By Chona Villafuerte-Go Batch 1986
NHSOC Website Administrator
NHSOC Reunion Correspondent
For most of you NHSOC active posters, I’m quite sure you’ve heard it was a very successful reunion celebrated by Class of 1982 last December 29, 2007 at Novaliches High School grounds. And indeed it was!
One thing noteworthy also of mentioning during their early months of preparation, their class gift ideas and concepts were often deliberated yet only been decided upon hearing from the current NHS students first-hand how badly they needed chairs for use during special gatherings and outdoor activities like graduation, JS prom, school programs, etc. In fact, some senior students also mentioned that at times they don’t have enough chairs to accommodate all students in school meetings and other activities. In response to this need, Batch 1982 truly made their coming back to our alma mater even more meaningful thru their special gift of 500 pcs. white monobloc chairs costing them a total of P137,500. Our Congratulations to the Organizing Committee headed by Ms. Thess Bajandi and to all of you who have put so much work into bringing success into this memorable gathering.
Incidentally, many of you hoped to see more pictures and update of their silver jubilee reunion. Great news everyone, I've just finished uploading a bunch of those pictures shared by Daniel Bautista & Thess Bajandi on our NHSOC Photogallery (at myphotoalbum.com) and now thanks also to Thess our wish for a reunion cover story has been granted.
Again, our congratulations to Batch of 1982!! Applause! Applause! Applause!!!
Batch 1982 25th Reunion Homecoming Photos
YOUTUBE REUNION VIDEOS:
NHS Batch 1982 Reunion Pictures Slideshow:
Batch 82 Reunion Video 1
Batch 82 Reunion Video 2
Batch 82 Reunion Video 3
Batch 82 Reunion Video 4
Batch 82 Reunion Video 5
By Thess Bajandi
Batch 82 Reunion Committee Chairperson
NHSOC Elite Moderator
Well, it was all over and done with…… but what a memorable evening it turned out to be. Nostalgic and filled with happy moments of remembering the good old days in school. It was a chance for us to touch base…….an experience I would not have missed for all the money in the world (wink!). For some, including myself, a beginning of a new friendship that never became one when we were still in high school.
It was an event that swelled one’s heart with stirring emotional joy and warmth and the happiness of seeing old high school friends one had not seen for two and a half decades. Had I seen Sherrie Bayona before that day, I would never have recognized her. She had changed so much but prettier now. Others though had managed to retain the same features except for some minor changes like a few fine lines on our once a baby face, receding hairline and protruding waistlines and bay windows! (wink!). It was a real joy not only to see these old friends but to hear their voices once more…… the uninhibited laughter of Grace Flores and Deth Alegre, but even these were music to our ears that night. Let me just mention that I was so delighted to see Sonia Gelomio stepping in with such a short notice.
God is so good to have blessed us with this wonderful, unforgettable experience. I truly feel sorry for all our friends who were unable to join us. You guys just do not know what you have missed. But don’t you worry, we have had the whole proceedings recorded and those of you who would like to see what you have missed, we are more than happy to accommodate your orders for copies of the cd’s of the photos and the videos of the whole affair. Get one and eat your hearts out! (wink!)
The biggest surprise for me that afternoon was when I suddenly found myself face to face with Angelito Zacarias. There he was….. as big as life itself and all smiles! Just a few days before the 29th, I could still read regrets with the tone of his email and in fact, he decided to send his cash donations ahead thru bank to bank transfers, just to make sure that his contributions reach us in time for the reunion. You could have knocked me over with a feather but it was a most pleasant surprise Lito. I learned that it was a last moment opportunity that made him take the first flight from Montreal Canada. Thank you Lito!
Others present, who came all the way from the other side of the globe were Alice Salvador Buslon with her good-looking hubby Jim…… Rodel Esperanza with his charming and very supportive wife Jo…. still the boyish-looking Bob Soliman was also there….. the dashing (thru the snow…), the scene stealer, Dr. Cesar Dalida, who flew from Russia (with love), just to be with us….. though he arrived quite late, the prominent Batch 82 guy — Josh Ampil kept to his promise and he was there……. and yes, one of the heartthrobs of Batch 82, the still good-looking Larry Logan also came……. of course, not to be outdone, the equally handsome and very lovable Arnold Carpio, who gave us all the fun, entertainment and laughter that night!
The celebration started at 1:00 in the afternoon. It was a “made-to-order” weather. Spirits were high and each alumnus that arrived was greeted with shrieks, hugs and the pretty faces of Mia Borrel and Imee Donguines making sure that they have paid the Reunion Fee! (wink!). After the hassle-free registration, Grace Flores and Malou Canonoy accepted them in (wink!). Instead of looking for their places, tables and chairs, most of them opted to just hang around, chat and chat, catching up with fellow batchmates, pose for pictures left and right.
At the corner near the stage, some alumni were enjoying the KISS KING OF BALLS cart brimming over with pica-pica of squid balls, crab nuggets, kikiam and the best gulaman I’ve ever tasted that I had to make 2 trips to satisfy my thirst! All these for FREE courtesy of our ever generous batchmate, Mia Borrel.
We opened the Program with the Philippine National Anthem led by fellow alumni, Tess Versoza, who, by the way is a member of a band and a singer by profession. Many thanks to Julie Sta. Maria for referring Tess to us. Thereafter, our Pastor Batchmate, Daniel Bautista led the Invocation. Starting the program with his very heartwarming Welcome Remarks, who else but the distinguished looking but in his usual boyish self (wink!), our very own, Jun Villaret. The most remarkable opening line of Jun……. “IT’S SO NICE TO BE HOME”…….. and it really was! Before ending up, Jun requested all the alumni to offer a minute of prayer for our departed batchmates.
Then, came the inspiring message to all the alumni from our former Teacher and now the present Head Teacher VI and Assistant to the Principal for Administration, Mrs. Mirasol Abordo. Ma’am, thank you so much for such a great speech. Hearing your voice once more imparting words of wisdom seemed to draw us back to those classrooms 25 years ago when we used to sit and listen to our teachers half heartedly. You helped us go back to the old Novaliches High School and taught us how to be truly grateful to our dear Alma Mater. Mrs. Abordo, you made all of us happy with your presence and we sincerely appreciate your spending your precious time with us on that special occasion.
Imelda Rubio amazes everybody when she presented on stage… would you believe???.... all her school IDs, from First Year to Fourth Year!! Not only the IDs, but also a preserved Gate Pass signed by our Guidance Counselor at that time, Mrs. Caridad Virtusio. You really deserve all the applauses and the gifts Mel!
Lovey-dovey couples present were requested up on stage to share their “love-stories”. They were Lina (Diaz) and hubby Rico; Jun Villaret and wife Grace; Alice (Salvador) and hubby Jim; highschool sweethearts Jennifer (Dumlao) and fellow batchmate Juancho Laxa and Rodel Esperanza and wife Jo. To the delight of the many, they were all requested to attest their love to each other with a kiss on the lips, right there on stage! There was this pair…..… claiming to be a couple….. but looks a “very strange couple” who added fun and laughter to the crowd! Arnold was more interested on the “kiss” but Thess was more after the “gifts” given to them, to which, Arnold protested and assumed that it was the other way around!! Thess has denied this of course! (hahaha!)
Ooopps, humabol pa si Dr. Arnel Tolosa who professes his true love on stage to his pretty wife Dra. Tec. (btw guys, have you read the one-on-one interview of Jun Villaret with Dr. Arnel Tolosa, featured in our Souvenir Program, titled “Catching up with the Class Valedictorian”? It’s a must read piece!)
One of the highlights of the program, was the dance number of the pride of the school, the dance troupe “Galaw Novaleño”. All the alumni were wowed with the performance of these very talented boys and girls. They gave a highly energetic performance dancing to a medley of different folk dances….“tinikling” and “karatong”, all the 15 of them, fully made up and complete with their colorful costumes, flowers, hats, bamboos and other props. Thank you very much children for gracing our affair! We truly appreciate your performing your dance number, to think, its Christmas vacation and you should be enjoying the holidays with your families and friends. Syempre, as a gesture of our appreciation, the Batch 82 Alumni gave the group a “Christmas gift” and a few give-away items. Of course, the teens were not able to resist our invitation to stay a bit longer to join us in our buffet dinner that night!
In between the program, Tony Alix and Deth Alegre enliven the gathering with their exciting games! And yes! There were lots of prizes that we had to give out two or three prizes per person, per game! And the Raffle? WOW! Daisy Gutierez, Weng Balbuena and Malou Canonoy who were all in-charge of our Raffle prizes made sure that nobody went home empty handed. By the way, Ermet Caguioa won the Samsung Microwave Oven donated by our generous batchmate Chit Ancheta. In the end, there were still items to be given away that the Committee decided to give out everything to each and every guests and alumni present, to empty the boxes, the table and the stage with those gifts!
Then came the “Reminiscing”! The “boys and girls” recalled and recounted tales of their childhood memories in school. Some batchmates were requested up on stage to share stories of their unforgettable, exciting, including their most embarrassing experiences during high school. Can you imagine guys the enjoyment we had during this portion? Really feels good to feel young and carefree once again!
Before we realized it, it was time for dinner, yet everyone’s still bursting with energy and our stomachs still full of unending and exciting stories to tell!
But right before the overflowing buffet table was opened to everybody, a selected group of Batch ‘82 Ladies gave the alumni and the guests a unique, very special “hors d'oeuvre” ….. their Modern version of a Muslim Fan Dance, complete with their creative and colorful sash hanging across on top of their all black outfit (sort of… trying to cover something in there! hahahaha), partnered with their multi-colored metallic fans! And wait!! Before the audience yelled for “more, more, more”, oh yes, the ladies were all set and danced the latest and hottest dance craze upon their exit!! Am I being biased if I say that this is the most applauded part of the program? (hehehe, watch nyo yung video and you’ll find out why I am saying this! wink!). Many thanks to Mia, who, all throughout the rehearsals have provided us the facilities of their home. Thanks Mia for everything… from the choreography of the dance steps, the expenses for our costumes, for the time of your domestics spent in doing those fans, for the pins (wink!), and most of all, for the different kinds of pasta dishes and the dinner you served us every time we rehearse at your home!
After dinner, the icing on the cake, so to speak, came. Moments such as this homecoming, we are given the opportunity to renew our pledge and commitment to our dear Alma Mater. Allow me to quote Jun…… its is “Our way of giving-back to the institution that brought us together in the first place and made us what we are today!”
With the concerted efforts of the Batch 82 alumni, most especially the Reunion Organizing Committee, who really worked hard in soliciting donors and advertisers for our Souvenir Program plus the financial support that we got from our abroad based Batchmates, we were able to accomplish our goal!
Yours truly, representing the whole Batch 82 Alumni, turned-over to the NHS Principal, Dr. Maria Noemi Moncada, to the Assistant to the Principal for Administration, Mrs. Mirasol Abordo, Master Teacher 2 and also our former Teacher, Mr. Rolando Ramos and another former teacher, Mr. Teri Vargas, the product of the BATCH ’82 Alumni’s hardwork and cooperation…. The 500 pcs. White Monobloc Chairs for the use of the students during special occasion and other outdoor activities.
Thereafter, the High School Principal, Dra. Maria Noemi Moncada, conveyed her appreciation and gave us a very inspiring speech. Madam Principal, thank you very much for your invaluable time spent with us and most importantly, for unselfishly sharing your very own experiences (and adventures) as a student, as a Teacher and as a Principal. We learned so much from these experiences (and the added humors. wink!) We also got to know more about the present NHS, the many achievements of the school and its students, how NHS made history in the field of ICT for winning the first place in the International Competition held in Busan, South Korea and how it has become a great institution that it is now, under your leadership and the guidance of the present school administration and faculty.
So much has been heard and said. The time came for our Finance Committee Vice-Chairman, the modest, unassuming and inarguably one of the most successful product of Batch 82, Mr. Butch Baranda, to give the Closing Remarks. Ooopps, it wasn’t a closing remarks at all (wink!) for he told us the story from the beginning how the reunion was organized, the formation of the different committees, our establishing the objectives of coming-up with this reunion, the preparations, planning, and context on how our project was decided upon. Thanks Butch for that very well delivered speech and for all your kind words! (pero joke lang po yung ibang sinabi ni Butch doon pertaining to me). Pero syempre, thank you very much Butch for the very nice introduction of the next speaker!.... (ako po yun! wink!)
Oh yes people, I was somewhat prepared to deliver my Message of Thanks but wasn’t prepared to receive the biggest surprise that night! Kwento ko lang po for the information of the uninformed (wink!)…..All the while and without my knowing, a big and very nice Signature Frame was passed around and signed by my Batchmates, expressing their appreciation for all the efforts that yours truly have done!! I cannot believe that all throughout and until the last minute, naitago nyo sa akin na meron pala kayong ganon kalaking frame na sinusulatan!! Guys, I don’t know how to explain it but It was really, really, overwhelming and I must admit, feeling ko…….….... ewan ko ba!! I really cant explain!! (wink!). Do you guys remember how I started my speech? (wink!)
With all my heart, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH BATCH ’82 people!!
Now I know........ lab nyo na pala ako!!
BUT……. Of course,
I should not get all the credits for the success of this event. Everything wouldn’t be possible without the teamwork, the full cooperation and support, the time they have devoted (not to mention their own expenses spent! wink), of this group. From the planning, organizing, all the preparations and the decision making and including, soliciting support from donors and advertisers, were all done by these people. Applause, applause to the members of the Reunion Organizing Committee:
Jovi Tayo, Dra. Me-anne Santos Lim, Mia Borrel Uytiongco, Butch Baranda,
Jun Villaret, Dra. Teresa Delos Reyes Torres, and Rose Ramirez Sy.
I was so lucky to have worked with you guys! I could not imagine myself trying to organize this without your help. You just don’t know how grateful I am to you all. This is OUR success not just mine so…. I would like to share with you this award….. este, all the dedications and the nice words written in that signature frame. Thank you once again, for everything! One personal note, ma-mi-miss ko yung mga meetings, kainan and kape natin!
Now, I can’t begin to express how grateful I am too to the following people because if it were not for the dedication and most of all, the financial support of our abroad based batchmates, we may not even have had the opportunity to celebrate our Silver Jubilee in such an auspicious and befittingly elaborate manner. I hope you will forgive me but due to lack of material time, I failed to acknowledge you one by one that night.
So please, allow me to thank the following people:
Alice Salvador Dr. Cesar Dalida Larry Logan
Angelito Zacarias Disraeli De Costa Loreta Lorilla
Arlene Ison Janet Pacis Mary Angeline Page
Arnold Carpio Jojo Ignacio Rodel Esperanza
Bob Soliman Josh Ampil Rodelio Ramos
Chit Ancheta Juancho Escander Willy Santos
Guys, for accommodating my requests, for replying to my emails and for everything, in behalf of your batchmates here in the Philippines, once again, Maraming Salamat for your generous financial support and all your cooperation!!
Would you believe, napasayaw ko silang mga abroad based batchmates who were present that night? Yes! After my speech and to acknowledge their presence, I requested them all in front…. Angelito Zacarias, Arnold Carpio, Bob Soliman, Dr. Cesar Dalida, Josh Ampil, Larry Logan, Rodel Esperanza and the only rose, Ms. Alice Salvador, to prove that they are still ‘PINOYS” by dancing the “PINOY AKO” of Orange and Lemons! (thanks to the three Galaw Novaleno dancers in front, teaching them the dance steps). Thank you guys!! “Pinoy, ikaw ay Pinoy… ipakita sa mundo…. kung ano ang kaya mo…. Ibang-iba ang Pinoy, wag kang matatakot… Ipagmalaki mo…. PINOY AKO, PINOY TAYO!!
Kung nakarating sana yung iba, kasama kayo sa sumayaw sa harap!! (hehehe).
Please allow me to reserve this space to thank the many people that we are grateful to for the success of this gathering…..
My sincerest thanks for all the support and assistance of the following batchmates: Imee Donguines, Malou Canonoy Bendicio, Daisy Gutierrez Mendoza, Weng Balbuena, Primy Orara Oriel, Terry Floresca Cruz, Tony Alix, Henry Genove, Greg Duque, Ricky Masesar and Zeigfred Dancel. Guys, thank you so much for the many ways that you have helped us. I know that you have done your part to make everything possible. Your untiring efforts and whole-hearted cooperation were the moving force that made our reunion successful.
And to other Batch 82 people, Grace Flores, Jojie Echano, Deth Alegre, Perdasil Joseph, Cecille Ceballo, Lolit Santos, Ariel Mamansag, Max Soliven, Rolando Ramos, whom I forgot to acknowledge that night too (hehehe, sensya na po talaga!), I know that, in your own little way, you have contributed to the success of this gathering. Please accept my sincerest thanks!
Many thanks too to the following people na kinulit ko and with just a short notice (thru text), I requested them to bring gifts for our Raffle and parlor games at di po nila ako binigo! Ang babait po nilang lahat, coz they brought not just one, not only two but several items: Lina Diaz, Dra. Cristy Martinez, Dra. Tess delos Reyes, Dra. Me-anne Santos, Mia Borrel, Jun Villaret, Weng Balbuena, Daisy Gutierez, Ed Pelipog, Cecille Ceballo, Elaine Paulo, Loretta Llarinas, Grace Flores, Joy Ortiz, Julie Sta. Maria, Ricky Masesar, Rommel Lansangan, Max Soliven, Sherrie Bayona, Gina Balallo, Tony Alix and Ms. Sonia Gelomio. Many thanks too to Dr. Arnel Tolosa and Bob Soliman for “the envelope”! (acknowledged na po ng ating Finance Comm.) My sincerest thanks also to my good friend from Batch ‘85, Ms. Jeng Ellson Espinosa, who so generously donated several San Miguel give-away items (t-shirts, caps and lighters). Also, for your information, the boxes by boxes of Splash items (VCO, shampoo, soap, facial wash, etc.) na di natin maubos-ubos were courtesy of Butch Baranda and Jovi Tayo. Salamat po, salamat po sa inyong lahat! Ang dami nyong pinasayang batchmates!!
For all those batchmates that I texted for last minute assignment, Dr. Cesar Dalida, Perdasil Joseph, Sherrie Bayona, Grace Flores, Sonia Gelomio, Malou Canonoy, Tony Alix, (sensya na po hah for the very short notice), thank you so much guys! You saved me from trouble!!
Many thanks too to Jovi Tayo sa napakaraming boxes of brownies and food for the gods, (plugging -- gawa po yun ng sister ni Jovi na si Rose, so if you want to order, contact nyo lang si Jovi! wink!) . For the big Lechon that we feasted on, thank you so much Zeigfred Dancel for that post-birthday blow-out. And of course, to the KISS King of Balls, maraming salamat Mia Borrel. (plugging ulet-- they are open for franchising. Contact nyo lang si Mia!) Syempre po, many thanks too to Weng Balbuena for providing us the photo and video coverage of the whole affair at very reasonable price. For your information, the guy who took our video that day is the niece of Weng Balbuena, Kris, so for all your photo-video coverage needs, phone nyo lang ang Buena Productions. (hehehe, plugging pa ulet yan!) Thanks so much too, to Dra. Me-ann for contacting our caterer, Gachi Resto and Sushi Bar. The best po ang service ng mga staff, not to mention the very good food. For our stage décor, many thanks to our batchmate Henry Genove. Thanks again to Mia Borrel for her good “connect” in Uratex that we were able to get a good discount for the 500 pcs. chairs. Thanks Jovi Tayo for the printing and paying for the 500 pcs. stickers attached to the chairs. For that “RUSH” photo shot and print ng picture na nilagay sa signature frame, thank you very very much Ricky Masesar and Jojie Echano! (buti nalang, andun si Ate Jie kundi pala eh maliit lang yung picture ko na nakalagay don! wink!). And of course, Ms. Imee Donguines who is our “connect” to the present school administration. Thank you girl! Very much!!
O di ba? In one way or the other, many of us contributed and shared to the success of this reunion! From the bottom of my heart…… Salamat po! (naku, sana lang, wala na akong na-miss pasalamatan….)
To all the teachers and other guests, thank you so much for your presence. We know that despite your busy schedules and the short Christmas vacation that you have that you should be spending with your families, you spared some precious time to celebrate with us. Thank you po dear Teachers!
This list would not be complete and meaningful if we do not take time out to say THANK YOU to this wonderful person for her continuing efforts reuniting and strengthening the bond of friendship not just the Batch 82 graduates but all the NHS Alumni….…Ms. Chona Villafuerte Go, the NHS Online Community Administrator. Thank you sooo much Ms. Chona for all that you have done and you continue to do for Batch 82 and all the NHS Alumnii!! And they say due recognition comes to those who have earned it. Chona Villafuerte-Go is one of them!
And last, but certainly not the least, I would like to thank ALL OF YOU, MY DEAR BATCHMATES who were there that night. Your presence made our reunion an unforgettable reality. I am so overwhelmed with your remarks how wonderful everything was. Just seeing everyone having so much fun that night was just enough for me and the Committees to know that all our efforts, our time and dedication were not put to waste. As you would all agree, this is an event that happens but only once in a person’s life and to be lucky enough to experience it is a gift that only come from God! Twenty five years is a long time. If we were to take a stroll down memory lane, we would remember that we survived several People Power Edsa Revolution na di ba?
Indeed we are lucky --- NHS Batch ’82!
Of course, Im saving the best for the last,….. a big applause to our Stars of the Night, who, undeniably, have done a great job in making our celebration lively. Our Masters of Ceremonies ----- Jovi Tayo and Dra. Me-anne Santos Lim. Not only thanks are due them but a resounding standing ovation as well as congratulations! Kudos to you both for the great job!!
Teka lang po….. di pa tapos!
And everyone thought that we were done giving out gifts to all the batchmates? Hindi pa po!! Me-anne and Jovi called and requested the batchmates to stand in front, one at a time (and pose for a picture) to receive their copy of our Souvenir Program Journal plus a Souvenir Item .…. an elegant black decorative plate complete with its stand! A keepsake of our Silver Jubilee celebration! By the way, we still have some and we plan to give out to other batchmates who were not able to join us that night. Just let me know those who are interested.
Wait!! Speaking of surprises, the evening turned out to be a revelation of sorts! Would you believe that Dr. Noemi Moncada does not only excel in her chosen field but would also do as great as a professional singer! We were witnessed to this when Madam Principal rendered a “thank you” song for the Batch ’82…… And so, everybody thought that we had invited Piolo Pascual to serenade the teachers? No, it was Zeigfred Dancel on the floor!!.... And the surprise of all surprises….. the very reserved Dra. Me-ann Santos and Teacher Gina Balallo caught the attention of all the batchmates! Watch nyo the video and see for yourself! And syempre, the most versatile and still she is, the beautiful Mia Borrel and the dashing Dr. Cesar Dalida rocked the floor with their graceful performance on the dance floor!! At talaga namang may mga “lift” pa si Doc Cesar! Would you believe that our Dear Principal and all the teachers were dancing with us!!
Without our noticing it, the quadrangle was transformed into a dance floor and and everybody was dancing all the way from the ballroom dance to the popular hit songs “Itaktak Mo”, “Pinoy Ako” and syempre, the undefeated “Papaya Dance”!
The atmosphere was unbelievable, beyond words!
It was already past 9pm when we decided to call it a day and as we left and went our separate ways, we did so most reluctantly not wanting to break the spell of those last few memorable moments of togetherness and friendship.
God willing, we expect to see each other again ….. perhaps 5 years… 10 years or another 25 years from today? Maybe with more wrinkles, bigger (waaahh!), less hair or maybe even no hair at all ……so what? The important thing is, you are there!
As I close, I wish to congratulate all of us for having reached this significant milestone in our lives. Reuniting and celebrating with our high school friends is such a wonderful feeling. Our sincerest prayer and wish is that God give us the time, health and strength to reach the next one!
Dear Batchmates, thanks for the memories!
This is your friend forever, your batchmate, THESS BAJANDI signing off ……..