The New Emeralds

By: Vicky Lopez

Illustrations by Mitzi Fernandez Schnabel

Our Golden Velada was in 2018, our motto was “Journey.” This was the celebration of the journey that we, the class of ‘68 took to arrive at our Golden Years.

For most of us the very foundation of our friendship started in Herran. We were all classmates, we celebrated our First Holy Communion and Confirmation in Herran. before Assumption San Lorenzo  even opened.

Like all journeys it had its highs and lows.

But we took the journey of life together.

More so after 2018 when we celebrated 50 years of friendship with a Riot of colors     and dance in our “Carnaval” presentation!

Now, of a certain maturity but still forever 39 at heart, we have become the “Emeralds of 2023”

Our motto is HOPE.


We Hope that our quality of lives and those we love will be the best it can be, We Hope our children succeed, our families stay close together and that our friendship of 55 years grows even stronger and always as “Kalug”, fun, comforting and truly there for each other through thick and thin. Now more than ever.


The emerald was known as a symbol of Truth and Love and in ancient Rome and Greece, it was said to be the gemstone of the Goddess Venus, purveyor of Love and of Hope. Today emeralds are a symbol of loyalty, peace, security and new beginnings. That is exactly where we, the class

of1968 now stand…

Bubut Guevarra, Nina Damaso, Vicky Lopez, Len Fernandez, Gigi Gomez

Seeds of Hope

By: Ging Jison Naguiat

The spirit of the San Lorenzo HS Class of ’68 continues to shine through their scholarship program. Their unwavering commitment reaches out to university students in various parts of Manila and the nearby provinces. The Class supports the education program through their Birds-in-Paradise, an annual pop-up event that’s more than just a fundraiser—it’s a joyful collective effort that is eagerly awaited by avid shoppers.

Yet, what truly keeps this class united is not merely the scholarship or the event. it’s the profound sense of passion for education and opportunity that holds the San Lorenzo HS Class ’68 together.

Cherry Salazar, Ging Naguiat, Coroy Diaz, Sylvia Singson, Tessa Tayag with the AC ‘68 Scholars
Jenny Paradies, Madlen Salman - Faustman, Ging Naguiat, Tessa Tayag, Beng Aspilera for Birds of Paradise

By: Nina Fernandez Assad

Five years have flown by and here we are, celebrating a new milestone; HS Class ’68 – still standing and stronger than ever!


I’ve learned these past years that each day is a precious gift. Every day brings opportunities and choices to appreciate how blessed I truly am. To wake up each morning is a privilege not given to everyone. I was widowed six years ago, and I still grieve the loss of my soulmate. The gift of faith has sustained me in knowing, one day, we will be together again.

My children are all grown up, my seven grandkids are the “loves of my life.” (Although I tend to mix up their names).


I’m still able to enjoy traveling as I’ve always had “happy feet.” I keep myself busy with friends and family.  I volunteer my time and share my experiences with others in need of guidance. It’s a way I can express my gratitude for all the wonderful gifts given to me by God. Today, my journey of “learning to love” continues by the grace of God.

By: Len Torres Fernandez

Kusina ng Pagibig Chona Valdez, Len Fernandez, Tessa Nable Mortenson, Coroy Diaz, Louie Barcelon Locsin, Vicky Lopez

My Alma Mater, Assumption Herran has given me so many memories from childhood to my teens. We were mischievous, we were daring, and drove the nuns crazy. But we formed a bond, a sisterhood, that has lasted to this day. This bond was strengthened even more during our Golden Velada. I reunited with high school friends  who I have not seen some since graduation. It was so heartwarming to catch up with each other’s lives.

I am so proud of how Assumption has instilled in me values that I have taught my own children. One is noblesse oblige. Our trait of paying it forward.

I may forget some of the memories I have accumulated during my school days, but one thing I will always be thankful and grateful for, my Assumption upbringing and my dear friends I have kept in my life to this day.

King Charles III with Amb Teodoro Locsin & Mrs. Louie Locsin Ambassador to the Court of St James. Previously . the Ambssador was our Sec. of Foreign Affairs And served in New York with Louie as the indespensable asset heading three Foundations and forging greater ties with the spouses of the other foreign diplomats.

New York GELS

By: Tec Syjuco / Chichi Lacson Munoz

Who are they?  And why do they call themselves GELS?

In 2015, the Assumption Alumnae Association Abroad NE (AAAA-NE) organized a retreat “Reconnect . . . Reflect . . . Renew” with the Religious of the Assumption nuns.

Marilu Dimson Lerma, Tec Syjuco and I—high school (1968) and college (1972) classmates—joined the retreat,   

The group expanded to include other former classmates who lived around the East Coast—Lerma Casapao, Tina Jalbuena del Gallego, Evita Valencia Rasmussen, Nida Batacan Ruiz, and Tina Villafuerte Valencia.  Fortuitously, at around the same time, another classmate, Louie Barcelon Locsin, moved to New York City to work side by side with her husband. We would regularly meet for lunch in New York City or watch Broadway shows.  The time we spent together was priceless!!

Evita Valencia Rasmussen '72, Louie Barcelon Locsin '68, ChiChi Lacson Munoz '7, Lerma Casapao Aala "68 "72, Tina Jalbuena del Gallego '68, Nida Batacan Ruiz '72,Tec Syjuco '68 and Marilu Dimson Lerma '72


In 2017, AAAA NE hosted the 11th Triennial in New York City with the theme “Lend a Wing.” Gigi Jacinto-Jones, chairperson dubbed us as the “Gels,” a play on the word “girls,” but we prefer to think of as short for “Angels.” The name stuck, and we’ve been known as Gels since then.

All Hail To Our Beloved Assumption

BY Rosary Ysmael Palanca

As we reach our departure terminal, I look back to my childhood when I first met all the besties that are my true friends,my classmates in Assumption.  We pass through life so fast that we sometimes forget the true friends who we met at the very beginning of our school years. I will never forget what Assumption has taught me.I cannot remember it all, but I hold it deep in In my soul, my being and my life… Being an Assumption girl has always made me proud. I look forward to the next 5 years of my life and pray that I will see you all and we will still be enjoying life together.

All Hail to our Beloved Assumption!                                                

Three generations Rosary, Asia, Bernice




After the “high” of our Golden Jubilee, we the Bacolod “Gels” went back home to face  this business called LIFE. Now we face this life not for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren. Xenia (Jison) is now back in Silay after 25 years of living in the United States where her son still  remains in a secure and lucrative profession.


I am also back in Bacolod after 27 years in the United States …chasing the Almighty dollar.

My son is handling and I mean handling all of my/our affairs. I am truly retired in thought and deed. I jokingly say if my head were not attached to my body I would loose it and not find it.

Looking back and looking now, we navigated this business called LIFE with its exhilarating highs and debilitating lows.

None of us became Noble Prize winners, outstanding Scientists or renowned concert pianists. We were the sinew, the muscle, the lifeblood and the light of our little world-Our Family.


We experienced reversals of fortunes, erring husbands and misguided children. We survived it all.

We led ordinary lives in extraordinary ways.









( that was our Highscholl Motto)


Now as Emeralds we have become the best version of ourselves. We can at least speak of what to expect in the future as we have half a century of learning and experience to pass on. Despite our strong desire to  continue to serve or how far our ambitions or age takes us, we will always arrive home to Assumption, to be there for  alumni gatherings and reunions to pay tribute to  each other and the assumption spirit.


All hail to our beloved Assumption.

Trip to Bulacan with Baby Hilario Anes Henares,Tessa Nable, Angie Tanjuatco,Tec Syjuico, Len Torres Vicky Lopez, Cora Dee,Tabby Casas,Nina Fernandez, Raqui Garcia Rosary Ysmael,Xenia Jison, Cherry Pelaez,Susie Lim and Chona Valdez Darmna Marasigan,Menchu Cabreza, Ging Jison,Sylvia Camera,Baby Hilario Guia Gaskell, Tessa Marques, Rosa Blanca Liongson and Coroy Diaz.
Trip to Liliw, Laguna Eileen Relova, Maricel Lerma, Patty Mina, Louie Barcelon, Agnes Henares, Cora Dee, Ging Jison, Becca favis, Menchu Cabreza, Vicky Lopez, Imelda Sarmiento Marilyn Berkencotter,Fely Reyes, Darna Marasigan, Nina Fernandez, Susie Lim




If there is one thing our Golden Velada engendered in our class, it was a thirst to spend more time together and make up for the lost 50 years that had passed. Finally, we had more time for one another. There was JOY and HOPE in facing our sunset years together and drawing inspiration from sharing life experiences and lessons learned.


And while the pandemic robbed us of 3 years of not seeing each other we remained connected through Zoom and Viber reaching out to each others hearts through the happiness of Birthdays and the sad loss of loved ones.

The Farm of Cora Relova, trip to Liliw Fely Reyes, Becca Favis Jose, Ging Jison Naguiat, Rosa Blaca Liongson Eileen Relova, Louie Barcelon, Susie Lim , Ana Fernandez We lost Fely Reyes to covid
Visiting Chef Vicky Tinio in Baguio with Menchu Cabreza, Chef Vicky, Darna Marasigan,,Maricel Lerma,,Suzette Lacson, Susie Lim Agnes Henares and Angie Tanjuatco