The song of our youth

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By Danny B. Dangcalan

A Walk in the Park

Monday, May 5, 2014


TWENTY-ONE summers ago, we sang Barry Manilow’s I Made It Through The Rain. That was during our graduation day, when we stepped out of the portals of our beloved alma mater, E. B. Magalona National High School.

“We dreamers have our ways/ of facin’ rainy days/ and somehow we survive/ We keep the feelings warm/ protect them from the storm/ until our time arrives.”

How could we forget the lyrics, when they speak of our collective resolve to brave the storms of life, so that someday when our hair turns gray and our bones become brittle, we can all say, yes we made it through the rain!

The lyrics of the song stayed with us long after graduation that every year after that - for two decades now - we still managed to organize small get-togethers, little parties, out-of-the-blue rendezvous, and mini-reunions just to catch up with each other’s lives.

We keep the feelings warm.

We would meet at least thrice a year: during Holy Week, every May 1 (our town fiesta), and Christmas break. Or on birthdays, barangay fiestas, and even wakes! For seven years now, we have been religiously attending the General Alumni Homecoming. Our batch always has one of the biggest alumni every homecoming.

I believe that the friendships that blossomed from high school days are generally one of those few that last.

In our case, we cherish our friendship because it grew from years of constant togetherness: from the time we were pimple-infested, infatuated fellows and practically penniless, to the time we got jobs and can afford to treat each other for lunch, to the time when some of us got married and raised kids (and got penniless again sometimes), up to now, when some of us are hit by midlife crisis and existential angst.

So whoever is in town, we invite them for a bottle or two, because misery loves company. But during happy days, we also declare “sky’s the limit” because as Pharrell Williams sings, “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”

Last April 26, we saw each other again at the General Alumni Homecoming. There were same old faces, and there were new ones who attended for the first time.

We hugged, shook hands, embraced, made beso-beso and chatted as if we hadn’t seen each other for a long time. When the truth is, we also saw each other on regular meetings prior to the homecoming.

Still, it was sentimental to go back to the school grounds that had been a silent witness to our youth. So during the homecoming, in between drinks and pulutan, we reminisced our high school days again, never getting tired of the same funny stories.

But this time, with additional topic: Preparing for our batch’s hosting of General Alumni Homecoming four years from now. And guess what will be our theme song by then?

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 05, 2014.

Lifestyle

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