from left: Noel Comia, Armando Paguio, Jean Canlas-Bernardino, Victoria Kapauan-Gaerlan
Last I saw any of them was in 1975. Well, except Jean who I visited late in 2003 on one of her balikbayan trips. Some time in 2002 we had another small gathering with Danilo Fernando, Christopher Inductivo, and Emerlinda Villapando, but I can’t remember where I put the pictures.
They are my classmates from elementary school. We went to Mater Carmeli School in D. Tuazon, Quezon City. Noel was our First Honor. Armando was one of the tough guys. Jean had light brown hair and was very quiet except when the boys were teasing. We’ve known each other since prep, which means we had started going to school a few months before man first stepped on the moon. We had taken sides on who would win the first ever match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1971. We had a vague feeling that Proclamation No. 1081 was serious, but enjoyed the months of no school. We could rattle off the names of the nine previous presidents of the Philippines in chronological order, but knew only of one during our time—Ferdinand Marcos.
We made field trips to the Nayong Pilipino, and the Luneta Planetarium, and Jose Rizal’s house in Calamba, Laguna. We had nutribun for recess. Sarsi was at P0.15 centavos a bottle, and your family must be filthy rich if you had P0.50 centavos pocket money on a school day. It was forbidden to go to any public place dressed in your school uniform, unless it was on a school sanctioned outing. We did not have malls—we had the Good Earth Emporium on Avenida Rizal. The girls wore perpetually shiny shoes called “charol”, and the “tex” cards the boys played with were the size of playing cards and had illustrations of comic book heroes, not the tiny ones for sale these days with actors from Jumong and Asian Treasures.
I could go on, but I feel my arthritis coming on. It was great to see you guys again.
Maria Victoria Kapauan, circa March 1970
MCS Batch ’76 Master list — the list of students who were part of Batch 76 at Mater Carmeli School, D. Tuazon, Quezon City. Please have a look-see if you know anyone (malay nyo, nanay tatay nyo pala graduate ng Mater) and give me a buzz when you find a familiar name.