SPCM HS'70… the news so far
Getting on with life & still looking good!
By Louie Reyes-Pabalan, HS’70
(Source: Paulinian Alumnae Newsletter, Aug 2002. Italicized annotations, hyperlinks and captions are www.paulinians.com webnotes; photos courtesy of Chito Collins ‘70 / Rowe McGee ’81 unless otherwise indicated. Thanks! Article on Maritess Revilla is also posted in Pita’s Page. SPCM HS’70 contact persons: Emilie Simon - firstname.lastname@example.org / Corina Santos-Unson - email@example.com; Lizette Esquillo-Javier - firstname.lastname@example.org; Louie Reyes-Pabalan - email@example.com; Pilar Almira - firstname.lastname@example.org. Most Wanted!)
Silicon Valley IT exec Chito Lapiña-Collins (seated, 2nd from left) got together with batchmates during her most recent Manila visit, as always.
The members of High School Class 1970 have actively been keeping in touch with each other through quarterly get-togethers, and through the wonders of telecommunications, such as the Internet and mobile phone texting. Through the years, we have managed to compile a class directory listing all but 12 members of the class. We have also touched base with our classmates from elementary grades, such as recent visitors from the States (Bb Pilipinas ’70 first runner up) Imelda Pagaspas, Amy Cruz and Christina Alonso as well as Cecilia Lao and Julia Nievas.
We recently suffered the loss of a well-liked member, Peachy Mercado-Herrera, who succumbed from a sudden illness late last year; (she was a beloved tita of Mai-Perez-Santos ’83). Other members who have gone ahead of us are: Emma Laforteza, Iraida Arambulo-Nolasco, Socorro Capati and Agnes Lim-Yao.
We take pride in the accomplishments of the class as a whole, as career women, mothers, grandmothers, professionals, businesswomen, lay leaders and just plain citizens. Here is an update on some of the members of our exceptional class:
Emilie Simon and Lizette Esquillo-Javier, the glue that keeps our class together. Emilie is our indefatigable Internet Communications hub and Lizette is our de facto prexy.
Ricki Arches was recently appointed the CEO of McCann-Erickson Ad Agency while Elena Gamboa-Francisco, events specialist, held the successful Fete de Musique at the Fort last June. Joining them in the advertising, marketing and multimedia field are Zeny Millado-Pambuan, formerly of Channel 2, now a design specialist, and Yvonne de Paula-Camahort, a professional videographer.
Arts Council of Cebu President Petite M. Garcia hosted distinguished guests during Cine Europa 2002 opening… (Source: http://www.inq7.net )
Pinky Marquez & Sisters – on floor l-r: Marita, (Pinky HS’75), Cindy HS’74, Patricia SPCQC BS’74; on sofa l-r: Susan, Petite HS’70, Cecille SPC Pasig, Bea SPC Pasig. (Source: SPCM HS’75 Silver Jubilee Yearbook.)
We have members who are active with the Laity, such as Bernie Formoso-Cuevas, a leading member of Couples for Christ, reaching out to the poor of our society by empowering them through community development and cooperatives. Active parishioners of the Malate Catholic Church are Annie Tobias, Chairman of the Worship Committee and Dolly Santos, a regular Lector.
We have civic conscious members like (Cebu Arts Council President / Cebu City Tourism Commissioner) Petite Marquez-Garcia, a community leader in Cebu, Melissa Cabanero-Cayco, head of the NGO Program Secretariat of the City of Manila. Marilou del Rosario-Tinsay, Emilie Simon and Violy Gunabe-Roa are active members of Quota International of Manila South, an organization that serves the needs of the hearing-impaired and disadvantaged women and children. Corina Santos-Unson, the class salutatorian, is a systems consultant for several government offices. Corina was awarded a scholarship at Harvard University and spent a rewarding year in Boston with her children.
SF Bay Area’s Lapiña Sisters – (r-l) Chito Collins HS’70, Rocky Troyer HS’71 and Rowie McGee HS’81 - with Chito’s daughter Chatsie. Chito has over 25 years of hardware and software application sales experience in the Bay Area; she’s currently a consultant in wireless, ecommerce/ebusiness and niche marketplaces with Cybersource in Mountain View….. Rocky spent almost 20 years with United Airlines; she’s now retired and loves being a full-time mom and wife in Blackhawk….. Rowie is Assistant to the President and CEO of SeeCommerce in Palo Alto. She’s also a professional fitness instructor: she and her fiancé, Bay Area's favorite personal trainer / Swedish national track champ Miche Hoffer, conduct fitness bootcamps at Stanford's Cobb Track & Angell Field. Open to all levels, they also offer 1:1 physical training. Additionally, Rowie is a popular style/image consultant: she works with clients wanting to polish their personal image, or add needed look-feel to social events. For info, contact Rowe at (650) 248-9814 / email@example.com or visit Rowe and Miche’s website at http://www.MichRoFit.com.
Classmates involved in Arts and Culture are Dr. Nina Capistrano-Baker, the head of the Ayala Museum and Emma Kasilag-Ongchangco of the AFP Museum at Fort Bonifacio. Atty. Pilar Almira (Ateneo CORD consultant) is the current administrator of UST Hospital and recent visitor (Silicon Valley IT professional) Chito Lapiña-Collins, formerly connected with IBM in the States, is a computer specialist now doing consultancy.
We have educators like (Clinton IA Community School Board Vice President) Alma Abanilla-Mariano, a professor in Iowa, pre-school mentor Maribeth Ortiz, (AC San Lo Entrepreneurship Dept chair) Vikki Garalde-Orjalo who teaches at the Assumption College and Anita Tobias who teaches part-time at the International School.
Revilla Sisters Maritess, Pita HS’75 and Rossi HS’76, and friends Bettina Aboitiz, Marisette Recto, Neny Eduque, Lorna Lopez and Claudia Tambunting all visited Palo Alto CA in 2002. (Source: http://www.inq7.net )
We have physicians like Drs. Corazon Cosico-de Jesus in Canada; (Charter Hosp San Diego internist / UP Med ‘79) Corazon Bautista and class valedictorian (Harvard –trained, Boston-based physician / UP Med ’78) Vicky Lou Herrera-Ruiz in the States. We also have nurses – all graduates of SPCM College of Nursing, Corazon Guieb-Newton and O’Fe Obias-Glazier in Iowa; Bernie Formoso-Cuevas and Lou Reyes-Pabalan in the Philippines. And we have businesswomen like Julie Umale-Siapno (textiles); Belen Baes-Reyes and Emma Trinidad-Alfonso (import/export & rural banking); Benita Ting-Co (garments), Elizabeth Uy-Tiu (construction – check out the EDSA overpass); Cita Garcia-Abella (real estate); Maritess Revilla-Araneta (investments); Nora Sison-Garcia (games & amusements); Lilian Mamawal-Quiros (electronics); Marot Santisteban-Fernandez (lumber/realty/stocks); Estela Fineza-Canizares (financing & clothing) and Meg Labordo-Tan (sporting goods & imported children’s clothes); Edith Narciso (property management); Carol Topacio-Caparas (travel agency) Lulu Caguioa (business consultancy in Honolulu); Emma Barretto-Dizon, Carol Calma-Cabrido and Ver Venturanza-Verga (real estate) and Lou Reyes-Pabalan (food services). Coney Abano-Perfecto is a management trainor and HRD specialist. Though not a classmate but our homeroom teacher, Sr. Gerrie (now Miss; Ateneo CORD consultant / HR Approaches President) Baricaua, is a management trainor for big corporations, such as the Ayala Group.
A few of our classmates are ailing – Peachy Young who is undergoing treatment in the States for a debilitating ailment, Julia Francisco-Diaz is recuperating from a stroke, and Estela Fineza-Canizares who is undergoing chemotherapy.
2002: Chito at lunch with batchmates in Manila.
We follow a motto – “keep in touch”. Thus, if a classmate is troubled, we activate a prayer-text brigade. We exchange jokes, stories and news via the Internet. We celebrate each other’s birthdays through potluck get-together every quarter – and for the past six years, we have held a class Christmas party. Visiting expatriates are heartily welcomed and invited for coffee and conversation. Our class ties have always been close and they have remained so. The friendships forged in our formative years have grown stronger and constantly nurtured by technological advances in communications!
MARITES Revilla's love affair with beads began when she was a young girl waiting for her mom to come out of a beading session with an old Spanish lady, who would teach her the art and craft of beading bags.
"After school, my sister and I would pick up my mom and she would show us all these beautiful bags that she had lovingly beaded by hand," Marites recalls.
Three years ago, Marites picked up the passion for beading when Swarovski crystals first came in vogue and she found herself making bracelets and necklaces. "I set them aside when they became so common, knowing that they would one day be uso again," she says.
A little over a month ago, only daughter Bianca Araneta, a model and VJ for MTV, came up to her with a photograph of a necklace she had seen in a magazine. "She said 'Mom, look how pretty!' It was also so simple pero a hundred dollars! I told her, I can make something like that," Marites says. "So she challenged me, sige nga, do it. So I looked for the materials and after a couple of days came up with her necklace for a fraction of the price!" she laughs.
From then on, Bianca would ask Marites to create necklaces and lariats for her with matching earrings. "Creating keeps my mind off things and I really derive great satisfaction from being able to make these pieces, and seeing my daughter and my sisters wear them," she smiles.
The pieces, which Marites fashions by herself with a little help from her girl Friday Cedes, are indeed lovely, fashionable and one-of-a-kind-each with its own unique story.
"I never make identical pieces; they may look similar from afar but up close, there is always a distinct feature to it," she explains.
The jewelry has grown in popularity solely by word-of-mouth. "It's not a business, at least that's not the intention," Marites says. "I made pieces for Bianca, then I made some for my sisters, who in turn, showed them to their friends, who would then call and ask about them."
Friends would come to the house looking for pieces for sale, but Marites would have none to show. "These are all from my personal collection, but people have already been placing orders through my sister Pita (tel. 724-0773), who has been helping me cost this whole thing," she laughs.
Marites would rather concentrate on the creative process and leave the business side to Pita. "I'm very critical about the pieces I create, so it really gives me great pleasure when the people who buy these pieces are appreciative and admire them, I'm happy na."
Marites sources her materials from all over - the malls, tiangge, stuff from her own personal collection that date back to the '70s and '80s. "I like taking things apart - a belt buckle, a striking piece from an otherwise baduy necklace, things like that," she explains.
She also doesn't stick to just one texture or color. For example, she mixes wood with crystal and silver, or semi-precious stones with coral in varying hues. She also admits that she takes a liking to ethnic-looking pieces but is the first to say that they don't seem to fit her mestiza features. "When I wear them, parang hindi ko talaga ma-feel," she says. (Left: Bianca wears dark onyx and old silver, while Marites wears a soft stone.)
What started out as a hobby and mother-daughter bonding activity is now on the threshold of a flourishing business. Marites is reluctant but as the popularity of the attractive accessories continues to grow, the calls have kept on coming.
"I don't want to stress myself," she says. Yet, this month, while on a vacation with her sisters, she intends to take private lessons in San Francisco from a beads and accessories shop. She also intends to source materials for her pieces, especially clasps, while in the US.
"Now Bianca is complaining that I no longer have time to make pieces for her!" Marites says.
But Bianca's dogs -Wrinky, a pug; Berry, a shnauzer; Truffles, a cocker spaniel; and Chewy, a Westhighland terrier - have benefited from Marites' craft. "They all have necklaces, too!" Bianca shrieks as she lovingly cuddles her wards.
"Initially, I used magnets for their clasps, but the poor things would get stuck on the refrigerator, so I had to change them to metal clasps instead," Marites says. Now, that's what one would call a dog's life with style.
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