The Golden Jubilarians
AC High School Class 1972
Our Journey to Gold
By Arlene May Abad – Gisbert
It’s 2022 and fifty years since our HS graduation in 1972. We were 16-17 year olds then. Standing proud in our official and unique gala uniform complete with matching recompense. Laughing and crying, giggling and sobbing, because we would go our separate ways. But thankful that we were finally graduating, We were raring
to venture out to different universities, grab that degree of choice and pursue a career, as that was the expected norm.
We had varied dreams and plans. We sought out what made us happy and fulfilled. We tried to find our purpose in life rooted in our faith for love of Jesus Christ and of Mother Mary, as best exemplified by our beloved Mother Foundress, St. Marie Eugenie de Milleret. Sadly, not all of our dreams and plans unfurled. There were times we were frustrated and disappointed. Some got lost along the way. Some experienced pain, hurt and rejection. We got sick and disabled. And we lost family members. Life became a blur. Years went by in a flash.
Unfortunately the year 2020 became very challenging for all. Being on lockdown for 2 years brought out the best or the worst in us. The covid pandemic was unimaginable. It derailed our plans.
It dampened our spirits. It caused us anxieties. It broke our hearts. It tested our very being. It tested our faith to the max. Some of us were alone, separated from family. Others suffered from covid. Others experienced deaths in the family. The time was ripe to make us sit still and reflect on our past, amongst them the timeless message of our class mottos. We decided to go beyond ourselves to help others in whatever way we could. With the help of social media, we rendered valuable service to the least of our brethren. In effect we achieved that better version of ourselves. “And I Must Become” trans-formed us women of various backgrounds and careers into passionate individuals seeking out opportunities to be a blessing to others. We forged ahead, forgetting ourselves in the process, anchoring on “SPES” or HOPE that things will eventually work out for the better. We were not about to give up. We will carry on for “SPES” will sustain us. It will live on in our hearts gathering strength through others.
Meanwhile, our dearest Assumption constantly beckoned us every year, for us to go home. One by one, we said YES. We felt the need to go back to familiar grounds, to see familiar faces. We needed to go back to our 2nd home. We had that urgent longing to be with our other family, our classmates, teachers and nuns, with whom we spent so much time from elementary to HS. They were witness to our growing-up years on to our teenage years. That is when deep friendships were born and tested. That is how our journey started, realizing that if we hold hands, we would be able to face any adversities together. We would be STRONGER. And we did.
We rediscovered the goodness in each other’s hearts despite the complexities of our personalities. Because of our varied life experiences, we all had a story to tell, to share, to inspire. We took to heart the wise words of St. Marie Eugenie, “Be the cotton between sheets of glass to keep others from shattering.”
We thank each and every one in our class for the beautiful memories forever engraved in our hearts and which we will carry on with us as we age gracefully together. We thank the Golden Team, the organizers and chairpersons, here and abroad, who captured the essence of our class and conceptualized on how to put together our weaknesses and strengths in a seamless tapestry of love, the photos and videos highlighting our Journey to our Golden. Thanks to our dear classmates who made time to show up in our velada practice.
Thanks to those who volunteered to pick up classmates. Many would have been absent if there was no ride. Thanks to those who offered their homes as venues for our mini reunions. Thanks to those who, in one way or another, contributed food and drinks. Thanks to the photographers in our class who documented every memorable affair. Thanks to those who made an effort to send photos or help in whatever way they can.
Fully aware that we are perfectly imperfect, we are forever grateful for the presence of each other in our lives. Thankful for all opportunities to be a blessing to each other and to others. Thankful to our beloved Assumption for molding us into what we have become.