THE vein of fellowship and camaraderie has the classmates of Class 67 alive over the years since their graduation. Although channeling different destinies and locations, nonetheless, friendship has kept the bond among the ladies warm and vibrant. Nothing is more sacred than friendships cemented in grade school and high school. And the ladies of Class 67 of St. Scholastica's Academy, Bacolod City has remained as united as when they were running in the school's corridors.
A worthy excuse for the classmate to enkindle that bond is to regroup whenever a visit from one of the batch comes to Bacolod. One such was for the visit of my good friend Dolly who is now living in Barcelona, Spain and with the prestigious IESE Business School. To reunite, they made trips to Boracay and Pataan.
For those who chose to remain local, a three times a week an exercise in jazz is not limited to toning muscles and leveling weight but also ignites their closeness. Jeanette Garcia, the ballerina and dance guru of the class, conducts these dance classes and Ami Lopez, Tinay Torre, Ing Jalbuena, Annette de Leon, Girl Villaruel, Annie Kilayko have been mainstays until Girl decided to relocate herself up north in San Carlos busying herself with the ethanol project. Ami, married to Obet Lizares, who is always chic, is proprietor to the many branches of Basix which carries the clothes that she so elegantly carries whether they are sporty or dressy. Together with Obet and her 3 sons, they have a successful chain of Reall gasoline stations. Annette de Leon is a career CPA who is also a travel agent who assists her sister, Gene Mapa, in Star Wings Travel. Annie Kilayko, the tumandok Talisaynon, a sugar farmer, always comes to the exercise class with food in tow!!! There goes the sweat!!! Tinay Torre, now Jalandoni, has always been the beauty and remains so to this day and happy being wife, mother and homemaker. Ing Jalbuena, the BPI retiree, being quite shy, has shocked many with her MAMA MIA performances and continues to be a rabid jazz offcionado. Jeanette and students have participated in fundraisers and I believe that the class' anthem is Mama Mia!!! So pertinent really to the age and class!!! Maitet Velez, the quiet one who is not really a socializer but always manages to commit to the classmates' get togethers. Maitet is very involved with the OCDS of the Carmelite Order and is part of the Formators group for aspiring new members.
From Manila, there's Elaine Torrejon, who likewise had a successful stint with HSBC until she decided to retire and reinvent herself. Eliane opened a coffee shop called Owlism (being an owl fanatic) and the program manager of WWW. FPhilippines which is an NGO involved in the preservation of the environment. Tina Uriarte, the jovial one who was their classmate in grade school and moved to Assumption San Lorenzo for high school keeps in touch and has a travel agency called Executive. Slim Salou Palau has now filled up and looks great and works with a call center in Manila. Jessica Velez from Silay has also made Manila home dabbles in her businesses. Goyang Maravilla the CPA still continues with her accounting office.
Most of the ladies may now have their senior cards but nothing can erase the memories of the days when they would picnic and party and be nightmares to the sisters of St. Scholastica. Life becomes really more precious when we journey through its joys and rough edges with friends!!! Thank you Lord for the gift of friends!!!