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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, August 29, 2013

Together again after 40 years!


It had been 40 years since the Riverside College Nursing Class ’73 got together as a group.

After graduation, they went their own separate ways: some abroad, others in different parts of the country and some stayed here. When their Alma Mater recently celebrated its 53rd foundation anniversary, the class president, Paula Gustilo, who is based in Riverside, California, USA, got in touch with her former classmates and decided to reunite for the first time for the Ruby Jubilee. Preparations were hurriedly done for the reunion: flight schedules, shopping of outfits and blings for the girls, itinerary of activities, dietary regimes to get rid of the “bilbils”! etc.

Finally, the big day came. There were jubilant cries of exhilaration with the arrival of their old friends. Tears and laughter filled the air as they reminisced about the good old days - happy days, days of wine and roses, of secret loves and broken hearts. “Were we really that young and foolish?”, they asked as they recalled their bitter-sweet memories of dormitory life, the pain and glory of training in nursing. “Oh, what glorious days they were”.

The class was so lucky to have Anne Villanueva Seago, Paula’a sister, who readily offered her spacious house at Villa Angela for the group to stay for the whole week.With the arrival of their classmates from the USA, Canada, Switzerland, etc., they launched into a bevy of activities: motorcades, school activities, sportsfest, citywide tours, shopping at the malls, trips to Iloilo, reunions with their old friends and teachers, etc.

They could hardly recognize their old haunts as Bacolod City had changed so much. For the next few days, the girls hardly slept or rested as they went swimming at the different resorts, visiting new hotels and restaurants, night spots, etc. The parties were endless and so much fun. They were able to put on the glam with their fashionable attires and sparkling blings during the theme parties, like the Extravaganza Night and the grand Hawaiian Luau, where they looked like wahinis in their fabulous Hawaiian costumes. Again, the dancing lasted all night. The last evening was a fantastic formal dinner at L ‘Fisher Hotel where they dressed up to the nines.

All too soon, it was time to say farewell. This time, the mood was somber and gloomy as they tearfully bade adieu to one another. “When will I see you again?” was the favorite question.

As they waved goodbye, they knew the memories of the unforgettable visit would stay and linger for a lifetime.*

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