Turning back the hands of time (A TRIBUTE TO BATCH 1996, Maryknoll High School of Cateel)

Don’t believe everything I say.”  Why would I suggest that? Because I can only speak from my own experience. None of the events I share are inherently true or false, right or wrong.  It simply reflects my own recollection of events.  Having said that let me tell you our story, the story of batch 1996. Recollecting the events that transpired many years ago during high school could be an arduous task.   The easiest way to remember those old days is by talking to a classmate; however the details could be vague sometimes.  Matter of fact, I did not have the luxury of spending the 1st two years of my high school in Maryknoll since I was a transferee from another school.  Nevertheless I will try my best to unearth the vastness of our high school experiences.

Our high school years were marred with serious controversies; it was classified as serious because it got the ire of the school administration threatening to expel those culprits involved in the incident but upon bringing it up now with some of our classmates the incident has become so funny that we could hide our faces in humiliation if we will be sharing the stories with you.  Do I have the authority to divulge the incident that happened during that fateful night?  I don’t think so.  Therefore, I am reserving that story to be shared with my classmates who have not heard about it since then.  I just can’t wait hearing crisp laughter from all of us during the event.

If forming a “clan” among the youth were so prevalent nowadays in Cateel, that clan of today will pale in comparison to the group that came to being years ago in our batch.  Who could forget the groups of “The Campus Girls, C.R.E.A.M, Mit-ze-lorre-net, Knights Boyz, etc”.  Each group has its own identity, agenda and reason in forming such.  The birth of these different groups could have had divided our common goal of graduating from high school but it only made our batch bonded together.  I remember when we had our month-long preparation for the National Competitive Examination everybody was helping each other hurdled this exam by way of mentoring.  We did great in that exam because of the unparalleled guidance of Mrs. Elmerita Cervantes.  We are forever grateful to you Ma’am Elmie.  Mrs. Cervantes was never our teacher in any of our subjects in our senior year but the patience and the expertise she showed us in all of the subjects during that month-long preparation was supreme and unrivalled.  She knew almost everything.  Thank you!

How about Helen of Troy, Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Trojan horse and many other gods and goddesses and other characters, did it ring a bell?.  Nobody can narrate Homer’s Iliad better than Ms. Ethel Castro.  By listening to her story we simply became the characters ourselves as depicted in the book.  Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships, was a tantalizing enigma from the very start. She was perhaps the most inspired character in all literature, ancient or modern. A whole war, one which lasted for ten years, was fought over her. The characters and even the denouement or the working out of the plot following the climax were all narrated splendidly by Ms. Castro. Her version of the story can make us travel through words, so to speak.  Whew! Thank you Ma’am Ethel.

In subject such as Mathematics, whenever a teacher will give us difficult examination we might look above for inspiration, down in desperation, look left and right for information originating from our classmates but if you

have Mrs. Esther Racines-Miguel as your teacher you will blossom under her tutelage and care and can become little Pythagoras.  None of us became the proverbial “Pythagoras” but the progresses that we were making were in leaps and bounds.  We are always grateful to you Ma’am.

As our grand alumni homecoming approaches I feel jittery inside.  Anyone who has attended reunions feels that there is an amount of anxiety associated with attending reunions.  Somebody on the other hand who is contemplating of not attending also could have many excuses/reasons in mind.  I’ve gained a lot of weight, I’m not successful (I’m not a doctor, lawyer etc), I don’t look as good as I’d like, I am bald, have wrinkles, saddlebags, grey hair and no one will recognize me.  These are tried and unacceptable excuses. Changes are inevitable fact of life.  It won’t matter if you’re yellow or blue (the color of the old and the new school uniform respectively), left or right, in the middle or someplace else altogether but on October 26-28 let us see each other’s faces and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

It’s been 16 years since we left the doors of our beloved Alma Mater to pursue our individual calling.  In the grand scheme of things, we had our fair share of ordeal that we confronted head-on, albeit reluctantly.  Those 16 years were mostly long and incredible journey in finding our place in this world.  We might not have the courage to pursue our dreams without the foundation of Maryknoll education.