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

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