It was a fine Saturday morning for the Class outing. The sun was up, the skies were clear. The heat was still bearable. Initially, Little Tagaytay located in the direction of Basud was the venue of the outing. The Daet working group decided to change it to Bagasbas, when they found out that the road leading to the place was bad. Mendy requested Dorset to be the host, and luckily he agreed. Food would be brought in from Louie’s (the same Louie’s of our high school days). An added attraction would be the ongoing International Kite Boarding Festival (although the actual competition day was on Sunday).
Everyone was supposed to just go directly to Dorset’s residence at nine thirty am. But since it was just a time for tsikahan, with no specific agenda or schedule of activities, people initially came in trickles. Remo and Joe Chavez (again) were the earliest to come. Remo brought the sticky hinalo. Toti (that’s me) came next. Hmm, good track record so far. Estring, Millet Mila and Emily were also among the early birds. I showed them class pictures from my laptop, including the Nobody, nobody video, and Sor Victorina’s pictures taken on her 99th birthday. Aliw na aliw si Estring.
Several came wearing the “Oragon pa ini”, 2008 T-shirt courtesy of Fechie, (just as some did during the welcome dinner). I failed to bring mine. Elmer and Anabelle couldn’t make it anymore on the second day of the reunion. They had previous commitments so they had to leave early. Elmer went home to Nabua, Camarines Sur (do you know that his wife is a relative of Ate Guy?) while Anabelle went back to Penaranda, Nueva Ecija for her early Sunday morning commitment in the church. How nice of them to have travelled far even just for the welcome dinner!
Alito Yadao who was absent the previous evening arrived. He said he wasn’t notified about the welcome dinner. Tita Quinones-Cadag, also missing in the welcome dinner, came with a granddaughter in tow.
Mendy came just to drop the other ladies but had to go back to Louie’s to get the food. Boboy came straight from the awarding ceremonies of the Palarong Bikol. He received the award wearing the DPS Class 67 Oragon pa Ini T-shirt. (I will be posting his picture and news clipping on the Cam Norte victory).
Ebo Lukban came with his elder brother, Miguel, a good friend of Dorset. Miguel is still recovering from a stroke.
Felino came with a bottle of his home-made sawsawan of suka and siling labuyo (mayo pa itong spicy pili nut candies). Others such as Marybeth and Willy, Fechie, Dra. Yoly, Mona, Boy Rios, Joe Yadao, and other Vinzonians Jebong and Efren were accounted for. Of course, Dorset, as the gracious host was there. Willy continued with his self-assigned task as documentor of the activity.
Maning Abogado came bringing his ‘aphrodisiacally’ delicious soup No. 5. The matador was lucky that day, so that was the bull’s balls and b_ _ o , and not his. For a while, the topic turned to aphrodisiacs. Iba-ibang kwento about other concoctions. Willy said that there was one which was really, really effective. It can make you real hard, as hard as you can possibly get. But the liquid formula came from makahiya essence. So the partner can feast her eyes as long as she wanted but shouldn’t make the mistake of touching it. Else, just like the makahiya leaves............ ayayayyyyy!
There was plenty of food...... inihaw na baboy, sugpo, tinumok, frankly I cannot recall the others. May hinalo, angko, and tipong for snacks. I realized that I didn’t take any picture of the food. Perhaps my sub-conscious was just taking a health advice more seriously – that in gatherings, there should be less emphasis on the food. Enjoy the food, take it slowly and savour more the company and the conversations.
Drinking started much earlier than the eating. There was beer, but the imported hard drinks from Dorset’s bar were the main fare – I also had several shots although I still didn’t know whether it was a scotch or a whisky, what's the difference anyway? I’m sure it wasn’t gin or vodka. (Willy’s wine and liquor were reserved for the socials.) Some of the ladies were worried that most of the guys would already be drunk when they attend the 6:30 pm mass.
After lunch, drinking continued at the back of Dorset’s house where the food and drinks were laid. Majority were however, sitted on the grounds outside (garo baga ma-focus group discussion) reminiscing about the past. Natural bangka for this bolahan are boboy ong and boy rios. Ed C wasn’t there, but he was remembered for the Tagas escapade after the graduation. It was Ed C whom the Vinzonians saw on their way home entering the cabaret. (by the way, mayo nang Tagas ngunyan, malumoy na daa.)
Felino was turning out to be makulit. He said he hadn’t lost hope that there would be classmates who would end up with each other. Aram ko na ang tinutumbok ni Felino, I just kept on smiling, which made Felino say na hilam man daa ang ngirit ko. He continued with his pangangantiyaw, maluya kaya daa ang manok ninda, still no reaction, just smiled and smiled until he had to move on to another topic.
Most of the recollections were about the kalokohan in high school days – like the different ways of cheating successfully – using the feet to open the book, which was laid on the floor, preparing a codigo ala-lastilyas sa jueteng and putting it inside the shirt pocket. The late Rabinder Idnani was also recalled for catching students cutting classes to watch movies.
There were many other funny anecdotes I couldn’t now recall that kept everyone laughing. There was no serious discussion or sharing about what one is currently busy with. That was done in side conversations but not shared with the bigger group.
Unavoidable as years pass by is counting the number of those who have passed away ahead of us. This directed the talks to the need for more frequent class reunions. After some discussion, the group arrived at the consensus to hold a yearly class reunion, a simple gathering without the big preparations. Those who are available, whether coming from Manila or abroad, will gather in Daet every first Saturday of February (mayong maghapot ha kung anong aldaw yan – pirmi ng Sabado iyan mapatak, baka arog kan iba, mahapot pa kung anong aldaw mapatak ang Good Friday, delikado pag Martes!). Though simple, this will still need a core group that would remind the class of the agreed schedule, determine the number of attendees, select the venue, make the reservation, and pay the deposit.
Earlier, a decision was also made to hold the socials also in Dorset’s place, instead of the Kingfisher, which they said was too small, since we would be having a live band (courtesy of Dra. Yoly) and people would be dancing. It was actually a big hassle for Dorset who had to contact electricians who would set up connections for the lights and sound system at the roof deck. (When the band arrived, however, in the evening, they requested that these be put on the grounds, instead. Since the deck didn’t have any cover (no roof, no walls), they were afraid that they would lose their voices or catch pneumonia.)
Around 4 pm, the group decided to disperse
The group attended the anticipated mass at the St. Joseph’s chapel in Lag-on celebrated by Fr. Villania at 6:30 pm. From the Chapel, the group proceed to Dorset's residence in Bagasbas.
Coming Up next ..... The Socials