Tuesday, September 26, 2006

In November 2003, I went home to St. Bridget's School as a silver jubilarian. I wrote this for the alumni newsletter that year.
As early as May 2001, five of us from class ’78 of St. Bridget’s School began meeting regularly for our class’ silver jubilee which we intend to be one unforgettable event for all alumni.
There were numerous activities to be arranged and an early start in the preparations by the five of us -- Monica Sison-Ramirez, Ivy Serame-Sta. Ana, Che Chongco-Santos, and Pat Dimalanta and this writer -- was agreed.
We got valuable advice from New York-based Gina Cruz-Cordon during her yearly vacation to the Philippines.
Our monthly meetings got a big boost during the General Homecoming in 2001 when Grace Blancaver set up an e-mail group for the class. This made communication among classmates much easier.
As early as then, we began our search for our “lost” classmates, even calling up parents and relatives of those who had migrated abroad. This task was shared by everyone but it was Gina and Yiying Olaguera who did most of the tracking down in the United States where several members of Class ’78 had gone.
Second on the agenda was what we intended to donate to the school. We had to raise enough money to donate something to our beloved alma mater which would last and would be useful to its current students.
After much discussion, we decided to forego large fund raising activities and would instead count on regular contributions from all the members of the class.
We organized a small rummage sale in May 2002 at the Loyola Heights Barangay Hall. Because of its success, members of the class held another one in November, also at the same venue.
Not all members of the class participated, but a good number showed up to help out during the sale. Many donated all sorts of stuff to be sold, from dinnerware to clothes, to suitcases, to pillows, to shoes.
We had a good time despite all the difficulties we had to go through. I remember going around the Loyola Heights area in Che’s car, sticking up 8”x10” posters advertising our sale. I remember Ivy and Toey Dimaano-Hernandez roping in their children to help out, with Monica lending her van to ferry the boxes of saleable items from Ivi’s house, our designated warehouse.
All our efforts paid off. We were able to donate a brand new piano to the school. Not only that, we had the old piano restored and gave it a new lease on life, making it look practically brand new.
The donation was made in time for the St. Bridget’s high school graduation in March this year.
Of course, the piano will come in handy when Class ’78 presents their “surprise number” after a short program at the General Alumni Homecoming on November 30 at the school auditorium.
Carrying the theme “Familiar Faces in a Familiar Place,” the festivities will begin with registration at 1 p.m. of November 30. This will be followed by a mass at 2 p.m. The main program will start at 3 p.m. to be hosted by Class ’78 members Judith Planas and Yiying.
The program will start off with the singing of national anthem and to be followed by welcome remarks to be delivered by Class ’78 class presidents.
The candidates aspiring for the five vacant board seats on the St. Bridget’s alumni board will be presented to those in attendance. Casting of ballots will follow immediately after.
There will be a special number to be rendered by the daughters of St. Bridget’s alumni and then an update on alumni projects to be given by Gina Olaguera-Gil of Class ’77.
A surprise number by members of Class ‘78 will be held after all these.
Dozens of prizes will be raffled off throughout the short program which is expected to end by 6 p.m. Free snacks will also be served throughout the program.
This will not be the end of the reunions of Class ’78 members. A exclusive dinner will be held at the Pacific Place on Pearl Drive in Ortigas Center on December 13. An excursion of sorts is also being planned for class members and their families.
Definitely, this will be an unforgettable alumni season not only for Class ’78 members but for all alumni of St. Bridget’s School as well.

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