News and Events
What: Our 40th Ruby Reunion
When: January 29 to February 8, 2009
Where: Manila, Philippines
|Welcome Dinner at the Sign of the Anvil, BDO Executive Lounge, January 29, 2009.|
|SBC Alumni Homecoming, January 31, 2009.|
|Dinner Dance at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, Mandaluyong City, Phils. Feb. 02, 2009.|
|Golf Tournament at Sun Valley Golf Club in Antipolo, Rizal, Feb. 4, 2009.|
|Angeles City, Angeles Sports and Country Club. Feb. 5-6, 2009.|
|Surga in Majayjay, Laguna, Feb. 6-8, 2009.|
Finally, that 40th Ruby Reunion came by and it came in fast. Foreign base classmates started arriving as early as one (1) week before the start of the major events. Unfortunately, one classmate by the name of Ruben Calugay who flew in a week early has to depart for home after two (2) days due to a work emergency. Another FB classmate, Mr. Joe Manahan was also conducting immigration interviews but was unable to attend the events due to some health issues.
In summary, all the events were well attended with full of enthusiasm. The Welcome Dinner at the BDO registered 52 batch mates, with 2 spouses (of Rene Espina and Ed Nufable) plus one teacher by the name of Mr. Joe Mordeno. The SBC Homecoming registered 50 batch mates with 3 teachers, Ms. Cholette Tuviera Lecaroz, Mr. Rudy Garcia and Mr. Joe Mordeno. The Wack Wack affair was attended by 73 batch mates with guest Fr. Tarsi and Mr. Joe Mordeno. The Golf Tournament was attended by 20 golfers (both SBC and guests) while the Angeles Resort event was attended by 23 batch mates some with spouses and finally the Surga event was attended by 20 batch mates with 10 spouses.
Overall, 13 Foreign Base Classmates made it to the various events. The total number of batch mates that attended in all the 6 major events numbered 83 with 24 spouses, 3 teachers and one O.S.B.
In the Welcome Dinner at the Banco De Oro Executive Lounge (courtesy of Mr. Artie Villaraza), all attendees were ask to say a few words and some introduction and some confessions. It was an opportunity for Bakong Sevilla to finally make a confession of the famous eraser incident, the fight at the chimney, the school bag at the top of the door and many more. Gary Vasquez also gave his rendition of how to construct and destruct his pabahay plan. Each and everyone shared his insights about his class memories which were mostly crazy as often remembered. The reception table was full of blue tablets of all kinds courtesy of Dr. Sy. The night ended with a group picture taken and as usual our ever loyal Shirley was on hand to render some songs accompanied by a 1 piece band.
The SBC Alumni Homecoming was another heartbreaking experience because of the presence of newer faces such as Mandy Eleazar, Paquito Calero, Ed Tirona, Adrian Yu and Jess Bagatsing and teachers such as Ms. Cholette Tuviera Lecaroz, Mr. Rudy Garcia who came in with a cane and Fr. Andy in a wheelchair. Jim, Willy E and Ed N also brought their spouses to witness the San Beda Cheers of Go San Beda fight and the Indian War Dance. The homecoming was held in what used to be the softball field fronting Mendiola St. That field is now surrounded by school buildings and the building basketball gym. The homecoming event gave us an opportunity to view at first glance how much San Beda has changed. There are no more Elementary and High School students. Most of the school buildings houses SBC’s new discipline courses in Nursing and Medicine.
The Wack Wack dinner dance event was the most attended of all the events because it was an opportunity for the local base batch mates to rekindle with the foreign base counterparts. The evening showed newer faces such as Dennis Decena, Tony Resultan, Raffy Aguado, Bonjing Chua, Vic Sevilla, Jun Tongco, and many more. Highlights of the evening were the rendition of Ed Aguila’s “Feel So Good” ala Tom Jones; the giving of souvenir gift items to all FB classmates; the speeches of Fr. Tarsi, Mr. Joe Mordeno and Mr. Roly Sison and the DVD presentation by Carlo Angeles. Adding to the group were 24 spouses and 5 guests. Gracing the evening were 6 dance instructors that pumped the evening with boogie, swing, cha cha, tango and foxtrot. Gift items brought in by some FB classmates were also raffled throughout the evening and the grand major prize (Home Theater Speaker system) was won by Ding Aguado.
The Sun Valley Golf Tournament was an opportunity for SBC golfers and guests to bond showcase their winning forms aka Tiger Woods. Top winners were Mr. Sevy Roxas Chua and Philip Brodett getting the best gross and net. Winning the Blind Callaway system in Group A was Danny Yu and Bonnie as runner up. Group B was taken by Danny Salalac and Frankie as runner up. The Class C was won by the guest’s attendees. DVD Players and Cell phone were also raffled as give away prizes. Highlighting the occasion was the presence of 4 GRO’s courtesy of Frankie Flameno. They surely took away the concentration and seriousness of the golfers.
The next major event was the trip to Rey Pineda’s Angeles Resort and Country Club. This event was attended by at least 23 batch mates with some bringing their spouses. The evening started with lavish buffet complete with a native Pampanga lechon and delicacies. Performing that night was another band with a great saxophone player. Some took the stage and rendered their own 60’s songs. Another home theater speaker system was given away and this time, the winner is Jess Bagatsing. All the single guests were provided accommodation at the Mimosa while those that brought their spouses were booked in suites at Hotel Stotstenberg. The next morning, a pakain event was also held at the Angeles Bahay Bata Center where a group of young children were given a treat of arozcaldo.
The afternoon of Feb.6 paved the way to Surga, Artie’s resort complex which is known to be a retreat house or prayer meetings. About 20 or so batch mates with spouses were treated to a beautiful place in Majayjay Laguna complete with accommodations and sumptuous meals. The complex named Surga, Balinese for paradise on earth, consists of a cluster of Asian structures, most of them providing dormitory-like accommodations, a tiny chapel, and a large garden with an irregularly shaped swimming pool and a pond currently filled with tilapia. The group also had a chance to see Artie’s mini Pony. All had a chance to attend Sunday services at the complex chapel.
In between those dates were special invitation made by Wilson Aw to all FBs as well as another invite from Nino Villaba in his Tagaytay rest house.
Talk of another reunion is being hatch this early by Jim dela Riva this time in the Bay area of San Francisco. Looks like there will be many mini reunions in the coming months and years so those that were not able to make it, you have another chance to bond with our well beloved classmates.
The theme of our 40th Ruby reunion is “Ours To Share” for it only means sharing by those who have to those who do not have much. The pakain event at the Angeles Bahay Bata Center was an example.
Please read on as experiences are shared by some:
From: Atty. Domingo Castillo
I would like to make special mention and give praises on the DVD you prepared (as the webmaster of our class).After the Wacky Wack-Wack party, I ran the DVD twice in my house to remind me of our high school days and pray that all of us are still alive and healthy to attend our Golden Jubilee celebration in 2019. I know that the input and labor you did in running after our classmates to submit their pictures, collating them and producing them (at your expense) is indeed a labor of love which needs some special recognition from our class. It is a pity that only a handful chose to submit their contributions to the success of your DVD. Nonetheless, it is a classic which I will preview from time to time until you produce another epic masterpiece in 2019 showing the achievements of each individual member of the class and the class as a whole.
More power and all the best.”
From: Ed Nufable
To the Philippine
We are back in our cold snow state of Virginia. Thanks to all your hospitality and welcome to Chit and myself and the rest of the foreign based classmates. I still smile and remember most of the funny moments that we had together. I just wished I was able to join you in Angeles and Surga. But time was so short and had other commitments during our short stay. To the organizers (Artie, Ed A., Bonnie, Rolly, Danny Yu), the supporters and you know who you are for your financial contributions both local and foreign based, we are truly grateful. Maraming salamat at sa pasalubong. "THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES"
P.S. Chit also enjoyed your company and glad she came.
From: Tony Bautista
Best trip ever to memory lane! Never had more fun than these 2 weeks most especially with the 69er attendees. I wish to extend my appreciation to all those responsible for these memorable events. I spend most of the time since I got home looking at our pics over and over again.
Jim de la Riva approached me during our welcome party about a possible reunion here in the USA naman in 2010 and I said lets plan and do it. So how about it foreign based 69ers? Let’s get the torch lit and going.
Again, Congratulations to all for making our reunion a very successful and memorable one...
From: Joe Manahan
Sometimes the best laid out plans do not go as expected.
The plan was perfect or so I thought. I was going to meet clients, attend the reunion and enjoy a brief holiday in the Philippines. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. After marathon sessions with clients in Manila, I suffered a mild heart attack. I am okay now but I was so disappointed that I was unable to be with you and the rest of the guys. My only consolations are that the event was a success and everyone had a great time. God willing, I will make it to the next reunion. It is interesting that when I suffered this life changing condition, I began to re-assess everything. Now that I have reached the peak of my career and accumulated the wealth I have always wanted, I wonder if it is all worth it. It reminded me that life is so precious and one should live each day to the fullest. It is sad that I had to learn these the hard way. But, perhaps, that's the way it was meant to be for a stubborn person like me.
Best wishes to you and your family.
From: Lito Saplala
I've been back in Chicago for 5 days now, pero very lethargic at tamad ang pakiramdam ko, so all I've been doing was sleep and eat and reminisce, siguro dahil sa jet lag (or jet log as Rey Pineda defines it for males). It’s been the most tiring trip I ever had to Pinas, yet the most enjoyable one. This is so, because of the many events of the Ruby reunion and all the unofficial events on the side.
Just want to convey warm gratitude to everybody who went out of their way to make the foreign based classmates' visits memorable.
Besides the obvious highlights of the events (which can be seen in pictures and testimonials) I just want to mention some sidelights that I think helped spice up the reunion events.
--Gary Vasquez's speech in the welcome dinner about pabahay and his services of dismantling it also, as needed.
--Rey Pineda's rendition of "You Don't Know Me" backed up by the band - in Angeles
--Jess Bagatsing's rendition of "Who Can I turn to", again in Angeles
--Group Beatles sing-along backed by the band, again in Angeles
--Very relaxing moments at the "Members Only" lounge at the Fort, courtesy of Philip Brodett
--Very fulfilling gastronomical experience at the "Hai King Restaurant", courtesy of Wilson Aw
--James Lee holding court between midnight till 4:30 am that first night in Surga (very hilarious)
--Teachers Cholette Tuviera and Rudy Garcia gracing the homecoming event in San Beda
--Mon Yoingco's "hoop" experience with Artie's miniature horse in Surga
--Nino Villaba's luncheon at the Cabalen (Sorry Nino, I missed this)
--The well endowed DI's at the Wack Wack event (do they always come like these, Boni?)
These, along with other memorable moments helped make the whole Ruby Reunion a success. We just wish more of our classmates were there to experience it with us.
Till the next reunion (Hey Jimmy, how is the SF plan coming?) Stay healthy guys!
Amen to all of that. I did not expect this type of fantastic reception from our Pinas based hosts. All I did was show up and they did the rest. It truly made the whole experience unforgettable. No negative vibes just gracious pleasantries and a lot of sharing. My sincerest thanks to each and everyone that made all of it possible. I would name names but it would be make this email too long. I hope that we can return the favor when the time comes. Summer 2010!! And maybe, just maybe, we can have our other batch mates join us this time in San Francisco.
From: Manny Yoingco
in behalf of the local 69ers,
I would also like thank all those who spearheaded the preparation of our ruby
reunion... hosted the Jan –Feb. activities and the monthly meetings... made sure
our foreign-based classmates are taken care of... and shelled out resources or
in some other way (whether large or small), contributed to make this reunion
successful as it is.
I will start naming these locally based classmates randomly... but if I missed out on some, mea culpa. I will just have to ask others to fill in these names. I know this list is not complete... again mea culpa for those I missed... mon, help me out on this please.
I’d like to thank artie villaraza, ed aguila, danny yu, bonnie vergel de dios, rey pineda, rolly sison, sevy roxas chua, ramesh, wilson aw, Frankie flameno, mon (utol), philip brodett, nino villaba... and of course, roxanne. Thank you also to the text brigade composed of eric bugia and jun madrasto...
lastly, id like to thank all our foreign-based classmates who were able to make it. your presence completed our successful 40th reunion. it was really nice seeing you all again.
Till our next reunion!
From: Artie Villaraza
Overall, the event or events
all of us zealously organized were memorable as they were hilarious! In all of
the activities I became a part of (Welcome Dinner at Anvil, Ruby Anniv at SBC
Campus, Dinner at Wack2, and Surga Weekend), I saw how young all of us still
are, perhaps not so much in our physical appearance but certainly in the way we
showed our closeness to one another, our shared school experiences and our
fun-loving nature, underscored by our sincere concern for the welfare of our
batchmates here and overseas. Sleeping at 5 in the morning while in Surga and
getting up 2 hours later so that we don't waste any time away from each other,
was a great feeling of brotherhood. Even those we weren't exactly close with
back in school became just as close to me as I was to them and everyone I had so
much pride being a part of the gang or gangs of. I believe that among us, I hung
out with almost everyone in the batch of '65 and '69. So, I should be able to
say, I enjoyed the best of many worlds of friends!
All of you guys and your families are always welcome to visit Surga, your home nearer to the clouds.
Cheers to us all!
Below is the speech given by Mr. Rolly Sison at the Wack Wack Dinner Event:
Good evening, batch mates at San Beda and your charming spouses!
I stand in front of you now with a bit of hesitancy. You see … when Carlo Angeles asked me to be the guest speaker for tonight’s affair, I initially felt a bit awkward since I felt that being part of this celebrating batch, I had earned the right to be part of the audience and keep as low a profile as possible, like most of you out there. Perhaps one of our teachers or Benedictine priests would have been a better choice.
On the other hand, I also came to the realization that we owe this affair to Carlo’s untiring leadership of our foreign-based group and that they were “calling the shots”, so to speak. We all have to earn our dinner somehow.
Let me say therefore that I am most honored to have been selected to say a few words of relevance, and I also feel humbled being in front of an audience of my peers, many of whom would also be more than qualified to do this same thing.
Before I forget, I would like to express the deep appreciation of our Philippine-based batch mates for the kind hosting of our foreign-based group of tonight’s event. Despite the tremendous impact of the worldwide recession on North America, this group relentlessly pushed through to the end with their pledge to host this event. This deserves a rousing round of applause ….
As I thought of what I would like to convey to you which would be of relevance, I thought of the diversity that exists in this group, with over 40 years since our high school graduation (or over 44 years since grade school). We all have tread different paths to where we are now but I think we all have something in common – our Benedictine education. I think all of the experiences, the camaraderie, the fellowship, should be considered against the backdrop of what our school taught us during those critical times of our formation as young men. If you remember, and this was amply displayed and spoken about during the homecoming last Saturday, the motto of St. Benedict was “Ora et Labora” , prayer and work, or work and prayer, … something temporal and something spiritual, … maintaining that fine balance to keep the whole human being (body & soul) relevant to its final goal.
At the risk of sounding corny and dated, this is where I would like to take off and present to the group two challenges.
First, the “Labora” part - work. After so many years of reaping God’s blessings in our own work and family environments, let us see what we can do to work for the common good. I think it is time we are able to give back to society in some way, shape or form. To make a difference to the marginalized – the 3 L’s we call it – the least, the last and the lost in society.
I am encouraged when I hear of the feeding program of Junsy and Manny Ruffy, the Gawad Kalinga work of Gerry Balbin although US-based, the happiness and the cheer that Ramesh brings to the pediatric wards of hospitals. I’m sure many others among you have your own little niche to help others, perhaps as part of NGO’s, civic organizations, foundations, social outreach programs or simply family initiatives. Let us do more of these. And these initiatives need not be limited by your material resources, since even the financially disadvantaged can participate in a meaningful way – just think of the “sweat equity” of Gawad Kalinga.
While these are pretty much individual initiatives, I think we can do a lot more as a group. Let these get-togethers be the start of something more constructive. We can channel the energy, the creativity and the resourcefulness inherent in this group towards the common pursuit of a worthwhile goal. As a suggestion, let us also do something in the area of education (and this is a personal bias) since, more than most, the ripple effect is that much greater.
Whatever it is though, do something. Get out of your own shells and your family’s shells. Make a difference to the outside world. I assure you the sense of fulfillment is priceless!
There is a second part of that Benedictine motto “Ora” … prayer. In that regard, may I recount to you a story I recently read regarding a Benedictine monk and the crucifix on Mt. Everest. As we all know, the highest point on earth, the summit of Mt. Everest, was conquered in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Well there is this little-known trivia which took place simultaneous with that conquest. This Benedictine monk had given the head of that expedition, Col. John Hunt, a small crucifix (part of a rosary given to him by Pope Pius XII), asking from Col. Hunt the favor that this crucifix be left at the highest point reached by that expedition. We all know that that expedition was successful in reaching the summit, but we were not aware that the request of that Benedictine monk was granted – the crucifix was indeed planted on top of Mt. Everest.
On learning about the granting of his favor, that Benedictine monk wrote to Col. Hunt to amplify the significance of that event:
“I feel that there are two histories of the world. One which we can see with our eyes, unfolding slowly as event follows event, to take its place in the history books. What you achieved on Everest will find its place there – but not, I believe, its true position. There is another history, the real history, which at the moment we can only glimpse with the eyes of faith and which God alone knows fully. That history has its center and peak on Calvary. I am sure that when that history comes to be read, the day when men climbed to the summit of the earth and left there the sign and symbol of our faith, will rank as one of the very great days in the history of the world.”
Well, ladies and gentlemen … we all have our own “Everest’s” to climb – death/ sickness, family troubles, financial concerns, business issues, etc . But if we have prayer, … sincere and humble prayer … as our weapon, we can always overcome and conquer them all. Be serious about your faith. San Beda has taught us that. It’s up to us to take up the challenge.
So it is that I leave you with these words “ora et labora” … and, when you feel lost or somehow confused needing direction, go back to your roots in your alma mater – work to reach out to others and have faith that God does not give you problems that you cannot overcome.
Thank you for your time. Please relax, sit back and enjoy the rest of the evening.