Once More, Four Nine (IV-9)

by Ma. Theresa Pacoma

I was on my way to Gilly’s Club in Pasadena, Texas, after being honored as the world’s top nuclear physicist at the Strahov Stadium. Former class veep Jinks Yadao, current sectetary general of the United Nations, invited me to grace an affair there. I looked at my heavily jeweled watch, a gift from Omi Tamaca, first lady of the Philippines, and realized that it was still early since the affair will start at seven in the evening. I decided to rest at my suite at the Peachtree Central Plaza Hotel owned by my good friends Maricar Marquez, Ana Pagsuyuin, and Bennette de la Cruz. After I reached my room, I grabbed a magazine and lay down on my bed. The magazine was the latest edition of Who’s Who, which lists prominent figures in different fields. I was surprised to see names of my fourth year high school classmates listed there.

Dulce Santos, Ane Mariano, and Gracielle Sayson are now world renowned painters and are considered the greatest painters of the Space Age. Me-an Provido is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Royal Patent, the world’s most widely circulated magazine. Amy Quero and Berna Castillo are ‘distinguished doctors in the fields of psychiatry and cardiology, respectively, and so is top calibre neurosurgeon, May Castillo. And what do you know, Queenie Aceveda, Vicky Ramos, and Susan Ricamata are the owners of Astrosecond, a world-wide chain of department stores.

Filipina coloratura sopranos Cher Gavilan and Joy Uy were recently honored by King Charles of England at the Buckingham Palace. Joshiel Cerin, the Philippines’ answer to Amadeus Mozart, is now a world prominent composer.

The Megathrusters, the most successful singing group since the Beatles, maybe even more successful, is composed of Jenny Segismundo, JizelIe Ramirez, Lani Madamba, and Dulc Aquino. Patty Nohay is now constantly using her Bali-Hai prowess after being married to a millionaire businessman in Hawaii. Gladys Doblados, former class secretary, was recently granted a Nobel Peace Prize for her outstanding contributions to medicine and physiology.

I placed down the magazine for a while and sighed at the achievements of my classmates. And to think that I always used to lose my patience reminding them to lessen their “constant uncontrollable urges to talk.” Where must Tita Chung be now? Finally, I resumed my reading.

Oh! Here’s something to beat. Ton2 Sabile and Marj Sanchez are both record holders in women’s boxing. Can you believe that? Still in sports, Percy Ann Ko was adjudged the strongest woman in the world after setting a record lift of 1,179 Ibs. in the women’s power lift. That’s something!

Jeanette Madrid, Oshieg Millarez, and Charrie Pajaro are members of the world-famous dance company, Quasi-Stellar International with Grace Magnaye as their choreographer. Amy Magpantay, the class Bombay, is now married to the president of Omnix Bank I nt’l., an international banking corporation.

Oh, my! It was good that I glanced at my watch. It was five in the afternoon and I had to catch my flight to Texas.

I arrived at the club promptly at seven. I was greeted at the door by millionairess Adel Sangalang. I was surprised to see familiar faces such as prima donna ballerinas Gina Dadios and Lally de la Cruz. Then there were Dr. Emily Cinco and Dr. Michelle de la Cruz, the scientists who discovered the cure for cancer. I also recognized Sister Maricon Eusebio among the crowd. Tessie Hernandez, world famous historian, ushered me to a table where I was sitted with engineers Cyn Valerio, Malou Sugay, Des Capahi, and Owen Masangkay. Ambassadors Marites Logan, Graps Valido, and Zelinda Odzigue also joined us at our table. At the next table, I glanced upon Monette Atilon with husband John Taylor and across them were Cecile Bahoy and her fiance Simon Le Bon. Flight stewardess Sheng Dator was also present.

After observing the place for several-minutes, I noticed that all present were members of IV-9, batch ’85-’86. Now who could have planned this gathering? As if answer to my question, Duchess Rina Bolongaita, hostess of the affair, took the mike and asked for silence. She revealed to us that she hosted this affair as our 20th anniversary reunion since we graduated from forever Paco Catholic School. We were brought to tears since nobody but Rina thought of this. But that was not all. Rina invited Tita Chung, now a countess married to a count from Bavaria, to be with us that night. Everyone was really there. We were IV-9 again.

As we all stood very fulfilled, Lani started to sing a familiar tune. We all joined in since it’s our favorite and it goes like this, “Chank, do you remember us? Chanky, our baby!”