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Poveda: ‘Vamos a celebrar’ |


Poveda: ‘Vamos a celebrar’

PERSONAL CHOICE - Frannie Jacinto - The Philippine Star
Poveda: âVamos a celebrarâ
A successful Poveda homecoming celebration to mark Poveda’s 64th year in Philippine education

With several dozen students in 1960, Institucion Teresiana (now St. Pedro Poveda College) was hardly known — a pink building amid talahib grass on Highway 54 (now EDSA) that many thought was a hospital rather than a school.

Joining Grade 4 in 1961, my whole class comprised of eight to 10 students with Chuchi Pacia and Srta. Maruxa Pita, who would be our almost constant teachers from grade school all the way to high school. While the other convent schoolgirls were restricted from wearing sleeveless blouses or take ballet lessons, we never felt any pressure as the Teresianas were more modern in their outlook and style. Individual choices within correct and modest boundaries were up to the parents and students.

Neighboring La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) helped improve Institucion Teresiana’s student population under Christian brother principal, Bro. Alphonse Bloemen. At that time, LSGH started with Grade 1, so he would suggest to the parents that their sons go nearby for kinder and prep classes to prepare them for the “big boys” school. Among the males who started their education in Teresiana for prep were President Noynoy Aquino, President Bongbong Marcos, Ricky Razon (their sisters were already in Teresiana), Mar Roxas and Edu Manzano. They were ensured that these boys coming from Teresiana would be automatically accepted without taking the entrance test.

Shirley Halili Cruz School of Ballet students perform during the event.

According to the older teachers, no one can outdo the naughty pranks of then little Ricky Razon, who would cut the hair of his female prep classmates while they were quietly seated in front of his desk doing their schoolwork.

Sixty-four years later, St. Pedro Poveda College has grown to be one of the prime girls’ schools with over 2,300 students. This year’s “Vamos A Celebrar” jubilee organized by 1999 members Gel Bugayong, Michaela Tan, Pia de Leon, Kitty Ferreira and Tina de Vera united various hermanas and successfully raised P2.3 million for alumnae projects and beneficiaries.

Former 1998 champions of the J&J Inter-school Cheerleading Competition Nikki Bugia, Pia Martinez, Carmen Segura, Anna Bueno, Nadine Cuevas, Kat Wenceslao, Pattie Poniente and Kyla Rivera were the most applauded with their spectacular high jumps, somersaults and tumbling moves that proved that they are still champions in 2024.

Since our class 1969 was considered a special guest that evening (having graduated 55 years ago), the alumnae organizers requested that my Atenean husband, RJ Jacinto, perform with a couple of his snappy songs to the delight of the younger crowd.

Psychedelic dancers: Chiqui Lara, Corito Sison, Lulu Cinco, Gil Picache, Vikki Mauricio, Carl Borromeo, Nini Jumalon with their 1974 batchmates

Rosa Basas, the former dynamic principal and current Poveda College president, reminisced how she first started: “As a fresh graduate from college and coming from Iloilo, it was a real challenge to teach girls bigger than I was.  Though my English was grammatically correct, I had an Ilonggo accent. Even if I was only five years older than my students, they did not make life difficult for me. Modesty aside, I got them interested in Biology and we became good friends. In fact, we are barkada until now. This homecoming is a meaningful occasion of remembering — a return to the beginnings, a time to recount the many inspirations that gave wings to your dreams and strengthened your roots. It revives the sense of pride and honor of being hermanas.”

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