Thursday, June 30, 2005

LSQC Reunion Part II

The reunion was the first time that I saw my batchmates since I had left the Philippines. Some faces did not change that much. Alan S., Glen D., and Anthony U. looked very similar to the young faces that I remembered. Probably the one that changed the most for me was Napoleon Raymundo. Nap was definitely taller than I remembered. He towered over everyone.

The picnic was a gathering before Nap arrived. After Nap had unpacked the food from his car, the picnic was a party. It just seemed that everyone loosened up when Nap came. Maybe it was because everyone could finally eat because he brought the plates. But, I bet that the party really started because Nap brought with him the mood and the atmosphere of a party.

Nap came to the picnic with his wife Janet and his three boys. Alan S. (I believe, sorry if I made a mistake) asked Nap where the boys attended school in the Philippines. Nap said, "LSQC din. Lahat sila LSQC." Without missing a beat, Alan said, "Siguro sabi nung administration sa LSQC, 'Raymundo na naman? Raymundo na naman? Paluin silang lahat!'"

Later that afternoon, I saw how children can change men. Nap stayed and played baseball with not only his children but the other kids of the alumni. At one point in the afternoon, about half of the kids from the picnic were participating in the baseball session which Nap held. It's hard to believe that a class clown like Nap could become disciplined, caring and focused father. The power of children over their parents is amazing.

One of the kids playing with Nap's children was the son of Ariel Carlos who came all the way from Seattle, Washington to attend the picnic. Ariel's son was wearing a light blue Lakers t-shirt with the name of the Lakers guard Kobe on the back. It was great to see Ariel because he managed to update me on some of our classmate's experiences at UP Diliman. ["Sa totoo lang inggit ako sa lahat ng pumasok sa UP. Yan talaga ang dream school ko." RVP]

One of the first alumni that I managed to speak to for a length of time was Chris Glindro. Chris and his wife are nurses in Los Angeles. Chris is basically living the immigrant experience of many Pin@ys in the United States. One interesting thing of note is that his wife graduated from LA County Nursing School where my brother also graduated in the mid-1990's. Some of the alumni chided Chris for carrying two video cameras. But really, video cameras can break. Be Prepared! The 20th reunion only happens in one weekend. You might as well cover it completely with two videocameras.

In the picture, you will see Chris Glindro with Jojo Cuejilo. Jojo came from Daly City the capital of Pin@ys in the world. Jojo managed to bring with him a copy of the high school yearbook. Unfortunately, Jojo and Chris had to go back to the airport because Jojo's baggage was misplaced on a different flight than the one that Jojo took. As soon as Jojo showed the yearbook, the alumni gathered around to see the young men that they used to be. A few minutes later, Mike Faustino took the yearbook to his wife to show her that he used to have hair. "Gusto kong ipakita sa kanya ang itsura ko nung may buhok pa ako."

Oh, I almost forgot! There was chaos as the box of T-shirts which was made by Earl Balbautog was unveiled. As I spoke to Jay Ortega about establishing a scholarship fund, everyone was clamoring for their blue t-shirt. When the dust settled, I kicked myself for not ordering a t-shirt. But suddenly, I saw that there were two sets of shirts. The second set was brought by Rhoel Dumlao and is the light blue polo shirts that are shown in the photos. I immediately bought one so that once the cameras started clicking, I could be in "uniform" in all the photos.

By the way, who was responsible for that banner? And who took it home? We're going to need it for next year. Please don't forget to bring it to Northern California, the site of the 2006 reunion!!!

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