Durian Central: Ateneo Forever

WHEN Ateneo de Davao High School Batch 89 had their turn to host this year's grand alumni homecoming, the batch had one theme in mind: Ateneo Forever.

According to batch president Dr. Victor Espino, Ateneo Forever aims for a unifying theme for all Ateneans from all batches not just from Batch 89 to come and make the event also as their own.

The intensified promotions and marketing efforts of Ateneo Forever focused on reliving and recapturing school pride and nostalgia.

"This alumni homecoming is not just for us batch 89 but also it is for all alumni for them to join in the event," said Dr. Jeremiah Braganza, one of the prime-movers of the batch.

I was asked by Jeremiah, who was my neighbor in Juna, to help create their video collaterals during the run-up to the event and we had these video teasers of selected Ateneo de Davao alumni reminiscing their school memories, cherished values and how they define an ideal Atenean.

We handpicked movie actress Valerie "Bangs" Garcia of high school batch 2004, One Network Bank president Alex Buenaventura of high school batch 1969 and Davao City Tourism Operations Office OIC Lisette Marques of batch 1995.

The Ateneo Forever campaign was launched at the Black and Blue affair last October 22 at Marco Polo Eagles Bar and was attended by those from batch 89 and representatives from the different batches.

Several artworks from celebrated muralist Alfred Galvez who was their grade school batchmate (Ateneo de Davao Grade School '85) were displayed outside the bar. These depict the scenes of the old Ateneo with their wooden buildings and the Mercedes Benz buses.

According to Toto Mabaquiao who belongs to the fundraising committee, hosting an alumni homecoming is always a logistical nightmare as they have to equal or outdo previous hosts.

Last year, batch 88 held the homecoming at SMX Lanang.

The event's co-presentors included Cenacle-Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Community, APM and Nephrology Center of Davao. Major sponsors included Norminring/Ducati Davao, SM Lanang Premiere, SMX, Cocal Femsa, HP, Phoenix, Uraya Land, Smart. Minor Sponsors who pitched in included Aboitiz, Ginebra San Miguel, Reyna Shipping, MX3, Marco Polo Davao, Johnny Walker, Fujinon and Invex.

Generous patrons included; One Network Bank, North Panay Harbor, Iloilo Harbor Pilots, Sophia and Natasha Employment Agency, Filinvest, Robern Dev't., Vibrant Earthmovers, JRII Trucking, Seahawk Marine, Cafe Demitasse, RMC, Image World, San Miguel Brewery, Lou Works Studios, Tickertape Events, Coco's catering solutions, Taps, School of Design, Constant Project Integrated Development, Killer Bee Magic FM and the Business Class.

The batch also held its medical mission last November 14 at Sped Bangkal with the batch doctors in full force.

The December 30 event at SMX Davao will have iconic 80s rocker Juan Miguel Salvador and the Music Authority Band playing during the event.

Electronic Dance Music DJs The Zombettes (Ornussa Cadness and Sanya Smith) plus DJ Melvin will be spinning some tracks for the younger crowd.

Ticket prices are at P450 (until December 15, ticket prices will be at P500) the ticket is inclusive of dinner, unlimited drinks and entertainment and one raffle ticket.
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