Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Memoirs: Grand 2008 Reunion in Daet

The Journey

The supposed four-car caravan was trimmed to a two-car convoy, exactly the way it was last year. But it was okay. No fun lost. Smooth, free and easy, the trip was only interrupted twice: (1) by lunch at Gumaca’s seaside where a meal of sinigang na fresh tuna, fried tanguige and ‘tinomok’ was delicious and unbelievably cheap! (2) And as we approached Sta. Elena, we noticed dalanghitas (native oranges) are in season, so we stopped again to buy a few kilos.

Everytime I travel to Camarines Norte in all these years, it never fails to rain. As we approached the “Welcome to Camarines Norte” arch, it wasn’t a surprise anymore when a big downpour greeted us. Well, it wasn’t bad at all. Aside from washing-off the cars’ city dust, it gets the humidity down, and you feel as if you enter the province ‘cleansed’ and shower-blessed.

Welcome Reception

We arrived well in time to get a few hours’ rest at the BelAir resort hotel. When we got in to Louise’s, the downpour was still on. Scores of smiling faces were waiting. I didn’t know which hand to shake first, which gorgeous lady to hug and which questions to answer. Excitement was all around.

There were the usual endless hi’s and hello’s, and eventually it was time to attack the sumptuous dinner buffet.

After the meal, I joined Willy (this year’s indefatigable photographer) for a beer, with him gamely uncorking the bottle using another bottle (which I am never able to do!) Shortly after, videoke began. Boy Rios took the first few numbers with his standard songs. Sometimes he didn’t even have to look at the screen, which made someone remark “beterano sa videoke”! Boboy of course rendered his familiar Beatles and Dave Clark numbers. And so did JoeS with his favorites. Then came Ramona de Jesus with a rather whatchmacallit ‘classical-sounding’ number. As she approached the high note, I was fearful she was about to be derailed. It felt like she was at the edge of the cliff with one only foot clinging, ready to crash. Fortunately she survived. Later on she would render the safer, less complicated songs. Which came one after the other. Meantime, there was a long line of happily frustrated singers!.

Marybeth sort of calmed everyone down with her smoothly rendered “Downtown”. Fechie pitched in with a soulful number, so did Men and a few others. But the big surpise, again, came from Tess. She sang Didit Reyes’ “Bakit Ako Mahihiya” while gyrating like a Pilita. Later on she would tell us this was the new outlook she wanted to project this year, he..he..

Then it was time for Felino’s number, after an endless wait. His “Kawawang Cowboy” was hilarious, a fitting finale to a crazy evening!

Adjourning at around 10:30pm, we would learn the next day that the boys still had a late-night adventure in a couple of joints. But it was all hush-hush I have no clear idea what transpired. So I will reserve this for JoeS or FAJ to tell, he..he..

Sat. Outing

The simple, almost hidden resort at Mamburog was set under coconut trees. At that particular weekend the owners were kiln-drying some coconuts (to be made into copra). So it was a welcome sight for those who wanted to see how it’s done. The picnic huts, made of concrete to withstand Bicol typhoons, were situated near the river. Strong, clear waters were flowing downstream. This must have enticed an unlikely siren, este..estring asis to come out of nowhere and venture to swim in two-piece! She discarded her t-shirt, revealing a stunning attire, an upper whatchamacallit and Bermuda shorts. She bent and was poised to make a dive, to our horror, because there were big boulders around! yun pala mag-hihilamos lang, to our relief. FAJ and a few kids would later join the swimming team under cold waters..

Teddy Ong and Boy Rios presided over the chit-chats in one hut while everyone was tasting assorted breakfast stuff: puto, angko, suman, etc..etc.. Every now and then we would hear the ladies erupting with laughter. We in the other hut had to prepare the charcoal grill, while waiting for Manny Abogado to bring the fresh liempo’s. We didn’t wait too long. Soon the grill was ablaze, and the liempos and fresh tuna’s came and went while the many cooks were also the food tasters, bottles of beer in hand. Then Dorset and Remo arrived, with the rest of the food and drinks. They were all there, sugpo / hipon, lots of crabs, the immortal ‘tinomok’, even the sinantol! Wow, what a feast! As they always say “galit-galit muna” to focus on the superb meal in the meantime. Nobody seemed to be in diet mode.
Fresh buko, newly harvested starapples were also brought in. Sweet Daet pineapples completed the lunch.

While disgesting lunch Boy Rios impressed Mrs. Lunario with his various recitations. Definitions and declarations and historical facts and all. Which made Boboy Ong remarked, siguro nag review ka ng sarong semana bago mag reunion! The result was that there was a clamor to retrieve the various class medals given last 67, and be handed to Rios!

Meantime, rains poured again. A signal for all to start packing up and head back to Daet.

Saturday Night Live

In my earlier e-mail, I mentioned that this affair was full of surprises from beginning to end.

Here’s why:

1) Our former teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Maderazo, together with Mr. Manuel Alarcon ( Fechie’s brother) graced the party.

2) Estring Asis didnt leave early. She stayed well into the night.

3) FAJ turned out to be the class D.I. Whether it means dance instructor, or dance interruptor, is debatable, he.he..

4) Marybeth and Willy had surprise give-aways for all : from t-shirts, to California wines and JW Blacks, to chocolates and nuts - which made everyone alive and full of ‘spirit’. Which also made Efren Mago ask: can we have reunion every 6 months??

5) Susan was able to organize a raffle, with instant notable give-aways.

6) The musical numbers. Four groups, chosen at random by drawing lots, were able to render superb on the spot renditions. Each one can stand on their own versions. The verdict of the judges : a four-way tie! Face-off again in 2010 to see who’s really who !

7) The girls are gifted. They can do on-the-spot back-up dance numbers, with instant choreography.

8) Surprise song numbers from Ningning’s beloved, Edwin, and of course from the persevering Mona de Jesus, completed the solo renditions.

Dr. Yoly contracted and sponsored the same band as last year, million thanks to her, and this made sure the trip down to memory lane was well accompanied. Everyone had the energy to dance the night, or sing their blues away.

And when the time came to hear some feedbacks, Boboy Ong made a good job in asking almost everyone to speak up. There was longing for those who missed attending the reunion, who definitely would have made the affair even more memorable. But almost everyone’s message is that - coming from far or near, being back to where we came from, seeing dear old familiar faces and enjoying everyone’s company while we all still can, was worth the effort. Every minute was enjoyable. After all, such a chance to experience the yesteryears once again doesn’t come too often.

Sing, dance, chat, tease, like youngsters we all once were, 40 or more years ago. As we all linked arms in a circle while singing the night’s concluding songs (“I’ll See You In September” and thereafter “I’ll be Seeing You”) there were tears swelling from almost everyone’s eyes. No doubt the closeness was there. It was a bond which we now realize never vanished in the first place. Maybe temporarily laid-aside by the years, yes, but now definitely awakened and revived !



Every successful affair has certain individuals or groups behind it to thank for.
Dps Class 67 is fortunate to the have a core group of individuals whose untiring efforts and dedication make every event a big success and memorable.

First and foremost, the Daet group.

To the core group – Mendy, Susan, Manny A., Dorset, Dr. Yoly, Estring Asis, etc. whose planning and admin made the events smooth-flowing;

Remo for taking care of logistics and most of the food arrangements;

To Boboy and Dr. Yoly for their perseverance in locating long lost classmates and for making this a continuing effort until ALL have been accounted for.

To the Manila –based group :
Alot and Toti, Tess, Lina, Marynat for pre-reunion planning and coordination;

And of course- a perpetual Thank you is due Toti for establishing the e-group and the blogsite which allow us to contact and keep track of one another; a medium by which data, photographs, memoirs, news, developments, insights, opinions and activities can be posted for everyone’s info and perusal;

To Ed C – although a no-show at Daet, adequately made up for it in the Manila-leg of the Reunion; also to your continuing contributions to the e-group and the blogsite;

To Evelyn and Rudy for the pabaon’s for the foreign-based classmates;

And to Baby and Caloy for hosting a nice send-off dinner Sunday evening.

To the foreign-based classmates –

A very special thank you to all of you who flew the thousand miles, left your families for a few weeks, your jobs and devoted precious time and funds
just to be able to attend;

Also to those who were not able to fly home but contributed in other ways and have been in contact with us.

Marybeth, Willy, Men, JoeS, Ningning, Edwin thanks again for your attendance, gifts, assistance and give-aways,
Fechie – special thanks for the surprise t-shirts which became this year’s Reunion uniform! Galing mo! Like magic, wham! We had an instant uniform!


No comments:

Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

HS Solo Graduation Pictures

DPS Class67 HS Graduates, 40 Years After

This Day in History

Today's Birthday