Childhood friends. School friends. Classmates. Barkada. Chums. Best friends.
These are the people we grew up with, who have had significant influences on our tastes, habits, and choices. From them, we learned first-hand what it takes to make a friend and what it takes to be a friend. Each friendship gives us a slightly different perspective and brings something new to our lives. And just as our friends help mold us, we help mold them as well.
Our parents chose our school for a reason. The school we grew up in provided us with a strong foundation for a strong academic mind and strong character, placed in the context of love of God and social responsibility.
We always managed to find time to hang out with our friends and enjoy each other’s company.
Group projects taught us the value of leadership, shared responsibility, and camaraderie.
Group projects were not just limited to the classroom. Stella Maris provided us with many avenues to share our resources and talents with others … Girl Scouts … sodality … class Christmas food drives … newspaper drives for the missions. Then we got to work with some of our neighbors, talk with them, and try to find some way to help.
Performing on stage — whether it be in the auditorium, the classroom, or an impromptu spot somewhere on campus — was part of life. It helped grow social graces. It was fun. And it was a chance to get away from class.
You could always count on a great theatrical performance from the drama club.
Soccer was our favorite sport. It was soccer baseball, not soccer football, the kind played in South America and Europe. But we didn’t need to make that distinction. We played it since grade school and we were really good at it.
We learned softball in our sophomore year, but it wasn’t really a “hit” with us (pun intended). In our junior year, we were introduced to volleyball, which we continued to play in our senior year. We played both Asian volleyball (nine-person team, fixed positions) and International volleyball (six-person team, rotating positions).
Of course, our annual Intramurals were something we looked forward to and it was a chance to win (or reclaim) that coveted banner and trophy.
Western movies and TV shows portray high school kids in stereotypical “cliques.” Among other things, there are the “nerds” — typically socially awkward and smart but unattractive — and the “cheerleaders” — typically socially confident and attractive but not smart. That was not the case with us. We could be pretty AND smart. And you know what? We still are!
We still met up socially outside of school hours. Sometimes on campus …
… and sometimes off campus …
Looking back, almost half a century later, we realize how fortunate we are to have each other.
Friendships come in all sorts of forms. If you’re lucky, you have a “Soulmate Friend,” your closest, most trusted friend, the one you can confide in and who always “has your back.” You have “Posse Friends,” the ones you hang out with, who will go to bat for you, and who totally “get you.” As we grow older, we realize that classmates we once only thought of as acquaintances or casual friends can sometimes turn out to be our biggest cheerleaers. We realize that friendships transcend time and distance and last a lifetime.
Each friendship offers something totally unique — and irreplaceable. Each friendship ultimately makes us who we are.
A lifetime of memories, a treasure trove of mentors and friends!