Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Batch `91

My high school batch is having a reunion this June. How it has suddenly been 20 years makes me think how such a fleeting window of years could already fit a lifetime. (That just covers the period within which AJ Perez—may he RIP—got born and died!)

Looking at my batchmates’ pictures all over the internet makes me come to terms with a few things…

1. Boy, I really am such a good-looking guy (SFX: thunder.)

Hold your horses! When you’re in high school, you just wake-up one morning and notice: hey, I’m suddenly surrounded by so many beautiful women (read: hormones.) That’s when the torment begins. Each day, you meticulously prepare for school trying to look your handsomest if only to keep-up with the same league as your crushes.

Fast forward … After 20 years, your crushes are all bloated and sagging in their unguarded FB pictures (and cursing those who have a penchant for tagging.) If I were to add how I look now and how I looked two decades ago; then divide that by 20 years, I’d say I’d come-out with a better yearly average than most of these women (and the guys they dated back then, haha!)

Moral of the story: you don’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous as early as your high school years. The challenge is how to keep and even improve on whatever you had when you were a teenager. For this reason, kudos to all my classmates who are still looking so great and got even more ravishing after all these years. Come to think of it, Belo & Calayan weren’t around yet 20 years ago.

2. Now you can tell your classmates like it is.

In high school, you have bitches, sluts, bullies, wimps, geeks, morons and whatever else you have in High School Musicale minus the token black & Indian students (I don’t remember us having jocks & prom queens—that’s another school.) However they were, you could never tell it straight to their faces.

Today… reading all the exchanges posted on FB and listening to the conversations during those few pre-reunion get-togethers—I’d say my batchmates and I are more honest & less apologetic when describing how it was like back in high school.

“You were such a slut but everyone had a crush on you. What cup size are you wearing?” I hear two former rivals telling each other during one party. Rivals because they both vied for Miss Something back in high school then later for the same boy.

I am actually imagining myself attending the reunion and going up to a bunch of bullies and A-students to tell them how much of a loser they made me feel sitting next to them in the cafeteria. But that was 20 years ago and we can all put that behind us now. What is important today is who has more money and a big shot job— me. Pooff… end of dream sequence.

Actually, I’m still the awkward kid I was in 1991. I’m only hoping that the rest of my batchmates have become less uptight and will be the first to break the ice when I meet them all again. After 20 years, I am still thrilled at the prospect of finally shaking hands with a few of them (or at least with those I still fancy to look as breath-taking given I haven’t found yet their latest pics on FB.)

3. There are those you’ve completely lost, yet there are new names you have to remember.

I think there were 50 of us in class (it was a public school!) After graduation, my classmate sitting in front of me the past four years, died in a vehicular accident. The one sitting behind me died of a malignant cyst. If I were superstitious, I’d fear I will be the next to die (probably in the hands of angry classmates who are now reading this blog.)

Sadder still is asking about favorite teachers who have likewise reached the end of the road. A favorite teacher of mine would have been so proud of me winning in a literary contest he used to rip-off. Another teacher, I heard, grew terribly lonely as she suffered from Alzheimer’s in the last years of her life.

But life goes on and come reunion, I will have to, inversely, remember new names for different reasons.

There are those who got an entirely new life after high school and their new nicknames or pet names just have to speak of their newfound success. I can’t mention them here but, most commonly, the rural way of contracting names to sound like the ones we used to call tropical storms just won’t hold anymore.

Then of course our lady folks who have gone the way of matrimony, I would have a hard time finding in the alphabetical list because of their married names (ladies, please retain your maiden name next to your husband’s because it’s sooo hard to add a stalker-sounding name in Facebook.)

And lastly, there are just those classmates who insist on you remembering the names of all the children they’ve raised in those 20 years and the spouse/s they’ve lived with and who they would even bring to the reunion, insisting that you be fond of their family members as you have been to each other (can I tell you that your husband was the drug addict we caught stealing our motorcycle—I bet he missed that part when he proposed marriage, huh?)


I can’t even remember exactly what date the reunion will be. Is this an indication of a subconscious attempt to miss it for the reasons I stated above?

Oh well, I miss my batchmates. And after twenty years, here comes something I haven’t done yet—to reconnect with so many old faces at the same time at the same place, knowing this could perhaps never happen again (see “Coming to Terms #3”) because I’ve earned the ire of so many people (see “Coming to Terms #2”) or because I will just never be the same person I was back in high school (see “Coming to Terms #1.”)

Regardless how fuming mad some of my batchmates are now, let me just tell you that I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! You guys gave me my most exhilarating “first” experiences—regardless how you are also responsible for some of the most embarrassing moments of my life (and not all of them even have do to with sex!)

I miss you guys. Looking forward to see you all. Congratulations, BATCH 1991!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting topic Job!!!you keep me wondering now where i belong, from the moron, geek, boy next door, or arsholes hahahha pardon my words mate, but well done article and very well said!!!!

Ariel from IV-2 Batch 1991

Job said...

Haha. Parang hindi ko yata nabanggit yung boy-next-door category. Pero dahil naisip mo yun mate, sige.. dun ka na namin ikakategorya. Tnx Ariel. Kitakits! :)