“Malabon Normal School for 27 years. Maryknoll College for 36. Miriam College for 29 years and counting. From the first alumna to the youngest student today, a common thread sews us together; the same spirit and core values imbibed by all. All students of Maryknoll. All daughters of Miriam, our Mother. We are all Galing (excellence) MC. We are all Galing (from) MC.”
With those words, Maryknoll/Miriam College Alumni Association (MMCAA) Chair Elaine Urbano opened the 2018 Maryknoll/Miriam College Grand Alumni Homecoming, an event that showcased the heart, passion, and pizzaz of its jubilee celebrants, made even more impactful by the seamless production and a dazzling stage.
Double meaning, double treat!
This year’s event was hosted by the 2018 Silver Jubilarians, High School Class of 1993, the first full-graduates of Miriam College High School (MCHS). Their brilliant theme “GalingMC” carried a double meaning (galing as in MC excellence, and galing as in ‘coming from MC’) and promised a double treat. From the nostalgic opening number that featured current Miriam College students and members of the MMCAA walking through the hallways of the school, to the joyful community singing of the alma mater song at the end, the theme was reinforced throughout and the message clear: the spirit of Maryknoll/Miriam burns strong and bright among the Maryknoll alumnae as well as among the younger Miriam College graduates and students.
“When we entered the newly-renamed Miriam College as high school freshmen in 1989, the common sentiment was that the school was no longer the same… and we carried that with us,” shared Carla Villanueva-Yaptinchay, head of the Homecoming Committee of MCHS 1993 and Trustee of the MMCAA. “Even when Miriam College came into its own later on, for us early Miriam alumnae, there was always that divide and we hesitated to call ourselves Maryknollers. However, with the homecoming looming, we realized that, after us, all new jubilarians would be from Miriam College. As the first batch, we wanted to shatter any leftover misconceptions and break down walls, both real and imagined, especially those in our hearts.”
With this objective, the host batch presented an event celebrating excellence of both Maryknoll alumnae and Miriam alumnae and students. At the Eucharistic celebration led by Fr. Johnny Go, SJ, the Miriam College Middle School (MCMS) Chorus lent their angelic voices to a solemn and meaningful Mass served by representatives of Jubilarian batches. The young girls of the Miriam College Lower School (MCLS) Pep Squad charmed the crowd with their pre-opening performance; the world-class MCHS Glee Club led the National Anthem and prayer hymn; and the MCHS’s Sayawatha blew everyone away with their synchronized and dynamic performance. Even the program’s Voice-Over is a Miriam alumnae and current MCLS teacher.
2 BOT members, 3 MC presidents, 13 Triple As, one big event
Continuing on the GalingMC theme, MMCAA President Marge Tirona-Ducusin took guests through the accomplishments of the organization, including the successful “Love, Basil” concert and the first-ever “BBrave Swim and Run for Fun” aquathlon held on campus. She called on the MMCAA Board of Trustees and acknowledged the special guests of the night: two ex-Presidents of the school, Dr. Loreta Castro (Class Col 68) and Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan (Class HS ‘58), and the chair of the MC Board of Trustees (BOT), Josefina Tan.
MC President Dr. Rosario O. Lapus also gave her GalingMC remarks and showed a video that summarized the developments and accomplishments of the school, including being given the Dep-Ed, Bayan Academy & ABS-CBN/REX Bookstore’s Most Transformative School Award, and the new school site to be built in Porac, Pampanga. She also acknowledged the presence of the Maryknoll Sisters and mentioned the fact that she and her predecessors, Dr. Loreta Castro and Dr. Patricia Licuanan, as well as MC BOT Vice-Chair Edith Alcantara and trustee Lullah del Rosario, were all 2018 jubilarians.
A highlight of the event was the 2018 Amazing Alumni Achiever Awardees, where 13 outstanding alumna were honored. They are: Dianne B. Salazar (SAID 2003 and MAE 2017); Ephigenie Banaynal-Dela Cruz (GS 89 and HS 93); Dr. Renee Vina G. Sicam (HS 93); Aileen Ruiz-Zarate (GS 89 and HS 93); Pia Nazareno Acevedo (HS 92); Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin (GS 83 and HS 87); Violeta Oliva-Alipe (GS 70 and HS 74); Dr. Corazon B. Geraldez Logarta (HS 73); Dr. Carmen Dominguez-Rafer (GS 69 and HS 73); Elizabeth U. Quirino-Lahoz (Coll 73); Ma. Dolores Marfori Tanseco-Del Rosario (GS64 and HS 68); Delicia Rigoroso Alfelor-Tibi (Coll 68); and Dr. Norma Calderon-Panahon (HS 59 and Coll 63).
Stars of the night
The brightest stars of the night were the 10 jubilee celebrant batches who gave their all for their performances. They also readily supported the host batch’s theme GalingMC through donations to the school and its advocacies. Their monikers showcased their fiery and fun Maryknoll spirits: HS68 Hearts of Gold, Coll68 Golden Givers, HS 73 Sparkling Sapphires, Coll73 Shining, Shimmering, Splendid Sapphires, HS78 Rubies on Fire, Coll78 Rocking Rubies, HS83 True Corals, HS88 Priceless Pearls, HS58 Diamonds Are Forever, and the hosts, HS93 Silver Belles.
The Silver Jubilarians ended the show with a second performance that was a true GalingMC finale, with almost 40 classmates dancing to “Come Alive” and “This is Me”, and one of them performing from an aerial hoop, a first in the Marian Auditorium.
Production-wise, the homecoming was a success. The applause all throughout the program was genuine, spontaneous and heart-warming. More significantly, for the host batch and the MMCAA, when the alma mater song was played, hundreds-strong Maryknollers sang in unison,” The blue and gold of MIRIAM…”.
Dr. Lapus said it best with these words: “This year’s theme, GalingMC, sums up the accomplishments of our graduates after they have left the halls of Maryknoll/Miriam College. They are leaders who embody our school values of Truth, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. That’s the common thread that runs through the DNA of every Maryknoll/Miriam College graduate.”