by Ramon Orap
"It was a huge success!" These are the words to describe the celebration of the Class 1972 Re Union after almost 2 years of planning. The memorable event took place last July 6-8, 2007 in our hometown of Mangaldan with side celebrations in Hongkong and at Dusit Hotel, Makati.
"Iskol ko, Pawilen Ko" was the re union theme.
Hongkong - Noodles, Noodles, more Noodles
I first met up with Gil and Anita Gutierez who flew from Daly City, California to Hongkong Islands. We had a lovely dinner and drinks at the Excelsior Hotel - 21st floor overlooking Hongkong Harbour. Those tall buildings at the harbour looked like christmas trees at night. They were lovely and colourful. I was hoping I could see the Embarcadero Bridge from there but no luck. Gil and I may have had a few drinks by that time.
On the the 2nd of July, we also met up with our classmates, i.e., Louie and Annie Costes Tordillo, and Dr. John and Neth who flew from Oklahoma and Sacramento, USA. The weather was fantastic to mark this memorable event. We were all excited, hugging, taking photos with those quick fix digital cameras to captue the moment. I almost cried...only because Annie stepped on my foot...with kalyo..ugh..so much for the excitement.
The Tordillos shouted as a lovely and relaxing Chinese lunch at Stanley Food Pavilion (of course were are in HK so we should have those delicious local Chinese noodles). Those Sing Tao beers went well. The guys could have set up the drinking on cruise control but the ladies reminded us they still have some shopping to do. Someone has to carry those plastic shopping bags!!! No rest for the wicked I must say. Later that night, we had the best of Honkong seafood. Melanio and Eugenia Ang, take note, I thought I have have seen those huge oysters in your place in Vallejo, California but you should see the abelone on the table last night. They were mammoth!!!! Anita and Gil and Annie and Louie, thanks for the lovely dinner. It was enjoyable especially the company.
Dusit Hotel Makati - What a classy act...
July 4 - We all left Hongkong for Manila in time for the dinner/cocktail at Dusit Hotel Makati where we met more classmates from other parts of the world, i.e., UK, USA, Italy, Hongkong and of course to meet our ever supportive classmates who came from Mangaldan.
The Dusit night was fantastic and classy I should say. We had the talk shows, great food, overflowing reds and white wine, well presented venue. Everyone had a great time dancing along with the greatest show on earth featuring the best singers, i.e., the Priscillas, the Dominicos, the Gildas, the Meldennises, the Lazarus and, the Federicos and a special guest from UK, the Loke - all combined and that kept the karaoke machine busy that night.
At Dusit Hotel Makati, standing: Lazaro Penullar, Paterno Rivera and wife, Naydee Monsada, Ramon Orap, Doctora Ferrer, Jessica Orap, Jenny Orap, Dr John Harris, Mr. Loke, Fred Monsada, Bob Ivas, Anita Gutierez, Dominico Paragas, Nadette Datuin Estaris, Louie Tordillo. Seated: Lydia Fabia, Lolita Bagbagay, Rowena Lalatag, Priscilla Bato Escama, Adela Bautista, Neth De Vera Harris, Myrna Idio Loke, Rose Torralba Padilla, Gilda Biagtan Ivas, Annie Costes Tordillo, Arlyn. Squatting: Meldennis Ferrer, Mike Estaris, Gil Gutierez.
"This is unbelieveable. I am having a fantastic time," said Cesar Velasquez. The first greeting I heard from some of the ladies when they first met was, "agi... pegara lay apom natan?" All the guys were at their best - barong Tagalog, suits. The ladies looked gorgeous.
Dance for all at Dusit. L-R: Myrna Ydio Loke and Meldennis Ferrer, Mike Estaris and Arlyn Mangsat, Rowena Lalatag and Gil Gutierrez. Singers: Gilda Biagtan and Patricia Visperas. Looking on are Paterno Rivera and Anita Gutierez. Oh, what a night!!!
The Makati Dusit Hotel dance floor was fully booked. Dominco Paragas, you are a hell of a singer. "One in a Million," one more time, please sir.
Happy Bunch. They must have too much of those reds...L-R Myrna Ydio Loke, Cesar Abril, Fred Monsada, Lazaro Penullar, Dominico Paragas, Ramon Orap, Meldennis Ferrer, Mike Estaris.
Great Venue at Dusit Hotel. In this picture, Lazaro Penullar (son of our former Principal Sotero Penullar) was most wanted at the reception giving thanks to all the classmates from overseas and from the Philippines who attended and those who were not able to attend this special night..In the picture were Naydee Monsada, Patricia Visperas and husband, Paterno Rivera and wife, and Lazaro Penullar.
More poses at the dinner/dance: Priscilla Bato Escama, Jenny orap, Anita Gutierez, Rose Torralba Padilla, Naydee Monsada, Arlyn Mangsat, Gil Gutierez.
The Tourists: on their way from Makati to Mangaldan, stopping in Tarlac for a breather. Bob Ivas, Jenny orap, Jessica Orap, Gilda Biagtan Ivas, Anita Gutierez, Annie Tordillo, Dr. John Harris, Neth De vera harris. Seated: Ramon Orap and Gil Gutierez.
Mangaldan - the Main Event
Mass in MNHS.
There were about 30 cars in the motorcade and drove around San Fabian, Macayug, San Jacinto, Golden in Mapandan, Gueguesangen and Anolid. I thought we would get lost..but thanks to the police escort and the traffic motorcycle group headed by our own classmate Fred Gotoc.
Classmates were busy decorating and getting ready for the motorcade.
We had a lovely lunch at the school pavilion. There was plenty of delicious food catered for the special occasion.
Mass officiated by Fr. Mendoza. Offering by Fred Monsada, Virginia Gaon, Meldennis Ferrer and Rose Torralba Padilla.
Enjoying the lovely lunch: L-R, Raquel Gutlay and husband, Chito Malapit and Daniel Terte, Dominador Villanueva and Jaime Ocama.
The lunch was fantastic and enjoyable. Again there were plenty of dancing, speeches, and singing. Class 1972 truly was reconnected.
The celebration was honored by the presence of the current principal and head teachers. This includes the incumbent officers of the Student Body Council...Motorcade: Engr. Meldennis Ferrer and Engr. Fred Monsada trying to direct traffic. Lydia Fabia assisting.
What is this? An exchange student from the USA? Meldennis Ferrer, Annie Costes, Neth De Vera Harris, Dr. John Harris (husband of Neth), Adela Bautista, Dominico Paragas.
The guys after 35 years. It seems no one brought their notebooks and assignments.
Vicky Cariaga, Annie Costes and a classmate -- very happy indeed to be together after 35 years.
L-R: Charito Solis, Rowena Lalatag and other classmates. Oh, what a day..."Kulaan to may imbalkot ko ya pindang ed bolong na ponti?" asks Rowena Lalatag. "Don't worry, it is all catered," says Charito Solis. Wow, progress was evident.
Arlyn Mangsat, Lydia Fabia, Gloria Prado and Bob Ivas (from Massachusetts), husband of Gilda Biagtan enjoying the company of the ladies.
Vicky Cariaga, Susan Evangelista and others were enjoying this memorable event.
Leisure Coast Resort - Dance and Dinner (and more party!!)
The dinner dance at the Leisure Coast resort in Dagupan was excellent. It was, "Osam (awesome)," said Mike Estaris of West Covina, California. Domy Paragas and Prissy Bato did a fantastic job as emcees for the night. Drinks and reds are overflowing courtesy of my good mate, Gil and Anita Gutierez who went all the way and harvested some of the great vintage wines from Napa Valley, California. Again. singing and dancing contiued through the night. There were lots of raffle prizes.
Annie and Louie Tordillo, Dr. John and neth De Vera Harris.
The energy and enthusiasm of many of our classmates were indeed fantastic. The highlight of the night was the "Friendship and Prayer". Everyone was holding a burning candle symbolizing a lifetime of never ending friendship. "It touched my heart to be united again with my classmates after all these years," said Pedro Cachero who came all the way from Baguio to share this special night. It was one of those greatest nights. Priscilla Bato Escama - you did a magnificent job in the presentation of the program. The party finished up till 4am (for some).. hummmmm (yawning). Any Starbucks around? Someone suggested, "Mankapi ti lad man ed Mangaldan market."
Class at Leisure Coast Resort
Anymore wine, Gil Gutierez? L-R: Dominador Villanueva, Jaime Ocama, Cesar Velasquez, Ramon Orap, Ramon Biascan (standing), Renato Fernandez, Cesar Abril.
Gil Gutierez, Neth De Vera Harris and Ramon Orap - early birds at the Leisure Coast Resort dinner-dance. Where's the Gang?
Michael Jackson, eat your heart out. Here comes Renato Fernandez.
Gil and Anita Gutierez - Happy Couple.
Lazy Beach Resort - San Fabian
"Those were the days my friend, we thought they'll never end,". This appears to be the theme at the Lazy Beach Resort in San Fabian where we had the family outing. We had a feast of the best seafood like: bangus, talaba, squid, tinolang native ya manok (courtesy of Ruben and wife Jackie) and lots of dessert, especially, "kiniler". Gilda Biagtan Ivas lead the karaoke singing and dancing supported by Gloria Prado, Priscilla, Dominico, and Josie Penullar who had the greatest time of their life. Anita Gutierez settled for "ararosip."
We were also serenaded by the beautiful voice of the daughter of Gloria Prado, including the Rapper from down under doing the local lingo of the sonf entitled, "Tilapia for sale." It was a great time, lovely food and company as the re union was concluded with so much fun that no one would like to go back home.
At the beach .....Class 1972
At the beach in San Fabian: Naydee Monsada, Virginia Ventura Gaon, Charito Solis, Josie Penullar, Virgie De Vera Estrada, Gilda Biagtan Ivas and, Lolita Bagbagay.
Time for ararosip: Fred Monsada, Rowena Lalatag, Priscilla Bato Escama, Anita and Gil Gutierez.
Rose Torralba Padilla, Virgie Estrada and, Virgie Ventura Gaon.
A Huge Thank You List
On behalf of Class 1972, I would like to thank the following who had been supportive and who assisted in organizing the successful event.
- Firstly, to my overseas classmates (UK, USA, Italy, Australia, Hongkong) who supported my "palimos" appeal funding, i.e., Leo Gamboa, Rosalinda de Vera Bolcer, Nancy Melecio McMurrin, Gilbert "Anong" Viloria, Ramon Orap, Annie Costes Tordillo, Gil and Anita Gutierez, Neth De Vera Harris, Virgie Ventura Gaon, Gilda Biagtan Ivas, Delia Ferrer. Without your support, the event would not have happened as planned.
- To our classmates in the Philippines who contributed and supported the fund raising program (various Barangay in Mangaldan and Metro Manila). Thank you so much.
- To Fred Monsada and the support of his wife, Naydee (adopted classmate of 1972). Fred displayed his usual leadership in ensuring the success of the event.
- To the overseas classmates who attended all the way from their base countries, i.e., Myrna Ydio Loke and husband (from UK), Virgie Gaon (Italy) and husband, Mike and Bernadette Estarris (West Covina, California), Annie and Louie Tordillo (Oklahoma, USA), Gil and Anita Gutierez (Daly City, California), Neth De Vera Harris and husband, John Harris (Sacramento, California, USA).
- To our overseas classmates who were not able to attend. Thank you for your thoughts and emails. Our classmates at home extend their best wishes as well.
- To all other classmates especially: Cesar Abril, Chito Malapit, Charito Solis Jamilano, Elvira Mangsat de Ocampo, Adela Bautista Solis, Rosario Torralba Padilla, Josie Penullar Ramos, Gilda Biagtan Ivas, Ramon Biascan, Ruben De Guzman, Jaime Ocoma, Domingo Aquino, the comedian Fred Gotoc, and of course, Priscilla Bato Escama and her personal assistants, Virgie De Vera Estrada and the ever patient Gloria Prado Meneses for their "can do" attitude. The collective effort in organizing the mass, lunch, catering, motorcade, beach party, Leisure Coast Resort, collection, T shirts, and reaching out for our other classmates in the barrio is much appreciated. Team effort and friendship combined made the event. Thank you so much.
- To the traffic and police escorts led by Fred Gotoc during the motorcade.
- To Dominico Paragas for the support and the cameraman to capture all those memorable events
- To the 7/11 (24 hours) of phone calls from Anong Gilbert Vilonia from New York. Thank you so much mate for your thoughts and look forward to Las Vegas.
- To Father Mendoza for the mass celebration and prayers for our departed classmates.
- To Engr. Mir for the inspiring and informative talk at the Dinner Dance at Leisure Coast resort.
- Again - to all our classmates of 1972 who I forgot to mention - my apologies. You have been instrumental in the success of the event. Thank you again - your support is highly appreciated.
- And lastly, to my wife, Jenny and daughter, Jessica who have helped and supported me during those 2 years of planning.
To all our classmates who dreamed about it, we planned it and we all came and we were all reconnected. We should never say goodbye to each other. We will continue to remember this event and the memories will live on forever. The candles we are holding will truly be burning in our hearts forever. The celebration of Class 1972 Re Union was truly a huge success. See you all in Las Vegas for the next re union.
More Pictures - Class 1972 Re Union
Some of the Class 72 waiting for the motorcade to start.
Myrna Ydio Loke, Raquel Gutlay, Neth De Vera Harris, another classmate and Vicky Cariaga.
Top of the world: Neth De Vera, Annie Costes Tordillo, another classmate and Anita Gutierez.
Rowena Lalatag, another classmate, Annie Costes and Priscilla Bato Escama.
"Mabuhay ang Class 1972," says Engr. Meldennis Ferrer.
All due to excitement - Happy Celebrations. Dr. John Harris (husband of Neth de Vera) with another classmate. Vicky Cariaga happily lookin on.
Domy's Angels: Adela Bautista, Gloria Prado, Priscilla Bato Escama and Dominico Paragas.
Anita Gutierez with Renato Fernandez and others.
These are my friends from the bar department. All the way lads.
We all got here after 35 years. God Bless Class 1972.
Italian connection, Virgie Ventura Gaon (Italy based), guest and Meldennis Ferrer.
The present officers of MNHS Student Body Council also joined us in this special occasion. Our best wishes to you al from Class 1972.
Fred Monsada (Class 1972 president) and his wife Naydee, and Adela Bautista. All smiles for the happy occasion.
Ramon Biascan and Hilda Biagtan Ivas were not contented with one balloon.
God Bless Class 1972!!!
Motorcade was on.
The streets of Mangaldan. Class 1972 motorcade.
Was that Naydee Monsada popping out of the car?
This says it all... Happy Re Union Class 1972!