Polistico Wows Loretans

April 25th, 2018 · No Comments

The Golden Girls with the Golden Voice.

The Golden Girls with the Golden Voice.

February in the Philippines is a time to re-connect, reminisce and relive the moments of days gone by.  It is the season when most schools have their Homecomings and friends are reunited.

This February was no different.  Add to that the mix of Valentine and Chinese New Year celebrations and all blended and exploded into one great experience.

For the students of Our Lady of Loreto College (OLLC) it was even more meaningful especially for the Class ’68 who were celebrating their golden jubilee.  Fifty years since graduation and they were playing hosts. With no school grounds to call their own, they had to rely on their memory banks to bring back the memories of their old school.  Our Lady of Loreto College was formerly located on Legarda Street and stretched through to San Beda Subdivision. The school no longer exists and the last batch of graduates marched out in 1975.  The school was part of the Marcos’ grand scheme to close all schools in the vicinity of Malacañang to include those in Mendiola and its surrounds and turn it into a government precint. It was a way to avoid any student demonstration prevalent in the 70s.  While the other schools in the area were planning their relocation, i.e. San Beda College had opened up in Alabang; Holy Spirit opened in Quezon City.  The Franciscan nuns felt that there was no need as they already had Stella Maris in Cubao. They opted to close down, continue their education mission at Stella Maris and the other nuns returned to the Franciscan convent in Tagaytay.

While past alumnae homecomings were held at Stella Maris, the OLLC Alumni Association decided it was time to venture outside the confines of their sister school, Stella.  The choice was the Kalayaan Hall of Club Filipino in Greenhills. Ironically, this was the very place where President Corrie Aquino took her oath of office, overthrowing the Marcos regime and ending martial law.

So set against the historical backdrop of Club Filipino, a few connections and dressed in sailor outfits to match their school logo, and the Loretans were ready to party.  After years of absence, the face to face encounter brought shrieks and shrills.  Arms outstretched, hugs and beso-besos matched with piercing shrills was the scene to behold. The smiles and the warmth was worth coming home for. The chatter was deafening; the laughter was endless.  From four continents they came with faded memories with the hope of reliving a golden past that could not be erased.

Class68-Jun3To top it all up, Jun Polistico serenaded the alumnae. Dubbed as Frank Sinatra or Johnny Mathis of the Philippines, Polistico brought everyone back to a time when life was simple and carefree.  Nothing was more fitting than having the Golden voice of Jun Polistico to entertain the Golden girls for one magical hour.   Recently awarded the ALIW Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the music industry in the Philippines, Mr. Polistico did not disappoint. He belted out one song another taking everyone back in time with familiar tunes of way back when. As always, Jun gave it his all, leaving the “Colegialas” swooning for more only this time with oodles of selfies.  Jun left us on an all-time high that would be difficult to replicate.

Ahhh, yes, the Philippines despite all its imperfections and ills, never fails to hit you emotionally.  It still is where the heart is.  All the familiar faces though a little hazier, a little whiter up top, a few extra inches around the waist for some, but the friendships unrelenting.

Philippines as always offered a variety of gastronomical delights; refreshing sights and amusing sounds.  Posh malls offering dreamers and wannabees what they could not afford.  It was sheer indulgence!  Getting around seemed more accessible.  Grab it or Uber it, even the traffic was bearable at times with someone to talk to when stuck in a locked grid. Then again, it was always best to roam the streets past 9pm beyond the peak hours or midnight to dawn.

And there would be amusing anecdotes to tell years later:  the three traffic enforcers who defied the traffic lights at Bonifacio to do the signaling themselves only to throw the intersection into more traffic chaos. Filipino logic indeed!     Then there was the taxi driver who told us to take an ambulance if wanted to go any faster. “At naka higa pa kayo,” he added.  And of course my brush with the law for smoking in the street.  “Ma’m pang merienda nalang” the men said.  Handed them a hundred peso bill and all sins were absolved.

Such is the Philippines. Most are non-chalant and oblivious to their surrounds. They play numb and simply choose to close their eyes to what’s going on.  It was a time devoid of all politics except for a few wrinkled foreheads upon the mention of the ‘D’ word.  For a few moments, and nights that stretched into a week, there was only room for happy times.

Perhaps, Tourism should change their campaign from “Bring Home a Friend” to “Come Home and See a Friend”.  Not only is it far more enticing but more importantly, it would ring true.  The feeling is comparable to none.

Thanks Ladies for the enduring friendships.




Tags: Features