After completing high school education 23 years ago, each of us who belong to the batch of graduates of Central Philippine University, pursued college on a discipline of our choice and later established a career or vocation.
While a good number has preferred to study in universities in Iloilo, some went to Manila where the menu of courses is wide ranged and the opportunities for work after college are vast. This is the period of time that detached many of us from our classmates and friends. Despite the distance and circumstances, however, some of us have continued to hold periodic gatherings in small groups given the opportunity or when one is visiting the city.
Last weekend, the graduates of Batch 1990 of the CPU Development High School joined with other graduates in commemorating the first Grand Reunion organized by the Alumni Association together with the faculty of the department. Although this is not the first time for our batch to gather, still I cannot deny the fact that the event was refreshing and energetic and it revived poignant memories.
Whether we realized it or not, there is a certain mystic about high school life that makes it extraordinary compared to college. One could not fully realize how special and important high school life is not until one had reached pre-midlife. What many may call the fountain of youth is literally “overflowing” during high school years. It is in high school where the possibilities of achieving ones dreams in life are cultivated. It is the starting point for one’s aspirations to accelerate towards accomplishment.
I am reminded by a lecture about society and selfhood which I attended long ago. The lecture underscored that it is in high school that one’s identity begins to take shape and it is where principles and convictions are formed which can later help explain the established belief systems that many of us have carried along as we grow old.
Not many will agree but somehow it provides enlightenment as to the supplemental influence of high school in forming some of one’s traits, behaviors and personality characteristics. It can also facilitate understanding why we repeatedly go back to the memories of high school.
Yet after all the flashing of camera light bulbs, the noise, laughter and conversations during the reunion, one attempts to sum up the events that defined one’s high school life. Sooner, one will realize that many of the circumstances and events of that time have actually defined much of one’s life. Such a summing up have become inevitable when one participates in school reunions.
These gatherings cause reminiscence and recollection; of bridging gaps and of putting missing pieces of a puzzle together; and of explaining what have been and what are up and coming.
It was only during the gathering that we were reminded of the rich and long history of the high school department. Established in 1913, its centennial celebration is two years from now. Surprisingly, the CPU High School was already on its 73rd year when we enrolled as a batch of high school students.
The “Central Spirit” is indeed a unifying element for all Centralians. It is the tie that has bonded together many generations of Centralians across continents. I am certain it will continue to unify future generations. Mabuhay to Batch 1990 and to all the Centralians! (Misreadings, The News Today, 21 July 2011)