Virtual Reunion During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Encountering our former classmates and recalling old memories may help us gain better insight, stronger ties, and respect for one another.

There seems to be no better time to stay connected when physical interaction is next to impossible.

From the top, left: Maricar Schlossberger, Janeth Arce-de Guia, Jude Paul Reyes Uy, Michelle Lopez, and Cathy Robles-Buyayo.

Last April 30, 2020, could have been the 30th or Pearl Anniversary of our high school batch in Manila. However, it was canceled due to coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than focusing on how difficult the situation has become, we use this time to reconnect with our high school classmates particularly in our section (MMMHS Batch 1990, IV-1) whom we have not seen and communicated in years.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to have our former classmates reside in one area. With miles away from each other, responsibilities at home and work, and other factors separating us, it’s often difficult to gather together as a group.

So what should one do?

Firstly, a Facebook group was created by one of our classmates. It is where we can come to talk about our experiences (be it family matter, work, health, parenting, and high school memories) for other members to read, and comment on. By connecting virtually, members can still interact with one another and share stories from the convenience of their home or office.

Everyone is happy to know that the most active members in our FB group are doing well in their respective careers and family life. We have dedicated and hardworking front liners, Jude Paul Reyes Uy, a nurse in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland; Janeth Arce-de Guia, California-based nurse; and Maricar  Schlossberger, Indiana-based nurse;

Meanwhile, Michelle Lopez works in a finance company in Hong Kong;  Rowena Acohon-Elias, works as an engineer in Colorado; Cathy Robles-Buyayo, works in Marriott Hotel in Vancouver Canada;  husband and wife, Glenn and Shirley Viduya and family are based in Kansas; Cris Celis-Dargani and family are based in California;  Mari-Karr Cruto-Policar and family are based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; Julian Cabrera and family are based in Maryland;

Former classmates who are based in Manila have been lucky also with their chosen fields of expertise: Joy Sigua is connected in a pharmaceutical company; Mariebelle Palma works as an audit specialist in a government firm; Ronald “Tenten” Rodriguez engages in talent management and salon business; Jeffrey Badion works in a retail company; Edwin Escanillas is a licensed financial advisor; John Enconado is now a successful ophthalmologist; Aldwin Bonavente specializes in electrical and auxiliary works, and Regina Hernandez works for a BPO industry.

There are some full-fledged educators in our batch, like Dr. Eriberto Astorga; as well as Rodolfo Bombon, who is into teaching; Josie Carangan Martinez works in the government under education sector, and Ferdinand Ocampo is a public school teacher in Manila. They are just some of the former classmates this writer has able to touch-based on FB. I hope to hear from others next time.

Virtual reunions can be eye-opening. Because, generally, we develop wisdom and maturity as we age. “Encountering our former classmates and recalling old memories, good and bad may help us gain better insight into who we are now and how we got here,” according to Psychology Today. It may not only reveal information about us and how we have changed, but also similar information about our friends. Discussing and knowing this can lead to greater intimacy and respect for one another.

Indeed, this virtual reunion has lessened the burden of being in a trying situation like the COVID-19 pandemic. As a motivational speaker and author Rober Glazer said, “Many of us are coping with this crisis by looking for silver linings that can help us endure this challenge and improve our lives when it has passed. Everyone we know is suddenly available, often for the first and perhaps the only time in our lives. This has led to an extraordinary amount of online reunions where groups of people haven’t connected in years can catch-up without a specific agenda.”

It’s a wonderful feeling to go down memory lane and to reminisce about classmates and friends who have known us for a long time and have mutual experiences in the past. In fact, renewing old friendships and reliving fun and feelings we had in high school are two of the most common reasons people agree to be part of a virtual reunion, especially in this day and age of the digital world and social media.

By: Ruby Asoy-Lebajo


#virtualreunion #highschool #classmates #friends #socialdistancing #covid19pandemic #preciousmoments #rubyasoyph

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