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Friday, January 18, 2013
THE Sinulog festivities have become a reason for overseas Filipinos (mostly Cebuanos) to return to Cebu during the Christmas season extending to the end of January. Some people put on top of their list a visit to the Basilica del Sto. Niño to pay homage to the miraculous image. Others come for the Sinulog Grand Parade.
A good number of my batch mates from the Abellana National School (ANS) Class of 1973 are coming home for a three-day celebration on Jan. 24-26, 2013. A Facebook page was set up with 188 registered members.
Our batch entered Abellana National School in 1969, the time when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon. The hippie movement had reached its summit in the Woodstock Festival that drew 300,000 people. In the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos was reelected after defeating Liberal Party candidate Serging Osmeña.
I guess most of us freshmen were not so mindful of what was going on around us, as we were mostly engaged in our studies and doing what male youths were expected to do–-sport long hair, wear bell bottom pants, get taller on clogs and have a crush on the prettiest girls.
My years in high school saw Communist China open its doors to the world with Richard Nixon’s visit to Beijing. The Watergate scandal investigation had begun and the Vietnam War had ended with signing of peace pacts on Jan. 27, 1973.
Dekada 70 in the Philippines was about Plaza Miranda, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, the 1970 Constitutional Convention, proclamation of Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972 and the establishment of the “New Society.” For me, that was the time when I was initiated to music through Jingle Magazine and studied politics courtesy of the Philippine Free Press.
While student activism was at its height at that time, high school seemed to be off limits to it. But who could ignore those boycotts, protests and marches against Marcos?
I remember preparing for the Voice of Democracy contest to represent ANS. The late Jess Vestil contributed the introduction in my speech: “There is bomb in one of the seats of this auditorium and it is about to explode.” It was meant to describe the troubled Philippine society. That speech was never delivered, as Martial Law was declared.
I remember my favorite teachers (Mr. Echica and Mrs. Languido), my best friends (Sergio Lepiten and Manolo Almendras), my favorite subjects (agriculture and journalism), my failures (I never got elected as class officer and never made the cut for training as a disc jockey in dyAV), and my crushes (I won’t tell).
To my batch mates, enjoy each other’s company. To the organizers, thank you for all your efforts.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 19, 2013.