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ARTICLE (amo na ni ang correct one)


-CHRIS

The Sequel Batch 2007 Class Prophecy

CHRISTOPHER MALAGAD MILLORA


Still uninspired with anything “interesting”
“Okay! I’ll try my best. A week from now? to the human mind, I checked out
Monday? All right! I promise!” something that has captivated it: the
internet. Wow! Is this the new Yahoo!
How can’t I? My whole writing career rests Homepage? Well, it’s really cool! Since
on this phone call. That was just my editor Jingo Rodriquez, seated as the general
asking me to write a human interest story to manager of the site, all the other internet
be published in the New York Times next pages were turned obsolete! Thanks to that
month. Working with his company has been old classmate of mine, internet became
the greatest thing that happened in my more convenient. Let me see. There! Chat!
writing life. Since I worked in the United Let’s see who’s here. I waited for the site to
States as a nurse, I still continue writing show who’s online, and when it did I
stories and anecdotes and try my best to couldn’t believe what I saw.
publish them in local newspapers. One of
my articles caught Mr. Byron Calame’s eyes, “Hi Chris!” words started appearing on my
one of the columnists in the New York Matrix-inspired computer screen. Oh my
Times. Since then he has been referring me God! It’s Ace! Ace de la Cruz! Ace de la Cruz
to the Editor-in-Chief of the paper, giving is chatting? Since when did he get a social
me a chance to publish a good amount of life? First Friendster and now Chatroom?
articles. This guy must be really up to something!

Enough with my life, and on to my problem: “Oh Hi Ace! How are you! Sang san-o ka pa
“What the hell am I going to write about?” kabalo mag-chat” (though I’m in New York,
In these times of utter confusion, I would I surely can’t forget my Ilonggo words)
usually settle at a coffee shop owned by my
high school friend Paul French. He calls it “Dugay na eh! Wait ha, Ill just reply to my
the French Taste. Actually its not only a textmate. Just a minute.” Text mate? Okay,
coffee shop that he owns, it’s a whole lot of Ace is really up to something!
food chains including a bakery and a
restaurant. Paul surely has gone far since “So, Chris, are you available Friday Night?”
graduating Culinary Arts in the states.
Oh ya I almost forgot! Ace will be having his
“One Iced Mocha for Chris” announces the album launch Friday night and he wants me
waiter. Just Perfect! I told myself, the to come. After graduating in college, Ace
perfect potion for unwinding. Taking a migrated to Switzerland and won the Swiss
guilty sip from the cup, I saw the Times Idol (something like American Idol) and
magazine laid alone in the coffee table. I since then, his career blossomed, and so did
wouldn’t have read it knowing that I work his hair! From curly, he turned it super
for New York Times, but I just can’t help straight. Other details are yet to be seen.
looking at the cover! Guess what? It’s
Michael Medez! On the cover of Times “Not yet sure Ace…But I’ll try to come. Don’t
magazine? I was so astonished that my eyes want to miss my best friend’s first album
were wider than the cup on my hands. Dr. launch! I can’t wait Ace. So hows–”
Medez, a Filipino Doctor, just discovered
an all-new medicine to cure cancer. Mixing Just before I could finish typing, my phone
paracetamol with… Well, well, well, Dr. rang. I tried to ignore it but it rang
Medez is certainly making waves out there! insistently. Then, I answered.

“Hel–”
“Hello Chris?” “Wait a sec” Justine bent down and showed
me the paper. “Read his interview”
“Ya…uhmmm…hello…”
Finally! I am able to lead an army. This
“It’s a boy!” has been a long time dream. Ask my high
school friends, they were testimonies to
“Uhmmm….Who’s th–” how I transformed our classroom chalks to
missiles and pencils to M-16.
“It’s Tilos! My wife just gave birth to our “He sure still has that sense of humor”
little boy! Come here now! I want you all to Justine interrupted. “Not only that, turn the
see the baby. We’re in St. Vincent’s Hospital. second page” he continued.
Room 310. We’ll be waiting for you!” the
proud father mumbled. The headline read “Korean bags Best Player
in World Cup” and to my surprise, it was
“Sure thing Tils! I’ll be there in an hour! See Nick Lee, our Korean buddy back in High
you!” School.

----BEEEP----- I learned soccer largely during my high


school years. I remember playing soccer
The guy hung up without even saying with my friends during high school, it was
goodbye. Well, that’s a good news! I said to very fun.
myself while typing my last goodbyes to Ace,
of course, spilling to him the good news “Impressive huh?” Justine said, once again
while I finish my latte. interrupting my reading of Nick Lee’s
speech. “I’m telling you Chris, soon, our
I asked for my check and paid for the classmates will be everywhere”
heavenly drink. Tilos has a son! I still can’t
get that off my head. I promised to drop by “I think so Just” I replied with a genuine
at Justine’s place to pick up my new phone. flash of smile.
Justine has a franchise store of Sony. His
addiction to play stations when we were I then headed on to the mall to get some
high school turned into his business. stuff for the new baby.

The sun was at its peak when I finally So, I dropped by Times Square New York.
arrived at Justine’s store. I grabbed the new The place has become so innovative as time
phone and told Justine about Tilos’ good passed especially now that my former
news and my recent responsibility. Of classmate Anthony Saracho seated as the
course Justine was also full of good news! general manager of the place! I checked on
my watch and saw that it was 9:45. Well,
“Don’t you notice Chris” as Justine started Visiting Times over at St. Vincent’s until
“a lot of our classmates are gracing the 1:00. So, I took a stroll around the mall,
papers today.” checking out the fancy stores and new
restaurants.
“Oh really?” I said passively, still amazed
with the new phone I got. Right in the left wing, you can see a branch
of Cakestop, a famous Filipino-inspired cake
“Yeah! Just last week in Asian News, the store in New York. My classmate Philip
headline was shouting ‘Pinoy Soldier to Yee has been running this blooming
lead a US Navy group’ and you know who is business together with two other properties
this referring to?” since he graduated from college. Few steps
from the store you can see a big billboard of
“Nope” Franz Magbanua, the latest image model
of Lacoste. This classmate of mine has
“Ivan!” tasted the little pleasures of life aside from
being a nurse; he is also a sports enthusiast,
“Ivan?” concentrating on basketball and soccer. And
did you know what’s gracing the
“Yes. Ivan.” Justine completed with a smile, bookstores? Well, it’s the famous book of
knowing that I found his story more business and sports analyst Bernan Celis
interesting than the new phone. entitled, Dribbling your Fortune: A Guide
for Entrepreneurs and Athletes. I bought a
“Wow! Ivan!” I repeated in disbelief. copy for Tilos, I’m sure he’ll enjoy this book.
You can see, in bright neon lights the pet the list didn’t venture much outside the
store and clinic of Vet. Nachito Baylon. country. Patriot Tilos Arcenas was
I’ve heard, Paris Hilton’s dog has its weekly number one. I read on why, “Despite the
check-ups there. My old friend Nach is the crisis which struck their milling factory in
only veterinarian from our batch. Roxas City, Panay; Arcenas was able to
stand up and brought with him the
A few more wanders and I decided to eat. resurrection of their long-time family
And where? Well, to the very popular Tibs business. Arcenas’ story of riches-to-rags-
Rock Restaurant just across Times Square. to-riches surely is a great testimony of his
The restaurant became so big that its owner, well-deserved success.” The pages say it all.
Achiever Adrian Jardeleza was recently Well, I can’t help but be inspired with this
dubbed as one of the Top 20 Most guy! Oooopssss! Its 12:00. I have to go. I
Successful Filipinos of the Times Magazine, whispered to myself after paying my bill and
pretty good for this long-time bachelor. giving the waiter a nice-food-you-got-here-
and-thank-you-so-much smile, then hopped
As soon, as I entered the door of Tibs I out of the restaurant.
smelled Philippines. I was greeted by fancy-
uniformed waiters and was handed a copy of Soon after my brunch, I wanted to purchase
the menu and the December Issue of Times new baby clothes for the baby boy. I was
Magazine (where by the way, Top 20 most about to enter when I was interrupted by
Successful Filipinos was published). After another persistent ringing of my phone. I
taking the order, I browsed the magazine answered Hello.
and checked who among my classmates
made it to the list. “Hi Chris! This is Julbert! How are you?”,
answered the deep voiced man on the other
The first one I saw, number 13, was line.
journalist Nicolo Pijuan, now an associate
editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and a “Hi Julbert! Wow! Haven’t heard from you
freelance psychologist and theater actor at for so long! Kamusta?”
the same time. Number 11 was Ranil John
Bunda who is now a professional “Okay lang. Have you heard?”
basketball player and a Math teacher in La
Salle, where he graduated with honors. A “OO naman, I’m going nga there now eh!”
short view at the stained glass window and I
continued my browse with Number 10, “Talaga? Ako man!”
Frederick Ng, a car dealer and a
franchiser of Toyota Philippines, who “O! So I’ll see you there! By the way, I love
recently designed a ground breaking car the album! Tell Mark and Paul”
which encompasses style and functionality.
Number 8, of course is my friend Jefferson “Sige ah. Chris, kadto ka concert namon ha.
Magbanua, now an International Lawyer Sa ‘Pinas, sa Westbridge. Sa Foundation
and a professor of the UP Law School. Just Day. Kadto ka. Invite Everyone”
enough to make it to the Top 5 was Adrian
Jardeleza who’s famous Tibs Rock Special “Wow! Philippines! Sure! Cge. Just update
I am currently indulging. The fourth one me with the schedule! See you later, bye!”
was Marcelo Cacho. That white man is
now an Ambassador to the US and is a “Bye”
colleague of Jeff venturing on law. “His
wedding was the best wedding since Katie The “Hot Pusit Band” has gone a long way.
Holmes and Tom Cruise” says the magazine, They have been selling their new album,
referring to number three Danbee Lopez. “Myriad” in the Philippines. Its members
His wedding was so high-profile yet so are also successful in their chosen careers.
solemn. He is a proud owner of several Julbert Ian Mejica, drums, is now a
stocks in the Ayala Company and is a proud registered nurse, and has a music bar
father of two girls now in Iloilo with their somewhere in the Philippines. Mark
mother. Number two was the mysterious Alfabeto, the lead guitarist and vocals, is
Marc Tiu. He owns a power plant in the now a high-profile surgeon in the
Philippines and two other businesses in Philippines, following the footsteps of his
other countries. father.

A guilty sip from a bottle of Coke and I These success stories of my classmates took
continued on the one who topped the list. its toll that day. I never realized how
Well, what can I say? The one who topped successful they have become. I slotted in my
sim card in my new phone and browsed the and again. And when the door finally swung
few messages that my classmates sent me open I didn’t believe what I saw.
few weeks ago. If not inviting me to their
party, they text me for good news about “Marc Tiu?” I uttered with my eyes wide
their career. open and eyebrows raised.

Hi Chris! Carlo ni gali ah! I will be needing “Abi mo una ka no!? Una ko ya simo!” said
your prayers. I will perform my first Marc Tiu while ushering me inside the
operation this Sunday. Carlo Cristo room. Few steps from the door were Tilos
Alicaya is now a well-known pediatrician in and her wife. I can’t describe the smile
Iloilo City. He performed his first caesarian beaming in Tilos’ face while greeting me and
operation two weeks ago and has gone very telling me, “The baby boy is with the nurse
well. and will be here in a few minutes.”

Ei Fatty! Facky ni! Wehehehe! Grabe After a few chit-chatting with Tilos and his
nagdako na guid amon duta diri sa Passi. buddy Marc while the wife is asleep, the rest
Im planning to build a sugar plant later of the gang came pouring in. Julbert arrived,
this year. Kadto ka sa inauguration ha! I looking fit. Franz was there too, Paul,
can’t stop laughing every time I read this Adrian, Philip and the rest of the Achievers.
message. I am so glad Facky, Michael
Factora, still calls me Fatty. He never “Baby’s here” the only voice that everyone
forgets the good times. heard in a sea of chit-chats and how-do-you-
do’s. It was Tilos’ baby and everyone in that
Millora! Tope ni! I just passed the bar room had only one wish.
exam! And who can forget this text from a
great friend, Cristopher Ibero. I received The baby was given to the father, he had the
this message 3:00 o’ clock in the morning first peek. Slowly, Tilos revealed the baby’s
when I was still in Iloilo. Tope, actually Atty. face. Our hearts were pumping like crazy!
Ibero, is now a lawyer and is affiliated in a Our hands clinched tight, our eyes closed.
law firm owned by his father. Rumors have And then, the moment of truth!
it that Atty. Ibero will soon inherit the firm
and even build another one. “Yes! Wala alom sa ilong” shouted one of my
classmates in glee and the rest of us
There I was. Struggling to go to St. Vincent’s laughing hysterically.
Hospital but a faster car was traveling inside
my head: What am I going to write about? I “Mga buang gid kamo bala no! Abi niyo high
stopped for a while in a nearby church to school pa ni no! Mayo lang ka yang
pray for guidance. I took a prayer card that kagwapuhan ko naman ang namana sang
Fr. Marty Martirez gave me on his bata ko!” reacted Tilos.
ordination day. Marty has become a much
loved priest in the Philippines, helping those “Kagwapuhan man? Sin-o mas gwapo saton
who really needed his guidance. sang high school haw? Padamo-damo
miga?” retaliated Adrian who soon regained
Wow! Batch 2007 is everywhere! I told our shouts and laughter.
myself. It is in these times that I remember
Destee Calambro, one of the naughtiest “I miss our high school days guys….and
members of our high school batch. And just animals” the witty comment of Julbert while
like an ugly duckling turned into a swan, looking at me upon the mention of the word
Destee is now spearheading a charitable animals.
institution, D.A.C.S.F (Destee A. Calambro’s
Scholarship Foundation) giving full “Excuse me Jalbert! Kapila ko na ihambal
scholarship to deserving high school and simo nga indi kamo mag-upod sang ido mo
elementary students. Despite his towering nga si Bogart, you create confusion in this
riches, he still can’t forget those who are world.” I said.
financially disabled. Now, THAT, is an
interesting story. “Hahaha! But really, those times are really
good times” said Marc while wiping the
Speaking of interesting, I can’t wait to see tears in his eyes.
the baby! So, I drove to St. Vincent’s
Hospital and after a few minutes, I finally Yes Marc, it was the good times I said to
arrived at Room 310. I am filled with so myself. I thought we have forgotten. Time
much anticipation. Then, I knocked. My did pass, but our friendship didn’t. Right
heart is beating sooo fast. I knocked again then and there, the room was transformed
into our high school classroom, where
Nicolo didn’t look like an editor but acted
like a comedian, where nobody knew that
Ace would have a straight hair, where
nobody predicted that Carlo would be
slicing stomachs for a living. Back to the
place where we smile at our selves, sob at
our sorrows, rejoice at our successes, and
celebrate our friendship. Yes, time has
passed, but I was certain that they have hold
on to our friendship, hold on to it tightly.

Little time passed and the room was


vacated. Each said goodbye to everyone.
When it was my time to say my goodbye, I
gave Tilos’ a handshake, the wife a tap, and
the baby a kiss. The rest of the guys? I gave
them a ticket to my first book launching. As
I left the hospital, I knew that on my face,
was a huge smile and on my heart, a huge
fulfillment.

“Hey Chris! So? Where’s the human-interest


article?” asked Mr. Calame first time I
entered his room that Monday morning.

I didn’t reply. Instead, I placed a 4-page


article on his desk.

“The Sequel?” mockingly my editor asked


while looking at the title of the article.
“What is it all about?”

I took a deep breath and began to smile.


“Well, let’s just say, it’s about a group of
gentlemen, who conquered the world.”

***