Monday, July 13, 2009

There was a time when I belonged ...

Immaculate Conception College
High School Batch 1984
Ozamis City

I've been away from Ozamis for so long. I have lost touch with friends whom I've had since since grade 1. Joining our batch's social network (at sort of made me return to what I refer now as my Ozamis life.

Looking at the pictures of old friends ... I felt lost. I could not remember anybody. Had I not known that it was Michelle Buot in the picture, for instance, I would never have recognized that lady in the picture as the very first bestfriend I have ever had. I had difficulty remembering Rose, Carla and Christine. Jun Garcia I remembered but I felt awkward about it. Then it dawned to me. I used to call him Flor. There were others whose name I immediately recognized ... Noel Pombuena for their bakery in Annex, Julius Guangco because his sister was my jazz teacher ...

I kept going back to our site to jog my memory. Then they started to trickle in ... memories of Carla and Rose and Chris came back ... I recognized Julita's name ... I knew Ann Jalalon! Adonis just clicked into memory last night! I wouldn't recognize Roehl if I bumped into him today but I associate his name with fun and laughter and a little of "mischief"?

Thanks to Suzette (whom I'll always associate with her Sanrio collection back in our elementary days!) for posting our old pictures. I shed tears looking at them. I cried for the good memories and for the lost childhood, I guess. I cried even harder when looking at later pictures, when I was no longer there. I cried for the childhood friends I've lost, for the good times that I missed. Looking at your pictures in a beach outing, I kept thinking ... I should have been in those pictures too .. they were all there except me!

But where are the rest of our friends? Remedios, Lulu Bernad, Emilyn YbaƱez, John Paul Manalastas, Celeste Lim, Rhea Abella ... how about classmates from our elementary days like Randolph Villamor, Robert Dimagiba, D'Marie Singson ... ?

The names and faces are coming back so much easier now, but they don't necessarily match. I see faces but can't remember names or remember names but couldn't match those with faces. I must have bumped my head some time after I left ICC but had also forgotten about it ... to account for my memory loss ...

Thanks to Noel for creating this site for us. Thanks to Michelle for leading me there. Thank you old friends, for warmly welcoming me back!

1st Year, with Michelle Buot and Suzette Salvosa

1980. Grade Six Graduation.
Held in secrecy. Not even our parents were allowed to attend due to the bombing of 2 moviehouses in Ozamis which happened before our scheduled graduation day.
Pretty much like what is happening in Mindanao nowadays!

1st year High School

Childhood friends. 1st Year Sampaguita.

Grade Six Class Picture. Miss Briones.

After my 2nd year in High School, I was uprooted, or more aptly put, violently yanked away from my home and friends. That's what happens to children when parents decide they've had enough.

That's when I became lost, living in the fringes, never again to belong ...

Until now ...

I'm in a new life now. A better, happier life ... warm in the love of my husband and child ... secure in the affection of my new friends ...

But sometimes, I look back to my lost childhood, and I shed tears of regret.

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