This is the school seal of Villaflores College. The only thing different since I first saw it in 1982 was the change in its address, from Tanjay, Neg. Or. to Tanjay City, Neg. Or. Tanjay became a city in 2002 through a congressional law.
Our High School Life
We were a raucous bunch, care-free and not too sure of what tomorrow might bring us. I guess it was the spirit of youth. Our restlessness have steered our lives amidst the tumultuous adolescent years of self discovery and acceptance. Some have found themselves early, while the others took some time to really discover their true selves. Some have embraced what they have discovered; the others tried to live a life a good mile distant from the truth. But that is the essence of youth — a time of self doubt, a time of exuberance and a time of celebration. Nonetheless, we existed for a purpose and that is to be young and free.
We left the halls of Villaflores College as proud members of the High School Class of 1986. Some stayed on and continued their studies at our deal ole college while many have travelled far and wide; pursuing further education from the different colleges and universities in the country. Through the years, as we hunt and jump from one job to another, while many have settled down and built their own families, we continue to keep in touch with some friends and classmates from high school.
Our First Reunion
Five years ago, in 2006, the Class of 1986 had its first reunion. An eager group of friends and classmates agreed to organize one at the Cottage Restaurant in Amlan, Negros Oriental. A sizeable number showed up and we had a fun night of revelry and games, lots of times reminiscing our high school life and re-kindling old friendships and camaraderie. A good number had wanted an every year gathering, but I guess it was too much to plan for at that time; it never happened.
Fast forward to the year 2011, the year we celebrate our Silver Jubilee. It has been 25 years since our high school graduation. We have thought about this event for quite some time. Some former classmates were so happy to know of the plans, and others, excited to attend to it for the first time. We thought about timing it during the city’s fiesta celebration, to ensure a good number of classmates will be in town for the reunion. It seemed a good idea to begin with, but it had drawbacks as well, that we did not realize until the day had come.
Mini-Reunion in 2011
The year started a bit tragic when our classmate, Lyndon Vano had a cardiac arrest and died. Lyndon was the son of our dear English teacher, Mrs. Pamela Vano. When Lyndon died in February 2011, our batch had a mini-reunion of sorts, when we attended the wake and joined the family of Lyndon in grieving for his untimely death. We gathered one Saturday afternoon at the former Osmena Park in Tanjay City, and the following classmates were there:
Rodolfo Saycon Evelyn B arrera Saycon
Adonis Dael Alfred Molas
Myra Villaflores Teves Janet Limbaga
Joanne Rodriguez Lor Catherine Vallega Ebora
Helen Salimbagat Jacqueline Roda Palacios
Mary Rose Catacutan Ruth Torres
Cecille Cueco Danilo Sido
Dennis Maitim Samuel Torres
Our plan was to meet-up at the Osmena Park and then proceed to Lyndon’s wake in Sitio Lomboy. Lo and behold, without our knowing, that auspicious Saturday was also the scheduled wedding day of our dear old classmate, Emma Butalid. I knew of her upcoming wedding way back then, but I did not take note of the actual date as I can’t attend the ceremony for sure, being based in Manila.
Emma Butalid’s Wedding
I got a personal call from Emma, after knowing from a classmate that I actually planed in during the day. She invited me to attend the wedding (which will happen in less than an hour in the City’s Parish Church) which I profusely declined, as I was not properly dressed for the occasion plus, there were a couple of friends and classmates that were with me. She invited us all to her wedding, nonetheless. Even with the expressed invitation, I was still not convinced that we should gate-crash her wedding reception, just because we were a huge group.
We decided to see Emma in church, being a block away from where we congregated and see her walk down the aisle. As Emma stepped out of her bridal car, she was overwhelmed with joy and nostalgia and began to cry unknowingly. Everyone panicked, including Emma’s family, as her tears of joy will completely ruin her make-up, which was painstakingly done to her by the beauty experts. Emma looked radiant and beautiful in her wedding day. She was happy and confident as we wished her our felicitations and blessings as she walked down the aisle into marriage.
Lyndon Vano’s Wake
We did not attend the wedding ceremony anymore (we were all poorly dressed for the occasion, hehehe), instead, we all proceeded to Lyndon’s wake. Mrs. Vano was almost inconsolable, but was happy for Lyndon when she saw us, all her former students and friends of her son, commiserate with the family. We talked about our life in high school, we asked about Mrs. Vano’s retirement and we talked about the untimely departing of her son. It was harder for acceptance to sink-in but for sure, we all realized that Lyndon was in a better place now and it was all about God’s plan and purpose for him. We stayed on for much longer, and we met Mr. Vano, Lyndon’s siblings, Steph and Cyril.
Everyone contributed something for Lyndon’s wake, including Francisca Napao Torres who was based in the middle east. We also brought flowers and offered our prayers for the repose of his soul. Some classmates and friends have made it back to the wake while the others have attended the funeral. Cecille made the trip from Cebu, while Panfilo Manitantan, tried to ride the fast craft from Bohol, but could not do so because of a family emergency.
Emma’s Wedding Reception
Yolanda Villaflores, also a classmate in high school, called up and reminded us that we should attend the wedding reception of Emma Butalid. Yolanda by the way, stood as the wedding coordinator of Emma’s wedding, and assured us that there will be enough food to accommodate our large group. She also mentioned that we shouldn’t worry about our get-up as there was an outside extension of the venue where we can be seated, a little bit separated from the main hall where the reception would take place. With enough assurance from Yolanda, we decided to join Emma’s wedding reception at the BY the Pond in Lawton Drive.
We had a blast at the wedding party of Emma. Friends and classmates were so happy to see each again that we stayed on for much longer in the venue. Yolanda took good care of us and we had several pictures taken with the bride and groom and brief moments to say Hi and share some laughter. That mini-reunion in February 2011 was both sad and memorable. We aptly called it, One Wedding and a Funeral Wake, a parody of the Hollywood film in the 90’s.
We have the usual suspects, Adonis Dael and Rodolfo Saycon as our anchor persons in helping our Silver Jubilee a great success. Danilo Sido and Luz Dungcoy, also helped a lot in the getting the venue and the logistical preparations. We intended to get BY the Pond in Lawton Drive as our Reunion venue, but we didn’t realize that the place was blocked for important events related to the City’s Fiesta celebrations. We explored Paradise Resort in Amlan as a possible venue, but it had a smaller function room and could not accommodate our number. We explored Aroma Beach Resort in Manjuyod, but got stomped by transportation constraints. Rodolfo or Ompoy tried to secure the City Bus of Tanjay, being a duly elected Barangay Chairman, but could not do so, as our reunion date coincided with the City Civic Parade. The City Bus was earmarked for the parade that day.
We got the Culi Resort in Barangay Obogon, instead. It had a function hall on the second floor that overlooked the swimming pool. It had a fantastic view and very private with minimal occupancy at the resort on the day of our reunion. Adonis and Ompoy booked the place at the last minute. Ompoy took care of our reunion banner and together with Adonis, rented a videoke machine for the event. Adonis and Luz took care of securing our food with Luz volunteering to hire a cook, in case a caterer could not accommodate our event.
Our Reunion Food
No Filipino get together would be complete without the roast pig as the centerpiece. Luz offered her pig that she had made into a very delectable and scrumptious lechon. She also prepared ceviche or kinilaw na bangus and some grilled fish. All her dishes were fantastic and a big hit with the group. All in all, we had roast pig, pork steak, Bam-I noodles, chicken chopsuey, ceviche, grilled fish and steamed rice. We also had torta, a cake-like local specialty and sweet bananas for dessert. We got a contractor to prepare for us the other foods for the event. Cecille also brought some nuts and chips as starters. Our drinks included mineral water, assorted soda, brandy (Emperador Light) and strong beer (Red Horse). The booze was more than enough to keep the party lively and well into the early morning.
Our attendance to the 25th High School Reunion included the following:
Cecille Cueco Ma. Cristina Baucan
Dennis Maitim Ricardo Calumpang
Roderick Saycon Supremo Anito, Jr.
Danilo Sido Alfred Molas
Adonis Dael Chona Baticolon
Joanne Rodriguez Lor Luz Dungcoy
Rodolfo Saycon Evelyn Barrera Saycon
Samuel Torres Gina Ybanez
Yolanda Villaflores Chona Baroy
Jacqueline Roda Palacios Ruth Torres
Ricky Calumpang brought in his wife and son. Momik brought along his wife, his sister Anilyn, his other sister and a niece. Danilo also was wonderful to introduce his wife to us. Alfred brought along Jingle, his wife and Cyril, his only son. Adonis brought his 2 lovely daughters to the occasion. Joanne came in with her husband and son. Luz brought her young son and daughter, and they had a wonderful time at the swimming pool. Jacqueline had her 2 beautiful daughters joined us during the event and even graced us with a beautiful song number. Then, Ruth had her husband join us in the revelry into the night. Myra had her husband joined us during the last part of the program. It was a sizeable group and we had a wonderful time at the 25th High School Reunion.
Our phone-in attendees included Rosemarie Saguban, Francisca Napao Torres and Harlan Pampilo. Harlan phoned-in from Hong Kong, where he is based and had a good chat with everyone thru the phone. Rosemarie was also, nostalgic in her conversations as the phone was passed on from classmate to classmate. Francisca was regretful she wasn’t able to join the reunion as she had family commitments in Pangasinan and could not be in Tanjay, not until the following week. Nevertheless, the phone conversations were more than enough to reconnect with friends and classmates, at the moment.
Our 25th High School Reunion started with a prayer led by Danilo Sido. It was a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving and glorifying our Creator for the momentous occasion that we were about to celebrate. At the end of the prayer, Ompoy teased that Danilo’s prayer was a bit long, and his voice was too soft it was a bit of a strain to keep up with him. Of course, everyone cheered for Danilo.
I gave the Welcome Remarks to formally open the Silver Jubilee Reunion. After following Danilo’s stint, I tried to keep it short and neat. Chona emceed the program and threw the first salvo of a “Bring Me” game. Throughout the game, Luz assisted Chona in facilitating the flow. The game was fun and its theme was mostly about family and mementos that we keep in our purses or wallets. A tab was kept for the winners of the game.
After the game, the next order of business was dinner. Luz took the reins in giving thanks to the Lord for the food and blessings that we partook. Ompoy again, couldn’t help but notice that Luz’s prayer was definitely shorter than what Danilo has delivered. We ate, we talked some more and we had so much fun. Ricky grabbed the microphone and sang a few songs, while his son had his share of the limelight. Then Cecille introduced more group singing and dancing. Ruth sang a fast song, Cristina, too and so does Myra, Yolanda, Jacqueline and Cecille. Sammy trooped to the dance floor, together with Momik, Alfred, Ruth, Yolanda, Cristina, Myra and Cecille. Cecille gave away towels to the brave few who trooped to the dance floor and shaked their bootilicious to the dance hits of the 80’s. I guess, we all were 80’s babies and that’s the music that we grew up in and we all loved.
Then, Chona called on Myra to give an inspirational talk. Myra brought us along high school memory lane, the bond of friendships forged throughout the years and the leadership of the class that helped made our high school reunions possible. She invoked the group not to change anything on the set-up and acknowledged the efforts of everyone who helped make the event possible. She also highlighted the gratitude shared by everyone for the blessings we received. Myra was witty, electric and very sincere in her message, you will be hooked to listen to her. Afterwards, Myra turned over the floor to me for my message.
I joked about the possibility of abdicating my position as Class President for the nth time. I also stressed the importance of keeping the reunions to strengthen the relationships with friends and classmates, maintain a support network that can come in handy when needed, and just keeping updated with the goings-on of former classmates and friends. I briefly mentioned the individual journeys we’ve been through life and the fact that we hurdled the 25th year, it was proof enough that we have come so far and that we were successful in more ways than one, in each of our own selves. A happy disposition and personal contentment were some qualities we can aim for, in order to have an enjoyable journey in our lives. And that we should share generously with our fellow classmates, all the blessings that God has bestowed on us. I also wished everyone, a happy and successful life ahead and may the load we carry be easier to bear, all with God’s help.
Afterwards, Cecille took the floor to distribute our reunion tokens. Cecille made the effort to buy the tokens from Cebu and brought them to Tanjay for everyone. A myriad of Olay moisturizers, lotions and hand and body wash in bottles and bottles of fun from Watsons. There were also beach towels, hand towels and face towels in an assortment of rainbow colors and sizes from S&R. As Cecille pointed out, the lotions and moisturizers were timely implements to ward-off the on-set of wrinkles and man’s quest to defy the natural effects of aging, much to the delight of the ladies in attendance. Chona also helped in awarding the Game winners early in the night. Everyone had something to bring home and remember our 25th Reunion. I can say, everyone had fun and it was too short a night to spend with good friends and classmates.
Afterwards, we had our pictures taken; a group picture, a picture of all the boys and a picture of all the girls that attended the reunion. We also had the other reunion pictures about us, lounging around, sharing a laugh or two and pictures of the last group that called it a night. After the pictorial, we had more videoke singing and more booze were consumed.
We started to congregate for our Silver Jubilee Reunion at around 4pm, July 23, 2011. We signed-off way past 3am on July 24, 2011. Thanks guys for the fun and memories that we all shared together during our 25th High School Reunion. Till the next get together, guys!
I personally gave thanks and acknowledged the classmates who shared their blessings, thereby helping our Silver Jubilee Reunion a resounding success. Big thank you’s to Cecille Cueco, Francisca Napao Torres and Rosemarie Saguban. God will reward you many fold for sharing your blessings generously, with the rest of our classmates. Thanks also to Rodolfo Saycon, Adonis Dael, and Danilo Sido. You guys generously shared not just financial blessings but took time to help out in organizing the reunion. And to Luz Dungcoy – her dedication to help out was beyond compare (the lechon was truly delicious and the kinilaw, mouth watering). A million thanks guys. And to Joanne, Momik, Roderick, and Ricky too, thanks for helping out! Chona, thanks for the superb game/reunion hosting, despite the last minute notice, hehehe.
More leftover foods for everyone; those who stayed behind had to load up on doogie bags of leftover lechon, the noodles, pork steak, nuts and chips and others.
Have you ever seen a security guard loaded with an Israeli made Uzi sub-machine gun? It was both fascinating to see and perplexing at the same time, how on earth can a simple resort guard be licensed to sport such a high-powered gun. I guess, only in the Philippines. 😄
Calling out to all the High School batch of Villaflores College for the year 1986 –
We will have our Silver Jubilee reunion on July 23, 2011, preferrably in the afternoon. We are still in the process of finalizing the plans and the venue for the event, so stay tuned for now.
You are enjoined to participate in this momentous occassion where we not only remember our beloved alma mater, but also re-connect with friends and classmates from school. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or any of our batchmates for the final plans. Do spread the word too. Remember, the more batchmates that can attend, the merrier for everyone.
Thanks and see you guys in Villaflores College, Tanjay City on July 23, 2011.
We organized the Class Reunion of our High School Batch from Villaflores College last December 26, 2006, celebrating our 20 years since graduation. This reunion-gathering was made possible through the efforts of Myra, Evelyn, Adonis, Rodolfo (Ompoy) and Lyndon. Months before the actual date, these guys went out of their ways to meet up with friends and classmates to inform them of the planned 20th year gathering.
In the absence of a reasonably priced but big enough venue within the city, the group chose the restaurant in Amlan – known as D’ Cottage Restaurant, just near the beach, to host the event. Adonis and Ompoy made prior arrangements to select the menu for the buffet dinner, which was superb and quite affordable at Php150 per pax. Of course, the lechon cannot be left out from this momentous occassion, always the centerpiece of filipino feasts, hence, it was ordered, extra crispy and scrumptious.
I arranged my scheduled vacation around this reunion. I must have been home on the 22nd of December. The first order of business was to meet up with the group at the Rizal Park – just to meet and greet with long time friends and classmates, as well as finalize to the dot the plans and programs envisioned by the core group in Tanjay.
Myra and Evelyn handled the collection of the monetary contributions to the reunion. We were not too hard with everyone to pay-up this amount, it’s christmas time anyways, and our 20 years anniversary – we can’t just exclude anyone? The group volunteered Ompoy and Ricky the task of the buying the pig for roasting (lechon) for the occassion. Then, I made pleas with some close friends in the group to purposely make additional monetary donations to fund the Raffle Prizes for the event. A good number responded to this plea, of course, with a joyous heart and a desire to make this event not just fun, but memorable for everyone. Cristina, Helen and Cecille were kind enough to join me in preparing for the Raffle Prizes – including shopping for the items, the day before the event.
Me, Adonis and Ompoy went to visit Mr. and Mrs. Herminigildo Zerna at their residence in Opao to formally invite them for the reunion. However, because of prior commitments, both of them declined the invitation. We saw Joy as well, during the visit. She was on her vacation from New York.
On our reunion day, we purchased the Raffle Prizes from Anita’s – an “almost” department store shop in Obogon, from the Golden Mart and from another shop that have soft bath towels. Cecille agreed to donate a good number of bags as raffle prizes, as well. If our calculations were right, everyone will have something to bring home as souvenirs, after the reunion.
We also detoured our way to visit Janet Limbaga, our pretty-pretty Band Majorrette (the other one of course is Cristina) to invite her personally, to join our reunion. Well, fate has it that Janet married some strict Arab guy and prevented her from going out of the house, for no grave reason at all. So, naturally, Janet declined the invitation.
We convened at the D’ Cottage Resto at around 5pm. We wanted to start early so that everyone will have enough time to return to their homes before it got really late into the evening. While waiting for the group to gather, Ricky was kind enough to grab the microphone and render a few good songs on the videoke machine. Amazingly enough, Ricky can sing those popular video hits.
The Reception Committee logged the attendees of the reunion and prepared the lucky bowl of entries for the Raffle of the Night. We also assigned our emcee for the night- Ms. Cecille, of course, our invocation was lead by Ms. Luz. As president of the Class, I had the distinction to open the program and welcome everyone to the 20th High School Class Reunion of Class 1985-86.
We want to start light and easy, what better way than to hold a game – dressing up your Santa. The group was divided into 3 and made to designate their Santa Clause. Adonis, Ramil and Ricky were the choices of their respective groups. With limited time given, each group dressed up their Santas with the provided crepe paper, manila paper, cotton and masking tapes. The group had fun dressing up their Santas and we took a lot of the pictures with them. I can’t recall now if it was Ramil’s Santa who won the first game.
The night proceeded with the buffet dinner. There was so much food, like fried chicken, chopsuey vegetables, some fish, the lechon and fruit salad. We never finished the lechon and I remembered, I got some doggy bag of lechon after the party.
While having our dinner, the Raffling of Prizes was started – just to make sure, we will have enough time to do all things in the reunion. All prizes were numbered and draws were made on the prospective prize and who should win it. Being a Pirate’s Raffle Game, the next winner has the ability to “steal” away the previous person’s prize in exchange for what he won. As all prizes were wrapped, nobody had the idea what items were inside. Mostly, everyone would judge the desirability of the prize according to its size or weight. I remembered, a set of glasswares has been passed on for quite a while because nobody wanted to take home a breakable item. Well, we made it a point to choose prizes in the raffle draw to include, housewares, decorative pieces, wall clocks, bags, a ladies and men’s watch and some other knick knacks.
Halfway into the raffle draw, we called the group for the next game. We asked them to choose five members from their groups and be the representative in a drinking contest relay. We assembled an assortment of pale pilsen, Red Horse beer and some soda for the contest. It was a fun activity but I can’t remember which group won the drinking contest.
We proceeded with the last game of the night – the videoke singing contest. Each group had their representatives and had to wow the crowd and register the highest grade on the videoke machine, in order to win. It was a riot, as back up dancers and singers joined their representatives in the rendition of their assigned song. I believe, we awarded the group who won the game’s contest. Some cash prizes were given, I just don’t remember now which group won in the games.
We proceeded the raffling of the prizes until the very end. We gave tokens of appreciation to Adonis and Ompoy for their untiring help in the preparations and being instrumental in making the reunion a great success.
Edward Go took the floor and suggested that we have to make this reunion a yearly affair. Almost everyone agreed, but I told the group that I cannot commit myself to a yearly gathering as my work and place of residence has been Manila for the longest time. I urged them to do the gathering on their own, even in my absence, if only for the happy sharing and resulting camaraderie from old classmates and friends.
The group proceeded to elect the next set of class officers. Lo and behold, I was not allowed to decline the position of being the Class President again. Myra took the floor and thanked everyone for helping out in the reunion, may it be in the preparation or in showing up at the affair. Cecille wrapped up the evenings festivities and we converted the place into a dance hall, complete with strobe lights and hip dance tracks.
The evening was indeed memorable as we get to chat away with friends from High School.
The guys and gals who graced the 20th Class Reunion of HS Class 1985-86 were the following:
Myra Villaflores, with husband
Evelyn Barrera Saycon
Cristina Baucan Bajamundi with husband Tony Bajamundi
Adonis Dael, with lovely daughter
Thelma Torres Tabaloc, with daughter
Supremo Anito, Jr, with son
Susie Pancho, with husband
Alfred Molas, with wife Jingle Molas
Elenita Tabio Rodriguez
After the activity, we gate-crashed Cecille’s family christmas party in their home in Novallas. Thereafter, a few friends came to finish off the night for more alcohol drinking in the night spots of Tanjay. I was with Momik, Rolly, and Dante as we checked the night spots in Lawton. Having been disappointed in not seeing some old classmates, we proceeded to Rizal Park for more beer drinking.
That’s it folks, that’s how the 20th Year Reunion of High School Class 1985-86 of Villaflores College was celebrated.
The following are the courses offered by Villaflores College:
Master of Arts in Education
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education
Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
Diploma in Agriculture Technology
Junior Computer Secretarial
I am a proud alumnus of Villaflores College. I attended my secondary education for the years 1982 to 1986.
My school can be reached at:
Legaspi Street, Tanjay City
Negros Oriental, Philippines
Phone No.: +6335-415-90-15