LOS ANGELES, CA – Camaraderie, unity of purpose, oneness of thoughts and the positive values instilled in them by their alma mater play took center stage when alumni the Pangasinan National High School Alumni Association-USA celebrated their 7th Biennial Grand Reunion.
Held last week in Las Vegas, the reunion started August 31 and culminated with a Gala Night on September 1. It was attended by some 320 alumni who came all the way from the Philippines, Australia, Canada and other places, according to Juliet S Espiritu-Borja.
Class ’75 earned the singular distinction as having the most number of attendees.
Breaking previous records, the recently concluded affair was graced two retired generals who belong to Class ’70: Congressman Leopoldo B Bataoil representing the provinces’ 2nd congressional district and Robert Sylim. Both are from Lingayen.
Espiritu-Borja who arrived from Chicago, Illinois with her three co-alumni-sisters Virgie, Margie and Marlou, described the occasion as a gathering of sort with hugs, laughter, kisses and non-stop exchanging of pleasantries reminiscing their good old high school days.
A member of the elite section-1, Espiritu-Borja said her Class ’65 has produced a cabinet member who served as Secretary of Energy during the incumbency of former President Fidel Valdez Ramos, Francisco Viray, one of the most recognizable alumni of the school.
Viray graduated at the top of his Class ’65 with wife, the former Bing de Guzman as one of the honorable mentions. Presently, she works at the University of the Philippines Library in Diliman, Quezon City.
One of the features of the biennial reunion was the presentation of awards to alumni for their work in advancing the cause of the association.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Anita de Guzman-Mangasi, Class ’59. The recipient of the Plaque of Commendation was Virgie Panoringan of Class ’67. Angelina Sison-Biay, Class ’65 received the Family Award while Mary Ann Verdeflor-Macam and Lydia Bautista received Certificates of Appreciation. Other awardees are not available at press time.
Espiritu-Borja encouraged her colleagues who called US their home and those living in ther countries to attend the “once-in-a-two-year” event to renew that high school companionship and to revive those ‘teenager’ bonding.
The 8th biennial reunion slated to take place in 2020 will be held in Lingayen. Hosts are Classes ’72,’75 and ’85. The date shall be announced later. (Leonardo J Galvez, Punch Correspondent)
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