Tacloban City has become a reunion destination of all sorts. Call it summer reunion, high school reunion, family reunion, clan reunion, lovers’ reunion, etc. A very special time to celebrate and reminisce with hundreds of fellow alumni coming from different schools and universities.
The Tacloban City Fiesta of June 30 is the perfect time to remember and reconnect. Describe reunions as pro-school/university, pro-family, pro-Tacloban, pro-Sto. Nino or pro-religious, the message is clear that we wish to be one with one/group or another. This has become institutionalized notwithstanding the closure of the Divine Word University, its alumni steadfastly clings to her. A break from realities, reunions are but part and parcel of every sentimental alumni whose dreams and nostalgia reside and are often forgotten or glossed over in later recounts.
Sometimes meeting friends can be tiring, and although you are excited to do it, you are in many ways glad when it is over. We as humans crave for recognition and support groups and being somewhere, where at least on the surface you fit in and where you can understand processes – internal and external and what is happening should not be under estimated. Reunion is this place for us.
Reunion is in many ways similar to a lost friend – who keeps our secret well. When we interface our stories and possibilities about leaving our jobs and travel in some place that will transform and change one. But reunions are the immediate travels we can so afford – after which one only to find that when we got home life quickly returns to normal and those changes were quickly forgotten and passed over for every day routine as he was sucked back up into society.
This year’s reunion is unforgettable. I will don an emerald green lace dress worn by Grandmother(GM) Paulita sixty-two years ago. The same vintage dress she wore during the Japanese time, though silver fishes rested on its embroidered lace yet I do not mind at all. Sister Martha is luckier. The copper, gold and silver gown perfectly fits her. While we squeezed in with fun and excitement from one gown to another, 85- year old Mama gazed at us in trepidation and was transported back six decades ago recalling the tales attached to each magical gown.
Hence, I want to be both optimistic and realistic. I forget that there are millions of people out there whose concept of daily life is completely unfamiliar to my own. This year gives me the opportunity to separate out what my assumptions are from what is actually the case. I will make decisions on what is best for me without pressure of family and friends expectations and beliefs that are not necessarily in my best interest. It will also give me a chance to discover options that I had never before conceived.
On the flip side, my lesson from our reunion, is that although we spend a lot of time complaining about how our daily lives are stopping us from living our dreams, we often ignore to appreciate the daily grind. We need to remember that the grass is not greener on the other side, everything has its pro’s and con’s. All the aggravations of daily life still come with you when you jump ship. So separate out what is a part of life wherever you are, and what is a part of your life only because of your current circumstances. These are the things that will make this year’s reunion an expedition, an opportunity to catalyze change in my way of thinking about my own life, what I want to get out of it and how I plan to go about it.
By: Dr. Nila L. Filamor
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