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Class 1955-56



1955—1956 (Re-Union News in progress, I need input from all my classmates)

It was snowing here in NJ when I left late Jan. The tsunami disaster in SE Asia was still being re-played in CNN but the extent of the hurricane and flooding in the Philippines would confront me later when I arrived in Nueva Vizcaya. The Palugod settled in Dupax and Bambang and these two small towns were the hardest hit area in the Philippines (yet it was not even mentioned in the news) The horror of flash flood and its sound and fury of nature were related to me by the classmates still living there. The lowland quickly submerged as rushing water came from all direction where the diminishing rainforest lost its magic. Livestock and people were lost as most of the farmland was grounded. The power of water so valuable cut the terrain like diamond tool. Trees rooted out, swept and river banks meandered completely changing the landscape. For the first time a sitting president (GMA) visited Dupax and Bambang to see the aftermath.

The other part of my vacation was to attend my 50th HS re-union in Nueva Vizcaya.

It was just a small class from a HS on top of a hill that is not longer there. We graduated in 1955-56 and the memories are misty at best.


It was fun but emotional at times. As an amateur historian, I am able to observe a few more things that may have escaped our collective experience. Every year is a year of discovery and exploration and on the middle of that decade men were no different. The first men to run a mile in less than a minute or the first man to climb Mt Everest were the news headlines of the day. Roger Bannister and Sir Hillary were making their part in history. Most of us were very oblivious to the global events while we tried to learn from this small corner of the universe. It was the final of the our formative years and we did our best, but what we studied from the school was only a very small part of what we learned from each other. We even learned from the mistake of our classmates. Those playgrounds encounters were part of a learning process.  It was all part of growing up and the commencement was a right of passage. All we had were blurry memories as we did not even have snap shots, only Kodak moments we stored selectively in our minds.


Southern Nueva Vizcaya Institute, our High school is a common denominator in our life. We were all dreamers and fitting the Platters’ great song of the period-“ I am the great pretender.” The earth has successfully traveled around the sun. I’ve traveled around the world.  Along the way, we reached several crossroads where each of us had to decide which the right road was. A few of us did not have many choices and they were never easy. Life is never fair but I’m sure that what we learned from each other had helped.


Looking back now, we might have made different choices but revisiting time is unlike revisiting places. This is a reunion and celebration. Rejoice as tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives. For whatever experiences we had, I am always proud of our class and company. It is indeed a good year and golden.


It was a good year…
The Golden Anniversary of 55-56 Class is scheduled on Feb 3-4-5 2005 weekend.  Please contact Ruben  Balut or Edith  Ordonez  Perez  of New Jersey.  In the Philippines Felicitas Rumbaua-Barasi will provide the detail.

Almost half century later, Felicitas Rumbaua (widow of Jose Barasi), Editha Ordonez Perez, and I stood behind the Statue of Liberty in Jersey City/New York. Reminding everyone that it is about that time for the Golden Anniversary of the 55-56 Class…

Agbanlog. Celestino             Amador, Saturnina

Balut, Ruben                    Balut, Estrella (Deceased)

Banaga, Virgilio                Barrouga, Leonida

Barasi, Jose                    Bautista, Lilia

Cabading, Ernesto               Bullecer, Cholita

Cabading. Roman                  Casem, Rosario       

Casem, Honesto                   Cayton, Virginia

Cayton. Rolando                 Dagdag, Elizabeth

Enriquez, Nestor                Javier, Juanita

Lagasca, Gideon                 Magpale, Rosalina (Deceased)

Magpale, Rosendo                Ordonez, Editha

Mailig, Renato                  Padua, Clarita

Saulo, Agustin                   Palugod, Nieves

Soriano, Alfredo                 Rumbaua, Felicitas

Velasco, Pedro                  Sales, Alfreda        

Vidad, Buenaventura             Somera, Florencia

Vila, Rodolfo                   Vargas, Victoria

                                      Viernes, Virginia


Let us not forget our contemporaries who walked the portion of the 4 years of high school with us. Some because of economic and other family condition were not able to complete the graduation. There were others who transferred to other school but regardless they shared our growing up process. I would like to mention few and please help me track them down:

Dominador Perdido (who transferred to Dalton High)

Rolando Palugod (transferred to Bacolod)

Policarpio (I don’t know the fist name)

I remember the first year when there were band members from Indiana who attended)