The countdown has been set.
Tomorrow will officially mark the last week of our summer break.
I don’t want to be a hypocrite. My three sons and I have a shared feeling toward the opening of a fresh academic year. We’re not yet ready for it.
Bitin. Unsatisfied… to quote my boys’ overused one-word description. Well, I couldn’t verbalize my agreement with their sentiment since I did not want them to see me as a parent who’d tolerate their negative attitude especially when it involves their education. I had to express what was expected of me as their mother and save myself from losing my strong moral authority. I told them to recondition themselves come June 13. Well, my reminder did not end here. I continued talking until I realized that I was sort of sermonizing. When I stopped, I posed the query to myself why I should be unsatisfied with my vacation when in fact I had the chance of making it to five scheduled and one serendipitous meet-ups.
The very first took place on a Holy Thursday with Mary Ruth Tatel-Uchida, a high school best friend and her family whose last stop of their spring break was the Philippines. We were reunited after five years. They were in full attendance during our Silver Jubilee celebration in July 2011 in Bicol. The presence of three high school batchmates – Sharron Manahan, Jose Tatualla and Ging Mendones (another best friend and kumare) – made this date at Bonifacio High Street a little unorthodox to very strict Catholics. Nevertheless, it was a simple yet relishable small gathering as we reminisced the good ol’ days. The after effect of this bonding lingered on for more than a month.
Following this March 24 pre-arranged meeting was my April 27 date with Rafael Morada, another hs best friend. This finally pushed through after rescheduling it twice due to an important errand and injury. Having the Gateway in Cubao as our venue, it did not hinder my seeing him after three years to exchange updates vis-à-vis. Despite our communication through Facebook, we would still prefer seeing each other to be assured that we’re still alive and being kicked… er… kicking. I’ve already talked about our friendship in this blog and suffice to say, ours will always be one-of-a-kind as we will carry to our graves the secrets which we have been sharing.
May 14, my third schedule for a reunion, was with my college best buddies. It came on a short notice but there was no imposed pressure from the host, Francis Castillo. He saw a window for us to meet a day before his flight back to the States. To add, he wanted to hand us the PNU (Philippine Normal University) Silver Jubilarians batch shirts which he bought for us during the Grand Alumni Homecoming last April 24. We three females didn’t attend it by choice. The meet-up would also be a belated birthday treat from him. Coincidentally, I had a 5:00 p.m. appointment that Saturday. I was invited to a co-professor’s dance benefit concert in San Beda. Looking at the time for our rendezvous, I informed them that I could only stay for two hours at MOA (Mall of Asia). This was fine with Soc and Francis. For us, it’s the quality and not the quantity of our being together that counts. But the agreed upon two-hour date stretched to four hours! Hahaha… our respective itineraries had a 360-degree twist when we found ourselves so absorbed in our conversation and derived so much fun from sympathizing with Soc, who was wearing a mask due to a multiple teeth extraction. Luz missed our day’s fashion statement because she was very busy with her post-graduate academic requirements.
Now, the fourth event was the offshoot of Luz’s failure to be with us three and my desire to visit Soc in her Bulacan residence so as to see her Nanay too after more than 17 years. For our past meets, it’s always Soc who would sacrifice traveling far just to be with us. This was also true with Luz, thus a visit to her Nueva Ecija abode will also have to be scheduled when our sked permits. Agreeing to do it on May 25, we decided to have an announced visit. We didn’t want barging in in Soc’s house since our future lawyer is a busy body. Tagging along with me was Alexander, my most willing companion in long trips. In a way, he would be a good reason for me to be permitted by my husband in going out of town but most importantly he would be my eyes at nighttime. Furthermore, it would be his chance to see his baptismal godmother Soc for the first time. Our trip to San Juan Del Monte, Bulacan was fast and convenient. That is why, we were all animated the whole time we were in Soc’s house.
My fifth meet-up was calendared a day after going to Bulacan. The advice from the “organizer”, my cousin/hs batchmate Medvil, was unexpected though the chosen place is nearer to Las Pinas. This was called a “four-men emergency meeting” where we would tackle some sensitive issues. I did ask permission from Larry but there was no reply via sms. I took it as a “No” and had to buzz Yep, Razi and Med at once when I couldn’t make it at 7:30 p.m..
But my no-show at Draft in Molito, Alabang despite my cousin’s persistence in letting me be with them had its realization when we accidentally bumped into each other at Solenad, Laguna the next day. Medvil was with his family while I was with my sons and niece, who was on a weekend break from her DOST job. It was my first time to meet his wife and two kids. Likewise, it was also his first time to see my sons. Truly, this was unplanned but a heartwarming reunion among bloodline.
Landing as my sixth was my April 30 appointment. After five years, I touched base with my former Bedan college student. It has not been my practice to have meetings with my ex-students, but I couldn’t turn down her invite, which she referred to as her treat after graduating in the same university as mine and immediately landing a job in one of the prestigious and high-paying schools here in the south. Genevie-Abi Calimbahin may have not earned her degree from a Benedictine school due to financial reason, but she proved to everyone that her transfer to the pioneer teaching institution was the best decision which she had ever done. Abi’s profuse expression of gratitude to my role in her life has been one of my simple consolations as a teacher. A young woman with the triple B’s – beauty, brains and breeding – she made me very proud of what she has achieved just like a real parent.