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March 2008 Steering Committee Daisy Barawidan Lala David Sherry David Marita Legaspi Cecile Lowlicht Mike Palileo Emma Villa-Real
Easter Greetings, SSC East Coast Alumnae!
SSC Alumnae Homecoming – February 10, 2008
Golden Girls in the U.S.
SSC HS Class of 1958 celebrated their golden anniversary at the Alumnae Homecoming in Manila. In this issue we commemorate their 50th anniversary by featuring five Golden Girls residing in the East Coast. Sylvia Cornista-Leonard and her French husband JeanMarie Leonard got married in 1971 and have one daughter Lisa Marie-Sylvie, married to Billy Lee. Armed with a Business Administration degree, Sylvia left Manila for New York City in 1967 and that same year joined the United Nations. She really must have enjoyed working at the U.N. because she stayed there until her retirement in 2001. Before she retired from the U.N. she was Procurement Officer and then Assistant Management Officer. Now retired Sylvia spends most of her time traveling and doing volunteer work at a nursing home. Linda Yu-Walker left Manila for New York in 1968. After earning an MBA at New York University, she got married in 1972. She started working that same year for a Chicago bank. She then became VP in Global Corporate Banking in New York, handling mostly entertainment and media companies such as Columbia Pictures, Warner Communications, CBS, and Paramount. Linda rose to the position of Chief of Staff of a $2.5 billion department in 1988. In 1991 she was diagnosed with systemic lupus, a chronic illness of the immune system. Living with illness has been difficult, but now, she writes, she spends retirement enjoying life with her husband, family, and good friends. Marina Uy-Boma got married in 1970 to Leonard Boma, a U.S. citizen of Tanzanian ancestry. She earned her BS degree from SSC major in Math and then worked for SSC high school principal (later College President) Sr. Josefina Nepomuceno. After taking math and statistics courses at U.P. she taught math at SSC (College dept) then left for the U.S. to study at the State University of Iowa, getting an MS in Statistics in 1988. Marina worked for New York Life Insurance Company in New York, later becoming a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. She became Corporate VP and Actuary until she retired in 2000.
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Communications Committee Rotating Editors Rose Constantino Gilda Fule-Prael Yvette Jarencio Sylvia C.Leonard Salve Neelankavil Ronie Nieva Giocky Oca Mike Palileo Lulut Valte
SSC High School Class of 1983—the Silver Jubilarians of 2008—hosted this year’s Alumnae Homecoming event on February 10 with a fastpaced show titled DiSCHO Fever. Serving as host was TV anchor Paolo Bediones. However, mainly responsible for the never-ending squeals and shrieks of St Scho alumnae, enough to shatter St. Cecilia’s glass chandeliers, was the appearance of pop singer Gary Valenciano who surprised alumnae and guests alike with surprise numbers, making balik-Blue Sapphire Monina Ocampo-de Jesus (HS ’63) wax nostalgic and turn to Sapphire classmate Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz saying: "I’m soooooooooo proud to be a Scholastican!" About their own (HS 63) (45 years after high school) class offering, Neni (modestly) relates: “Well, the HS 63 Sapphires pulled it off again, and this is the most economical we have gone as yet! Of course, we stood out in our attire (blue jeans, white tops with Yvette Jarencio's sapphire bling blings) and in our choice of number – cool number, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”, an 80’s song without the disco frenzy. Mrs. Teresa Feria Nieva (HS 39) thought it was the best, and Ditas Rivera (HS 58) said it was so creative! “The best thing is that we all had fun getting together and practicing despite the very erratic and spotty attendance. We were only complete on Saturday, so it was great that the baliks' cuchinillo dinner climaxed that final rehearsal day. Special guest was Linda Gonda-Raezer's Mike—you may have seen his picture with the tray on which the 21day old suckling pig (cochino) lay, before the feasting began. According to Meiling ParedesSicam, the supreme test of our act, being no-fuss and worry-free, was that first-timers at our Saturday general rehearsal had no trouble catching on. Actual Sapphire headcount was 17, which included Linda Gonda-Raezer, Marisa Chikiamco, Daisy Barawidan-Lizaso, Elsa Lava-Mapua, Marilen Arellano-Magsaysay, Monina Ocampo-De Jesus, Meiling Paredes-Sicam, Mila Magpayo-Medina, Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, Nori de Guzman-Deus, Rosemary Pena-Blancaflor, Jo Soto, Jojo PalileoSangalang, Tillit laO-Inoturan, Nori de GuzmanDeus, Milou Locsin-Einsiedel and Pinky Fernandez. Special thanks to Marisa, Elsa, Lillian Ang-Soriano, Meiling, and Neni—collectively, the spirit behind this year’s presentation!
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Golden Girls in the U.S.
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Pope Benedict's 2008 U.S. Visit
Visit includes DC, Baltimore, and New York
CNN reports that Pope Benedict XVI will visit the United States from April 15 to 20. Pope Benedict XVI will make his first visit to the United States as Pontiff and plans to visit the White House and Ground Zero and speak at the United Nations, the Vatican's ambassador said Monday. Benedict will travel to Washington and New York from April 15 to 20, speak at the United Nations on April 18, and visit Ground Zero on the final day of his trip, Archbishop Pietro Sambi said. The Pope will visit the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York to show "solidarity with those who have died, with their families, and with all those who wish an end of violence and the search of peace," Sambi said. The visit will take place on the third anniversary of Benedict's election to succeed Pope John Paul II, who died in April 2005. A welcome reception for Pope Benedict will be held at the White House on April 16. The pontiff will celebrate two public Masses, first at the new National Stadium in Washington on April 17, and again at Yankee Stadium on April 20. Other blogs report: This first visit of Pope Benedict to the United States will occur during the week which includes his 81st birthday and the third anniversary of his elevation to the Chair of Peter. The representative of the Holy See confirmed as well that the date was specifically chosen to commemorate the elevation of Baltimore, the host City of this years’ Bishops conference, to the arch episcopal rank. He added that it was also to remember the erection of the Dioceses of Philadelphia, New York, Bardstown, and Boston. The Nuncio said that Pope Benedict will issue an evangelical and pastoral call to fallen away and non-practicing Catholics to return to the life and Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict will visit the campus of the Catholic University of America which is home to the Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. In that magnificent Church he will address all of the Catholic Bishops of the United States together. The Washington events will include a White House reception, a meeting with the Nation’s Bishops, an outdoor Mass at the Washington National Stadium, and a visit to the Catholic University of America. Pope Benedict will travel to New York on April 18. There he will address the United Nations and later participate in an ecumenical prayer service. The next morning he will preside at a special Mass for clergy and religious which will take place at St Patrick's Cathedral. Following Mass he will address a youth rally at St Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie. After a visit to Ground Zero, he will conclude with a closing liturgy held at Yankee Stadium.
Vivian Isorena-Natividad married Benedicto Natividad in 1964 and is blessed with four children (2 girls and 2 boys). Vivian studied at the College of the Holy Spirit (then Holy Ghost College) where she got both her BS Chemistry degree (1962) and MS Chemistry degree. She taught at the Maryknoll Fathers High School for three years then transferred to PWU where she taught Chemistry. She relocated to the U.S. in 1974 and worked for Shell Oil Co. as senior lab technician/foreman until her retirement in 2001. Vera Rogulsky, also presently retired, is busier than ever working as a volunteer for her parish church and a local hospice, and busy with her hobby working with gemstones and beads. She couldn’t make it to SSC’s alumnae homecoming but congratulates all her Golden ’58 classmates: “Congrats to all of us!” she writes happily. [Survey compiled by Sylvia Cornista-Leonard] *****************************
The stage DiSCHO Fever
Dateline Manila: …
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“Before our number began, flashed on the screen were the photos of Sr Sylvester Marpa - solo and with the class. Built into our number was the tribute to her and the initial gift of a Scholarship Fund in her name. “Today is the first day of preparations for the gold rush in 2013.”
Guest contributor: Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz
Blue Sapphires showing off their blings
The Pope is coming!!! Rosary bracelets. Proceeds go to SSC’s Sr. Mary Sylvester Marpa Scholarship Fund
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Will ship via first class mail 3 for US$10.00 .
Daisy with mentor-nuns Mary Vincent, Asuncion, and others.
Shy Wings and … words, words, words
FEATURE ARTICLE My Life in the States, My Life in the Philippines
By Mike Palileo Last Saturday I came back to New York from a two-week vacation in the Philippines. My mother, who had turned 85 in January, was celebrating her birthday and all of us from the States went home to celebrate with her. It’s a promise we made when our parents turned 80. Each year after 80 we promised we would come home because “Each year after 80 is a bonus.” Hence, my older sister’s warning to her boss in Seattle: “While both my parents are alive, you will get two requests for leave from me!” What struck me as simply amazing was that on her birthday, which this year fell on a weekday, everyone took the day off from work and school to attend her luncheon in Tagaytay. Of our 25 family members each child and grandchild was absent from work and school. One can only attribute this love and fidelity to the power of a mother, which seems to reign supreme over any other power in the Philippines. This past weekend I did my customary Proustian exercise of turning my memories over in my mind. I recalled all the special events of my trip. In the wee hours of the morning in January, I arrived at Manila airport, overjoyed by the sight of my brother, nephew, and niece, and giddy by surprise at having been given a courtesy upgrade to business class from New York. Back home in Magallanes my parents, both roused from sleep, set out favorite dishes that I had requested on the dining table (remember I arrived at midnight). The big welcome meal came the next day, Sunday, at lunch which included every dish I had missed for the past year (molo, pochero, fresh lumpia, pork barbecue, to name a few). That meal was the first of many. I was served my favorite dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Just a small example: I asked for longaniza for breakfast, and every day for breakfast I had a different variety of longaniza, from Kapampangan to Ilocano to Ilonggo. It was enough spoiling to make one weep. Not only my family but also my friends spoiled me: with food, with hours spent together talking and walking and shopping and eating, with calls and gifts and laughter. I could feel my heart bursting with joy. I woke up eager to greet each new day and fell asleep each night, content with the blessings of the day. What had I done to deserve such happiness? How did I, so unworthy, deserve those blessings? Later I asked those questions to a priest, who answered me confidently, “Someone who is close to God is praying for you. Maybe your mother.” I fast-forward to the day of my return to New York. Bitter Arctic winds greeted me at noon in February as I ran to a yellow medallion taxicab. (It was minus 11 Fahrenheit). There were no nephews, nieces, brother, or driver to greet me at Kennedy. But I was happy to have arrived and eager to see my apartment again. When I opened the door to my apartment in Queens, I said aloud to myself: “My home. My life.” And smiling I added, “Welcome home, Mike.”
These photos were taken in Punta Fuego (Batangas) with my sister Jojo in a hammock on the one hand, and my niece and grandnephew by the South China Sea on the other! ___________________________________
"Easter, Spring, New Life, New Beginnings."
A group of alumnae from St. Scholastica’s, La Salle, and Assumption, along with members of the Legion of Mary New York, has organized a spring retreat titled “Contemplation for the Ordinary (a Marian Devotion)” with retreat master Fr. Odon de Castro, the spiritual director of Caryana, a lay Benedictine monastery in Pampanga, the Philippines. Slated for Saturday, May 3, 2008, the Day of Recollection will be held at the Church of Saint Agnes on 43rd Street and Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan. Fr. Odon, a popular retreat master in the Philippines, is giving a series of retreats in the U.S. in April and May. The spring retreat in New York is the only one he is giving in the East Coast. He agreed to come to New York in response to a request by East Coast alumnae for a day of contemplation following this year’s celebration of Holy Week and Easter. The one-day recollection will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m. The first meditation will start at 10 a.m. There will be a Mass in the upper church at 12:15 in celebration of the first Saturday in May. Anticipated Mass will be celebrated again in the upper church at 5:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be served during registration. Participants are invited to bring their own brown bag lunch. For further information, please send an email to our St Scho yahoogroup website at email@example.com with subject line: Spring retreat - Attn: Blanca Oca-Pertierra or Charisse Oca. To pre-register, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call evenings at (718) 706-9586. A donation of $15 to pay for the venue and refreshments may be given on the day of the retreat. So save the date! SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2008.
EASTER IN THE PHILIPPINES On Easter Sunday (March 23, 2008), Easter bonnets and egg hunts and bunnies will dominate the US scene. In New York City "paraders" will wander along Fifth Avenue from 49th to 57th Streets. Traditionally the Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival run from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Filipinos in the U.S. look forward to Easter egg hunts for the children and an Easter parade for single sophisticates. They remember vaguely that back home they have a different Spanish-influenced cultural spin to Easter celebrations. Manila becomes a ghost town at Semana Santa. Holy Week is characterized by a movement of the city population to hometowns, focusing on the decoration of flower-draped processional carts called carrozas, which carry full-size religious characters in town parades. Like their Spanish counterparts Filipinos weave decorative patterns using palm fronds on Palm Sunday. On Holy Thursday and Good Friday religious processions fill the streets, and reenactments recalling the life and death of Christ take place in churches. Visita Iglesia is a popular custom on Holy Thursday. The Easter salubong is the early dawn procession of the Resurrection with choirs of angels sitting atop a makeshift structure, stopping at the intersection fronting the mayor’s house to re-enact the angels’ removal of Mary’s mourning veil. These past two decades it seems Holy Week in the Philippines has been accentuated by trips to Baguio (or Hongkong), beach resorts like Boracay and Punta, migrations similar to All Saints’ Day in November. But transplanted Pinoys remember their youth and their Holy Week in the Philippines as a “retreat” from worldliness to relive the Passion of Christ in the festivals observed in their parishes, with the parade of the images of the actors of the original Passion. In Marinduque, Filipinos wear Roman legionnaire masks and re-enact the "legend of Longinus" (according to St. John) during their annual Easter pageant. Citizens of San Pedro, Laguna celebrate Easter with a grand parade filled with colorful tribal floats and street dancing. In some areas, especially in the provinces of Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas, and Bicol, penitents carry out the rite of flagellation by removing their clothes down to the waist and striking their backs with ropes or burillo whips until their skin becomes raw. Some allow themselves to be crucified and are nailed to large wooden crosses. Indeed, Easter in the Philippines is a phenomenal celebration. Outsiders are sure to return home with a deeper sense of appreciation for the predominantly Christian country, whose proud religious beliefs run deep. Maligayang pasko ng pagkabuhay! Happy Easter!
BACALAO FOR EASTER It was not until I visited Spain that I experienced the full glory of salt cod, particularly in a sublime Basque preparation called bacalao al pil pil: The fish, soft and pillowy, swims in a bed of creamy, golden sauce. Later, when I dared to try cooking it, I discovered there is no cream in the sauce. It is, instead, an emulsion of olive oil and the juices emanating from the fish as it cooks, ever so slowly, in a pan that is shaken by hand for 20 minutes or more. (The name comes from the Basque pilpiliar, ''to shake.'') Later I learned the secrets of making it from chef Jaime Pérez, 72, who was born in a town near Bilbao. Pérez begins with salt cod loin from Norway (''The best comes from Scandinavia,'' he says, echoing age-old wisdom) and soaks it for 36 to 48 hours, changing the water frequently. He cooks garlic cloves slowly in extra-virgin olive oil to flavor it, then discards the garlic. He pours the oil into a clay pot and heats it on the stove. He puts the cod in the oil, and for half an hour moves the pot up and down while the fish releases its juices. If the sauce is too thick, he adds a few drops of water. Finally, he removes the pot from the fire, but keeps shaking it while the fish and the sauce finish cooking. ''Clay takes a long time to heat, but also a long time to cool down,'' Pérez explains. His pil pil turns out beautifully, as does his bacalao a la vizcaina. Pérez uses tomatoes in his sauce rather than the traditional pimientos choriceros, a mild Spanish chile he says he cannot get here. The Basques mastered salt-cod cookery because they dominated the cod trade from the 11th to the 16th century—an epic story Mark Kurlansky tells in his award-winning book, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (Walker, 1997). For a wealth of salt-cod recipes, however, no one can beat their chief competitors on the Grand Banks, the Portuguese. Portuguese restaurants offer such classics as reconstituted loin of cod, grilled and served with a sauce of oil, parsley and garlic, a dish of austere simplicity. Other cod dishes revel in excess— potatoes, egg, cream sauces, mayonnaise, the works. So why not try cooking Bacalao a la pil pil this Good Friday or Easter Sunday, using Jaime Perez’s recipe above? Your family will love it. Enjoy and “Buen provecho!”
Pergola e-Dyaryo is a publication of St. Scholastica’s Alumnae Association - East Coast 4
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