Batuhan: UP Cebu High School Class of 1982

·3 min read

On the second week of July this year, our UP College Cebu High School Class of 1982 celebrated our 40th “Ruby” Anniversary. Held at the Halle Mana Beach Resort in Moalboal, it was a chance for us old friends to get together and reminisce the good old days, albeit informally this time, as due to the travel difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the formal event is moved to next year, to allow foreign-based batch mates to come home and join the festivities.

Informal it may have been, however, it was well worth the effort. It is often said that the high school years are the most memorable in one’s life, and this is certainly true of high school homecomings as well. I suppose reunions are truly only as brilliant as the original unions were, and those formed during high school years are certainly among the best.

Of course, no homecoming — informal or not — is ever complete without a pilgrimage to where it all started, in our case, the venerable institution that is UP Cebu. A lot has changed since the 80’s, from a physical and infrastructure sense, mostly for the better. There are new buildings, and new facilities for the students to hone their craft. Gone are the open-air gazebos where we used to listen to our teachers, while simultaneously gazing at the scenery of passing cars, as well as goats and chickens grazing and feeding beside us.

Whilst the school may be updated and fairly modern now, it is not without its share of trials. In the 1990’s, faced with a lack of government funding, the University decided to close the High School Division of UP Cebu, in order to save on funds that they deemed necessary for other priorities. It took a lot of negotiating to finally come up with a solution, which saved the high school, but fundamentally changed its student demographic. It became a socialised institution, which meant that only students belonging to families up to a certain income bracket were admitted. In a way, this made sense, although it probably means that diverse cohorts of students like ourselves will probably never be seen again. Still, UP will be UP, and different or not, the high school is better off different than gone.

Every class always thinks itself special in some way, but our own UP High School Class of 1982 is especially blessed. Aside from counting the current Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff and a recently retired Army general among its ranks, it also boasts of physicians, lawyers, executives, entrepreneurs, engineers, religious and those from other professions and endeavours that are in some way connected around the idea of service and giving back to the community, the people and the country to which we owe our education. Mga Iskolar ng Bayan all, true to the calling of the University’s spirit.

Lofty achievements some of us might have attained, however, reunions are a time to travel back in time, to a simpler and less stressful time when we were once just simple high school students. What happens at the reunion stays in the reunion, all of us swore to that. But suffice it to say that many of our classmates let their hair down in many ways, something that perhaps would be out of character to their current vocations and positions. But that’s all I am at liberty to disclose, at the risk of self-incrimination.

The good thing is that although this was really the year of our Ruby Anniversary, the bigger celebration will be next year. So all the fun that we had will fortunately have a reprise, this time with a larger group of friend who will hopefully have an opportunity to come home, less the fear of contracting Covid-19 in the process.

To our UP Cebu High School Class 1982 Ruby jubilarians, happy 40th anniversary to us all, and hope to see you all again next year!

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