Sunday, September 27, 2009


''If memories are riches"
I'll always have my memories,
When I am old and gray,
And they at least are something
No one can take away
I could not ask for greater wealth.
Because they are so dear
And I will never wish for more
As long as I am here.
For if they measure riches by
Memories here on earth,
I'll surely be a millionaire-
So great would be their worth.
Harold F. Mohn
EBB'S E-TALK: September is my birthday month and I am a Libra. My 66th birthday is coming up about 2 days. Tonight, I just came back from an intimate birthday celebration with my two sons, husband, Joy and John (bf). They treated me to a sumptuous seafood and prime rib buffet at the famous Cafe Sierra in Hilton Universal, Los Angeles. Had a wonderful time. I am loaded with oysters, jumbo shrimps, lobster, crab legs, ginger crabs, etc. etc. I also came home with bunches of fresh yellow lilies, sunflowers and pink roses. This is an advance celebration w/ my family. Actually, I have a different idea of celebrating my birthday this year. I wish a quiet celebration with just my husband and I. We are taking more than a week trip to Colorado and will visit Aspen, Breckenridge and Beaver Creek. I look forward to the myriads of awesome autumn colors on the state of Colorado.
After months of hard work- packing, sorting our things, fixing and repainting the interior of our house, this is a much deserved vacation. We needed this rest to energize and prepare us for our move and transition to the San Diego area. We thought this is a beautiful way to start a new beginning in a new place. Something happens when you leave routines and responsibilities behind, when you wake up and see beautiful mountains and different landscapes instead of the same old clock and bedspread.
My 65th birthday celebration last year (September 29, 2008) is but a memory. Before I leave for our trip, I'd like to share some photos. Although I lost my hearing at mid-life, like the poem above, no one can take my memories away. Memories linger on. The first photo above (right side) - the harpist and me. She played a beautiful piece and dedicated it to me.
My goal for my 65th birthday was to celebrate it with my first solo art show. I had joined and exhibited in many art shows in the past but never had my own solo art show before.
ABOUT MY PAINTINGS: Most of my new paintings are vibrantly drawn and beautifully inspired by actual events that happened in my life and with my family in the United States and beyond, with bits of nostalgia from my former homeland, the Philippines. The focus of my paintings is mainly on the meaningful and heartful events that have impacted and inspired me over the years. Each painting is infused with a mural-like, storytelling quality. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I’d like to share my experiences through visual art. The distinct images are densely ornamented with foods that are rich with bold colors and filled with visual aromas. The coconut trees are dominant images too. I am fascinated with them. They were part of my childhood and I grew up with them. The coconut trees are very graceful, playful and beautiful. We don’t need to hear the noise around us. The more we look at art, the more we see the beautiful world around us.

ABOUT THE ART SHOW: I exhibited 13 huge brand new oil paintings during this special event. Here are some of the oil paintings displayed at the Northbridge Clubhouse in Valencia, Sta. Clarita (California). The theme color was impressionistic to coordinate with my colorful oil paintings. Paintings shown are: First- "Thanksgiving In America-Pinoy Style." Second-"Cheerful Christmas Eve." Third-"Christmas In California." Fourth-"New Year's Eve And New Beginning."

Here's a close-up of one of my oil paintings exhibited:
SIZE: 48” x 30”
Birthday celebrations are very important event among Filipinos.They always have a big parties and fiestas for birthday milestones especially the “First Birthday, Eighteenth, Fiftieth, Sixty-fifth, Ninetieth and Hundred Years.” They celebrate with many delicious food not just cake and ice cream. In Filipino tradition, the birthday celebrant treats the guest to a big “blow-out.” American style, is the opposite. Friends treat the celebrant.

Filipino birthday celebration is NOT complete without the favorite lechon (whole roasted pork). This delicious lechon was depicted many times on my latest oil paintings.
Right photo:The huge blue palette was the welcome sign for my art show. The painting on the left is entitled "Sharing Traditions And Enriching Friendship."

Left photo: Ebb posing with her birthday cake and other delicious desserts. I am also wishing "Belated Happy Birthday" to those who turned 65 years old recently and advance birthday greetings to those who are turning 65 this year and next year. "Happy 65th Birthday To All Of You!"

Monday, September 21, 2009


"Pursuing what we want to do and achieving your goal is not like finding the burning bush or discovering a gold mine. There are usually no epiphanies, no sudden reversals of fortune. Fulfillment comes in fits and starts.....Fulfillment comes in many guises, and it can come to us in our lives at any time.....But only we can make sure we will be fulfilled. If we feel empty, no amount of water can fill our well. It has to come from within, from the underground springs and streams." '- Mary Morris
EBB'S E-TALK: Most of our contributors and other classmates had been featured on this blog. So far, I haven't shared my profile yet. Am I waiting for someone to write about me? Nope! As your blog designer, I think it's my turn to let you know more about me. Do you remember me from our senior photo? Yes, that's me (Evelyn V. Dirige) - the petite girl with that curly hair. When I went to college I thought the spelling of my name was so common, so I asked my father (a lawyer) to add the letter "e" to the end of my original name. My new name "Evelyne" was spelled differently and sounded a bit Frenchie. After disappearing for almost 50 years, I never expect anyone to know tons about me. Who would fill the long gap but me? I will not bore you w/ long stories and like to share only some highlights of my past life.
SOMETHING OLD#1: For me, my junior year was the most memorable. While others had been popular with their academic achievements and many extra curricular activities, I was always in the background. Wena said...."Why did you hide your artistic talents while in high school?" Actually I didn't. I showcased my talent in quiet ways. Many of you didn't know that during our junior I had been busy designing and sketching lots of bulletin board displays for our home room teacher Mrs. Prudencia Sanchez. These art projects were mostly for our classroom. When she had to leave the classroom, I was always assigned to write on the blackboard for the class to copy. She saw my artistic potentials and beautiful handwriting.I never expected that she would reward my artistic efforts. One day, I was surprised to hear my name called during the "Recognition Day." I was so happy and inspired because that's the only "award" I received from high school. That was a turning point in my life and without a doubt, I wanted to be an artist someday. I'd like to also give credit to my mother who was my real inspiration for becoming an artist. She was a Home Economics expert, very creative, and resourceful. She was my biggest fan. Let's go back to Mrs. Sanchez. Later she wrote something on my autograph book, which I still have. No wonder she became my favorite teacher. I'd like to share it with you all.
(March 19,1959) "My dear Evelyn, You've been a very helpful girl to me-for that I'll always remember you. I hope to have girls like you in the next years to come. You've impressed me, too. With those qualities-diligence, conscientiousness, simplicity and fine manners-which you possess. Keep up your good work and heaven bless you!
SOMETHING OLD#2: After h.s. graduation I pursued Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. I saw some high school classmates like Flor Alcantara & Raquel Tadena during my general education years at the Arts & Sciences. I didn't bump into Eloi, Sari & Cora, although they went to U.P. too. During my Fine Arts years, Yolly Bello Pajaro and Lydia Aunario were my classmates. I also saw Linda Chacon hanging around because her old b.f. was also taking Fine Arts. I graduated w/ a major in Advertising and Editorial Design. I worked for various advertising companies in Manila like Grant Advertising and Outdoor Advertising. Then I taught art education (elemetary levels) for a year at Grace Christian High School (Chinese school in Quezon City) prior to immigrating to the U.S. in 1969).
SOMETHING NEW#1:Crossing the Pacific Ocean via Pan-Am, I found my new love and life in the United States. I met my Filipino husband Rhod during Halloween at a friend's birthday party in Santa Monica, California. I was a natural looking "Eve" without a mask and costume. He was not wearing a costume either. He was just a plain "Hot Rod" type. He's an electronic engineer. He immigrated to the United States with his parents, sisters & brothers, when he was only 15 years old. He's a Filipino but have a very good American accent. By now, many of you know that I married a young hunk four years younger than me. I have no regrets and enjoy being a "cub-cougar." We are happily married for 38 years now. (Left photo) - This was our latest formal photo taken during our recent cruise with Queen Mary 2 last July 4th.
SOMETHING NEW#2-Career, marriage and family, I had them all. My graphic art career was short. With 4 successive babies I decided to be a full-time time mom. We are blessed with three sons and one daughter. When our youngest son was in kindergarten I decided to be a working mother and got back the graphic art job I left behind after a decade. The photo on the right side was my favorite mom and daughter picture. This was taken when I was 53 years old and Joy at 19 years old. Sorry, no latest photo with our other children:
1. Rodney(eldest son)-Graphic artist and Information Technology
2.Joy(daughter)-student(Cinema Art)
3.Ryan (3rd son) -Computer Science
4.Robin (youngest son)-Graphic Artist

GRAND KIDS: (left side)
Our joy and inspiration.
SIMON: 12 years old and Audrey: 9 years old

SOMETHING VERY OLD: This was my photo when I turned 65 years old last September 2008. Life was not a bed of roses all the time. I had my share of challenging and depressing problems and obstacles. First let me tell you what happened to me at mid-life. I became a "bionic woman." How? I didn't aspire to be like Lindsay Wagner (original Bionic Woman") from the 70's TV series but I became like her. I had bionic parts and implants on my body. At mid-life (50 yrs. old) I started having a gradual, progressive, bilateral hearing loss. I couldn't hear the phone ringing, didn't understand the speaker, the answering machine, and the TV. I couldn't hear in noisy parties, couldn't hear in the dark, etc. Everyone seemed mumbling. Twelve years ago at 53 yrs old, I was the first Filipina to have a cochlear implant surgery at the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, California. Cochlear implant is a mini-computerized device that helps hearing impaired people like me understand the spoken words and various environmental sounds. The implant helps me regained 85% of my lost hearing. It's not perfect because even now, I still don't understand everyone over the phone. This is the reason why I am not fond of using the phone. When I tell people that I am a "bionic woman" they are truly amazed. Three year ago, I had another implant called "lens implant." I had cataracts on both eyes, and lens implant was the recommend treatment. Now I could see well and don't wear eyes glasses except for very fine..... fine prints. What's next? Breast implant? Nope! I am happy w/ my size 34 B and who I am. So far, I now belong not only to the "Cub-Cougar Club" but also to the "Stepford's Wives Club"- (robotic wives). No wonder I click well with computers. But don't be scared.....I am still a real person. I eat favorite food like pancit palabok and fresh lumpia ubod. I don't eat metals, computers, and chips. I hope you enjoy my amazing life story. With love from your bionic classmate and blog designer. Watch for Part 2 next week!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


"A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."- Arabian Proverb
EBB'S E-TALK: To my beautiful classmates -This past week I had been deeply touched with the outpouring of appreciative e-mails from many of you. Your caring support meant a lot to me. You made me feel like a queen eating a delicious "crispy pata" on a royal plate. I could still eat this. Hindi pa bawal sa akin. I hope your inspiring comments will never end. When we started this blog last June, there were only 3 of us, Puri, Sari and me. Then Cora joined us. Then Cherrie. Later Wena joined too. Now, it's amazing that many are speaking up and sharing their life experiences. I didn't expect this blog will keep us all close together in just three months. And that's something to celebrate.
On the other hand, Celia is our guest writer on this blog. I haven't seen Celia Arreza since high school graduation but I couldn't forget our valedictorian. I am sorry that I don't have lots of things to say about her. She's very quiet and I have no idea why? Puri is our connector or bridge to Celia, now known as Celia Arreza Espiritu. These articles were e-mailed to Puri. With Celia's permission, I am posting it for others to read. Here's are series of Celia's chronicle on Goodbye to Cory.
CELIA"S CHRONICLE: PART I - Watching the events of the last three days unfold from the time of Cory's wake in La Salle Greenhills to the 5 hour procession to Manila Cathedral to the Necrological services and then yesterday's 7 hour funeral to Manila Memorial Park, brought back memories of twwenty-some years ago when I was very active in street marches. Soon after Ninoy was assasinated, I found myself on the streets with hundreds of Pinoys like me who were indignantly protesting the Marcos dictatorship. With our yellow tshirts on emblazoned with Ninoy's bespectacled face and punctuated with the words Hindi Ka Nagiisa, and flashing the now famous L as in Laban sign, I braved the crowds, the heat, the rain and discomfort of the marches - in Makati, Roxas Blvd and parts of Edsa - all for a cause -to bring down the dictator of 20 years who had crossed the line. At that time, my children had not known of any other President than Marcos so when they too joined my husband and myself onthose street protests, it must have been more of a fun walk than the militant march that it was. But we were determined to make them a part of history. We were a drop in that sea of yellow that covered Luneta Park right in front of the grandstand. On the surface there was a fiesrta atmosphere but beneath it all, there was a seething hatred for the man who was blamed to have cause it all.

Sorry I had to cut my message. Roby came back after a futile attempt to tee off in stormy weather. Needless to say, he's nooot in a good moood. Part Two. I attended the NOW movement headed by Eva Estrada Kalaw - an all-women initiative to organize us to reach more women to
join the marches and press the dictator to the wall. Whenever I was in those marches, I felt hatred and anger but never fear. Even if it meant coming face to face with a phalanx of soldiers blocking our way with shields (as tall as myself) in one hand and truncheons on the other. That was in 1983, the year Ninoy died, the following year, my participation was cut short when I found out I had an ovarian cyst that needed surgery. (I thought that the discomfort I felt on my lower abdomen was due to sitting on hot pavements and walking for hours and so I ignored it cause it was bearable and flared up only just before my period.) In 1984, I had a total hysterectomy and as soon as Irecovered, I was back in the streets again only this time, I felt different. Gone was the anger and hatred for Marcos. In its place was PITY for the dicator for his greed and lust for power that blinded him to the needs of his people and LOVE for my country. What happened to me on that hospital bed is another story. Fearing for my life and hating the prospect of leaving my children orphans, my youngest being 8 yrs old) I had given my life over to Jesus (in exchange) and He changed my heart to His. (I got the better end of the bargain, but that's how God is.) God doesn't hate people - he hates sin. And as I again walked the streets, I too began to see the dictator (and us ) the way God saw us - with compassion. And as I looked up at the skies with fingers forming the L sign, I understood that if all those hands pointing to heaven where to be in prayer, then God would heal our land. There's an inscription on the Edsa shrine that quotes a bible verse thatsays that if we turn away from wickedness, turn to God and PRAY, that he (God) will heal our land. Yes, there's to be a turing away from wickedness and a turning towards God first, then praying to him that would bring results. By this time, the sea of yellow was punctuated by waves of red, making the movement stronger - until it turned to a tsunami that crashed Malacanang's gates forcing Marcos was to leave.
I fought back tears As I watched the events of Cory's funeral unfold before - my eyes
. This woman who willingly allowed herself to be used by God as - an instrument to restore our freedom , who in her humility was exalted by God to sit with the most powerful leaders of the modern world, this ordinary woman who had an extraordinary calling to save the Filipino people.She was honest, sincere and brave. She was not perfect but was made perfect in weakness. She united us as a nation - she was our much-needed rallying point so that we could regroup amidst the corruption and political turmoil, to bve ready to free the last of the chains that still bind us. And I believe that was why the mourners who walked the streets, braving the heat, the crowds, the rains, the floods, the hunger and thirst to bring her to her final resting place did not give up. They were renewed with hopes for a better nation. She was truly the hope of our nation - Cory, ang Pagasa ng Bayan. As big in death as in life. There are talks of elevating her to the status of a national hero, but lest we forget, she was a mother first and the sacrifices that she made - losing her husband, her privacy, precious time-with her children as they were growing up all make that award more meanin-ful. Not all heroes can claim that.
I wonder what happened to our salutatorian- Susan Vergara? Any clue or hint?
From Ebb: A million thanks to those who took the time to e-mail me. Here are the heartwarming comments from many classmates:
1. From Puri: Ebb, once again thank you for religiously posting weekly despite your packing up your household.
Senior Tessie, I'm used to calling you Chola. What accomplished sons you have. Your sister Luz and family vacationed in Honolulu according to Hana and they were supposed to get together.
Hana was happy to read our blog and look at photos of our classmates. Its her bday on Sept 1st. She's the first of the 5 Bayanihan debutants who turned 18 while we were on tour in 1961. Then it was Seng,Teresita Principe on Oct 20, then
Ebb, Its really so easy to give up considering what a busy life we lead. We must hang on to each other's words of encouragement to keep going. I appreciate your many talents which you generously impart. Once an artist always an artist. In that sense we are of kindred spirits. good luck on your move and dont break your bionic parts lifting boxes. Puri
2.From Sari: Dear Evelyne, First, let me apologize for being "quiet" and not letting you know that I remain your #1 "tanga-hanga". (I've been entertaining visiting friends and preparing for my long absence from work). Kumareng Puri, though, has been better in expressing how much she appreciates your religious dedication in updating the blog despite your hectic schedule. Cherrie and Eloi expressed the same sentiments. Many of the "readers" will remain quiet, not for lack of appreciation, but that's just the way some people are. Mas gusto nila yong nasa background lang - natutuwang basahin ang blog but you'll never know kasi ganoon lang sila. In the same way na i-ilan lang ang dada ng dada. Para tuloy na may mutual admiration club tayong ma-dada kasi parang tayo lang ang pumupuri sa isa't isa. I do not believe this is the case. Marami kang secret "tanga-hanga". Please continue your commitment sa project na ito. - It has gone beyond our group. Maraming mga tanga-hanga ang project mo. I'll give you more materials to post. I'll start writing about some classmates (pag-balik ko from vacation).I'll be away for 2 1/2 weeks dahil mag-babakasyon ako. Most likely, w/ minimal access sa computer. Lalong mana-nahimik ako (sabi siguro ng iba - ay salamat; they'll get a break from me).With much appreciation,Sari
3. From Cherrie: Hi Ebb, I know I speak for everyone (or at least most of us) when I say that "viewing" the blog is one of the highlights of my day. Unfortunately, I am not quick to reply or to post my thoughts. I know to some of you it is second nature but I think it isn't for most of us so while we chuckle and get amused by what we read, we tend to leave it at that. Rest assured though, that we LOVE the blog and we appreciate your giving us this opportunity to reconnect with one another. Though it isn't until Feb. that we can meet together as one big group, there have been a lot of fun and emotional mini-reunions (even if just by phone), thanks to you.
There were some memories that Teresita Lonzame mentioned that really reminded me of the good ol' days .... I am not usually a lover of cakes but I do remember the marble cake. That was really, really good! I also remember the pancit at the canteen. I usually ate lunch at home because our house was just right outside the backdoor of PWU but I remember getting real excited when I could eat at school. I'll have to comment more when I can re-read TLM's email.
Cora - I'm really glad that you are working hard for our class' Feb. reunion. I agree with Sari. Gerry and Celia are probably overwhelmed (I would be) with the big picture so I am glad you are there for the smaller picture (us).
Remember Ebb, we love the blog, we wouldn't be where we are in our friendships without it. Cherrie
4.From Roselani:Hi Ebb, rest assured that your efforts are very much appreciated. Believe Cherrie, she said it all in defense of the silent members. I am sure that like many of us are they are enjoying the Blog, smiling and giggling at times when reading the interesting bios, and stories of our wonderful yesteryears. Keep it going!
5. From Gerry: Evelyn, I am in awe of your artwork!
Terribly impressed! I love the opening page with the lechon...and the vibrant colors you use. Am quiet, but truly admire your hard work for our class...and your accomplishments. Keep on trekking! Gerry Tiongson - Osias
6. From Esther: Dear EBB:...ay salamat nagparamdam din si Ate Girl....he he he.....natauhan din. Evelyne, maybe one day in the future we might see each other in San Diego. I have lots of relatives and friends over there. I used to spend my vacation in various cities in California but now (just this year tho) I am tied up at home taking care of my dearest mommy who is 92 yrs old.
It goes without saying that your hard work is very much appreciated ......... I am so happy that it is just a "tampo" letter becoz if you quit the "BLOG" will sink without THE CAPTAIN. Regards, Esther
7. From Bong: Dear EBB AND ALL, I always enjoy your email and blog writings! Am a bit buried with family health problem (siblings) but I really enjoy ALL these jet age fast communication among ALL OF US. (Buti WE reached and get to enjoy this communication advancement esp. wtih old and present pictures and anecdotes shared all over the globe!) This also made possible the quick search and mini-reunions organized by Kumareng Puri, Cherry Silva, and not- at- all-lonely Sari, not to forget the Philippine beauties: Cora, Celia, Gerry, Sylvia ,Lani and Lita (Glad she is IN now with her own email address). Glad to see present pictures of Evelyn Nazareth, Tessie and Nati Ocampo, Teresita Lonzame,Presy Cervantes, Aurora Villanueva, Wena Noble, Eloisa Dizon and Renita Abary. Sorry puro maiden names, parang roll call ano? Really have not seen you guys since the 60's. Love, Patricia "Bong" Arroyo staub (your Gernan DIS connection, haha)PS In case am not so talkative you know why, thanks for your understanding!Wow!!! Just visited our blogspot.
8. From Cora: You did it again Ebb. Ang galing!!Thanks a lot for this "pride of the class". While we are miles and miles apart- our very own spot keeps us attuned to one another.It was so much fun to read the entries. I think I will read it again lateer tonight. There might be portions that I missed.Thanks so much , Ebb, for sharing your talent and time with the class.Cheersdear ebb.
9. From Girlie: How remiss of show a little appreciation, hindi ko pa magawa...always taking but slow in giving....i had to read your tampo in your email to sari bago pa ako natauhan.
please dont walk away....i really really enjoy reading the blogs so much, im besides quote my bf "in the mad"..meaning tamad...what a lame excuse.
rest assured that im always here enjoying the blogs altho quiet lang....mas madaldal in person... you have been warned... sa reunion i mean...huwag na nang tampo ha.... Girlie
10. From Tessie C. -Ebb, I have just returned from a trip to Montreal and Quebec City. Yes, I have just read the PWU blog and seen my family's picture and writeup. Sorry I couldn't furnish you with more appropriate photos for the blog; my other pictures are more than five years old. Have been enjoying the e-mail exchanges among our classmates. Don't be surprised though why I have been "so quiet" cause I think I have been mostly quiet during our high school days. That's why I missed out on so many things. But I have been able to talk to Renita Abary, Evelyn Nazareth, Eloisa Dizon, thanks to the directory listing. I tried to phone Sari a few times before, but without success. Also to Lourdes Morada, as a followup to Sari's connection with her, but so far no reply. Anyway, keep up with the good work, anEbb,
11.From Nati: I know you don't need any more compliments, but here's mine anyway. Actually, what you deserve is an ACCOLADE for the magnificent job you have done in creating and maintaining our BLOG that is now enjoyed by all of us. "Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol pa rin", so they say (by people much older than us...much, much older!).
Every now and then I join the the talk, but that doesn't give me an excuse not to thank you for making it possible for all of us to talk, to laugh, to sing and most of all --- to bond. Your job isn't easy, and that makes it even more deserving of our gratitude and appreciation. You're the ultimate artist, no doubt about that.
And since this is too long a piece for the Comment Section of the BLOG, I'm taking the liberty of expressing to you and those who helped in creating our BLOG my gratitude and appreciation (Puri: for your literary talent. Your write-ups are always moving and inspiring. I can't tell you how many times I've read your article about Hana and her late husband, Corky. Sari: you must have missed your true calling in life. You should have been a detective. I can't say you did your work under cloak and dagger, but I certainly got the shock of my life when you called. Judging by the ease you seem to have done it, you would have made not just a good detective, but a detective-sergeant, or even a superintendent of the police force by now. Cherrie: Ah, "Cher Ami", what
can I say to you that you didn't know yet. I'm sure your job wasn't an easy one either. Thank you for your most sensible thoughts.
I hope I didn't miss acknowledging anybody else for our BLOG. In closing, Ebb, THANKS again. May our BLOG grow even bigger and bind us even closer to one another.
12. From Eloi: I heartily concur with Puri and Cherrie, although I do not write much,words do not come easy to me, I do really enjoy and look forward to the blog. I appreciate the dedication of EBB in nurturing the blog.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


"I find friendship to be like wine, raw when new, ripened with age, the true old man's milk and restorative cordial." - Thomas Jefferson
EBB'S-TALK: Our blog this week is about mini-reunions from Chicago to the Philippines. I will let Puri, Tessie M., Eloi, Gerry, and Cora do the talking. For the mean time, I am taking a break, so I can have more time to think and plan as my husband & I start moving. Many enjoyed those avalanche of e-mails from our e-grp. The others can suggest what topics you like. Enjoy our latest blog!
CHICAGO REUNION: Pinoys in Greek Town, Chicago at a Garden Luncheon in Athena Restaurant. Taken before feasting on Gyros and Porkloin kabobs, etc. on Aug 19,2009 1st photo L-R Dr.Tessie Lonzame Marzan, Renita Abary de Gorostiza, Puri Capistrano Laconico and Dr Elouisa Dizon Farrales
PURI'S PERSPECTIVE: MY KIND OF TOWN: I can hear Sinatra's croon which put a smile on my face. Al Capone territory once upon a time, known as windy city not due to bad weather but because their Mayor of long ago was bragging about a Colombia World's Fair that was going to be held in Chicago and other participants found him hambugero at mahangin kaya Windy City. But their current Mayor Daley now has a lot to really brag about. In the last decade, tall buildings rose and his redevelopment program makes Chicago a "must see" destination, I was awed ! So many gorgeous bldgs, the Legacy, Millenium, Aqua, Regatta, Lancaster,etc. Now why am I talking about the city instead of our memorable reunion........Well last Wednesday Aug. 19th Tessie and Romy Marzan picked Renita Abary de Gorostiza in Evanston then got me at the 90 story Trump Tower where I stayed at my sister's 52nd floor unit. It was floor to ceiling glass, I felt like I was on the plane day and night, with the clouds meandering between the magnificent skyline before me. Right away I recognized Tessie with her smiling eyes but wouldn't have guessed the other person was Renita in the car. I remember her with long ponytail and now she sports a very short hairdo like Sari's. We were supposed to meet up with Eloi and Jun Farrales at Greek Island but the night before they had a dry run and Eloi thought the restaurant next door called Athena was a better place and it was. It had a garden setting, so we dined Al Fresco. We had a table beneath a Jacaranda tree facing a wall of waterfalls with geraniums and day lilies. There was a light breeze, it felt like being in the Mediterranean in good company. The main attraction was not the menu but the Yearbook that Eloi brought which we all passed around along with a box of chocolate macadamia nuts. I was indeed in good company, amid doctors and a nurse. Renita is a nurse. Tessie a retired Doc and Eloi a soon to retire Doc too. It felt like the time elapsed of some 50 years did not diminish the bond of our old friendships. We are all looking forward to Feb 20 next year.
Sari, I met your cousin Nati Bernardino- Fuentes at my sister Nati's place. She said she is a grandaughter of Pio Valenzuela so I told her that you and Lovely Romulo must be her cousins. and guess what, she has a house next door to Uod Fajardo in Limasawa St, MagallanesVillage. I told her to attend our reunion and she will. I spent a whole day yesterday with my brother's family in Mundelein and met his 18 month old apo for the first time. It was a short and sweet visit to My Kinda Town, Chicago Is... and I'm now back in San Jose.
2nd photo - Romy and Tessie Marzan
All in all, a nice week so far; met up w/ Renita, Puri , Eloy & Jun. Romy & Jun got to know each other a bit so they should be able to hang out in ' Pinas. Had lunch at Athena in Chicago; looked over the yearbook Eloi brought along & able to connect some names & faces. Eloi also brought a box of chocolate covered nuts for dessert, Puri picked up the lunch tab, thanks guys. I would have recognized Puri & Eloi easily but not Renita; (more from Puri about our mini-reunion). Too bad Renita is not keen on getting a computer; she is missing out on a lot of fun. On a our way home after dropping off Renita, it rained which was quite welcomed. This Sat. our grand daughter will have her 4th B-day party; got some plants from the Garden Club so, the weekend will close on that note.

FROM TESSIE MARZAN- PART 4: Hello Dear Classmates, Again, hope everyone is as well as can be, here's the 5th & last segment of my bridge, up close & personal.
I am nostalgic for the crispy, fried, shredded, green papaya lumpia fr. the canteen & the yummy hamburger & marble cake fr. the F/N coffeshop. I had a late lunch there once, & Mrs. Acosta was so pissed off with us because we left trash on the tables; Ms. Calixto came down to see for herself. ( now you know why I had to borrow pamasahe sometimes fr. Leonides).
Who recited ------ My First Cigarette? ------ ; Alleli Vengua - talent extraordinaire ----- ; Lita, Hortense & Betsy - a trio of lovely cousins.
Trying to take a look at Paraluman, Amalia Fuentes, the sister of Shirley Gorospe.
Visited the student clinic once, was given aspirin for fever, chewed it since I did not know how to swallow pills at the time (ang pait).
I went to PWU only because a paternal aunt, Juana, was enrolled at the College of Pharmacy---serendipity indeed!. At the time, South Superhighway was not in existence yet; so every day I got up early, took the Jeepney to Alabang, then, the Binan or LTB or BTCO bus thru Zapote, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Baclaran, Pasay,Taft Ave, & finally PWU. -- a looooong tedious trip! At times, I took the train fr. Sucat to Paco, then a jeepney to PWU or most often up to Padre Faura only, then a short walk to school. This was a much shorter way but the trains were notoriously unreliable.On the way home, I waited for the bus in front of the College of Music, so during my interminable waiting time; the students practising their scales kept me company. Because of differing schedules with my aunt, I was most of the time by myself --- a lonesome traveller. During the times we had to attend mandatory after school activities, I had to make those visits to the Principal's office to be excused. (remember? they used to monitor the gates so we can't leave). Otherwise, masyado akong gagabihin sa daan; another reason, na hindi ako nakapaglakwatsa. My sisters and you had it really easy. Because of what I endured -- going to & from school, I could easily have hated it. But I am thankful that instead, I appreciated it, stored so many trivial & seemingly inconsequential things & these same things are now treasured memories. What's most rewarding is --- I met you all.
Thanks a lot for strolling wth me.
ASIDES: Are we done mining the May- Dec. issue or nagdi-dig pa tayo?. Romy is just a few months older; so far we have grown really accustomed to each other's face - warts, wrinkles, quirks and all; we'll just hang on, too late--- to return or exchange---nawala na ang recibo.
Puri---what a lovely write up on Hana & familly.
We know now that 3 of us have lost their beloved spouses---- Hana & Lilia most recently; hopefully, they will be joyful again. Renita lost her spouse sometime ago, she had moved on.
The list of our classmates whom we have no info is really long, how about brainstorming on how we can shorten this list; Agent Sari needs our help.
3rd photo - Eloi and Jun Farrales(right side)
FROM ELOI: Our Chicago date with Puri, Renita, Tessie L and hubby and me and my hubby was such an exciting one. I arrived in Chicago 2 days before Puri arrived and decided to check out the place first. I saw that next door from the Greek Isles was a nice outdoor place where there is a waterfall, trees and ambience so I told Tessie and that is where we met. I was so eager that I was on the way to the restaurant an hour early when Tessie called and said that Renita thought we were meeting the following day so they will be late . I did some errands and I was late . When I got there ,they were already seated but I did recognize Puri And Tessie at once. Renita is the one who changed the most, She had real short hair and did not have the same smile that I remember. We reminisced about the way it used to be, about the paths that our lives took and about our short term plans. Renita and Tessie both went to UST and they were talking about common teachers and events at UST. Renita had 2 tragic life experiences, being a widow 13 years ago and losing a 21 year old son. He died of bangungot . Its amazing coincidences that Puri knew the same people from Ateneo that my husband went to school with, has been to or knew most of the places we have been working at in California in the past 3 years,( Atascadero,Wasco. Avenal, Tehachapi). Puri was fast in picking the tab for all our meals. She definitely has a millionaire's personality. All in all, this was a date I will remember, the weather,the place was perfect. It was like being in the Mediterranean. Most of all the people were unforgettable. *************************************************************************************
PHILIPPINE REUNION BY GERRY: Just came back from dinner meeting with 20 jubilarians, out of which 8 belongs to our class: Celia Arreza Espiritu, Cora Fausto Gatchalian, Lani Villa-Real Enriquez, Sylvia Estrella Caniza, Carmen Exconde Genuino, Precy Cervantes Gatmaitan, Lita Ramos Katigbak, Gerry. CHIT-CHAT FROM CORA: PURI AND PWU CLASS 1960 -We just had an alumni dinner this evening.Over 20 people attended. Presided by Gerry and Celia.In our batch the following were there: 1.Celia, Gerry, Lita - officers of the alumni association 2.Precy Cervantes Gatmaitan 3. Lani Villa Real 4. Sylvia Estrella 5. myself (Cora Fausto Gatchalian) Bubbles, Linda Cano, etc. In addition - Tuta heklen was there as a jubilarian, Amelou Benitez,and other jubilarian college graduates. I took some photos but- sorry na lang kayo- hindi ako marunong mag uploade from the camera. Just wait for photos from gerry.Cheers!!!Cora