High School Reunions; a Centrifugal Force of Modern Life

           By   Vic  Odarve

High school reunions are actually a centrifugal force of our modern life. It is a get-together affair that takes on a whole new meaning as we get older, a gathering to reminisce and to relive the fun and feel that we had experienced in high school, and a rare chance to spend some moments with our classmates who were a part of the story of our life. With all indications, high school reunions are like a centrifugal force pulling our classmates to meet together.

Central Visayan College, Jagna, Bohol Batch ’73

Yes, time passes differently as we get older and class reunion takes on a whole new meaning. As the person’s age is over 40 years, we are merely aging, physically and mentally. In our long struggle with time, the get-together affair seems to be a clock to stop the aging process. The excitement and renewed camaraderie that could result from attending the reunion may bring us to back in time. Singing at videoke, story-telling of the bygone days, and going to the beach together may put the time to a standstill. Of course, some of our classmates are older than you would like them to be, and you, too, realize that you are also in your advancing age and appearance.

The gathering allows us to reminisce and relive those thrilling days of our high school days. It is joyful to reunite with the girls and boys with whom you shared the first love and first lusts. Some also retold stories about our teachers who were good, and a handful of teachers we never forget. We never forget the teachers known for having a scary stage persona during classroom lessons. But to the more serious classmates during our high school, they never forget those teachers that pulled them from the depths of abysmal academic achievement into one of the top-performing students.

Picnic time, Batch ’73

The reunions also offer us a rare chance to spend a moment with our classmates after many years of not seeing with each other. It is just a way of revisiting your friends that you have lost track after graduating in high school. Meeting them is more significant in our life simply because they were part of our life story and we were a part of theirs. This is the time to know that some were already gone while others are still living. The usual practice of giving a souvenir such as T-shirt simply a memento that once upon a time we have to share some moments with our high school classmates.

Although in our modern times we have several social media such as Facebook to find our high school classmates’ whereabouts at our fingertips, reunions are more powerful to reconnect, relive our memories, and see our classmates face to face. Nowadays, high school reunions are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

Reunion is indeed a centrifugal force uniting our classmates. As our life is a journey, spending time in a reunion is a moment to cherish before we will finally reunite with the Holy One sitting on the throne.

 

 

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Walking in the Footsteps of our Ancestral Homes

By Vic Odarve

A visit to our ancestral homes enables us to trace our roots, remind our past, and provide a thrill to learn how our great-grandparents lived in their heydays. This gives us a unique opportunity to connect our relatives and friends that for many years we have not seen face to face. It also allows us to see what have had happened to some of the places where we once considered as a playground when we were still young and carefree. Further, if this is a land of our birth, we are stepping back in time; the land where your life had started and a visit provide a thrill on how are things going on. A visit to our ancestral homes maybe a journey of our lifetime… before we travel to another universe and see our Maker.

Some are gone while others are still living.

A timely visit is usually done during fiesta celebration and reunion activities where relatives and friends are also around. This gives us a unique opportunity to connect our relatives and friends that for one reason or another, could not make a visit. Our old folks at home welcome us with big smiles, treated us like kings and queens, and huge open arms extending a mile out of their sleeves. Here, plenty of stories were told with a bottle of beer, singing and dancing, and tracing the roots from the grandparents. The best part could be listening to our grandma and grandpa reminisce about the people and events from their past. Here we learned that some of our relatives and friends are already gone while some are still living.

Mayana rice fields

A tour of our hometown also allows us to see what have had happened to some of the places filled with memories during our younger days. For most of us, we consider a visit as an awesome adventure. In our last visit, for example, we came to a path that leads off down a sloping mountain near the river where I had played with my kite before. The trees had grown up a lot in some areas and the once nicely kept rice fields were overgrown and were nearly filled with tall grass after a massive landslide happened a decade ago. It is still clear in my mind how I keep running on this mountain slope before.

As a speaker in one of the international intellectual convention.

Going back to the old trail, I can feel like walking through mists and clouds along the mountain ranges, meet all the fairies and magical creatures, and watch the birds doing orchestra along with the canopies. Thus, we remembered our good old childhood days, where we spent much time playing with our neighbors and assisting our parents in keeping our rice fields. It is sort of feeling that cannot be captured on camera and more than the old pictures hanging on the wall.It is an exhilarating feeling to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. Sometimes a visit gives me a feeling that had I not studied in a university and became an engineer, I might still be working in the rice fields, instead of doing lectures in the fields of engineering here and abroad.

Our ancestral homes also provide us a glimpse of how things are changed where today’s technology is far more advanced. The old house standing could serve as powerful reminders for the current and future generations about how life once was, back in the days when smartphones, videokes, and other gadgets were all still unheard of.

There really is no place like home. Our ancestral home reminds me the place and events where I come from; the land of my birth, and with all its diversity, the good and the bad, I would like to go there first over anywhere else in the world.