Pampanga High School Class '70, USA Chapter

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Pampanga High School (formerly JASHS) Class of 1970 Reunion
The Orleans Hotel & Casino
April 30, 2012
 
Contributed by yours truly, Nestor Pangilinan

The Ballroom EntranceThe last 3 weekends before the PHS Class 70 reunion in Las Vegas were very hectic. The practice for the performance of the Southern California (SC) group of song, dance and the making of the montage brought stress and anxiety on my part, but added an excitement as well.

Few days before the reunion, some were already headed for Las Vegas. With family matters to take care before leaving for Las Vegas; me and my wife, Daisy left around 1:30 PM Sunday to catch up the dance and chorus practice scheduled for 7 PM at the sister’s house of our fellow alumni Rebecca Manaloto De Guzman in Henderson, NV.

We arrived at the hotel almost 6:00 PM. While unloading our luggage, I saw a Filipino staring at us at the parking lot. He looks so familiar, but can’t recognized who he was and mistaken him as an employee of the hotel. Later little did I know that he was Perlito Dizon, who just arrived and also drove from Los Angeles. I was able to know him when we introduced ourselves with each other at the registration counter. He was with his son and daughter.  Also, while we were there on the same location; I saw Roger, who just happened to leave the hotel after dropping off Alicia and party from the airport. We also met Zeny and Milagros at the registration area before we proceeded to check our room located on the second floor.Southern California Group Rehearsal

After checking our assigned room; we unpacked some of our luggage and went to join the SC group, who were already practicing our surprise number performance when we arrived at sister of Rebecca’s house. It’s really nice seeing the group, Rebecca and husband here in Las Vegas and joined them for the practice, which came out with good result.
 
Around 9:00 PM, the group separated.  Daisy and I stopped by in an Asian buffet along Tropicana Avenue for a late dinner; then, headed back in our hotel to get a needed restful sleep for the main event the next day.

April 30, it was Monday morning; we went to check out the ballroom for our last rehearsal and spent there practicing for 2 hours. I also tested the sound system and the projector screen for the montage so as not to get bothered the last minute preparation. We went to lunch shortly after the practice to the hotel’s buffet and saw Elaine, Gene and Rebecca, who were already having lunch when we got our table. A good lunch and relaxation followed, and 2 hours later we started getting ready for the big night.

Glo & Nestor Manalastas doing the Cha-ChaWe were among the early arrival at the venue and saw the 3 Musketeers (Ras, Angel & Gene) arrived few minutes later to set up the seating arrangement and laid out the copy of the program on the dinner tables. At the reception table located outside the ballroom, Elaine and Rebecca were assigned to welcome the guests and distributing name tags so as not to confuse who’s who in the roster. In an hour, alumni started arriving with their family and spouse while Ras took the opportunity to get pictures of all the attendees, families and guests.

As scheduled after 5:00 PM, majority of the alumni arrived and started the photo sessions as the excitement grows when once again, we met our fellow batch mates, classmates, the families and friends coming from different states and from other countries, Alicia from the United Kingdom and Lita from Japan.
 

After the welcome address delivered by Gene, Nestor & Glo Manalastas initiated the re-introduction of all the alumni attendees about themselves with their families present on that evening.  It was nice knowing their experiences professionally, on family matters and some already became grandparents; while others are looking forward for a retirement in just few more years.

Soon, we started the invocation delivered by Roger; and it was followed by the sumptuous and delicious meal buffet with the main entrée of chicken, fish and pork with all the trimmings.

After an hour and a half dinner time, I started showing the montage, which I believed set the mood of the evening. The montage showed 50 years of collected memories and how we have keep in touch with each other after all these years and be able to get-together once again. As a member of class of 1970, our proud tradition came a long way as one mentioned; we became successful in our own right.Gene, Angel & Spouses doing the Boogie

The night of dancing, singing, karaoke, long conversation, exchanging pleasantries followed. That night, we discovered new stars of ballroom dancing. The performance of the team couples Nestor & Glo dancing the rumba and tango, while Angel and Gene with their wives dancing the swing. This was really a big surprise that these couples turn out to be professional dancers in the ballroom. But the Southern California dancers did what they can not to lose the fight. We did the waltz with our matching attire of black and gold. And for the singing, we did our version of Kapampanga Ku to show that we haven’t forgotten our root.
 
We also heard our aspiring belters for the title of JASHS Idol when they try out the Karaoke as volunteer guest singers for the night. It was noticeable and most applauded performance of Alicia that the audience really put her on the top. Surprisingly, her performance was dedicated to all of her classmates, who notoriously fond of mangabaret in Bocaue or in San Fernando. Your guess is as good as mine.
 
It was a non-stop of enjoyable and memorable evening.  It was really a short event that night and not enough for this once in a lifetime event of this kind and hopefully that there are more reunions coming in the near future.
The SC Group picture taken before performing the Waltz
After twelve midnight, we left the venue back to our hotel room bringing the fun and memories we captured which will served lasting memories to keep.
 
We woke up the next day after 8:00 PM. We got ready to pack our belongings and took them to the car before we check out from the hotel.
 
At about 10:00 AM, we went to the Food Court of the hotel which some of us stopped by to have pizza rendezvous and to say goodbye before we separated for our destination of going home. It was difficult to say goodbye, maybe because we became acquainted during our high school days and having spent a night with them brought back the good old days of innocence, growing up together and shared our first experience of what life has to offer. And now that we are approaching our 60’s, we didn’t realize time flies so fast and we change not only physically but reached the maturity of assurances of what we really are. It was time to say goodbye. We exchange hugs and parting words before we got separated; while others stayed for a few more days to explore the beauty and glittering nights of Las Vegas.Alicia singing with the Karaoke
For all who attended the reunion thanks for bringing back the memories of our youth and another memorable night of fun and enjoyment. God bless us all!
 
We extend our congratulations and appreciation to the following reunion organizers:
Nestor Manalastas
Gloria Pamintuan- Manalastas
Angel Sicat
Hermogenez  Munoz
Erasmo Cruz
Zenaida Dizon-Ramos
 
 
Alumni Attendees
 
 
The picture on the left is the group of alumni who attended the reunion. 
 
Standing from the left are Angel Sicat, Erasmo "Ras" Cruz, Nestor Manalastas, Hermogenes "Gene" Munoz, Nestor Pangilinan, Tristan "Ting" Galura, Reynaldo Torres, Reynaldo Angeles, Luisito "Louie" Lacson, Erwin Doria, Rogelio "Roger" Catalan, Perlito Dizon, Tony Manalastas. 
 
Sitting from the left are Alicia Violeta Vasquez, Rebecca Manaloto De Guzman, Isabelita "Lita" Manalastas Watanabe, Imelda Yujuico Danganan, Zenaida "Zeny" Dizon Ramos, Teresita Limbitco, Milagros Feliciano, Elaine Castillo Lababit, Rebecca Medina Buenaventura, Rosa Figueroa Epistola and Gloria Pamintuan Manalastas.