ANGARAYʾS TAKE: The power of reunions

 

The Malaybalay City Elementary School Batch 1980 in reunion. Courtesy of Batch 1980 FB

By Loreta Sol L. Dinlayan

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/06 January 2019) I attended two reunion activities last Christmas vacation with so much fun and surprises. Not to mention the nostalgic moments.

I have 27 grandchildren – the children of my 25 nephews and nieces, together with my siblings had our 17th Christmas reunion on December 26, 2018.  Three days after that family reunion, I joined the alumni homecoming of Malaybalay Central Elementary School, formerly a pilot school in the 70s.

Christmas in the Philippines oftentimes include schedule for reunions, may it be family reunion or alumni homecoming in various schools.

Reunion could be a strong social force and such force comes from the convergence of individuals who bear a story.

I got my portion of listening to brief lines coming from my batchmates (Batch 80 of Malaybalay Central Elementary School) about their undertakings right after our elementary graduation 38 years ago.

After that fellowship lunch with our three former teachers who showed up, the group was transformed into an organization that has the potential to do a community project. With our new perspective, profession and purpose in life, our batch foresees greater goals and vision for our alma mater and for the local community as well.

Reunion activities carry social functions. Our class reunion was not just a time to have food feast but also a time to celebrate good life stories that include both the victories and challenges of a typical individual who belongs to generation X.

It was not just a remarkable meeting of good old friends or classmates but also a gathering of resources, foremost skills and money. For instance, Batch 92 of Bukidnon National High School sponsored a kids’ party at Barangay 7 last December 30, 2018 in coordination with the Nimbus Socius of Bukidnon State University and with the Barangay IP representative, Pacita Cabusao.

The spirit of synergy in every reunion really inspires people to do community activity. Serving the group of kids in that barangay that comprises Lumad, moro and Christians is an accomplished value of giving back something to the community as inspired by the alma mater.

Moreover, reunion activities produce a new form of social support system where each one is willing to share one’s resources to other members of the family or school batchmates.

Families are assured of unity and availability of support in times of hard days. The Batch 80 of Malaybalay Central Elementary School, for instance, has produced responsible citizens: from full time parents to lawyers, to engineers, to medical doctors and other professions. With the new challenges of the times that my batch is facing, our group automatically becomes an available support mechanism via social media.

Somehow, reunions are institutionalized in varied means and styles. Like an institution, it has a role to play in strengthening the connectivity of the individuals and in advancing the progress of the community. It could be a significant platform in designing community projects or establishing a noble business which eventually become a contributor to development. As it is said, a re-union should not be associated with ʺre-inomʺ (drinking spree) but rather a re-unification of ideas and resources from responsible individuals.

My first attendance to a reunion for this year 2019 brought me to review my responsibility to the community. It was a reunion of good old friends whose passions are on letters and images through social media. Happy new year to everyone!

(The author is a social science educator at Bukidnon State University, where she also works as in-charge of the Bukidnon Studies Center, formerly university museum. Angaray’s Take is her column for BukidnonNews.Net. Reach her via editor.bukidnonnews@gmail.com)