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FRIENDS, FOOD AND FUN

By Charito Cabanilla-Love, Class 1974

Going to San Diego has never been so good.  It’s not that San Diego is a top tourist spot nor that the weather, compared with that of New York’s in the month of May, is enviably gorgeous.  Visiting San Diego is not complete without seeing former classmates.  It is the chance of catching up with the people you practically grew up with.  While we must all acknowledge the fact that we all grew up to be a little different from the brats that we were in high school, experience confirms that when high school chums/friends/acquaintances get together, a certain “child-like mischief” is bound to resurface and catches everyone with such delight any party is bound to be beaming over with fun.  Such was the case when I went to San Diego in early May 2003 and stayed with my dear former classmate - Bernadette Manzano-Saclolo.  What started out as a simple “can you spare a moment to see me?” blossomed into a huge never-to-be-missed-let’s-do-it-again type of get-together.

On May 4, 2003, my former classmates Yogi Diaz, Fanny Untalan-Ramizo, Dorima Marcelo-Mondala, and Yoly Sipin-Suyat arrived at the beautiful home of Bernadette where I was staying.  Invariably, we all looked at each other’s sizes and blamed everyone and everything - it is never our fault why our dress sizes are way above that in high school.  Dorima must have a well-guarded secret - she remained small, sweet and quiet.  She came to be with us, her former classmates, and I was deeply touched.  Yogi, as ever, was witty and funny and can cook!  Fanny and I had a lot of catching up to do.  We will have to continue next time - thank you for letting me meet your family.  Yoly, my relative, whose husband, Enzo is a close family friend, almost a relative, too.  I was so happy to see her turn into a happy and confident woman - and still married at that.  I have to spend more time with her next time as well.  Staying with Badette brought back so many happy memories; we talked about things we did in high school and it was a beautiful experience to be “there” again.  I am grateful that we had a chance to laugh hard before the festivities.  I thank you, Badette, for your hospitality, friendship and for putting together a most interesting collection that I had so much fun going through.  The fun began that only Kuya Johnny Soriano and Enzo and Malou Aradanas-Castilian  - ever the faithful leaders and tireless friends looking after every visiting alumni - can ever put together.  It does not cease to amaze me how they could gather together people from every corner of the state and come up with just the liveliest party.  We had food you will not find elsewhere - homemade kaldereta was my favorite among others.  If food was not the best already, you have Kuya Johnny and Enzo throwing their old antics and I tell you, you do not know fun in the real sense of the word until you sat down with these two, then add Yogi - it was a riot.  No one stopped laughing that afternoon.  The lesson to be learned:  beware when visiting San Diego, Divinian alumni can pull together their resources without a sweat and throw a party where the only strings attached are those of guaranteed unforgettable moments.  I cannot wait to visit again and next time I do, I will make sure I will stay longer.