Having stayed for five years in France for my masteral studies and job as historical journalist in CNN, made me long to go back to my country. I wanted to stay with my family, reunite with old friends, and render my hard work to my countrymen. I know that my studies and my work have led me to different places across the globe, meet new peoples, and lead a wonderful and meaningful life. However, as the rugged saying goes “there is no place like home”.
Upon the completion of my thesis my concluding documentary, and my book about the Philippines in France, I bade everyone “au revoir” “until next time” and happily went back to Philippines. Inside the plane we were given all the luxuries that we can afford in this long ride home, that almost always include a newspaper.
As I browsing through the pages of the newspaper, I was awestricken by the names that I saw in the bylines. They were of Jenzen Anzano – writing news for the Metro; and Valeriano Onia – reporting about the recent battle of Ginebra versus Rain or Shine.
But the good news doesn’t just end there, Mila Mary Lyn Maralit’s chemical invention have earned her an award from the President of the Philippines, Alyssa Mae G. Daraog. Then on the Health and Fitness Section was the full-page length column of the famous psychologist Richard Sanchez.
With all their abilities and talents way back our high school years, we knew that these former classmates would indeed become successful and it is heartwarming to learn that these Lucians were pioneers in adhering to the CORE values that we cherished in our high school years.
Many hours passed and the song in the plane shifted from The Beatles; to the Lady Antebellum’s; to SNSD’s; to the Hotdog’s Manila. By then we knew that we are approaching the Philippine territory and in no more than an hour we shall be landing. Suddenly, a lady in black dress approached me. It was Mara Cassandra Gomez! She told me that she was in France for two weeks to attend for an international conference in Psychology. We talked and talked until we are notified to go back our seats and fasten our seatbelts for our landing.
I can feel the plane slowly going down and sudden gosh of excitement and relief that embraced my being when I finally felt the bump of the wheels in the land of my country. I’m finally back!
My first two weeks were spent in countless reunions and homecoming then I wondered where are my high school schoolmates, classmates, friends? I hope to meet them again.
However, now is not the time to think about those, we will soon find our ways. By now, I have to work-on my job in the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Right there and then, I was accepted and given projects. First on the list was the Bangon Tribe in Mindoro. I am thrilled because I am the one in-charge of such meticulous and comprehensive task that we shall carry-on. I decided to go to the bookstore to enhance my knowledge and to at least familiarize myself with their environs.
As my car was driving along EDSA the billboard of Rowielyn Singh and Jaypee De Castro, the hosts of WilTime Big Time was prominently displayed, then there is also another billboard of pop star singers, Ma. Diana Derpo, Binna Azucenas, and Ericka Faye delos Santos inviting everyone to join in their concert at the Mall of Rommel Concepcion’s Concert Grounds.
Lucians of batch 2012’s progress can’t be stopped. From De Castro to Rosario Village/Tramo ; now Lucians are domineering EDSA and filling up the key positions in our society!
As I went inside the bookstore, my attention was caught by the book at top of the best-sellers list. That was the name of Rhoxanne Villasin, she is the author of this year’s bestselling book. I grabbed my copy of her book then bought the materials that I needed for my work.
Nearby I saw a new mall named Von’s. I went inside and I was really amazed with the beauty and intricate details of the place. While strolling along I heard someone shouted my name. Few steps away from me was Glenn Rose Baculanlan! Dressed like a Parisian doll, she and four other ladies in office attire went to me.
Glenn Rose is now a model and the four ladies with her are Roselyn Monforte, Louise May Mackay, Cynthia Mae Pama, and Angel Mae Bahay were the accountants at Von’s the mall that Christian Von Geminiano owns.
We went inside the pub named Muppets and had some coffee. While having our funny chats, we reminisced the good-old days wherein being a historian, an accountant, and a model were just a confusing dream… a vague possibility.
Just when we are about to part ways a lady appeared before us and introduced herself as Shirlyn! Indeed it was she… Shirlyn Alvario the owner of Muppets restaurant. She informed us that Lucians are involved in the foundations of her restaurant with Bhenz Benig (now a food technologist) as her business partner. Joseph Perez and Rances Marticio were in charge of the place’s architectural design, Bernardino Rodelas for the engineering plans and construction, and the famous artists: Cedrick Caguing, Cyril Flora and John Paul Dogillo for the details and designs.
Neither one of us wouldn’t want to end our girl talks and reminisces but then we knew that we have works to do so we exchange contact numbers and promised to meet soon.
Back to work, I indulged myself with my project. Busy all day studying, preparing, preparing, studying. One day, three days before my five-member team went to Mindoro, I was informed that certain groups would like to join our trip and they all had their recommendations.
Of course, I do not like them to go with us because our work might be exploited by their presence. But then, I couldn’t just discredit their requests so I immediately called my assistant to call their representatives to explain their intentions at exactly two p.m. today.
After an hour, my secretary informed me that all the persons that we’ve been waiting to talk to are already inside the conference room and they are quite noisy. I immediately went inside my conference room and . . . it seems like I’m a high school student once more! The faces inside are all my high school classmates and friends. Indeed all of them, wow! Aarone Jhone Julian is now the managing president of the Apple Company in the Philippines; Jennelyn dela Cruz, Ma. Kathleen Adona, and Mark Anthony Borja are now the Division Supervisors of Pasig City; Kimberly Mae Chua, Stefany Cabantog, and Mharianne Yalega, are now head doctors of Lucia General Hospital; Francesca Ann Balmonte, is recognized as one of the bests photographers in country; and Sir Eljun Velga is now the Principal of Sta. Lucia High School.
They explained to me that they wanted to join to help and contribute something for progress that has always been OUR dream. Right there and then, I agreed and we’ve planned the flow of our own respective missions consecrated towards the fulfillment of one goal.
At home, I packed my things for our mission then watched the news anchored by Merleen Mercolita. News about Ramlou Demegillo’s outstanding performance in the International Dance Sport Competition; Nigel Paulino, Renmar Moses, Julius Caesar Brutas, and Marcelino Loza’s gold in the recent Olympic games; Jovy Ann Sta. Ana, manager of SNSD; Arjay Gervacio-Ventura, the new business tycoon; Ronnel Villamar tops the Bar Exams; and Shelly Ann Ruales’s proclamation as the Philippine Ambassadress to the USA.