when do goodbyes become sweet?

i have never liked “goodbyes”.

they strip me of my so-called tough facade and bare my vulnerabilities to people who see me as someone who’s impenetrable. that’s why i don’t like watching melodramatic movies, i avoid hearing sentimental songs, i refrain from opening antiquated  photo albums to look at my departed loved ones and miss them, etc.
in other words, i would rather be talking about the zaniest topics under the sun instead of choking back my tears but failing. 
this was what i didn’t like to experience morning of june 3 when i received the invite to the turn over ceremony of  the college of arts and sciences deanship in san beda college alabang.
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pre-program photo with dean gerri (image source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/123208744484496/)
pre-program photo with dean gerri (image source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/123208744484496/)
i was visualizing myself swimming in the floods of tears in the multipurpose hall at 10 a.m. but i went and readied myself. i did not want to miss the affair which would honor one of my most admired administrators in sbca, dean thelma geraldine a. baricaua. 
dean gerri (image source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/123208744484496/)
dean gerri (image source: http://www.facebook.com/groups/123208744484496/)
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fondly addressed as dean gerrie, she is a woman of substance, a paragon of service, dedication and humility. i liked her at first sight and fell in love with her at once on the day she extended her hand to me after my final interview. she was the exact opposite of what was relayed to me by someone before i personally met her. i was thankful it’s not my personality  to  believe any shared labeling about an individual. i left it to myself to discover who the person is, inside out. it is then that i would make my own impression which would be confirmed as i experience a close and regular encounter with her or him. 
dean gerri was a fresh air to me, having come from an institution where i got to meet administrators on a “now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t” basis. what was unforgettable about these people was making themselves visible during parties, but not on occasions where the problem of the school should be addressed. in our dean’s case, i would see her early in school programs, would make it a point to mingle with all of us before and after an affair, would finish a school event, and would brainstorm with the others in dealing with sensitive issues in the college. never did i see her grouchy. she would always be wearing her infectious smile. very surprising from a woman who had chosen the life of spinsterhood. 🙂 she always exuded this spirituality which she once shared with us in a seminar. she emphasized among us teachers how to be an illumination. to top this,  she knew us by our christian or nicknames. she calls me mau. unlike my former boss, who would always forget my family name and when he did remember it, would always mispronounce ‘GINES’. grrrrrr….
anyways, i was very thankful that the ceremony did not turn out to be a tearjerker. hehehe. 
dean gerri handing the sbca flag to our new dean, dr. paul hilario
dean gerri handing the sbca flag to our new dean, dr. paul hilario
image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec
dean gerri  and dr. paul, swaying the sbca flag (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
the serenade for dean (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
the serenade for the dean (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
those who had a participation in the program, made all their dialogs simple and direct. no tear-inducing speeches were delivered. i had to applaud them all though i already brought two hankies and a towelette with me. hahaha.
dr. paul, delivering his acceptance speech (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
dr. paul, delivering his acceptance speech (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
prof. rowena carpio, our new vice-dean (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
prof. rowena carpio, our new vice-dean (image source: http://www.facebook.com/SBCAsec)
rev. fr. anselm manalastas, our new rector-president
rev. fr. anselm manalastas, our new and young rector-president
the turn over ceremony lasted for more than an hour just in time for lunch. those who shared a table saw that chance to bond. this i did with my bedan friends. 

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likewise, my attendance yesterday officially started my fifth semester in this benedictine community. 
i was happy to be back, and excited to work with my colleagues/friends and meet my new batch of bedan students come june 18. 

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