WHILE we are at the UB Science High, let me just stay a bit before moving on.

This year, 2019, the class of 1974, to which your truly belongs, celebrates 45 years since graduating in March, 1974. I know. Has it been thaaaat long? Yes, it has.

What this means is that my high school “batch” and I have known each other for at least some 49 years now, since we all met in 1970.

Or earlier, even. Some of us were classmates in grade schools prior to becoming freshmen in high school. I know that Sam Ancheta went through grade school with his cousin Restie Tabita, and that the two are also cousins. Alex Galace (+) was also a cousin of the former, maybe of the latter, too. If memory serves, (Nan)Ding Marzan was also Restie’s and Sam’s schoolmate. Now there go long friendships.

Minerva “Min” Tawatao (now Cummins) and Ma. Lulu “Elyu”/Susan Salcedo (now Seisa) are also cousins, and both lived in Suyoc, the mines. Daily, they travelled to Baguio in a blue van precisely for children from there to get to school in town. Daily, they travelled back. When their respective families moved stateside, Min boarded at Patria de Baguio and Elyu bunked in with moi.

My best friend was Sylvia Tabanda Salazar. We discovered straightaway that our fathers were good friends. From our class, only she married a classmate, Emil Ruff, whom I was in grade school with. Whose mother, Auntie Joy, was my mother’s good friend. Emil's father, the courtly Major Henry Ruff, was later a very senior mentor while we were both on the faculty of the Philippine Military Academy.

Where the father of classmate Joy Lumabas (now Tio), Col. Roger Lumabas, was the Dean of Academic Affairs during the 1970s and the 1980s. He also then wrote a weekly column on Bridge, the card game, for the Baguio Midland Courier, published from the ol’ Kisad Road by the Hamadas/Okubos, descended from Josefa Cariño (the school), sister of my grandfather, Dr. Jose Maria “Pepe,” Baguio’s mayor right after World War II.

As things turned out, one of the grandsons of Josefa, Oscar, Manong “Okay” Hamada, married Emilia, Manang “Emy” Balawan, older sister of Demetria, Manang “Demy” Balawan, one of UB Science High Class of 1977.

The Class of 1977 were seniors when the Class of 1974 were “ansisits” at the Science High. As such, we were given much advice and guidance from our senior manangs and manongs. To include classes 1976 and 1975. Read: we obeyed them (smiley).

Next week, we pick up from there.