How time flies! My High School graduating class — AAIC Batch 1987 — will be marking its 25th year anniversary in 2012. I made this realization 2 years ago and, as the Class President of our class, I felt it my responsibility to at least attempt to locate my high school buddies. Naturally I also toyed with the idea of organizing what would have been our very first class reunion.
I had a huge problem though.
(1) Two years ago the use of Social Media was not yet that widespread, at least in the Philippines. I wasn’t in FaceBook yet.
(2) Our beloved Alma Mater — the Angadanan Agro-Industrial College — does not even exist anymore. The campus was still there the last time I checked. Heck, our class graffitis may even still be there. But the school is now a different school (it has since became a branch of the Isabela State University System [ISU]) and it doesn’t even have a High School department anymore.
(3) I did not have any contact with most, if not all, of my high school classmates since… high school graduation!
Tracking my high school classmates seemed the logical first step.
Lucky for me, my mom still teaches in our school that is now an ISU branch. But since the High School department has since been abolished most high school records have been long archived. I was desperately hoping to get a roster of our graduating class, but was unsuccessful. This was a dead end, and I immediately gave up trying. ”At least I’ve tried”, I consoled myself, hoping it would wash the guilty feeling from failing to reconnect with my classmates who may be counting on me to do just that.
Late last year some serendipitous encounters reconnected me with 2 of my classmates, Jozel Santos and Fredhel Bulan, who happen to be both based in Metro Manila like me. My spirit got an instant lift. Reconnecting, and possibly even organizing a reunion, with my high school classmates may be achievable after all. I created a Google Group, AAIC-Class87@googlegroups.com right away!
But my renewed optimism was quickly dashed. After approximately 6 months there were just six members in the group, myself included. Where the hell are the graduates of AAIC Batch 1987?
And then one fateful day this July my FaceBook timeline went on hyperdrive! Guess what? Several of my high school classmates suddenly showed up, leaving messages in my FaceBook Wall and Message Inbox. Maripi(e), Tracy, Regina, Tisoy, Eddie, Novelyn(e)… In the past few months I have also added, or was added by, Donna, Brenda, Rexie, Minerva, Leah, Alirose, Ronnie…
It turns out that most of my high school classmates are now based abroad — either working or living there, or both — living their dreams!
I am very happy that most of us appear to have good lives and beautiful families. And I am happier still that a lot of us have not lost our youthful ways and zest for life. Tisoy is still the funny Tisoy I knew way back then although now he drives expensive cars in the Middle East for a living. Tracy is as “jejemon” as her teenage daughter who, by the way, also added me to her FaceBook friends, probably as a way to check on her mom’s FaceBook activities.
A lot of us have, of course, changed. I probably doubled my weight since high school and is desperately trying to win my battle with my bulging belly (but I am not giving up!). I checked on Eddie’s profile photo and was amused to find that, like me, his hair is now mostly gray. And by the way, have I told you that Novelyn(e) appears to be now a girl?!
I am sure it helped that I also earlier got reconnected with several good old friends from other batches — both lower and higher. My “cousins” Ivy and Richard, for instance, were instrumental in helping me find other members of class 1987.
There are now 14 members in our Google Group. With the help of FaceBook things look promising and I am optimistic that by 2012, on the occasion of our high school graduation’s 25th anniversary, I would have at least tracked — and got reconnected with — most of our batch mates. Being able to organize a class reunion is a different matter altogether, though, especially since many of my classmates appear to be now based outside the country. But I am not discounting its possibility either. Maybe FaceBook can make it happen for us after all.