dieciocho: tricol recall

increasing in numbers

i didn't go to a famous high school. i didn't have famous classmates. there isn't much to be proud of: we didn't win in inter-school competitions: not in sports, not in math or chemistry olympiads, not in battle of the brains. our graduates aren't utterly famous either. i probably will not send my kids to study there. but regardless of that fact, returning to the school i left 18 years ago is always something i look forward to with excitement. seeing former classmates in their present shape and form is fun. how we've all settled into maturity and accepted our new roles in life -- as mothers, fathers, bachelors, spinsters, business owners, musicians, perpetual bums -- makes reminiscing all the more interesting.

embarrassing, if not awkward dance numbers seem to be the norm in homecomings

there were new faces in this year's edition of the homecoming, and i hope that it will get better in coming years. one batchmate reminded me that among all of us from 1993, i may have attended the most number of homecomings: no less than 10 since we graduated. i was mostly pretty lonely in the beginning, but in the last 3 years, i've been seeing more and more batchmates, meeting them for the first time, finally talking to them even though we never had the chance when we were still studying, never having been classmates.

the boys of 1993

i reminded a classmate how he bullied me the first time we met on my second year. he has no recollection of that event, but i do. but then again, you get past those things and just laugh about everything that was immature, ignorant, whimsical, and plain dumb. now that things are different, bad memories become humorous anecdotes. i bear no grudges against anyone, seriously, because the last 18 years have been kind (if not kinder) to me. so we just travel back in time, and you talk about how some teachers instilled terror in your hearts, how you cheated in an exam, how you wrote love letters to your crush, how you sneaked alcohol into the school. these days, it's different. high school is a memory, one that's quickly fading.

untouched by time: the years have been very kind to the 4 of us

but those of us who keep going back to the homecoming are unwilling to let go. we remember high school, the great music that we associate with it, the bad hair that makes us cringe, the awkward expression on our faces, the warped opinions we held about ourselves and the universe. we realize the importance of holding on to a memory, because ultimately, that is all that we have left. some of us might think that our youth was a lost opportunity, but we choose to recall past girlfriends and boyfriends with neither regret nor bitterness, and remember previous mistakes so that we do not run the risk of repeating them. i talked about these past events while nursing several glasses of red bull vodka .

1993 won 3rd place in the interbatch basketball tournament. i was unable to see a single game.

the other day, i received a message on facebook from a person whose friend invitation has remained unapproved for many months. she asked the question: do you still remember me? i wanted to say: i'm sorry, but you'll have to throw me a bone here. a very big bone. she had changed a lot since we graduated. in contrast, i look exactly the same. "hindi pa rin nagbabago itsura mo" were her exact words. when batchmates suddenly showed up at our homecomings, i had to be reminded who they were. everyone seemed to know me, but i knew very few. besides, my classmates from II-narra, III-gold and IV-pearl were not frequent attendees of the homecomings. but i'm not the only one who was spared a beer belly or a really wild transmorphication. others are pretty well-preserved as well. in fact, someone from the silver jubilarians could've been from a lower batch.

marcus's new band played old tunes

i've said before that the need to organize reunions is often an indication that we are getting older. and the frequency of the get-togethers has been gently increasing: basketball games and several drinking sessions have been put together, and i haven't attended many because the gatherings were mostly spur-of-the-moment activities. my schedule is really kind of tight. so tight in fact that close to midnight, when we had ran out of the two liters of absolut that were on our table, and my friends were planning to continue the party elsewhere, i excused myself to use the bathroom, but ran quickly outside the campus to go home. at the rate we're going, i was certain i'd be seeing my batchmates again soon.