Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy 30th to my Theresian Friends

Today, my high school friends in Manila will be celebrating our 30th High School Reunion.  Having been the Yearbook & the Magazine editor, I was asked to compose the batch write up, which I am sharing on this blog.  Why?  Because all over the world, some people are celebrating their 30th high school reunion just like us.  Those born in 1963 and 1964 are experiencing some type of milestone and can relate to what we went through.  So this is my tribute to all those in my generation…
To understand Batch 81 is to understand the years we were born, mainly 1963 and 1964.  In Chinese astrology, those would be the years of the Rabbit and the Dragon… yin and yang.  From the assassination of JFK, the ongoing Vietnam war, to the dawn of Beatle Mania and Cassius Clay (aka Mohammed Ali), we had no choice but to be thrust into a world of change, challenge and creativity. On the local front, not only was Ferdinand Marcos the president during most of our childhood and teen years until we turned 21, Martial Law was declared during our second grade and we lived during one of the most ‘Apolitical’ climates of the country’s history.

Our formative years occurred during the 70’s when the Peace Sign prevailed, skateboarding became a sport, and the culture of music and dancing peaked.  From polyester disco outfits & bellbottom pants inspired by Saturday Night Fever, and Farrah Fawcett & Wonder Woman style hairdos, we grooved and moonwalked our way through adolescent parties while Penthouse 7 taught us how to swing and salsa.  Tiger Beat was our bible and we swooned over Shaun Cassidy, Scott Baio, Patrick Duffy & Robert Urich.  90% of us had crushes on boys from Dulaang Sibol and Kundirana, aside from Hajji Alejandro.  We also lived through boxing’s glorious era and snuck in a portable TV to watch the Thrilla in Manila!

Amidst all the political and cultural highlights of our wonder years, we learned how to adopt and adapt, flow with the yin and yang and as a result championed some of the most memorable musical performances of Pippin, Sound of Music and West Side Story.  We were part of winning the WNCAA championships two years in a row while we cheered the team on with ‘Sunny Days…” from Sesame Street.  And who can forget winning three open field cheering competitions especially that of ‘Hangin’ in our sixth grade, as we blew with our very own force through all the adversity around us?

Yes, we definitely thrived on change and creativity.  Going with the flow was not an option for this group of young ladies who would ‘stir the pot’ just to make things more interesting.  How? Remember how we would drop a ruler and in unison look up to the ceiling – leaving our beloved teachers totally confused?   How about tying a firecracker to the door in 5th grade to scare the teacher when she opened it?  We had so much creative energy that we were the only batch who stayed after classes to practice folk dancing, gymnastics or our musical performances. All that creative intellect eventually produced doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, executives, and wonderful homemakers... who would impact society and help shape our children's future.

It was a most memorable time not only for us but for the rest of the world.  And as we graduated from our life within the confines of STC QC, the Columbia Space Shuttle was first launched, the word INTERNET was first mentioned, MS-DOS and IBM PC were first introduced.  Prince Charles married Princess Diana in a fantasy wedding that the entire world stopped to watch.  How poetic!  We were born as the Camelot era of the Kennedy years ended.  And we graduated from our cloistered upbringing as the Windsor wedding of a commoner to a prince gave us hope that fairy tales did exist.

Yin & Yang…30 years after graduating, we have gone to all corners of the world, conquered our fears, challenged ourselves personally and professionally, and re-united through the social media of Facebook.  Most of us seem to have hardly aged in spite of the time that has passed but we are definitely gentler, mellower and more understanding of each other.  Most of us are mothers, some are grandmothers while others made their fame in their respective careers.  Through it all, we find that whenever we meet, we reconnect with the same young girls within ourselves who shared more than a decade of memories and all sorts of experiences… and some of the best times of our lives.

Happy 30th to a dynamic and unique group of women…

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