Contributed by Agnes Mendoza Gupana for Pozorrubio Online Portal and Pozorrubio Online Blog. Agnes is member of the Pozorrubio Online Team; covers North America.
By Eulogio Magno Mendoza
Bolingbrook, Illinois, U.S.A. 60440
(An Inspirational Address Delivered At The Grand Reunion Of The Pozorrubio High School Alumni Association Hosted By The PHS Alumni Association Of North America At The Gold Coast, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 24, 2007)
Distinguished Guests, Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen:
What a humbling experience for a plain Pozorrubian like me this momentous occasion brings! Forty years after this townmate of yours left the portals of Pozorrubio High School in 1967 for a promotional transfer to the Division of City Schools, Manila leading to eventual immigration to the United States of America in 1978 upon petition of our eldest son, Jonathan, himself a PHS Class 1967 alumnus, with the whole Mendoza family following suit, here I am with you tonight, along with my mentor-spouse, to rekindle and revisit the golden memories of the years gone by.
Indeed, with the advent of the Internet Age, the time has come for us to foster and reinculcate the good old family values that have been passed on to us by our predecessors, values that we are duty-bound to nurture, such as the values of solidarity, unity, togetherness, and brotherly love in the family and among neighbors.
With the world at our fingertips as a result of the amazing Internet, we are now closer than ever as an alumni group here in America as evidenced by tonight’s Grand Reunion here in Las Vegas, Nevada. Without the family value of reunion, we will not be here reminiscing our good old days at Pozorrubio High School or our sweet nostalgic days in our beloved Pozorrubio, “The Town Of The Red Well.”
Another family value that has to be exuded by us is gratitude not only to our parents and forebears but also to our hometown in the Philippines. In this vein, the Internet can ignite the sparkplug of progress, peace and prosperity in Pozorrubio by pooling together our resources in a real, honest-to-goodness movement of “Giving Back To Pozorrubio” to make it stand tall among the thriving towns of Pangasinan. Yes, the call of the hour is “Bayanihan” through generosity, cooperation, and sacrifice!
To us here in America, there is an urgent need to inculcate the traditional; family values of respect for elders, such as the kissing of hands of elders by the young ones, words of respect for elders and politeness in e-mail and computer Internet messaging. It is our view that these cultural values should remain with us anywhere we are and wherever we may be in this Age of the Intenet.
Yes, we must practice hospitality, one of our most famous cultural traits, not the lavish and ostentatious way but in moderation and in conformity with the times we live in and our way of life.
My friends, the impact of the Internet on our family values has gone a long way. It is up to us, however, to keep our own families, our children, and our children’s children toe the line here in the United States and in the homeland some ten thousand miles away. Yes, we must act now . . . tomorrow may be too late!
Some four decades ago, I was your mentor, your adviser, your Assistant Principal your guiding hand if you may on your way to success. Tonight, I am proud to say that you are now full-fledged members of “Successland” in your chosen fields of endeavor. Congratulations to you all! May you move on to attain your cherished dreams! We salute you all!
Tonight, I come to you all as a fellow Pozorrubian and as a former mentor of Pozorrubio High School, the school that deeply nurtured your minds and hearts as you embarked on your respective journeys through life in pursuit of your noble dreams . . . dreams that have now become a reality with your evident successes! How sweet it is to note that the classroom and Journalism lessons, the operettas and the dramas, and yes, the school paper and the elocution contests all have played a vital part in your formation as well-rounded successful citizens in our society. Indeed, as I gaze at the myriad of faces gathered in the Grand Reunion here in Las Vegas, exuberant pride emanates from the heart of a former teacher to see his students attain resounding success!
Fellow Pozorrubians, as we tread our way to achievement, may we pause and ponder on “The Seven Bridges To Success,” to wit:
Spirituality – requires full trust in God.
Unity – requires solidarity with fellowmen.
Cooperation – requires prevalence of Bayanihan.
Conduct – requires love, faith, hope, charity and sacrifice.
Enterprise – requires resourcefulness, perseverance and hard work. Simplicity – requires humility and modesty amid success.
Sincerity – requires integrity, honesty, valor and generosity.
That being said, we urge all Pozorrubio High School alumni, their families and friends, to join hands and bond together in a “Give Back to Dear PHS Movement” which we are launching tonight at this reunion, along with the energetic Managing Committees.
Since the movement calls for fundraising to further improve the growing Pozorrubio High School (now Benigno V. Aldana National High School), the Host Committee is embarking on a “Give PHS Get Yearbook” Award Program starting this evening. The bookbound yearbook, as you know, is the product of the Internet Age coupled with the outstanding efforts of the editor, Lucrea Olarte Vinluan-Dayrit, the Editorial Staff and the printer of this first-ever alumniana book in the history of Pozorrubio, from whose bosom have sprung notable men and women of today.
To set the ball rolling in “Give Back to Pozorrubio High School Drive,” we are giving tonight our modest financial donation, in behalf of our son, Jonathan, and our daughter, Agnes, both PHS alumni, as a sign of gratitude for all Pozorrubio High School has done for us and our family. It is our sincere hope that all the officers and members of Pozorrubio High School Alumni Association of North America as well as the Pozorrubio High School Alumni Association in the homeland will follow suit. “Give back to PHS now! Pozorrubio High is counting on you!
To the organizers and working committees of this Grand Reunion, and to the officers and members of PHSAANA, congratulations for a job well done! Ditto with those who put out the first-ever hardcover PHSAANA Yearbook – a memorabilia for the ages! Great job!
The time has come for us to act in unison! YES, we should heed the call of the hour – the challenge of the times – that of exuding the debt of gratitude to our Alma Mater and our teachers by “Giving Back to PHS” now! In the same vein that mountains come from the molehills, the donation, meager as it may be, will go a long way in helping our good old Pozorrubio High (now BVANHS) become a vibrant school community where we once spent dreaming dreams during our youthful years. We should pitch in and give now our fair share in the PHSAANA project not only for us but also for generations yet to come.
God bless us all and our families! Remember, once a Pozorrubian, always a Pozorrubian! Yes, we are the alumni of dear Pozorrubio High School – to us PHS forever! Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you!
Eul M. Mendoza
November 24, 2007