Summer Outing







Summer Outing: The Summer Fling That Almost Got Away!


Gina Bautista- Navarrete
Ronnie Cabanes

Jun Baylon

Yna Valenzuela-Torres

Happy Esquivias-Dos Santos

Rene Molano

Deah Navarro

Fr. Lito Jopson

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Summer Outing: 

The Summer Fling That Almost Got Away!

by Yna Valenzuela-Torres


I would have wanted to refrain from writing about the summer outing for to praise it would be tantamount to writing my praise report and not to do so would have been unfair to the event and the people who livened it.  But then, I promised Onald and Issa (and not quite but to certain degree Jun) I would write about it in detail.  Honestly, I, too, am bursting at the seams to share it so indulge me while we momentarily forget the affair was held in our place.


This Tagaytay outing was long in coming.  As early as January I have offered the place for the supposed pre-reunion bonding cum rehearsal Teng and a few others planned one afternoon at San Jacinto.  For one reason or another it never pushed through and I was content to lay it to rest until after coming off Jun Baylon's despedida's hangover, Teng texted me and revived the idea.  I said, Shoot! Place is always open.  I mmediately thereafter Teng and Happy started the drum-roll and started E-mailing the group about the plan.


So with much ado, with interest rising and fading, with my closest friends not being able to make it (I love you Lynne, Vita and Ibe. I understand.), with much planning and coaxing, the event finally came through last Saturday and this is where the story begins.


When it came through, it was not anti-climactic (it was not bitin)--the timing was perfect!  Whew! This should set the tone, and readers will slowly understand why.  Jo Medina-Manalad and I rode with Happy as we prepare (daubing make-up, lotion, cologne and all in motion) to meet up with Leo &co, Fides and Leah at Petron SLEX.  Jo almost cancelled night prior due to migraine (Who overworketh this poor woman?), Happy, for the first time, was low in not happy.  She was fogged out from her gruelling, daily rehearsals for her summer repertory class.  At that point, I, too, was in bad need of adrenaline fix, perhaps  Starbucks can provide us the answer.  At the ubiquitous Starbucks, we saw Leo with Jobet Morales (more of the guy later), and the newly revitalized, complete with new heart tubes (quintuple yan!) Arnold Aranas.  (Who overworketh this poor fellow?)  Then the sweet and ever-reliable duo of Fides and Leah walked in and joined us.  While we were downing our breakfast somebody notice the print on Leo's shirt that was screaming for attention.   Sorry guys cant reprint here but suffice to say it was naughty.  Initially none noticed it, Gina, maybe because attention was drawn to his pair of "longs".  How else do you wanna call it? Pair of shorts? Nah!  Now, that shirt lent the day a slightly green coloring all through out. (Click here to check on the shirt)


From there I rode with Arnold since he is with no companion, as the four cars convoyed.  Teng was to go straight to the house, while Gina waits for Fides and leah to fetch her in her tagaytay house.  Leading the pack was Jobet, who has no idea what convoy is all about.  Boy, was he snaking his way through traffic leaving Arnold up on his toes and Happy doing catch up.  I have no idea what conversation the other car occupants were having but Arnold and I were having a lively getting-to-know-you talk.  Suspiciously, every so often, this jobet would slow down and hug the shoulder (of the road, not leo's) making Arnold and I to ask--are they trying instruction on leo's shirt.  So when the leader was late in reaching the house, the question was, did they or did they not?  


Upon reaching the house, as predicted, everyone brought in more food than can be consummed.  Heartwarming to see the generous outpouring, a good sign that those who came, came to share and more.  There were baskets of fruits from Jo, Barbecueng adobo and a huge box of ensaymada from Happy, yummy siomai from Jobet (parang hindi bagay kasi he is so bulky and macho tapos ang dala nya--siomai), barbecue in sticks, chicken with lemon butter sauce, pork spareribs and fruits and vegetable salads from Fides, Noel, Teng and Leah, apple pies courtesy of the house, and what took the cake was the carrot cake of Arnold and those devilishly delicious Rebel Bars. Sorry if I forgot the rest. Leo took care of the drinks, that wonderful coffee lovingly brewed with green and contempt (just completing my meter), plus his effort to pack along his entire house.  Dala nya yung magic sing, speakers, coolers, customized coffee maker et al.  Kulang na lang si Muning.  By the way, Happy, thank you for bringing your yayo, he was such a big help.  Gina had to call greenwhich and postpone her order of lasagna (batch's fave) for merienda for there was simply too much.  Benjie Mallari gamely followed together with her three charming daughters.  Me dala pang malagkit and first aid kit.  Anthony Castillo came a little late too but was the first one to eat, for which he was endlessly teased. 


From the buffet table, we proceeded to mill around the dinner table which is about a meter away and just ate and talked and nibbled and gossiped until we ran out of people to talk about from our batch and proceeded henceon to talk about people from batch 55 and consequently dragging along the name of a prominent member of our batch.  Bakit kaya?  Upon which advice upon advcie were given, solicited or not, wise or wisecrack, joke after joke, ribbing after ribbing, a healthy exchange of banter and funny scenarios, impressarios of D.O.M.s and matrons, of fortyish belles and skinny young things, of indecent proposals and mid-life fascinations, of warm pleasant conversations, of friendships in the mend and unspoken, of new ones forged and a few ones taken.  It was simply lovely!  Forgotten was the well-laid out plan of board&parlor games, like that of mice and men.  It was so relaxing that the only time we left the table was to proceed to another one by the porch to watch the men play a game of billiards while Happy sells us tickets for her show.  Everyone obliged or else!  This was followed by a paroxysm of singing and dancing and more singing and some eating.


It was one hot, sticky Tagaytay afternoon but noboby seemed to mind.  We were all busy having a good time with good company.  The dancing and singing would not have ceased had somebody not insisted all come along and play volleyball in the club.  Jobet seconded it, so off we went, sweaty and all to play volleyball.  Rather fortunately, volleyball had been scrapped from club's services forcing  us to play basketball instead, os shoot baskets, and badminton.  Arnold could not contain himself and had to shoot some baskets risking his cross-stitches on his chest.  In fairness, meron shooting yung tao.  You should see Section One boys play basketball...ano ba yan!  Leo, Teng (sumakit pa ang tuhod at nainjury time out) and Rey never threatened Gina, Leah and I. Hahaha! Exaggeration lang po.  Noel could shoot, Jobet did not try...tingin ko napagod sila ni Leo.  Then the most fun badminton games were played.  Jobet, Anthony, Jo, Happy, Gina, Leah, Leo, even Fides and I played spirited games of badminton.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  On the side chatting were the rest joined by Sonny Villasanta of 427.  This guy was my gradeschool bully, constantly hounding me, teasing and hiding my bag.  Two more batchmates joined us at this Lou Torres and Reggie Ablaza with husband.                      


Pagkatapos ng madugong laro nang badminton, we all trooped back home and showered.  Again, another round of fun, laughter, banter and feasting.  Nagkalokohan nga kasi mayroong isa naligo pero ...never mind, cant share it with you folks.  Ang sabi nga ni Anthony, itago na lang natin sya sa pangalan na...(sorry, can't reveal).

Later on, Arman Paguio and Rene Sario came.  Nakahabol pa sila ng kwento at saya.  Nap Agoncillo came much later. Conversation at this point was angina, strokes and heartattacks.  Of course mga resource persons natin eh sila Arnold at Leo. 


We never came around talking about the USTHS foundation and projects it wishes to espouse but it was no less profound.  The profundity was not in the doing but in the being.  We were there, ourselves, for each other.  And nothing can take that away from us. To make a long story short---IT WAS TIME WELL SPENT. A time that will be remebered by those who came.

It is a time we can look back to and exclaim --iba talaga ang UST high, mahal ko talaga at mapagmahal ang mga batchmates ko.


Thank you everyone for making this outing possible, it almost got away but God had better plans.