated from college. 

Bing Macavinta shared with us the details of the said reunion together with some pictures.

"A very hectic weekend for our jetsetter batch mate, Ernie Morales—the only one who was able to attend the reunion in NoCal on Saturday and in SoCal this past Sunday. And a birthday too on top of that, the day after (Oct 10th) —Happy Birthday Ernie!!!

Ours was once again a blast honoring the visit of Manila batch mate Ricky Yatco, who was here treating his newly college graduate son to a US trip (who nodded when I asked him if he was bored being among the oldies. Can’t believe the day would come that we would be called that). At any rate, time has certainly flown and numbers grown since a very few of us were together not too long ago (August 20th). From a mere “local” count of 5, we’ve definitely added more, as you can see on these pictures. There were just JV Omana, Ernie Morales, Raffy Eusebio, Cory Guilera & me. Now, Al Ramirez, Pancho Tabora, Ike Lloren and Junnie Navarro have joined us. We missed Cory though this time because of work schedule.

Ours was held at the Eusebios’ Glendora Residence-- Raffy (‘68) and Lottie (’69). The 69ers were having their Christmas party meeting & us—our mini-reunion. The 69ers had their own little area in the back patio; while we were on the lawn with our own table filled with finger foods, wine, beer, etc. Lottie and Raffy were once again the gracious hosts that they are! The meal was simply great! Chef Raffy made sure everyone was fed to their heart and stomach’s content.

As you can see on these pictures, I was the “sole” female. I hope the guys didn’t mind that I sat with them all throughout the evening. It’s like being in the men’s locker room, but with just a rated PG-13 dialogue. No, seriously--- they were really all great and truly gentlemen! Not once did I feel out of place. It was just enjoyable listening and watching them talk and reminisce about their “once upon a time” wild adolescent days. Ladies--- you don’t know what I’ve learned about some of those boys—that perhaps you had an eye on ;). But my lips are sealed----- cuz I’m their buddy.

With great friends around on a gorgeous Southern California Sunday--- and truly a superb company, it was indeed a weekend to remember!" - Bing Macavinta
 

Here are some photos of their get-together.  (Please click the pictures to view the full image.)

Standing (L-R): Ernie Morales, Raffy Eusebio, Pancho Tabora & JV Omana

Seated: Bing Macavinta and Ricky Yatco (the honoree)

Standing (L-R): Raffy Eusebio, Ernie Morales, JV Omana & Pancho Tabora

Seated: Bing Macavinta and Ricky Yatco

The head chef for that afternoon - Raffy Eusebio.

Pancho Tabor, JV Omana, and Ricky Yatco

L-R: Pancho Tabora, RV Omana, Ricky Yatco and Ernie Morales

Standing (L-R): Ernie Morales, Raffy Eusebio & JV Omana

Seated (L-R): Bing Macavinta, Ike Lloren, Pancho Tabora & Ricky Yatco

Standing (L-R): Ernie Morales, Al Ramirez, JV Omana, Raffy Eusebio, Pancho Tabora, Ike Lloren & Junnie Navarro

Seated: Ricky Yatco and Bing Macavinta

Standing (L-R): Ike Lloren, Ernie Morales, Al Ramirez, Raffy Eusebio, Pancho Tabora, JV Omana and Junnie Navarro

Seated: Ricky Yatco & Bing Macavinta

Raffy Eusebio with the delicious food laid out on the buffet table.

Raffy and Ricky with the UST HS batch '69

 

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    Joint Birthday Celebration for Manny Aquino and Ernie Morales and Welcome Party for Don and Gani in California

October 11, 2005 - Last October 8, 2005, our California-based batchmates held another get-together in Enrie Sabio's house in Antioch, California, to celebrate the birthdays of Ernie Morales (Oct. 10) and Manny Aquino (Oct. 11) and also to welcome  Don Mejia and Gani Buenaflor. 

 Odette Wallace sent the following e-mail to give us an update about their mini-reunion:

"The get-together at Enrie and Len Sabio's house in Antioch, California started at 3 p.m. last Saturday, Oct 8. Present were : Manny Aquino with wife and daughter (with her husband and 2 week old baby) came from Hawaii, Chito Cardenas and wife, Normy, Chito Zuniega and wife, Ernie Morales from LA, Vic Carreon, Helen Pacis Raffer, Cynthia Prinsipe and friend, dance intructor Rene from SFO. Ever generous and kind-hearted Gurmel volunteered to pick up Don Mejia and Gani Buenaflor from Stockton and back with the help of his good-looking son, Michael.  Later the daughter of Enrie and her son-in law joined the party as well. Enrie and husband Len are doting first time grandparents to their half- Greek, half -Filipino 2-month old grandson.

Chito Z brought a nice chicken oriental salad. There was also a fried Oriental chicken  dish, grilled steak, kalderetang baka from Chito C's kitchen, garlic chili crabs and Vietnamese spring roll from Odette's kitchen, dessert by Helen, wine,etc. But the best "baon" was the gift of Chito Cardenas - a dance instructor friend of his. Rene taught us how to salsa, fox trot, tango, waltz, two step chacha and boogie properly. In between , the karaoke entertainment was provided by Helen and Manny Aquino ( with  his daughter as duet partner). Ernie Morales said he hopes to retire six months of the year in the Phil. and half the time in the US. His salsa steps can actually bring him far in the Adriatico salsa bars. Vic Carreon's musical talent can support him too. Don Mejia's comical tactics with the ladies meanwhile got the ladies entertained. What a delight to see old friends go out of their way to travel long distance and spend a weekend of fun and camaraderie, touching base, and re-enforcing memories.

It was such a gorgeous day with a nippy but sunny temperature in the low 80's. The party ended at 11 pm." - Odette Wallace

Here are some photos of their get-together.  (Please click the pictures to view the full image.)

Standing at the back (L-R): Chito Zuniga, Manny Aquino, Vic Carreon, Enrie and Leni Sabio, and Helen Pacis Raffer

Seated in front (L-R): Chito Cardenas, Ernie Morales, Odette Wallace and Cynthia Principe Hocson

L-R: Manny Aquino, Enrie Sabio, Chito Zuniga, Cynthia Principe Hocson, Chito Cardenas (partly hidden), Odette Wallace, Ernie Morales and Helen Pacis Raffer

Back (L-R): Chito Zuniga (partly hidden) & Chito Cardenas

Second Row (L-R): Manny Aquino, Enrie Sabio, Cynthia Principe Hocson, Odette Wallace, Ernie Morales and Helen Pacis Raffer

Foreground: Vic Carreon

The USTHS'68 boys from California together with Hawaii-based Manny Aquino, welcoming Don Mejia and Gani Buenaflor

Standing (L-R): Michael Singh (Gurmel's son), Ernie Morales, Manny Aquino and Gurmel Singh

Seated (L-R): Gani Buenaflor, Don Mejia and Chito Cardenas

Standing (L-R): Vic Carreon, Helen Pacis Raffer, Odette Wallace, Ernie Morales, Manny Aquino, Gurmel Singh and Enrie Sabio

Seated (L-R): Chito Zuniga, Gani Buenaflor, Don Mejia and Chito Cardenas

Ok, once more with feeling .....

 

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A Bienvenida for  Bebet in California

August 22, 2005 - Our Sourthern California-based batchmates hosted a mini-reunion to welcome Bebet Gillera Gozun, who was there for a short visit.  Bing Macavinta sent the following e-mail regarding the said welcome get-together for Bebet:

"I had my first USTHS'68 reunion this weekend. Got home at 3am!!! Got an email from Ernie Morales Thursday inviting for a little reunion of about 6-people because Bebet is in town (So. Cal). We met at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery in West Covina for dinner at 7 p.m. I didn’t really know anyone per se, so being the “newbie” so to speak, didn’t know what to expect. Got there first and didn’t really know the faces that I’m suppose to look for. Outside seated (trying to reach Ernie on the cell, since he’s my only contact), Raffy Eusebio & his lovely wife, Lottie (class of ’69) arrived second. We were looking at each other, kinda wondering ???? Finally, I asked if they are from the UST group—Then, Ernie came, Bebet & Cory, then JV (Javier Omana). We had a GREAT time! We left BJ’s at about 9 p.m. Raffy & Lottie invited us for coffee at their beautiful home in Glendora---- such gracious hosts!!! (thanks Raffy & Lottie for the great desserts and wine, coffee, & eveyrthing!) JV is such a character--- great sense of humor! Just simply fun, fun, fun!!!! We took some pictures of course and those are coming shortly-- & we’ll finally have our So Cal USTHS ’68 batch get-together on the web. Bebet will take care of those uploadings upon her return to Manila. We’ll have our own SoCal USTHS68 group before too long." - Bing Macavinta

    Here are some pictures forwarded by Bebet (please click the pictures to view full image):

From left to right: Bebet, Bing, JV, Ernie, Raffy, Lottie (Class'69), Cory

L-R: Lottie, Cory, JV, Raffy, Ernie, Bebet & Bing

JV moonlighting as a DI. (From L-R: Cory, JV, Ernie, Bebet, Bing & Raffy)

Standing (L-R) Ernie, Raffy and JV; Seated (L-R) Bing, Bebet and Cory

Girls (L-R): Bing, Bebet & Cory; Boys (L-R): Raffy, Ernie & JV

Standing (L-R): Raffy, Ernie & JV; Seated (L-R): Bing, Cory & Bebet

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Bienvenida for Cherry Roque Ramirez

July 7, 2005 - Last Tuesday (July 5, 2005), a group of batchmates led by Odette Ko Wallace, Baby Balatbat De Guzman and Danny Diy arranged a bienvenida lunch for a visiting U.S.-based batchmate, Cherry Roque Ramirez.  It was held in a private room at Via Mare in Power Plant, Rockwell Center.  The lunch also served as a "welcome celebration" for two new found batchmates - Renee (Renegilda) De Los Reyes Nolasco and Ruby Espiritu Magsaysay.  Despite the heavy downpour that afternoon, our batchmates braved the heavy rains and traffic to welcome Cherry, Renee and Ruby.  Those who were able to attend were :  Fredo De Jesus, Col. Jess Samson, Bebet Gillera Gozun, Baby Balatbat De Guzman, Odette Ko Wallace, Evelyn De Los Reyes Laurel, Ruby Espiritu Magsaysay, Fe Cristobal Raval, Renee De Los Reyes Nolasco, Cherry Roque Ramirez, and Danny Diy.  Our batchmates feasted on authentic Pinoy favorites like binagoongang lechon kawali, sinigang sa miso na tiyan ng bangus, dinuguan, kare-kare, and bibingka and puto bumbong for dessert.  Evelyn Laurel brought samples of her sets of jewelry for sale (payable when able daw) which our batchmates had fun modelling for the camera. 
     In her e-mail last July 6, 2005, Cherry expressed her gratitude for the very warm reception accorded to her by our batchmates:
     "To Baby, Odette, Danny, Fe, Bebet, Evelyn and to all the new found batchmates that came to the luncheon:
      It was certainly a delight to see all of you again.  My special thanks to Danny, Odette and Baby for coordinating the luncheon. As always, food was great, especially Via Mare (one of my favorites).  To our friends in the U.S., you guys should try their bingoongan lechon kawali (sounds scrumptious, doesn't it and it truly is!!!!) It was also great to see Evelyn Del Rosario now Laurel after all these years.  She has not changed a bit.  It brought back fond memories of college when I used to rely on her during exam time. Ha! Ha! Ha!  They sure were great years.   
     To those who are planning to be in the San Francisco area in September, please make sure to call me or one of us in the Bay area for another get together.  We look forward to seeing all of you then.
     Once again, my heartfelt thanks to all of you.  Best Regards, Cherry"

Here are some pictures forwarded by Odette:

From left to right: Jess, Renee, Odette, Baby, Evelyn, Bebet, Ruby and Fe

Seated from left to right: Danny, Cherry, Fe, Jess, Fredo, Baby, Evelyn & Ruby Standing at the back: Bebet, Renee & Odette

Cherry with Danny Diy

Cherry and Odette

Jess with Odette modelling the jewelry collection of Evelyn

Baby, Evelyn & Bebet

Fe Cristobal Raval

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Joint Birthday Celebration of Odette and Bebet

July 3, 2005 - Once more, our batchmates found a reason for a get-together, and this time around, it was to celebrate the birthdays of Bebet Gillera Gozun (June 15) and Odette Ko Wallace (June 18).  In her e-mail Odette shared with us the fun time they had that evening.
         "I arrived Saturday, June 25 at 4 a.m.  I just rested a bit , then headed for the much awaited salon treatments. Wow, am I glad to be home! At 7 pm, Tessa and I took off to Makati to meet batchmates at Bykes Ballroom for the combined birthday bash ( Bebet's is June 15 and moi is the 18th). Despite the monsoon rains and the power cut-offs due to thunder and lightning, the dancing party was a success. When Tessa and I arrived, Boy Gabriel and wife Dianne, Plut and Pearlie , and Alice Yatco were already there. Then followed by Bebet Gozun, Baby Balatbat de Guzman, Jun Tullao, Caloy Corsiga, Ricky Yatco, Fiscal George Cabanilla (batch 69), Ray Fernandez, John Tan and wife Ruby, Evelyn Del Rosario Laurel and Don Mejia. Watching batchmates have a good time makes you wonder where all those years went, how much easier it is to unwind and forget the real world outside.
         We must have danced for 4 hours! Tagaktak na ang pawis, walang hinto pa rin ang sayaw inspite of the heavy rain outside, humiiiiid and muggy weather, sige pa din until past midnight. When I reached home I tried to download the pictures and email them to batchmates, sa kapaguran ko I fell asleep in my computer!
         We rested for 4 days and then again last night nagkayayaan na naman! It was the last night of one of the members of the band Spirit of 67. Through Baby's connections we got a good table at Conways in Shangrila Hotel. Later we were joined by some of her friends. And once again we danced for 4 plus hours. This time no DIs, just plain line dancing to the 60's beat.

           Three days from now we will have a luncheon for Cherry Roque who flew in from California two days ago. We have another name who just recently found us on the web, Renee de los Reyes Nolasco. Renee will be a regular in the group from now on. Ruby Espiritu has been found . She will also attend on Tuesday. The luncheon will be at Via Mare in Greenbelt I, July 5. Confirmed to attend are Bebet, Baby, Danny Diy, Ruby, Renee, Fe Cristobal Raval, Tessa, Don and Fredo." - Odette Ko Wallace

  Here are some pictures sent by Odette....

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Results of Survey for 2008 Ruby Anniversary Celebration

June 12, 2005 - For the information of our batchmates, we are publishing the initial results of the survey we are presently conducting regarding the proposed date and activities for our 2008 Ruby Anniversary Celebration. We encourage our other batchmates to answer the Survey Form so that the organizing committee will be guided accordingly in their preparations for our 40th anniversary in 2008.  Please click here to view the initial Survey Results.

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Survey Form for 2008 Ruby Anniversary Celebration

June 11, 2005 - As early as now, preparations for the 40th Ruby anniversary in 2008 are underway.  Our Batch '68 President, Don Mejia would like to get your feedback, especially those batchmates residing abroad so the date and activities for our ruby anniversary will suit your schedules.   Please click here to access the Survey Form.  Kindly fill up the  form and send to us. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Message from Batch President Don Mejia Re: Plans for Ruby Anniversary in 2008

June 11, 2005 - We received the following e-mail message from Don Mejia, our Batch '68 President, on the initial plans for our 40th (Ruby) anniversary celebration in Year 2008:

     "During our last informal get together on the occasion of the despedida for CHITO CARDENAS, hosted by Baby Balatbat de Guzman at her Corinthian Gardens residence, those present talked about the date for the Ruby celebration (2008).
     The batchmates present suggested holding it on the 30th of December.. hopefully by that time tapos na ang Christmas activities, looking forward for the new year. Holding it on this date would hit two birds with one stone for those coming in from abroad.... affording them the opportunity of spending time with their relatives and having this reunion with HS friends. The suggested venue was the Corinthian Gardens Clubhouse which is currently undergoing renovation and should be ready by that time.
     We are, however, still open to suggestions for other venues.
     Local batchmates somehow are able to hold regular get-togethers so are planning this Ruby celebration more for those residing abroad. There are suggestions to make it a 2 day event with sports activities such as golf, fun run, and other similar events. Additional activities are under consideration like may be group outing to an out of town location.
    Aside from the Ruby Celebration / Reunion, some batchmates also feel there should be outreach activities by the batch to help others like donating a house to Gawad Kalinga, a local effort to provide homes for the homeless similar to Habitat for Humanity in the US. There were even suggestions that those who are able assist in doing some of the manual labor ourselves. Other suggestions included setting up a foundation to institutionalize what we regularly do like the soup kitchen. It was also suggested that if we embark on these projects, that we raise funds from external sources like getting company sponsors aside from soliciting donations from our generous batchmates.
     Bach Cuyugan, having the loudest voice, presided over the meeting, Bebet Gilera Gozun, with her distinguished track record, was the voice of reason acting as adviser. Suggestions were also received from other socially oriented batchmates like Tessa Sierra suggested the possibility of setting up an educational scholarship for deserving kids.
     These are proposed projects for the whole batch so we would really appreciate hearing from you... first of all regarding the Ruby Celebration date and venue and of course regarding the other proposals.
     Those who attended Baby Balatbat De Guzman's party for Chito were: Bebet Gillera Gozun, Tessa Sierra, Ruby Espiritu, Glenda Trinidad Endaya, Ofie Ramirez Lanto, Letty Tecson Banzon, Evelyn Del Rosario Laurel. Bach Cuyugan, Ricky Yatco with wife Effie, Plut Cardenas, Chito Cardenas, Don Mejia, Rey Fernandez, Fredo De Jesus, Danny Diy and Peter So."
- Don Mejia

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Fitness Activities of Some Batchmates

April 6, 2005 - In her latest e-mail, Odette Wallace relayed to us  the various fitness activities being done by some of our batchmates:

     "For a long time while in Manila I have been looking for walking buddies but no one responded to my call. Anyway during this last trip November - December 2004, I got word that Benny , William, and Fredo de Jesus had been walking at Roxas Blvd every morning. Benny and William both had mild stroke. Their good friend Fredo who was currently vacationing ( a long holiday) was supporting and boosting them both .So I called John Tan and wife Ruby to join the group.
     Oh boy! I really miss that 5:30 morning walk, the fresh air and the serene water of Manila Bay. Later that month, we moved towards Diosdado Macapagal Ave. towards the upcoming Mall of Asia. That was even a better venue because there were no vendors , very clean and quiet. Fredo even brings his portable t.v. and recorder and we would dance and sing the 60's tune while taking a break from the walk. We brought along healthy breakfast of assorted fruit, juice and coffee. Very luxurious !
     Another fitness activity is the singing and music loving group. Bebet, Boy Gabriel, William and wife Doris (an angel for the hardwork and dedication preparing the food and just being supportive all the time! ), Wilson and wife,  John and fun-loving wife Ruby, Noel,  Fredo and myself had a real good time at Shangrila's Conways just two days before I took off for the States. But what I love most is the spontaneity and camaraderie you cannot find anywhere.  With just a single text message or phone call they will be there just like high school days. Please let them know I miss them all." -
Odette Wallace.

     Here are some pictures sent by Odette:

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Emily's Profile

March 30, 2005 - Jojo De Jesus, Emily's husband, shared with us the profile of Emily including her photo taken before she became ill.  You can read about Emily in our Profiles Page.  Just click her name in the alphabetical list of High School Girls.

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Message from the Family of Emily Gosiengfiao De Jesus

March 25, 2005 - We recently received two e-mail messages from the family of Emily Gosiengfiao De Jesus  - one from her son, Bumper and the other one from her husband, Jojo.  They would like to express their gratitude in keeping Emily's memory alive thru our website.  You can read the entire message in our Guest Book page.  Jojo also shared with us a photo of Emily taken in 1999.  According to Jojo, as if to foretell events that would later unfold, you will note that the music sheet shown behind Emily in her picture, is the movie theme "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic. Her symptoms started to surface early in 2000.  You can view Emily's photo in our Transitions page, beside her high school picture.

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UST High School Grand Alumni Homecoming

March 5, 2005 - The UST High School Alumni Association celebrated its grand alumni homecoming last February 26, 2005, (Saturday)  at the Fiesta Pavilion of The Manila Hotel. The hosts for the affair were the members of Class 1955 who marked their Golden Jubilee, and the Silver Jubilarians of Class 1980.  The theme of the homecoming was “The Magic of UST High: Transforming Society”.  

The Batch '68 was represented by Odette Ko Wallace, Baby Balatbat De Guzman, Tessa Sierra, Bebet Gillera Gozun, Jun Tullao, Ricky Yatco, Manuel King, John Tan, Ed Alimagno, Don Mejia, Carlos Corsiga, Alfredo De Jesus, Danny Diy, Raphael (Bon) Baylon and two new-found batchmates namely Ben Madriaga and Jun Estanislao. All in all, there were 16 batchmates who attended.  This is a pretty good attendance and may be considered unprecedented in the history of our batch's attendance in the past homecomings. Usually only about  five to six batchmates attend said gatherings.  However, unlike last year wherein some foreign-based batchmates attended the alumni homecoming, this year, we didn't have any balikbayan batchmates.  (Note to our  foreign-based batchmates:  We hope you'll be able to make it to our 40th Ruby anniversary  in 2008.  The tentative date selected is Dec. 30, 2008.)

In his e-mail, Don Mejia gave a personal account of what transpired during the homecoming night:
     "The group was there on time at about 5.30 pm. They had fellowship before the homecoming celebration at the bar near the lobby. It was there where we had picture taking. It was more pleasant, easy to converse there and much more welcoming to make that bar a meeting place as there was a large crowd of alumni who attended the affair.
     At about 7:00 p.m. we all proceeded to the Fiesta Pavillion. We occupied table 59 and table 60 beside the 1980 silver jubilarians, he he, di naman pala kami nalalayo sa hitsura nila... jokingly, Jun Tullao said our section was a certain name of a saint pag may nagtanong daw since current class section in USTHS are now named after name of saints unlike before where we named our class sections to 4-E, 4-C 4-B etc..
     The celebration of that homecoming was a little bit unique as it was more of a concert where the silver jubilarians ( batch '80) showed their talents in singing and dancing on the stage. The place was over crowded. There was hardly time and space to interact with each other, I felt it was much better and more fun to have fellowship in Ricky's place. In my opinion food served was not suited for our age, all meat!!!!!!yaks... I was a bit disappointed!!!. The group left early at about 10 p.m.
     Bon Baylon and I remained and he discussed with me the possibility of introducing to our batchmates 'The Purpose-Driven Life' talks (which is centered on the bible) in some of our future group meetings. He volunteered to give the talk based on the best selling book 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren.
     The party ended at 11 p.m."

     Here are some pictures forwarded by Odette, taken during the alumni homecoming night.  (Please click pictures to view an enlarged version.)

L-R: Ricky Yatco, Oddette Wallace, Baby De Guzman, Danny Diy and Caloy Corsiga

Standing left to right: Fredo de Jesus, John Tan, Noel King, Danny Diy, Ben Madriaga, Carlos Corsiga, Jun Tullao. Seated left to right : Ricky Yatco, Baby de Guzman, and Odette Wallace.

Standing left to right: Fredo de Jesus, John Tan, Noel King, Danny Diy, Carlos Corsiga, Ben Madriaga, and Don Mejia. Seated left to right: Ricky Yatco, Baby de Guzman, Odette Wallace and Jun Tullao.

 

From left to right: Ricky Yatco, Odette Wallace, Baby De Guzman and Danny Diy

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Prayers for the Eternal Repose of  Fr. Rebollo

Feb. 4, 2005 - We received the sad news from our batchmate, Eva Kalaw, about the passing away of Fr. Rebollo .  Fr. Reb died in the grace of God last February 3, 2005, at about 7:00 a.m. Philippine Time. 

In her e-mail, Eva has expressed our collective feeling of affection for Fr. Reb and our sorrow over his death:
     "....I am sorry to inform you that Fr Rebollo passed on at about 7 A.M.  Philippine time of February 3, 2005. I feel so heart sick because Fr Rebollo became my 'boss' from 1973 to 1981 when I taught at UST High.  He was an intelligent, wise and compassionate man. He drew out the best from me and made me the teacher that I am now.  He was like a father to many of us and had helped my family pull through during  several of our crises.   So many at UST who knew him in his life time are saddened by his death.....- 
Eva Kalaw" 

     Let us all pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Fr. Rebollo.  We thank God for giving us the opportunity to know Fr. Reb and to be inspired by his courage and faith in God in times of adversity. 

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Request For Prayers For Fr. Rebollo

Feb. 2, 2005 - We received the following e-mail from our batchmate, Eva Kalaw, informing us that Fr. Rebollo's condition has worsened:

     "....I just want to update you about Fr Rebollo's condition.  A certain Fr Niceto Blasquez, an English-speaking Spanish Dominican in Fr Rebollo's convent in Madrid e-mailed a former UST High teacher  yesterday morning, Feb. 1 ( received here at around  6 A.M.)  about Fr. Rebollo's bad condition.  He is now hospitalized and sedated due to his pains.  He is 80 per cent paralyzed.  In spite of these, his mind has remained clear and his spirits are high.  I am soliciting prayers from his friends at UST.  I know that many of us in batch '68 are concerned about him.  Please contact those who continue to care for him and ask them to pray for this kind and good priest. ..."

     Let us all pray for the healing and full recovery of Fr. Rebollo.

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Tentative Schedule for 40th Ruby Anniversary Celebration

Jan. 3, 2005 - During the 2004 year-end get-together held in Ricky Yatco's place, the batchmates who attended  agreed on the date for the 40th Ruby anniversary celebration in 2008.  The date selected is December 30, 2008 to accommodate our foreign-based batchmates who usually go home during the Christmas season to visit their relatives.  This date is also ideal for our Philippine-based batchmates since Dec. 30 is a national holiday (Rizal day), coupled with a long work-break from Dec. 31 to Jan.1, hence a relatively free day for everyone concerned.  We need the feedback from our foreign-based batchmates if they are amenable to the proposed date.  Kindly e-mail your response to  donmejia@yahoo.com or albert@albuenviaje.com or lbuenviaje@tri-isys.com.

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2004 Soup Kitchen and Get-Together in Ricky's Place

Jan. 3, 2005 - In honor of our late batchmate Benny Guidote, who inspired our very first outreach activity in 2003, our batchmates have committed to hold an annual soup kitchen to share our blessings with others.  For 2004, the soup kitchen was held last Dec. 30 at around 2:00 pm at the multi purpose gym inside the premises of the Sta. Teresita Church in Mayon, Quezon City.  As usual, the group took the opportunity to again have a pot luck get-together at Ricky Yatco's place.  The details about the soup kitchen and get-together   plus  accompanying photos can be found at the Outreach page of our website.

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