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NESHS '58 Alumni's 40th Grand Reunion

Memorable Moments: "A String of Pearls ..."


Julita Atacador Rodriguez Pablo David
Estelita Dino Gotera Mernilo Dionisio
Estrelita Fernando Matilde Garcia Jose
Norma de Guzman Camaya Soledad Ligon Inocencio
Zenaida Linsangan Virginia Liwag Jimenez
Horatio Lotuaco Adelaida Malang Yuzon
Iluminada Mariano Antonio Ligaya Mariano Pangilinan
Rodolfo Mariano Gloria Pablo
Efren Pascual Estrella Reyes
Eduardo dela Rosa Remedios de San
Eladio de los Santos Eileen Tanghal
Olga Tiongco Cruz Emelita Torres Bautista
Oscar Vallarta Jacinto Yamsuan
Teresita Pangilinan Alvarez

"The most memorable day I could not forget in the 4-day celebration of Batch '58 Reunion was the second day, May 16, 1998. It was important to me because on that day, all the three groups of alumni; Manila, U.S.A. and Gapan, with their beautiful families, met in Gapan. I was so excited to see all my classmates." Julita Atacador Rodriguez (Class '58 alumna)

"Sweet memories are treasurable and priceless. More so meeting old friends and classmates alike after 40 long years of struggle to survive and remain acceptable to our discriminating society. How can one ever forget faces that matured after those tidious years. But like vintage wine it will instead settle for supreme quality. Hearts prefer to be radiant and forever young with high morals, spirits and fervent obsession to love, to share, and be compassionate to one and all unconditionally.

There were only a fraction of you I was able to share my quality time at Q.C. Sports Complex. It was disheartening that I failed to join you in the other venues and rejoicing. The distance involved was the stumbling block that spoiled my desire. However, my success to combat my digestive imbalance for once, out of enthusiasm to meet with all of you, will forever register unforgetable in my mind." Pablo David (former NESHS '58 classmate)

"Class reunion is a trip back to the past where I use to ride a calesa in going to school everyday. There are no calesa anymore when members of Class '58 visited NESHS during the 40th Grand Reunion. Our original building is also not there anymore. I suppose not seeing the things that we know so well in the past is part of the feeling of loss in the reunion.

But I noticed that there still remained some remnants of the old NESHS that we know. The acacia trees are still there - watching the school grounds and its present students like faithful mothers. And, of course, there was the instant flashback, the glowing sense that were back to a happy place of our youth.

We recreated a morning ritual, the flag ceremony. Singing the National Anthem, with voices showing our age, I saw eyes misting and some tears fell. I can imagine what thoughts ran across the mind of everybody. For me, it was the thought that we shall always have a precious past to remember, a youthful togetherness that now became a matured and lasting friendship among us". Estelita Dino Gotera (Class '58 alumna)

There are quite a few memorable moments in that summer of 1998 40th Reunion, so many that to mention only one is like doing injustice to the others. I do not want to emphasize one particular moment, but would like to touch on some.

I know that we are up to some excitement and surprises from the time we checked in at Gilarmi Apartments. Seeing some of your classmates that you have not seen or heard from in 40 years, trying to recall who they are and how they looked like forty years ago brought us laughter and sweet smiles. Yes, we do looked older and mature, but I know that within ourselves, we are still the same young kids that graduated from NESHS four decades earlier.

Going back to the old high school ground brought so many memories of the years past. Even though the name of the school has changed, and no trace of the old building that we used, still in my mind I can see the old two-story building standing in front of me, with the flagpole and the Filipino flag that we used to pledge our allegiance every morning. The cafeteria, where we used to buy halo-halo and some snacks, standing to right of the old building; the old carpenty buidling at the backyard, the two out-houses, the Home Economics buuilding; and the tilapia pond.

Then your mind wanders and you enter the old building. I can still see the Magi office; the Prinicipal's Office across it; then the Physics room with Miss Belen Bagaybagayan conducting the class. Across it is the Library, also used some times as dance hall during the junior-senior prom, and other parties. Going thru the hallway, I can see Miss Pomposa Lazaro, Miss Romana del Fonso, Mr. and Mrs. Ortiz, conducting the Biology and General Science classes respectively. Mrs. Lucia Cabatuando comes to mind, also Ms. Talens, Mrs. Padiernos, Mr. Porfirio Yuson, Mr. Luis Bolisay (who became our Principal due to promotion of Mr. Reyes), and Mr. Mateo (who has a knack of explaining things in his woodworking class).

Memorable moments during the reunion? All the moments we spent in those three days were memorable to me, and if I only had the power to bring back those few days, I will do so just to savor those moments one more time. Mernilo Dionisio (Class '58 alumnus)

"Ang aking nadamang kasiyahan at nagustuhan sa nakaraang REUNION '98 ng aming Batch ay ang pagkakadalo ng mga Balik-bayan. Ang mga ka-batch namin na ngayon lang dumalo, magmula pa noong mga nakaraang pagtitipon. At higit sa lahat ay ang pagkakadalo ng aming ka-batch na disabled. Naging masaya siya at nakita ko sa kanyang mukha ang kaligayahan, na sa likod ng kanyang kapansanan, ay binigyang halaga siya ng aming batch na labis ko namang ikinatuwa.

Nagustuhan ko rin ang mga Parlor Games, ang presentation ng mga sayaw at ang mga games ng mga lalaki. Idinadalangin ko na sana ay magpatuloy pa ang ganitong kasiyahan na nadama ko noong nakaraang REUNION'98. Estrelita Fernando Estrella (Class '58 alumna)

"It has been one year since we celebrated our class' 40th grand reunion . . . that was filled with fun, laughter and happiness. Hindi ko inaasahan na kayong lahat na classmate namin na nasa malalayong lugar (U.S.) ay hindi nagbago sa pakikitungo sa amin . . . kaya lubos ang kaligayahan ko". Matilde Garcia Jose (Class '58 alumna)

"May 16, 1998 was the most important day in our 4-day celebration of Batch '58. There were laughter, huggings and handshaking among us.

Eagerness to see each other can be seen in everybody's face. Being a member of the Gapan group, we welcomed everybody with entertainment food and games. The giving of plaques and certificates of appreciation were done successfully. Impromptu speeches by all officers of Batch '58 were so meaningful.

I'm very proud of my classmates, officers and other colleagues who were so kind, generous, helpful and very understanding to everybody. I'm looking forward for another affair like this in the near future.Norma de Guzman Camaya (Class '58 alumna)

"1998 marked the 40th anniversary of NESHS Class of 58. Everybody was so excited because our classmates from different parts of the world flew in just to be with us. The anniversary was a 4-day celebration. I consider the second day , wherein the event was held at our Alma Mater, my most memorable moment because all of us participated in the activities that the committee had prepared. Everyone gave their own share of entertaining our other classmates. We had fun singing and dancing - though our voices are not that good.

Thank you very much and I wish that we could all see each other again. May the Good Lord bless us with more years to live with". Soledad Ligon Inocencio (Class '58 alumna)

"Sa ating 40th Grand Reunion 98 (Class 58 NESHS) ay matagal nating inantay-antay. Pero ang bilis ng panahon. One year na pala ang nakakaraan. Kailan kaya ito mauulit. I hope and pray in the year 2000, magkakasama-sama tayo ulit. Regards to everybody". Zenaida Linsangan (Class '58 alumna)

"The second day affair was the most memorable day for me. This was held in our Alma mater, NESHS, in Gapan, now JRLMHS. Majority of Batch '58 came especially the U.S.A. group. I enjoyed being with them especially classmates whom I not seen for 40 years.

The three groups presented their own parts which were done beautifully. Games done by males were done hilariously. But most of all the food were prepared well. I do hope this affair could be repeated so that closeness among the members will continue to grow forever!" Virginia Liwag Jimenez (Class '58 alumna)

"'Fare Thee Well Dinner', end of evening affair, outside the building, top of the steps from the curb ... everybody saying their goodbyes, wellwishes, "see you again", "take care" -- some excitedly, some emotionally -- to their high school friends, classmates and colleagues ...

The alumni from the U.S. have boarded the bus that will take them back to Makati. The alumni from Gapan and Metro Manila stayed at the top of the steps, not dispersing, keeping watch, saying last adieu, waving ...

There was in the air like an invisible, imperceptible elastic band connecting the group at the top of the steps ... and the group in the bus. The band pulls ... and neither group would like to let go ... not just yet ..." Horatio Lotuaco (Class '58 alumnus)

"Ang masasabi ko sa nakaraan nating reunion, napakasaya at sa aking naramdaman ay maligayang-maligaya ako at nagkita-kita tayo. Salamat sa Dios at binigyan tayo ng pagkakataon at sana bigyan pa tayo ng pagkakataon na muling magkita tayong lahat". Adelaida Malang Yuzon (Class '58 alumna)

"Naliligayahan ako at nagkita-kita tayo noong ating 40TH Grand Reunion sa NESHS. Sa apat na araw na ating pagsasama ay lubos-lubos ang aking kaligayahan". Iluminada Mariano Antonio (Class '58 alumna)

"After 40 years, noong May 16, 1998, ang muli nating pagkikita. Lubos akong nagagalak at ang tuwa ko ay parang walang katapusan. Kaya noong gabi ng May 18 ay lubos naman ang kalungkotan ng tayo ay nagpapaalaman. Kailan kaya mauulit?" Ligaya Mariano Pangilinan (Class '58 alumna)

Looking back to 1953 at San Nicolas Elementary School, I sometimes performed the role of Uncle Sam on stage. I don't remember the complete episode, but a lot of thanks to Tameng Camaya who greeted me during the reunion and said, "Kumusta na Uncle Sam." I never think about it anymore, but with the "enhanced" memory of Tameng (a.k.a. PENTIUM-III), it helps me recollect a little of the part I played as Uncle Sam and that's me. Rodolfo Mariano (Class '58 alumnus)

"For me, the most unforgetable day of the 4-day celebration of Batch '58 was the second which was May 16, '98. On that, day a lot of activities happened. I met a lot of my friends and classmates which I have not seen for so many years.

Each group presented their parts in the program beautifully and with willingness. I could see laughter when a group of males did their parts in one of the games. Mostly, their sweetness and companionship made life precious even in that short period of time. At the end of the program, officers of Batch '58 gave their own speeches. The members who made the affair successful were given plaques of appreciation. Gifts were distributed to all members.

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NESHS '58 alumni presented with honorary plaques for their commendable contributions in bringing about the Class' 1998 40th Anniversary Grand Reunion. From left: Mernilo Dionisio, Estelita Dino Gotera, Jacinto Yamsuan, Soledad Ligon, Eladio de los Santos, Romeo Padiernos, Estrelita Fernando, Horatio Lotuaco, Renato Ricabo, Oscar Vallarta and Efren Pascual.
Photo Source: Jacinto Yamsuan
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I would like to thank the people involved in this event, Gen. Romeo Padiernos; the U.S.A. group headed by Horacio Lotuaco; the Manila group headed by Oca, Efren & Ely; and Into Yamsuan of the Gapan group in making the reunion an "Affair to Remember". I feel so proud being in Batch '58." Gloria R. Pablo (Class '58 alumna)

"Finally, the most awaited Grand Reunion happened. Four days of celebration.

I heard a lot of beautiful things about Hidden Valley that I missed. The second day was the "BIG" day in Gapan. That evening, I was invited by Norma and Frank Grajo, to sleep over at their Gilarmi apartment, for the next day's trip.

I sat with Sol Inocencio and had a pleasant conversation all the way to Villa Escudero. The place was splendid. The antique collections in the museum were were amazing and wonderful. The sumptuous native lunch served on a very unique way, especially the table set on a flowing stream, was really fun and exciting.

Eli, by my side, enjoyed viewing the fantastic musical show with the colorful customes, lively songs, folk dances, and lovely dancers. The decorated carts pulled by carabaos were really an attraction to tourists.

The farewell dinner dance was also great. I had the chance to chat and took pictures of everyone on each table. But despite all these magnificient experiences, I still consider the "BIG" day in Gapan was the most memorable to me. This is so because once again, I met and embraced my friends and classmates ..., especially the Manila Group, the group in which I was an active member seven years ago.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate everyone who came to my despedida party given by my son Al and Madel in our residence in St. Francis Subdivision in Meycauyan, Bulacan". Estrella Reyes (Class '58 alumna)

"Labis ang aking kasiyahan sa naganap na reunion nuong May 16, 1998 sapagkat nagkita-kitang muli ang magkakamagaral pagkalipas ng maraming taon. Bawat isang grupo ay may inihandang bilang at halos lahat ng miembro ng batch 58 ay nabigyan ng premyo sa ginanap na raffle contest." Eduardo dela Rosa (Class '58 alumnus)

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The Philippine and U.S. alumni's first day meeting at the Gilarmi Apartment's restaurant. Clockwise from rear left: Lumeng Mariano, Jess Tanghal, Nilo Dionisio, Efren Pascual, Rudy Mariano & Rolly Siwa.
Photo Source: Efren & Vicki Pascual
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"Seeing again my high school classmates after 40 years is one big memorable occasion for me. But here is one for the record. First day of activity. Vicki and I went early in the morning to Gilarmi Apartments, the meeting place for the Hidden Valley trip. I was very excited to meet my U.S.-based classmates -- and surprise -- there was Annie and Mernilo Dionisio, my kumpadre. Nilo was wearing a shirt exactly the same as the shirt I was wearing. We looked like twins that day". Efren S. Pascual (Class '58 alumnus)

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The Philippine Alumni Choir setting for their moving rendition of the song "Ang Handog". Back row, from left: Lorenzo Dayao, Oscar Vallarta, Rogelio de Guzman, Jessie de Leon, and Romy Padiernos. Front row, from left: Letty Padiernos, Lumeng Mariano, Matilde Jose, Ligaya Pangilinan, Myrna Vallarta, Zeny Linsangan, Daisy Dayao, Remy de San Jose, Vicki Pascual, Romy Padiernos, Soly Ligon and Estelita Gotera. Two soloists in front of choir: Eli de los Santos and Lilia de Guzman. Conductor (with back towards viewer): Efren Pascual. Photo Source: Efren & Vicki Pascual
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"My most unforgetable moment in our reunion was when we met in our Alma Mater's school grounds last May 17, 1998. We enjoyed the company of each other . . . at lalung-laluna nuong kantahin ng Manila group "Ang Handog"." Remedios de San Jose (Class '58 alumna)

"Actually, dalawa; isang masaya at isang malungkot. Masaya - nuong tayo ay sabay-sabay na kumain sa resorts, sa high school grounds, sa Clubhouse . . . para talaga tayong isang pamilya. Malungkot (labis) - nuong gabing nagpapa-alaman na tayo sa QC Sports Club (na may kubling tanong sa isip na "kaylan kaya muli maulit ang minsan?")". Eladio de los Santos (Class '58 alumnus)

"Wow, here we are again. It seems like just yesterday when we were all gathered in the Philippines celebrating, at the spot where it all happened, your wonderful high school memories together.

What a joyous occasion that was. What a delight it was for me to see for the first time the beautiful country from which my parents came. I had gone to the Philippines when I was a child, but then I was unable truly to appreciate its beauty. What a greater delight was it for me to see my mother thoroughly enjoying herself with all of you. My father also had fun and he did not even attend N.E.S.H.S!

Throughout the years, I have attended almost all of your reunions. Every time, I come to have a greater appreciation of the bond all of you share. I can only hope that as a young adult, the relationships I make now will be as true and lasting as yours have been.

Take care. Have a great time once again!

I love you Mom. Love always ..". Eileen Tanghal (Daughter of Class '58 alumna, Esperanza M. Tanghal)

"Ang aming reunion noong nakaraang taon ay naging masaya at successful. Nagkaroon pa kami ng kanya-kanyang palabas. Katutubong sayaw sa aming mga taga Gapan at isang modern dance. Walang pabonggahan sa suot namin. Pare-parehong kaming naka T-shirt na may tatak at pants.

Pagkatapos ng reunion namin sa Gapan, kami ay nagsalu-salo sa Q.C. Sports Plaza para sa pag-alis ng mga classmate namin na mga balikbayan. Nagkaroon rin kami ng ballroom dancing. Karamihan sa amin ay wala pa ring kakupas-kupas sa pagsayaw. Parang wala talagang nagbago. Mababait at magaganda pa rin ang aming mga kaklase. Hinding-hindi namin makakalimutan ang reunion na ito. Olga Tiongco Cruz (Class '58 alumna)

"Our Fortieth Anniversary reunion last May 15-18, 1998 is the grandest and most memorable for me. Three days might seem too short and brief but time isn't a hindrannce for us to renew friendship and goodwill. It is a journey to the past, to the time when we are all forty years younger.

I'll cherish the moments we shared together, the fun & food plus the jokes and laughter. I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and pray that God may bless us all and give us more years to live with. God willing, we will be given a chance to celebrate more Reunions. Till we meet again. Bye I'll miss you all." Emelita Torres Bautista (Class '58 alumna)

"My unforgetable experience? Of course it was the reunion that we had in the NESHS grounds last May 16, 1998. That was the first time my wife Myrna and I danced the tango. It was an event that I find hard to forget.

Also during that occasion at the Quezon City Sports Club. I was amazed to see our classmates from abroad, who were absent for so many years, dance non-stop numbers . . . more particularly the husband-and-wife team of Rolando and Erlinda Siwa. They are a perfect team.

I cannot also forget the expertise of Rodolfo Mariano who danced like a professional DI. I could just watch with envy and wished that I was in his shoes. That was a reunion that will stay with me for a long time". Oscar Vallarta (Class '58 alumnus)

Mayo 16, 1998, ganap na ika-9:00 ng umaga hanggang ika 5:00 ng hapon, kami ay nagdaos ng isang tinatawag na Reunion ng high school Batch 57-58, na ginanap sa Juan R. Liwag Memorial High School (formerly Nueva Ecija South High School). Maraming nagsidalo sa reunion na ito.

Kami ay nagkita-kitang muli ng aming mga kamag-aral. Nagkaroon kami ng mga balitaan sa isa't-isa, ang aming mga antas sa buhay, kung kaligayahan ay pasalamatan at kung kabiguan naman ay bukas-palad ang aming batch upang makatulong sa aming kamag-aral upang sa gayon kahit na sandali ay madulutan namin siya ng kasiyahan.

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The '58 alumni's "Class picture" taken during the 40th anniversary reunion in the NESHS school grounds in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. Photo Source: HML.
For full panoramic view, click here
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Nagkaroon kami ng malaking salu-salo at habang kami ay kumakain ay napakasaya namin na inaalala namin ang mga nagdaang panahon ng aming pag-aaral sa mataas na paaralan, gaya ng mga biruan, kantiyawan, at may parlor games pa. Labis-labis ang aming kasiyahan na para bang ayaw namin itong matapos. Sa lahat ng aming mga ka-batch ng Class 57-58, maraming salamat sa inyong pagdalo at nawa ay bigyan pa tayo ng mahabang buhay ng Dakilang Lumikha upang sa gayon ay maipagpatuloy pa natin ang isang bahagi sa ating buhay, at ito ay ang REUNION." Jacinto Yamsuan (Class '58 alumnus)

"Although I was not present at the 40th grand reunion, just seeing the video tape of the occasion (through the kindness and generosity of Eli Santos) did give me the feel of the excitement, fun, brotherhood, sisterhood and most of all, love that permeated the atmosphere. How beautiful to watch and see the preparation and performance of the P.I.-based members. Hooray to all of them!!

I have to admit that I did wish I attended. The longing came upon me in a very intense way as I watched everyone who participated. Recognizing some of the faces brought back memories of how I remember them back then.

In closing, I am also proud of my co- (U.S.-based) alumni members who were present. Their dedication is something to be admired, having travelled far just to be there, and their simplicity and modesty -- especially with their plain T-shirt outfit -- is very commendable". Teresita Pangilinan Alvarez (Class '58 alumna)

The ladies cooling off and all smiles in a Hidden Valley pool ('98 Reunion).
From left: Erlinda, Remedios, Soly, Vicki, Violeta, Leonora and Lina.

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