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May 4, 2016

Gilmore Girls, 40 Years Later

By Bubbles de Mesa, Class of 1984

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On April 9, 2016, 39 of the Gilmore Girls, from Batches 1984 to 1988, gathered together for an afternoon. 

We call ourselves the Gilmore Girls – a nod to those four vivid years when we lived our Little House on the Prairie days in that not-so-little house on Gilmore Street.

It seemed even then that we were aware of being a part of something different, maybe even special, when school was not just school – because our familiarity with each other did not end with those who sat in the same room as us, because those outside of our own classrooms were not just a passing face or a familiar name. With only 76 or so girls to count on, school programs and Field Days had to involve all of us, whether we were inclined towards song and dance or not, and whether we had an affinity for ball games or not. It was every introvert’s nightmare. Unknowingly, we were taking part in an experiment that could work – or not. And that made us family, for better or worse.

From the perspective of 40 years, it seems safe to say that the Gilmore experiment has worked. Thirty-nine of us gathered recently – with mental faculties still sharp and intact, with arms and limbs still in place, each one with 10 fingers and, we assume, 10 toes.

As such gatherings go, this one did not so much challenge the memory, as push it to the fore. For who among us have actually forgotten about Ms. Lorenzo and her Opel Ascona, or the painting of the Annunciation that hung in her room? Who can’t recall, word for word, the lyrics to ‘Fill the World with Love,’ practiced in that little room that doubled as library that doubled as music room, and then sung as a congregation to end yet another school program on a make-shift stage on the patio?

For one afternoon, we were not just a Gilmore Girl, but a girl back in Gilmore. We could very well have been on that familiar walkway where we would wait for our ride home, where we would stave off the pull of time by clustering around random playground games, or joining ever-mutating knots of girls talking in overlapping fashion, voices rising higher and higher, racing faster and faster, as each one tried to get a word in, get a word out, hoping to elicit yet another round of laughter. The voices were familiar, and the names even more so as the same girls called out to each other – Montse! Leah! Rosanna! (Which Rosanna?)

For one afternoon, we were again either Red or Blue, challenging each other in games of no consequence, the lack of a prize not deterring us from fighting for and over every point. Shouts of encouragement and dismay were as heated as they were on Field Days on that Gilmore garden – shouts that, as before, just as quickly gave way to laughter, aware as we were that we had already won.

For that one afternoon, we basked in camaraderie, in the glow of remembrance of a time that was indeed unique to us, out of reach of the girls who came after – a remembrance so vivid it glowed in a tint of orange, such that, for a moment, it was as if we were once again garbed in that uniform of lore.

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The main entrance of the Gilmore ‘campus’, which led to the walkway where we would converge after our last class to wait for our ride home

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A precursor to the Sportsfest and Intramurals, the Field Day was held in the garden, with nothing to distinguish one team from the other with everyone donning the original PE uniform

Class of 1984 with Woodrose’s first directress, Ms. Lorenzo, after their Grade School graduation in 1980, the first graduation day in the school’s history

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For lack of a stage, school performances were initially held in the smaller rooms of the Meralco Theater; and in keeping with the virtue of simplicity, outfits were limited to the school uniform – a blight we endured for the first three years

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Back when they were really small – the Class of ’88 in their Grade 3 iteration

Proudly displaying our hand-made banner welcoming the Pope during his 1981 visit to the Philippines

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The school programs then had a home-made feel – one can only conclude that these two scenes were for the celebration of United Nations Day

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We “Fill the World with Love” as we conclude the first-ever Foundation Day program in 1978

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Class of 1984, the first batch of graduates that Woodrose unleashed on the world

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Class of 1985

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Class of 1986

Class of 1987

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Class of 1988, also known as the Pioneer Batch

May 2, 2016

Alumna Wins Best TV Newscaster

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Mitzi Borromeo, Woodrose Class of 1994, won the award for Best TV Newscaster from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) during the 24th Golden Dove Awards held on April 29, 2016.

Read the full story from CNN Philippines

February 19, 2016

Alumnae Garage Sale 2015

Thank you to all the Alumnae who donated and helped in The Alumnae Garage Sale Last November 14!
Special Thank You to Mica Bautista (batch 2014) for letting us use her residence.

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February 18, 2016

Eucharistic Procession 2015

Thank you to the alumnae volunteers who came to Woodrose on November 27, 2015 to prepare floral carpet at the chapel lobby for the Eucharistic Procession.

Volunteers:
Tata Reyes-Sibayan ’03
Carms Hernandez ’02
Kat Lim ’02
Mylene Pineda-Mapa ’88
Marina Reyes ’98
Lisa Mapa-Sator ’93
Ria Arada ’06
Joy Herrera ’89
Carmela Vertido ’98
Ashley Aquino ’06
Jill San Juan-Singian ’99
Monique Basa-Halili ’93

The making of the floral carpet:

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The Eucharistic Procession:

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February 11, 2016

Alumna Appointed as New Climate Change Commissioner

Veronica Victorio batch '97

Vernise Victorio, Woodrose Class of 1997, was appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd as one of the new Climate Change Commissioners.  She will replace Commissioner Mary Ann Lucille Sering, for a term expiring on January 8, 2022.

Read the full story from Manila Times.

February 9, 2016

Alumna Leads Publicis Singapore and Publicis Communications

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photo credit: mUmBRELLA

Lourdes de la Peña, Woodrose Class of 1992, CEO of Publicis Worldwide Singapore, has been handed a broader role leading Publicis Communications, a new unit set up at the end of last year.

Read the full story from mUmBRELLA.

September 14, 2015

Unending Joy: Alumnae Retreat 2015

By Leah Puyat, Class of 1986

On the way to Makiling Conference Center, my best friend, high school batchmate, and yearly fellow retreatant, Angelette Calero ’87 asked me, “Are you happy that we are going on retreat?”  And I answered, “It’s not just happiness; it’s spiritual joy.”  After all, our modern world accepts Disneyland as the happiest place on earth, and choosing to pray, reflect, and be in constant touch with Our Lord for three days is very different from meeting fairy tale princesses and riding Space Mountain.

Sabs Elane ’03, Angeli Tison-Arboleda ’87, Mylene Pineda-Mapa ’88, Ruthie Leveriza-Sison ’87, Giselle Puyat-Precilla ’88, Montse Cuervo, Pauline Calero-Eizmendi ’87, Rocio Pantaleon, Leah Puyat ’86, Leah Magallanes, Mia Gonzalez, Anna Marco ’87, and Angelette Calero ’86

And then, in our first meditation, Fr. Peñacoba spoke about, “how we must recover, renew and revive the joy of being a Christian, of being chosen by Christ.”  The priest then added philosophically, “Such a deep joy; so deep that it is so easy to lose it.  When preoccupied with frivolous joy, then the real joy becomes diminished. Renewal (of that joy) persists in an encounter with Jesus.”

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Stolen shot of Fr. Penacoba, care of Marina Reyes ’98, during a class, entitled “The Mystery of Inexhaustible Joy”

Starting on such a joyous note, there was a buoyant air of lightheartedness and indeed, love that was truly felt throughout the retreat. Our first day’s Spiritual Reading was most assuring with the line: “Man is the only creature God wants for himself.”  The reading chosen during mealtimes, entitled “The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God,”  was a fascinating true story of two atheists who fell in love, and then became devout and committed Catholics, who became pillars of their local pro-life movement, and the parents of many children.  The talks and classes were both practical and enlightening.  The class on grace and how it acts upon our soul was full of easily relatable situations in which grace is part of our life.  But a definite highlight of the retreat was the get together with Woodrose’s present Executive Director and the first Filipina numerary, Dr. Rina Villegas.  In her trademark forthright and engaging manner of speaking, she brought to life those first days of the Women’s Section of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, and made us feel as if we were in that dusty house on Leon Guinto.

From the Class of 1987: Ruthie, Angeli, Anna, and Pauline

From the Class of 1988: Mylene and Giselle

At the get-together with Dr. Villegas: (seated on the couch) Grace Altarejos ’06, Melai Geronimo ’06, Monica Mendoza ’09, Janah Ledesma ’95

At the get-together with Dr. Villegas: (seated on the couch) Kristel Tingzon ’05, Kaki Tingzon ’07, Yoti Abejuela ’05, Belay Montes ’05, and our Retreat Directress Vix Casis

 

Of course, there was still the requisite PASALUBONG shopping and the mild panic when there was no sample jar of bagoong on display.  Good thing the administrations and the assistant numeraries quickly cleared up the confusion and then the bagoong lovers were appeased.

It was also lovely that there was a good representation of the young batches, and we will be hoping and praying that the younger girls continue to attend the retreats. Though of course, we also love having the older batches come back again and again!

Pauline Calero-Eizmendi ’87 summed it up, “This was the best retreat.” I couldn’t agree more.  When I asked my sister Giselle Puyat-Precilla ’88 if she felt the same, she answered me back with a question, “Who doesn’t want to feel joy?”

L-R: (Standing at the back row) Grace Altarejos '06, Melai Geronimo '06, Angeli Tison-Arboleda '87, Regina Rodriguez-Cruz '97, Mylene Pineda-Mapa '88, Marina Reyes '98; (Seated at the back) Anna Marco '87, Montse Cuervo, Dr. Rina Villegas, Ruthie Leveriza-Sison '87, Pauline Calero-Eizmendi '87, (Middle Row) Monique Escueta-Bunuan '95, Janah Ledesma-Ching '95, Krissy Racho-Orobia '95, Yoti Abejuela '05, Kaki Tingzon '07, Belay Montes '05, Leah Puyat '86, Vaya Victorio-Kho '94, Kat del Rosario '00; (Foreground) Cyndee Icasas-Camara '03, Kristel Tingzon '05, Gileen Resureccion '03, Sabs Elane '03, Monica Mendoza '09,  Bianca Lagdameo '04

L-R: (Standing at the back row) Grace Altarejos ’06, Melai Geronimo ’06, Angeli Tison-Arboleda ’87, Regina Rodriguez-Cruz ’97, Mylene Pineda-Mapa ’88, Marina Reyes ’98; (Seated at the back) Anna Marco ’87, Montse Cuervo, Dr. Rina Villegas, Ruthie Leveriza-Sison ’87, Pauline Calero-Eizmendi ’87, (Middle Row) Monique Escueta-Bunuan ’95, Janah Ledesma-Ching ’95, Krissy Racho-Orobia ’95, Yoti Abejuela ’05, Kaki Tingzon ’07, Belay Montes ’05, Leah Puyat ’86, Vaya Victorio-Kho ’94, Kat del Rosario ’00; (Foreground) Cyndee Icasas-Camara ’03, Kristel Tingzon ’05, Gileen Resureccion ’03, Sabs Elane ’03, Monica Mendoza ’09, Bianca Lagdameo ’04

September 10, 2015

Celebrating Mrs. Paloma

By Margaux Claros-Cupino, Class of 1996

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L-R: Mrs. Torralba, Jill San Juan-Singian ’99, Mrs. Paloma, Tallie Corcuera ’96, Margaux Claros-Cupino ’96, and Annex Sta. Ana ’95

 

Mrs. Paloma turned 88 on the 27th of August 2015.  To many, Mrs. Lydia Paloma is simply known as the former Associate Director for Personal Formation of Woodrose from 1983 to 1995.  Since her retirement, she continues to serve the school as Personal Formation Mentor to numerous high school students.  To us, her former mentees, she is our beloved and very doting second mother who was very interested in our teenage lives – from crushes to prom dresses.  And of course she never forgets, even now that we are all grown up, to remind us to go to mass and confession!

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Isa del Rosario ’15

 

We couldn’t let this milestone pass without celebrating with her and showing her how much we love and appreciate her for all the care, concern, attention, and wise advice that she has given us.  On August 29, while she was only expecting a visit from Tallie (Corcuera ’96) and Margaux (Claros-Cupino ’96), several alumnae came to surprise her with a food feast!  We had cakes from sisters Nina (‘05) and Aissa (‘01)Atilano, siopao from Natalia Lobregat-Olondriz (‘97), barbecue from Annex Sta. Ana (’95), pizza from Niña Santos (‘09), chapchae from Margaux, and drinks from Tallie.  An even bigger surprise is a photobook with a collection of messages and pictures from her mentees and friends!

enjoying her chocolate birthday cake

enjoying her chocolate birthday cake

 

Happy 88th Birthday, Mrs. Paloma!  We look forward to having you as the mentor of our daughters when they get to high school in Woodrose.

August 24, 2015

Proudly Woodrose Made

Pebbles Barretto-Nolasco ’93, stay-at-home wife and mother, has taken up a new pursuit – the Whimsy Palette. It is not only her first project as a new publisher, it is also the first locally produced adult coloring book!

With her 3 kids (including a daughter studying in Woodrose) quite grown and demanding less attention from her, Pebbles found herself having more free time. She thought of starting a small business from home that she was interested in. She took inspiration from the coloring book craze in the US and upon searching the web and the local bookstores, found that there are no local adult coloring books available here in Manila. With this in mind, she collaborated with four fresh Woodrose graduates from Batch 2015: her niece Bella Viaplana (daughter of her sister Mia Barretto-Viaplana ’90), Andie Villarosa, Gabby Macatulad, and Nikola Lacson. The four girls have been close friends since their grade school years in Woodrose. They enthusiastically worked on this project together with Pebbles as their one last hurrah before leaving for university in August. Nikola and Gabby are going to Ateneo de Manila, Bella is going to UP Diliman, while Andie is leaving for the University of Navarre in Spain. Their artworks capture the bond of their long time friendship, which they hope will inspire others to look back on their own fondest memories.

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Pebbles with her daughter, Carmen

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Andie, Bella, Gabby, and Nikola

According to Pebbles, the Whimsy Palette, a collection of 40 assorted illustrations, has helped those who use it to de-stress, relax, and be creative all at the same time. It has also kept them and their kids away from all the noise of technology.

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Check out the Facebook Page: Whimsy Palette and Instagram Page: whimsy_palette.

July 28, 2015

Alumna Tops Civil Aviation Exam

Out of the 1,078 examinees, Bettina Collantes ’09 topped the qualifying exam for Civil Aviation Officer Candidate Scholarship Program.

Read about it on Rappler and Philippine Star.