Golden Jubilee Grand Reunion of PHS Class 1954
Digested from the Speech of Alejandro S. Camiling, CPA, Vice President for Overseas
For sure we had a very good time. We enjoyed the precious moments, the good food, the lively music and most of all, the camaraderie among us. We prayed that our classmates who departed ahead of us would rest in peace. We gave thanks to the Almighty for all his blessings and extended our most sincere gratefulness to the officers, committee chairs and members who put extra effort for the success of our Golden Jubilee Grand Reunion. We congratulated all of them for a job well done in putting together the wonderful activities on April 25, 2004 (Welcome Party at the Palatial Home of Engr. & Mrs. Abelardo Miranda Jr.), April 28, 2004 (Picnic at the Farm of Arch. & Mrs. Tirso D. Dayrit), April 29, 2004 (Planting Ceremonies at PHS for Fifty Trees), April 30, 2004 (Dinner-Dance at Villa Conchita Garden Resort where we also honored four of our surviving teachers), May 2, 2004 (Picnic at General & Mrs. Virgilio David's Farm & Fishponds) and on May 5, 2004 (Reception at Congressman & Mrs. Oscar Rodriguez Residence).
Fifty years ago, we left our Alma Mater full of hope, ambitions and anxious to move on for further education, get a job or get married and start a family.
Our class is very unique because of the suspension of classes during World War II. Our class members resumed or commenced their studies after the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in 1945. Thus we were born in at least seven different years from 1932 to 1938. However, despite of the age variances and tough academic competition among us, over the years, we developed an extraordinary closeness and willingness to help one another. If you believe in the Chinese Zodiac, here's what it says about us:
1932 - The Year of the Monkey - Very intelligent, able to influence people and enthusiastic achievers.
1933 - The Year of the Cock - Pioneers in spirit, devoted to work and quest after knowledge.
1934 - The Year of the Dog - Loyal, honest, generous and work well with others.
1935 - The Year of the Boar - Noble and chivalrous. Friends will be lifelong.
1936 - The Year of the Rat - Ambitious, yet honest.
1937 - The Year of the Ox - Bright, patient and inspiring to others.
1938 - The Year of the Tiger - Aggressive, courageous, candid and sensitive.
Fifty years later, we are happy, matured, fully accomplished and satisfied of what we did in the last half a century. Many of us are or were successful in our respective professions either as politicians, military officers, medical doctors, dentists, lawyers, educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, nurses, architects, accountants, etc. Our class produced three town mayors, a provincial vice governor, a brigadier general, a vice admiral and later an ambassador and many professionals who contribute in nation building and economic development of the Philippines. Most of us are already proud grandparents with graying hair but we are physically and mentally healthy. We still have high spirit and best wishes for a better Philippines. Wherever we are, we still do our very best in all our undertakings. We are always resplendent and grateful alumni of Pampanga High School!
Ready or not, however, someday our stay in this world will all come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no sunsets, any minutes, hours or days to count. All the worldly possessions we accumulated, whether treasured or forgotten, will be passed to others. Our assets, glory and temporal authority will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what we owned or what we were owed. Our bitter feelings, grievances, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies if we have any, will finally disappear.
So, too, our obsessions, hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will be gone. The wins and losses that once seemed so important in our day-to-day existence will not count anymore. At the end, i t won't matter anymore where we came from, or we resided, either in Forbes Park or in the barrios or anywhere in the world. It won't matter whether we were good looking, beautiful or brilliant. Even our gender and skin color will be irrelevant. So what will matter? How will the value of our lives be measured?
What will matter is not what we purchased, but what we built, not what we had, but what we gave away. What will matter is not our success, but our significance. What will matter is not what we learned, but what we taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate our examples. What will matter is not our competence, but our character. What will matter is not how many people we knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when we will be gone. What will matter are not our memories, but the memories that dwell in those who loved us. What will matter is how long we will be remembered, by whom and for what. Living a life that matters doesn't happen by coincidence. It's a matter of choice or preference and not a matter of episode or circumstance.
Won't we desiderate or choose to live a life that matters? Yes, we must and we will!