I graduated high school in 1968 at Cotabato Chinese High School in Cotabato City. (It is now called Cotabato City Institute.) Because our graduation took placed during a leap year, we agreed upon to hold our class reunion every leap year, so as to easily remember the time for our get together. My husband Lucas once even jokingly said that we were like Olympians, like the Olympic events that transpire every leap year too. And so for the record, ever since after our graduation, our class reunion never failed to materialize every four years since then.
The girls from our batch were specially very closed. We were only a hand few compared to the majority of the boys. The ratio during that time if I am not mistaken was about one girl to five boys. Most of us girls were not very chummy chummy with the boys in our class either, because during those days, it was a mortal sin to be a flirt. People would tease you incessantly even at the slightest show of friendliness or admiration. Besides, at sixteen years of age, graduating high school from far flung Cotabato province, the girls of CCHS class 1968 were mostly very very innocent, carefree, silly, tomboyish and un-poised. (if there is such a thing as un-poised. Hahaha.)
Through the early years, after our graduation, we had reunions every four years during December in Cotabato City. Until such time when classmate Erlinda Ko Chua suggested that we should change the venue and its seasonal month of conducting the reunion, because many had left Cotabato and were married, and couldn't possibly come to attend in December. Following her very sensible advise, the class held our very first out of town reunion at Midtown Ramada, Manila during the summer. We held a formal class party at the hotel venue. The next day, together with our families we went to Batulao, Batangas for an excursion. The attendance was high but the success rating was so so. The cooperation of both boys and girls were a big factor for success. During the excursion, we held a class meeting. The whole bunch agreed to maintain Jose T. Lim as our class president because truly he was more level headed than the rest of us. Hehehe.
On the 25th year, silver jubilee celebration; our class hosted (customarily) the song and dance programme of our school Alumni Homecoming event at the CCI gym on December 28, 1993. The turn out was a big success!!! We prepared well for it. We had "Kumukuti-Kutitap " (glitters) as our theme. Here in Cotabato, we rehearsed for months on end selected songs and dances. The Manila contingent not to be out done, prepared their own song and dance numbers too. Many came home with their families. They even brought home their choreographer. After the dance program on stage, the lady choreographer initiated group dancing for all on the dance floor. Never in the CCI Alumni Homecoming history could you see people dancing non stop even up on the bleachers and on the stage. This was indeed another one for the record. Our class was simply spectacular!
Sometimes in 2004( I may have forgotten the exact year actually), we had our reunion held in Davao City. The Davao contingent group of classmates hosted the affair. The reunion was well attended. Many came. We were billeted at the Davao Insular Hotel but this reunion also put a big strain on our class funds. I was bickering with Jose (Pepe) Chio about taxing or rather not imposing more contributions over some people. It also marked the end of the reunion that included spouses and families. Per Rita Cua Uy suggestion, "....to make things easier and not complicated, let us just have reunions among ourselves not including spouses and families." So the good advise was taken up and carried on.......
After Davao, we celebrated more reunions among ourselves. We went to Tagaytay, and to Puerto Princesa in 2012. Here, I have to specially mention Puerto Princesa. We had some difficulty at first at planning because of earlier protests and hidden agenda from wives to be included. After the unsuccessful attempts of some wives to disrupt our gathering, the reunion pushed through without a hitch. It was a big success! We had fun with our party and excursions. When the meeting was conducted in Puerto Princesa, it was even proposed and decided that the class should hold reunion every two years now instead of four! Hahaha. And so from then on, until now, we begun having bi-annual gatherings without the spouses. Sometimes, at the spur of the moment, the girls in Manila, together with some boys, we would get away and have lunch at Quan Mintons's farm house in Batangas. (Hehehe, we would bring along our husbands as well.) Last year, a peer group of boys from our class went to Boracay with their wives. Yet, when it comes to the bi-annual class gatherings, it still remains to be exclusively for class members only. In a span of every two years, we were able to go to Tagaytay again, to Shangrila, Mactan; to Bagac, Bataan and most recently this year to Misibis Bay and Legaspi City.
Our class members were dwindling. We were not getting any younger. Some died, some sick and incapacitated, others just simply unwilling to join.
This year 2018, for our 50th year class reunion; my partner in crimes, Imelda Tan Bugayong and I conspired to celebrate the golden jubilee with aplomb. Thanks to our class president Jose T. Lim, our classmates Ricky Lim and Roberto Atienza who not only gave their financial support but also their full moral support as well. Three classmates, Efren Yap, Rita Cua Uy, Anita Du Siy came home from abroad. The number of girls increased to ten. Although only 25 members attended, yet we had so much fun. It could have been 27 but two were not able to come despite having paid their dues. The class had a most wonderful time though. We had a blast! Our 50th class reunion in Misibis and Legaspi was a huge success!!! Thanks and kudos to all! And thank you God for our safe trip! Thank you very much!
(to be continued) coming up next... 50th year, golden jubilee reunion.