Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Reunions and Get-Togethers

Nothing beats the joy of seeing old friends again after such a long time.

Last night, December 22, our class of Social Science majors met up again for a reunion three years after graduation. The venue was a popular seaside complex known for its assortment of restaurants that cater to paluto of various seafood and other Filipino dishes.

Left: Seaside Paluto Restaurants along Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City.

The reunion was two months in the making. As early as October, my best friend in the class and I have already been talking about organizing it and contacting our classmates to attend. The preparations were really upbeat this time compared to previous reunions. We made a poster of the event and posted it on Facebook (to which we tagged our classmates so they would be notified) and even made a video presentation of our class activities in college and how we fared in our lives now. We were very overwhelmed by the response, because even with the poster only we've got a lot of confirmations as to attendees. My bestfriend and I expected the attendance to be around 10 or 12 which is why we chose the place above as our venue.

However, come December 21, when we did a text brigade to finalize the list of attendees, we only got a handful of sure answers. By the following day, only six came.

First to arrive was of course me, by around one hour before the agreed time. I expected my best friend to arrive at the same time as agreed, but I was completely surprised that he would eventually arrive last (more on the details later). Around 30 minutes later came one of our well-known classmates, known for his free-spirited approach to life and unorthodox philosophy. We were a bit disappointed that he dropped out of the course a year before graduation after coming through a difficult time in life. But he's come full circle and is going steady in a BPO job in Makati. He is a prolific writer and I have admired his writings back in college (which is probably what inspired me to begin writing as well). While waiting for the others to arrive, we talked about his various adventures and struggles, most of which really had me awed.

The assortment of fish being sold inside the Seaside Complex.
Second to arrive is a couple, of which the lady in the pair I courted back in college. Her husband is also our classmate and friend. They're both teaching in public schools now and have been gifted with two lovely children (the youngest of which is my godchild). They shared with us stories of their teaching experiences in the public school system. It was an eye-opener and a conditioner at the same time for me, since I am planning to transfer to the public school system too after my contract with my current school expires. I am really glad that despite the hardship of teaching under such conditions, the couple still stays in their mandate which is teaching.

Third to arrive was the youngest in our class, a Batangueno teaching in Los Banos, Laguna yet very young at heart. He may be the youngest, yet he is also one of the top caliber teachers in our class, the first one to actually specialize in teaching Economics (a subject usually feared by other Social Science majors as a subject to teach). I really appreciated that he took time to travel from Batangas to Manila just to attend our event.

Last to arrive is my best friend, whose geographical quotient was I guess warped at that time due to a long time of not taking geography classes (even in MA). All along I thought he knew how to go to our venue, the Seaside Complex along Macapagal Boulevard (beside Hobbies and across HK Sun Plaza, a few minutes from Mall of Asia). We agreed to meet in front of Claire dela Fuente's restaurant inside the complex. However, the seaside he thought of was Seaside Boulevard which is the one behind Mall of Asia, more popularly known as San Miguel By The Bay (which also has a Claire dela Fuente restaurant!). We just burst into laughter when I told the others how lost he was, and instructed him to take the taxi instead to be sure.

Various dishes being served at Seaside.
When we were complete, we decided to buy the stuff to eat already and find a good restaurant to have it cooked. My best friend decided to make up for his tardiness by taking the initiative to manage the buying of seafood. Apparently, he is very skilled with it being the oldest in the family and a good cook. We both plenty of stuff, like a kilo of tuna jaw, grouper, fresh oysters and scallops, crabs, squid and some fresh seaweed. It was just nice seeing the old gang deciding collectively about things.

I pointed our group to this nice and cozy restaurant near the rear of the complex where I've already eaten before. The paluto prices were just reasonable considering the amount of seafood we bought and we were even given seats near the karaoke machine. As the dishes were being served one by one, we savored the moment by taking pictures and catching up on stories. Our free-spirited friend gave us a tune or two in the karoake machine. We talked of continuing studies, of our experiences in teaching/working, of our lives during marriage or within a relationship, and of course we talked of our favorite topic -- current issues in the country. It was like being in college again, discussing and debating about various philosophies, national and international issues. Despite being six, it felt as if the entire class is around. We surely hoped the rest had arrived. But there will be next time.

We ended the night with an exchange of gifts, each getting a token to remember one another for next 365 days, until the next get-together. We left with hearts content and optimistic about our plans for the future as a class.

Quod ut est meus cuspis visum.

1 comment:

  1. Aup! Wala talagang binaggit na name...hehe
    Natuwa naman ako na ako pala naka-inspire sa'yo magsulat. Basta dude, notify me when we'll be writing our book. oh, kahit ano pa yan, I want to contribute. OK
    Miss you guys!!!


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