Coming home to our alma mater

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By Adrian Bobe


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

AS THE first lines of our alma mater hymn broke the silence, I was swept back to the tender memories of my high school life: annual student election campaigns, speeches and debates, friendships and “turning points.”

It began with two words, “Far above,” which evoked promises of my juvenile years that allowed me to rekindle the passions I have developed in front of the gigantic goddesses beside the columns of the old-fashioned Negros Occidental High School’s main building.

“…stands our noble Alma Mater, Glorious to view…” everyone chorused with such contagious energy.


As we end with the rising tone of 'Hail, dear Negros High!” everyone knew the day has just started— welcome to the NOHS Alumni Homecoming!

As for me, prior to the alumni homecoming, the thought of seeing familiar faces gave me sleepless nights. It is during these long hours of circling in bed that I sunk into the lullabies of beautiful friendships, cherished moments and worthwhile experiences with people closest to my heart.

Indeed, there is truth to the adage, “Old friends we should keep, for they are the same friends you shall meet. When you get frail and old, golden friends will always hold.”

More than nine years have passed since our long march in the historic Paglaum Stadium, but the annual get-together of the biggest, and yes, the oldest school in Negros Occidental, is an anticipated event for us. This is one big event where everyone is excited to see one another.

Every alumni homecoming, we would find ourselves surrounded with community and political leaders, business magnates and notable personalities in various professions.

I once overheard a friend saying, “I never knew until today that my three bosses are from NOHS, too!” The more than 110 years of academic existence guarantees to produce achievers in various fields of endeavor.

But during the alumni homecoming, boss or not, everyone is being cheered on, from the gates toward their assigned batch areas.

The old buildings that served as Japanese military outposts were dressed with flamboyant drapes and glittering gems. In our room, the party spirit of neon draperies, brilliant balloons and blasting music brought us back to the high school life we once lived with excitement. The children in us, upon seeing each other, were laughing with zest and embracing this day with so much vigor.

As the Student Government president of Class 2005, I assumed the position of leading the organizing team this year. I must say, it was a tough job. But with the active support of fellow NOHSians, it may not have been a walk in the park but we hoped and held on for the best. And yes, last weekend was the best.

Our preparation was a treat to nearly 200 batchmates: good food, games and activities worth making as laughing stocks in our social networking pages.

Unlike most schools, our party did not end after the 'agape lunch.' We went on partying and having fun and catching up with each other’s lives—until morning of the next day.

Indeed, the NOHS Alumni Homecoming is not your ordinary reunion. It is a grand celebration for everyone, young and old alike, as we celebrate lasting friendships.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 29, 2014.


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