by: Andrea Zulueta-Lorenzana
In 1988, my nine year old self was tasked to sing and dance on stage as part of the silver’s finale at my mother’s velada. I remember Old Girls’ Day back then was a whole day affair of celebrating and picnicking at school with the family. Since 1988, I have attended many veladas to cheer on my mom Rosalinda Francisco ‘63, her sister Pachot / Monina ‘56, my first cousins the Bermejos – Paz ‘77, Pauline ‘81, Pamie ‘82, Pia ‘86 and my own Zulueta sisters Peachy ‘87 and Aina ‘88. With the trend of jubilarians celebrating every five years, I was always bound to see someone I knew among the performers.
My favorite part of the velada program is seeing interviews of the silver jubilarians saying where they are today. The best features for me are about the alumnae who have contributed to their communities by living out the call of St Marie Eugenie to be women of faith and action. When the Assumption School Song is played at the finale of each velada, and the words “fidelity to duty” are sung with renewed energy and fervor, I sing along, proud to be among Old Girls. I feel that at the very core, we are all formed from the same mold that is Assumption education.
When we knew for sure that we were going to have an online velada this year, I felt that this would be the biggest challenge for us organizers – how to show online how my amazing classmates have also contributed to society – how they too, have become women of faith and action in their own spheres. I asked some of my batchmates a simple question – how has Assumption education changed you? Or, what message would you like to impart to the bigger Assumption community? When I got puzzled looks, I learned that when the answers are too complex, one way to tackle it is by telling a story.
So we changed our strategy. I asked some batchmates to tell a story about things that they were passionate about and we got some profound answers. Since the platform was now online, we didn’t have to be bound by the program’s time limit. We could release the stories in the days leading up to Old Girls’ Day so these could be enjoyed and savored by the bigger Assumption community. We also opened this invitation to other jubilarians, as we were sure that some might also have stories to share.
On August 15, on the feast of the Assumption, we launched VeladaTV.com. There is the story of my classmate Angela, about how her life plan was enriched by taking care of her special needs child. There is the story of Pia Cruz, a writer of eight romance novels who could trace her writing beginnings to our second year English teacher, Therese Ng. There is the story of Claud who discovered her love for calligraphy; the story of Kit, a flight attendant who had to pivot during the pandemic, the story of Jo, who is making a difference in Philadelphia working at the Penn Museum. we also had the privilege of featuring Candy from batch 86 who tells us how she manages to live out her Magnificat despite battling cancer in the past year. Our stories are a varied as the women behind them and, as a whole, it is exciting to see how our shared Assumption education has impacted the lives of very many people all over the world.
VeladaTV is Batch 96’s love offering to the Assumption community. I hope that this might be the beginning of building an online community for all Old Girls. I may not say exactly how Assumption education has changed me, but I can start by telling you a story…
We are still accepting entries for VeladaTV.com. If you are a jubilarian this year, please email us at email@example.com.