It was exactly 6:00 in the evening when Kat told me to dress up because we will have a dinner in Smallville Iloilo. It was just a minute ago when I was wishing if we could see each other again; that we could laugh with our corny jokes again, and we could tap each other for a job well done. Almost of our class was present that night.
Joy Decinilla who is now the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer (MSWDO) of the Municipality of Numancia, Aklan cancelled her family trip in Baguio just to be there. Jancy Balairos, who is the Medical Social Worker in St.Lukes Hospital got the last flight from Manila right after her duty just to the attend the unplanned reunion. Jha, took her master’s degree in Social Work at UP Diliman, and she is planning to finish her Doctorate degree there. Clyde Cabular who is the City Social Welfare and Development Officer (CSWDO) of Malay, Aklan postponed his meeting with the DSWD Secretary when he received the invitation of the reunion. Lynneth Llaso, the Provincial Social Welfare Officer in the Island of Guimaras rescheduled her flight to Hongkong the next day when she knew about the unplanned reunion.
Michelle Navarro missed her chance to meet US President Barack Obama in person when she was informed about the dinner. Mich is a case worker of the victims of human trafficking. Right after the lunch meeting with Henry Sy, Sarah Palma went straight to the salon to have a makeover for the dinner. Sarah is the Human Resource Development Officer of SM City, Iloilo. Gretchen Anzures did not celebrate the wedding anniversary with her husband. According to her, she will be spending the rest of her life with her husband while a reunion with her old classmates is a once- in- a- lifetime experience. After she passed the Board Examination, Gretch pursued her dream to be a member of the Philippine National Police.
Cristy Aguirre who is the MSWDO in the Municipality of Alimodian chose to spend her birthday with us than to spend it with her family. I was smiling when I remembered her “simple dream.” She wanted to marry a General or to be a janitress in Philippine Military Academy or in Campo Delgado. As if fate caught with her, she’s now engaged with Colonel Roberto Sumooc. Now, I believed in what they called DESTINY. Col. Roberto aka Dodong is also a registered social worker. Although he did not practice his profession, it became a stepping stone to reach his destination, and that is to be a soldier. The CSWDO of Roxas City didn’t want to miss the reunion so he postponed the dinner date with his girlfriend just to be with us. Michael Lozada took the position of his mother right after her retirement. Prof. Mary Rose Tablazon dismissed her class early to prepare for said occasion. Mary Rose is now a faculty of Central Philippine University Department of Social Work.
Von Charisse Abisan, who is a social worker of Parole and Probation Administration, didn’t waste the chance to get along with the group again. Jhon Joseph Oliquino didn’t attend his class in the CPU College of Law after knowing about the reunion, JJ is also a CSWDO in Iloilo City. Billy Esmino, went straight ahead to the venue from airport. Bil just arrived from Japan, as an International social worker. He works as a community organizer for Asia in the United Nation. Irish Suarez, the current Supervisor of the Bantay Bata 163- Iloilo is also present. The MSWDO of Zarraga, Iloilo, Roussell Jane Dela Cruz, never had a second thought to attend the reunion.
Ms. Rose Ann Villasis cancelled the fashion show of the clothes she designed just to be in the reunion. Rose Ann is also registered social worker but just like Kat, she finds joy in the field of fashion designing. I was surprised when I saw the presence of April Lyn Boniba, Kristine Marie Bariguez and Lyra Mae Venus. I thought they would not attend the reunion, only to be told that but they set aside their personal businesses just to be with us. The trio are also registered social workers. April is the CSWDO in the City of Iloilo while Tintin is the MSWDO of the Municipality of Leganes. Lyra, on the other hand, is the MSWDO in Dumarao Capiz.
Cynthia Jimenea and Roxanne Galicia, MSWDO of the Municipality of San Rafael, Iloilo and Valderama, Antique, respectively are also present. They left their children with their husbands just to spend time with us. And of course Joshua Jireh Quimpo, a famous recording artist, has entertained us with his songs, as it were during student days. He cancelled his gigs that night just to be with us.
Indeed, a very fun and memorable night for us. Daw sang san’o lang kami nag pulaw bugtaw sa amon nga thesis, naga cramming mag tuon pra sa amon major exams, naga tumpok-tumpok sa MT subway kag kinadlaw. (It doesn’t seem so long when we spent sleepless nights for our thesis, cramming during exams, crowding at MT subway having good laughs). I now got the answer to my question- “What will I be ten years from now?”