I was just recently invited to speak at an alumni homecoming, which I consider to be a great honor and privilege. I got the chance, then, to express my views regarding this event. And the privilege to encourage the association officers and members to contribute to and cooperate with their activities. Funny but while I highly regard the wisdom of alumni homecoming, I have not attended any of it.
Why have I opted to not join homecomings through the years? Simple. I could not establish connections with my batchmates, and bonding with them seemed meaningless to me. Sorry to say but that’s the truth. After finishing Grade 5 in Camarubo-an Bo. Elem. School, Jiabong, Samar, I transferred to Matalud Elem. School to finish my Grade 6. Just one year of residence, and was not enough for me to get to know my classmates well.
After my second year of high school in the old SNAS campus, I again transferred to Samar National School, Catbalogan, where I finished my secondary school. But we, the students in the 4th-year class, section 1, were not getting along well—we were not on good terms. Our competition was so stiff, as though we were in a race in all subjects. We were not therefore friendly and considerate of others since we considered one another as rivals and competitors. Tell me, how could bonding be joyful and exciting in a group like that?
Then came college life. Ow, my classmates were different in almost every subject, every semester, every year. We graduated with just casual friends, with no friends that would stick closer than a brother. Our relationships were too shallow; they were merely acquaintances. So how would I enjoy alumni homecoming with them? These are the reasons why I declined to join such events through the years.
But when an officer informed me to speak before that audience, in that grand alumni homecoming, I readily agreed, even imagining that I am very much part of that alumni organization though, in reality, I am not.
As their theme conveyed, that was to be “Taragpo Ngan Pagrayhak ha Lugar Nga Nag-edukar”. They have gone too far, searched for their fortunes, followed their dreams and convictions, and looked for greener pastures. They have worked their way through hardships and trials till they reaped the fruits of their labors and got the present figures and faces that they deserve. But once in a while, supposedly every year had not the pandemic gotten in the way, they converge for fellowship, for bonding, for reminiscence of the years gone by lest they forget that, once upon a time, they were together in their collective quest for education.
What then constitutes the spirit of alumni homecoming? What are the requirements for a grand reunion? First, it’s the shared beginning. We all began in the same place, sharing the same dream, and having the same quest. We started studying in the same school and began to feel the same way regarding our new classmates, new teachers, new subjects, new classrooms, new lessons, new books, new uniforms, and new school materials. In this shared beginning, we had the same impressions, the same expectations, and perhaps the same degree of joy.
(To be continued)