50 years ago, High School Batch 1971 graduated from High School at the Rizal Memorial Colleges. The pandemic has been causing them to postpone plans further for their originally intended Grand Golden Anniversary Reunion. But since 2021 is their 50th anniversary year, they conducted a smaller, IATF-compliant,  “mini” reunion on December 12, 2021. And the new normal was so evident as some batchmates, including their president, Ms. Joann Carman, who was in the USA, joined them virtually via Zoom.

The Grand Golden Reunion is still happening on August 27, 2022. Meanwhile, the mini reunion and Christmas party physically attended by some 25 Rizalians gathered at a room at Bormaheco Compound, Bajada, Davao City. Ms. Vrilyn Ronulo Sagarino,  the manager who is also a batchmate,  graciously offered the use of the venue and facilities for free.  A requirement to attend the activity was to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The program started around 11:30 am with a prayer, the national anthem, and the RMC alma mater song. Ms. Fely Pogoy Lovitos introduced the invited guest, Mr. Amado S. Ancla, a High School Batch 1982 alumnus who is now working at RMC as Director of the Office of Student Services and Affairs, Director of Alumni Relations Office, and Scholarship Coordinator.

Mr. Ancla quizzed them on the name of the RMC founder. The unanimous answer was Leopoldo Abellera. And they were of course correct. Mr. Ancla proceeded in updating them about the developments at RMC.  He introduced some members of the Abellera Family who are currently holding positions in the institution:  Mr. Leo Tereso Abellera Magno, Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Evelyn Abellera Magno, President; and Mr. Lorenzo Raphael L. Magno (great grandson), Vice President for Finance.  Then, Mr. Ancla read to them the Certificate of Congratulations from the Rizal Memorial Colleges signed by Mr. Ancla and Dr. Evelyn A. Magno. The certificate congratulated them for organizing the mini reunion and recognized their loyalty to the alma mater.

Mr. Ancla also informed them about RMC’s expansion activities:  the acquisition of Rizal Special Education Learning Center (2018), the establishment of an RMC branch in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, and the on-going construction of the RMC Campus in Tagum City. He also informed them about RMC bagging the Second Place in the 2021 Licensure Examination for Teachers in the Elementary Division.  Furthermore, he mentioned to them some projects sponsored or funded by the alumni: the  RMC Hymn accompaniment with vocals (played during the party), the RMC Lupang Hinirang Project (played during the party), and scholarship sponsorships of needy students enrolled in First Semester AY 2021-2022 by alumni from USA, Australia and the Philippines.

Mr. Ancla took the opportunity to introduce one needy student in need of scholarship and  invited the batch to consider coming to his aid.

What followed Mr. Ancla’s speech was a sumptuous lunch.  Then the golden jubiliarians played parlor games and they received prizes in the equivalent of US dollars.

The High School Batch of 1971 is planning for their Grand Golden Reunion to be held in August 2022, hoping that the health protocol conditions at that time will already allow for bigger groups, as they expect batchmates from all over the world to come home for it.

After four postponements, the mini reunion finally happened on Dec 12, 2021. With the effective and generous leadership of Ms. Joann Carman, with the able assistance of Ms. Fely Lovitos and spouses Mario and Racquel de Ramos, the event became a resounding success. The program was hosted by Alice Noriega Lagman and Fely Pogoy Lovitos.

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