by Czarina Duka and Reina Tamayo
Last Saturday, November 19, 2016, Ateneo Gabay held its most-awaited Alumni Homecoming at the 5th floor of the Rizal Library. Besides commemorating the formidable 40-year history of the organization, the event was also held for the purpose of allowing both past and current members to relive and celebrate the joys of pagtataya.
As registration went on for the first hour or so, hosts Ian Blanco and VJ Serag hyped the guests by engaging people across batches regarding their respective Gabay experiences. Upon the arrival of the honorary guests Chief Justice Sereno, Fr. Jett Villarin, and Dr. Maria Lourdes Vilches, the program started with a prayer from project head AJ De Leon. Afterwards, Gabay President Marimar Baticulon gave a speech to welcome our esteemed alumni back home. Chief Justice Sereno also spoke afterwards, where she recounted some of her fondest memories in the organization, as well as the influence it had on her as she continues to apply Gabay’s ideals and beliefs into her profession. Right before dinner, a representative from the Ateneo Alumni Association also graced the Homecoming to introduce AASA to the alumni.
Dinner ensued, accompanied by several performances from GaBand, including current members Marlon Torio, Yoj Gaviola, Imman Guinto, and King Palmea, and members of the alumni community like Arvin Boller and Joemin Nuevo. The Ateneo Gabay Caroling Group also serenaded the audience with select pieces from their repertoire.
It was followed by a video presentation of Gabay’s history and memories in its 40 years of service to its sectors. It introduced the alumni to today’s Ateneo Gabay. Additionally, Scholars’ Week 7 Project Heads Clowee Licsi and Szasa Lambinicio shared how the alumni can contribute to this school year’s Scholars’ Week. Tita Chit Concepcion reminisced the obstacles that she encountered and triumphed from that made the establishment of the organization possible. Furthermore, Fr. Bill Kreutz, SJ also shared how he witnessed the journey of Gabay, from the beginning until today.
Current members Al Bontogon and Penny Bonifacio won the raffle for the iconic Nagtataya shirt.There were also Special Awards for the Alumni Homecoming attendees. Among others were the Mr. and Ms. Congeniality awarded to Mr. Arvin Boller and Ms. Remy Miradora, the Mr. and Ms. Alumni Homecoming given to Honorable Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and her husband, who was the President of Ateneo Gabay in the 1980s. Lastly, Tita Chit Concepcion was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award, for establishing the organization in 1976.
Finally, alumni and current members alike sang ‘Gagabayan Kita,’ more commonly known as the Gabay Song, hand-in-hand, right arms crossed over the left, with voices from across generations echoing in the hall. Nothing else could ever welcome the alumni back home than the organization’s timeless tradition.
Overseer: Veronica Baguio
Project Heads: JP dela Cruz and AJ de Leon
Programs: Bianca Arvesu and Ed Decierdo
Logistics: Gybel Agregado, Iris de Castro, and Alawi Sularte
Contacts: Czarina Duka and Darlene Masamong
Secretariat: Elija Torre and Julia Agida
Promotions: Dea de Guzman
Finance: Aldrin Ward