24Karat @33

A month from now, will all attendees of the BUHS ’86 “50@33: Gold, Glam & Glitz” gladly join me in reminiscing about this grand occasion? 🤔

I hope so. Really I do. 

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Touted as a first of its kind in the history of our alma mater BUHS (Bicol University High School), the special edition of our reunion was conceptualized to celebrate the golden years of most of our katribu (tribemate, our batch’s form of endearment). Labeled as ambitious in staging this large-scale event, we took the challenge of pulling it off. 
Unknown to many, this Grand Ball began as a joke (or a hallucination..hahaha) between Rafael “Paeng” Morada Jr. and me. In one of our dates in 2014, we shared our hankering for a Hollywood-inspired reunion or its local version in our country which is the ABS-CBN Grand Ball. Donning gowns and male formal suits in a high school event would surely be a far cry from what we were used to wearing. For us, it’s about time that we try giving this theme a shot at 50. 

So when I ran a marathon in Dubai on January 21, 2017, I presented this idea to our UAE-based batchmates — Nova Sabino-Giebson, Narcisa Lotivio, Edwin Manjares, and Peter Paul Peliño — to get their initial feedback. 

With the Vice President for UAE Chapter Edwin, who had already given a positive reception, we were able to get the first set of official nods to this proposal the night of January 21 in Nova’s residence. 

This overwhelming support set the fire for this historical journey which took more than two years in the making, brought a roller-coaster of emotions but found its niche in the anals of BUHS on July 27, 2019.
June 24, 2018: The first official meeting — creation of the different committees and programme (Goshen Hotel and Resort, Bamban, Tarlac City)

August 28, 2018: Prelude-cum-meeting (Chill KTV Bar, Cubao, Quezon City)

October 4, 2018: Organizing Committee first meeting (Onsen Spa, Makati City)

December 1, 2018: Christmas party-cum-meeting (Camp Crame, Quezon City)

June 1, 2019: Organizing Committee meeting, all members complete ; IV-Courtesy brainstorming for the class production number (Discovery Suites, Ortigas City)

Nota Bene: Bicol-based members of the Organizing Committee also held meetings with the event coordinator, Jane Gee Mape-Manalo. We regularly communicated in our group chat before finalizing anything. 
June 30, 2019:  Start  of the delivery and distribution of invites here and abroad

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July 23, 2019: OC meeting-cum-unwinding; updating of pledges and donations received (Puning Resort and Restaurant, Angeles City, Pampanga)

 

July 25, 2019 (Thursday, am): The Organizing Committee’s general meeting with event suppliers, coordinator, and host, Bert Nuñez (Tyche Hotel, Legazpi City)

July 25 (Thursday, pm): Section rehearsals in preparation for the “BUHS Got Talent,” scheduled in the morning of July 27 

July 26, 2019 (Friday, am) : Attendees’ arrival

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July 26 (Friday, pm): Final rehearsal of each section

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July 27, 2019 (Saturday, am) : Eucharistic celebration; photo bingeing on school grounds; motorcade; BUHS ’86 Got Talent
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Let the showdown begin…

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… and be lovingly “challenged” by our former teachers,


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who gamely joined us afterwards in a dance mob, beginning with Spandau Ballet’s “Gold” ! 

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July 27 (Saturday, 6:30 pm): The main event (Concourse Convention Center, Legazpi City)
Ready to walk the red carpet with Benjamin Almeniana, Dina Daz-Gile, and Mr. and Mrs. Rocel Dino
With Edgar Namia, defying his doctor’s orders to travel and Mary Ruth Tatel-Uchida, surprising us all the way from USA
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Our tribu’s glamorous men and women
What to do with two sexy women, Rose Marie Lanuza-Goyena and Ami Gongona-Meels…behave and smile, Chito Listanco!
Drop-dead beauties…France Diaz-Reyes, Dina Daz-Gile and Emy Geronga-Cebedo
Pre-Grand Ball photoshoot with our event host and my reluctant escort, Rafael Morada Jr.
Excitedly waiting for the start of the program with the gorgeous Ma. Luisa Apolinar-Parlade, one of my high school best friends/kumare
With our low-key batch valedictorian, Rolly B. Laviña (second from left)
With Ferdinand Barandon, an officer and a gentleman in all aspects
Still looking like high school students… Take your pick.
With Narcisa Lotivio, Rosalie Ramirez-Balde, and Mary Sidel Villaflor, the three expats who came home to “fight” with you… Go, IV-Honesty!
Medvil Mediavillo reunited with Mary Sidel; I with Saturnino Biñas (in grey vest) after 33 years…
With THE Joel Carrascal, my cousin/batchmate/friend/Best Director Award rival (Hehehe)
 Making my heart flutter by the sight of these pretty ladies
Capturing happiness in one click
A photo with our former mentors, librarians, and principal…
… whom we will infinitely be grateful to
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Adorable Couple No. 1: Holger Giebson and Nova Sabino-Giebson

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Adorable Couple No. 2: Rob Butler and Annjanette Lorilla-Butler

Teachers’ Tribute, one of the highlights of the reunion… 

The lucky 13 representatives of class IV-Courtesy 
Handing the plaque and cash to Nova Sabino-Giebson, Female Star of the Night and Jeffrey Balde, Male Star of the Night
Our surprise top award goes to…Jane Gee Mape-Manalo, our event coordinator and  hardworking tribu motivator
With our class adviser in fourth year high school, Mrs. Aparicion Martinez
Overjoyed to have Mary Sidel, Emy, and Ruthie… the three women who made my year 2018 phenomenal
Cheers to you too, Rene Acebuche and Ferds!
Mi amigo Edgardo Monforte Jr. … Second photo together to be in formal wear
With Adorable Couple No. 3: Jeffrey Balde and Rhea Improgo-Balde
Great feeling to hug Evangeline Llamasares-Aydalla, one of my fave classmates/teammates/co-dancers in elementary and high school
Flanked by Rafael Morada Jr., our very own John Lloyd Cruz and Ferdinand De Ocera, his Hayden Kho
Falling for Ramesis M. Lorino in his kingly top
Total transformation… With Imelda Dado-Moratillo, who’s my four-year soccer, volleyball, and softball teammate 
Amidst the glam and glitz we made sure to pay tribute to our departed katribus before concluding the programme.
Community singing of “Happy Birthday”  to our batch…
…and “Salamat” by The Dawn
This is genuine fun and joy!
With our top-notch event host, Mr. Bert Nuñez… Truly a live wire!
All flashing a contented smile early morning of July 28…Now, spot the difference. Hahaha.
If my batchmates were to guess who the happiest were that day, it would be a no-brainer. These pictures had loudly spoken. 

Indeed, our 33rd reunion gave us another leeway to look back where we started from and assess whether we had moved forward and had created a better future as a BUHS katribu.

Honored to have worked with this indefatigable team (Eric Parlade, Ma. Luisa Apolinar-Parlade, Rafael Morada Jr., Elvie Alejo, Jane Gee Mape-Manalo, and Edwin Manjares)
Personally, homecomings like this is a time to reaffirm my relationships with people, may they be my bloodline or not. If a new relationship is established, it may be a signal for me to look forward to the next get-together.
With my cousins Medvil and Nelson… Missing the fourth Mediavillo in our batch, Ma. Cherrie Mediavillo-Severino
Whatever the overall turn-out of this undertaking was, I had no regrets. As long as there were tribumates, who share the same goal of keeping BUHS ’86 a loving united tribe and wholeheartedly appreciate the collaborative effort, I would be willing to go through the same venture again.
When all is said and done, we remain a family. 

Photo Credits

Rene Acebuche
Dina Daz-Gile
Rose Marie Goyena-Lanuza
Gerardo Lita
McVill Studios
Bert Nuñez

2 thoughts on “24Karat @33

    1. Twin sisters nga tayo! Kasi naiiyak din ako habang ginagawa ko yan pero biglang natatawa. Hahahaha.

      Maraming salamat, baklaaaa. Nakigkig ako bigla sa notification na may comment mula sa anonymous. Chineck ko baka kako unanimous ka talaga. Hahahaha.

      Like

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