A Toast To Friendship

Memories of high school years unfold before us, as we, Class “68 of the Universidad de Sta. Isabel, come together for the Grand Reunion and Ruby Jubilee Celebration.

If in our school days we were separated by sections, classroom walls, seating arrangements, this time, nothing separates us. Nothing can draw us apart. Not even the vast continents of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, where many of us have migrated, discovered great fortunes, launched successful careers and found undying loves and romance. For, what could separate us? With our computers, and cellphones, we are just an email and text away, exchanging greetings, emails, pictures or simply the mood for the day. In good times, batchmates all over the globe rejoice. In difficult times they are out there praying and sending comforting words of strength and encouragement.

As move from Pear to Coral to Ruby, we realized that the volume, mass and weight of our bodies have changed to some degree. Gray hairs and fine lines have started to appear. Knees may shake a little. But definitely, the most essential and endearing things that bind us remain utterly unchanged. This is our bond of friendship—a friendship that transcends time and distance. A friendship that is as ageless as the memories that linger on even after the strains of our College Hymn have faded in glory on the Graduation Night of 1968.

It does no take a calendared alumni homecoming event to bring us together. Every time anyone of us is home is always a homecoming… to make us feel that “you’re never quite alone, even when you’re so far from home”. It is always an occasion to bond, to welcome, to share.

Memories are endless. From the sweet Kindergarten teacher, who was our timeless epitome of love to the English, Math and Spanish mentors who opened our hearts and minds to the amazing world of science, and the finer things in life depicted in arts, poetry and literature. Many of us turned artists, writers, performers and little scientists, competing with excellence in these fields.

For the deluge of inspiration, affection and discipline, we are what we are today—doctors, nurses, accountants, teachers, administrators in government and private institutions, engineers, researchers, professors of higher learning or housewives devoted to home and family. The glamour and splendor of the world may have influenced us to some extent. But deep inside us, we are still the same giggling and shrieking “Isabelina” whose devotion to timeless values remain unchanged through the years.

Priceless and majestic as the gem itself, we, the Ruby Jubilarians, will continue to shine wherever life leads us. And wherever each one of us might be, we will continue to be there for each other, holding on together.

So, in celebration of our Ruby year, we toast to a friendship that has stood the test of time. Indeed, “long friendships are like jewels, polished over time to become more beautiful and enduring.”

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