"Gazing Behind the Clouds of the Future" (IV-5)

by: Phides Pangilinan

Time: Sometime in the future 10 to15 years from now.

Place: The newly-finished giant complex of the internationally acclaimed Dyna-Zette Corporation, jointly owned by two of the most outstanding businesswomen of the world: Miss Josette C. Feliciano and Ms. Deana Dolores Dabay, both of whom fresh from a European tour to close their biggest deal with one of their richest clients, her Majesty, Queen Patrocinio I.

Occasion: Victory party for the newly-elected president and vice-president.

The newly-elected:

1. Lady President Elizabeth Dormido, who won because the whole country is aware of theability of her magical fingers to tinker her highly sophisticated computers (not to mention her convincing speeches which up to now still has that same effect to its listeners as she was addressing her IV-5 class some years back).
2. Vice president Cynthia Calimbahin – who would’ve thought this outgoing person whose only outlet used to be mischief, could make it to the polls? (Hmm, sounds like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole).

Oh well, people are starting to fill the great reception hall of the complex and the familiarity of the atmosphere permeates the air. Each person could somehow feel the rapport and camaraderie they felt a few years back while they were still at the 3rd floor of St. John’s building. This is clearly seen in how these women flit about the room like social ‘butterflies who are in tune with everyone.

“Hullo, starry-eyed,” the husky voice of Elenita Pena, now one of the heads of the Pefia-Sunga modelling agency, distracts Dr. Eleriza Adriano, famous for her newly-discovered growth potion. Ms. Pena is looking for her associate, Bernadette, who is presently welcoming a group of “balikbayans”, apparently from different parts of the world. It’s amazing how they managed to show up for this occasion.

Glorivic Acla, in her stunning .appearance looks like she just toured the fashion palaces of Paris, along with the inseparable Imelda Miras and Vera Ordillano, now both very established in their own businesses in the U.S. With them come two successful stockholders from Europe, Veronica Mendoza and Bernadine Vergara.

Then two prim-looking women, Naomi Villacorta and Aimee Sunico, both representatives of the Philippines to the U.N. Center, but they hardly seem to recognize anyone because of their dreamy eyes, obviously recalling their past pranks to each other.

Then, from out of the blue come in four of the most known accountants in the country namely, Elena J acela, Anna Liza Gines, Rica Guzman and Catherine Virata. They all share past experiences as Cecilia Tan suddenly blurts out with her catching voice that made her the top TV/radio commentator today, that Clarence Escalona would be coming in late because she’s having a pictorial being the No.1 fashion model in the country today.

“Oh, and where did you get that information?”, asks Flor Armada, the highly acclaimed art critic.

“From me, of course, the one who has all the hot news anytime of day,” chimes in the controversial writer/reporter Maribel Manuel.

From another table can be seen the two familiar figures of Clarence Castillo and Rowena Bayani, owners of the International Clair-Wen Airways System, which footed the expense in bringing the guests from other countries. With them is Alice Balais, who is currently doing her 5th LP. Producers have been eyeing her since she sang the National Anthem in Paco Catholic School’s Marian Rally sometime in 1985. She and her manager Imelda Arriola are making a name for themselves touring around the world.

Their sister in trade, Vivian Manzon is not yet around because she is still in her “Sunglasses at Night” studio doing the video of rock star Zolaica‘s latest hit, with the Jazzlish system, composed of Jovee Corpuz, Myrna de Lemos, Cristina Punzalan and Myra Reyes. (They decided to stick together since they emerged as one of the finalists in the 1985 Sci-Yawan of PCS and they have been doing well since then).

“When is food going to be served?”, asks Terry who has admirably managed to stay pretty despite her marriage to … and at the same time working in her private laboratory as a chemist. Anyway, Ginalyn Atayan and Jennifer Idea just smile off her question being expert dietitians knowing just when is the right time to eat, and consequently declining every food being offered to them.

“Oh, but how could you refuse?”, asks Rose Garcia, “don’t you know that the Garcia-Samson Food Chain gives the best?”

Her partner, Rosario then echoes, “Of course. You know we haven’t forgotten yet how most of us used to eat in between classes, and that includes you both.”

At this time, Aileen Cerro and Mary Jane Bermudez, two top couturiers give their own recollections of class mischiefs.

Meanwhile, someone speaks on the mike, “Ladies and Gentlemen,” the voice of Flordeliza Laureano, “as campaign manager of the president, Miss Lardizabal and I wish to thank all of you for your votes. Also thank you very much for the presence of our special guests, IV-5 class ’85 and their adviser Mrs. P. Yogore. Thank you also to our interior decorator, Melissa Ann Jarque for the beautiful arrangement of this place. Thanks a lot, too, to Veronica Javan, for giving the services of her VC-5 crew for televising this momentous event. You’ll hear more from our President in a short while.”

Even before she finished talking, Phides Pangilinan, President of the Orthodentist’s Association of the World could be seen chatting with her colleague Cristina David, maker of the device which could locate and cure cavities even before it starts, an achievement for which the world looks up to her now. They spot a woman in white soutane, Rochelle, no doubt or rather, Sister Rochelle talking with Frances Padilla, Dolores Palitec and Nerissa Labiano, three of the most successful engineers in the country, about their senior retreat with Father Gerry.

As the tension grows due to the delay of the proceedings, some people already are restless and start grumb1ing, but not the IV-5 girls. They have this control in them which is orimarilv due to the one thing their “Mommy” patiently tried to put into their hearts. This thing is still sealed within them. REFINEMENT, which has helped them become respectable all these years.

But then, Elizabeth steps on stage and addresses them, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish first of all to thank you for putting me in this position. Please excuse me since I wish to dedicate the first part of my speech to my senior class who have been very supportive of me. I want to recall how we were as a class. Raise the curtain and you will see a bunch of angelic-faces unwittingly giving their innocent smiles, making it impossible to decipher what’s in their minds. Yet if you will only linger on and try to discover them, you may find that this conglomeration of unique yet united minds have a lot to offer.

It really is amazing how fate coincidentally managed to put together this mass of contradicting opinions to work as one and come up with the best (for us at least) combination of people. Open the doors to their room and you will open Pandora’s box, making all sorts of characters come out, from a witty speaker to a fashion fanatic, to singers, actresses and dancers, businesswomen and don’t be surprised if a writer or a computer genius would jump out, too. They had their share of troubles and escapades, the times when they had to resort to cheating (just minor, mind you), the constant buzzing of the parasites

(Could I have a piece of paper, please?) and most of all the inevitable cramming. Still despite all these, they still are the sweetest bunch who never forget their limitations especially when they have to control their minds and psychologize it to convince themselves that they are not chatter boxes, radios or singers like Madonna. That is because within the delicate membrane covering the inner core of these girls, one can perceive an aura of dedication and seriousness … an ocean of optimistic insights into the future, the future that used to be is now fulfilled. Such is the entity of the IV-5 girls that we have crept our way through Mrs. Yogore’s heart. So even as the years coursed through, we still are the same network of activities, each one molded to bring out the true Christian we really are. Once again, I’d like to thank you for coming. On other things, as president, I promise to try my best to promote …