Marching on

Back when we were all students, March had always seen us say goodbye to something so special: the past crazy school year. It comes along with memories of almost-always mediocre grades, often buzzer beater projects, and the times we concentrated on how the teacher never failed to end his statements with "Are you following?" rather than how to get the derivative of a certain equation. It's at this time of year that I reminisce on our glory days which was schooling season and wish I had done better than I already did: had been more meticulous with both my problem solving and grammar, conquered my fear of giving a ridiculous answer or raising a stupid question during class discussions, and gone the extra mile with my outputs instead of turning in sloppy last-minute ones.

Usually this trip down memory lane has caused nothing but trouble: logging back on and digging through my then-public blogs which I have abandoned since, and being up all night playing detective, figuring out what happened between high school sweethearts and how in the world someone ended up in the honor roll. No worries, I have my trusty ol' online journal to back me up with enough evidence. But as far as I'm concerned, high school had always been a favorite subject for my time travel of sorts. And right now I can't help but miss it all, especially my dear alma mater.

When my valedictorian of a youngest sister graduated last year, it was that one final farewell to the place our family called home for the past nine years and just the thought of it brings tears into my eyes. The least we could do was hold onto each other tight and say our goodbyes together. We flew home to applaud the purple league for finishing the gruesome four years of being in one of the countries' top science high schools. We all took turns in receiving and putting on/turning over Kendi's countless awards. Much to our surprise, Mom and our roster of sisters were celebrated as well...

So many reasons to be the proud parent of this high school graduate

Trivia: Five years ago, our batch was the first to wear those purple togas

Our hardworking teachers deserve a round of applause and congratulations as well

Accepting her certificate of completion after presenting her thesis entitled, "Lattice Octagons"

Cheers to our family's first valedictorian, our hearts are filled with so much glee

Mom, Daddy (grandpa), and Tito Chelby were Kendi's entourage for the awarding of medals

Documenting both the awarding (medals upon medals) and her touching valedictory address

Consistent Outstanding Parent kind of supermom, need we say more

And the big surprise: felt so loved when the school gave our family the honor of its first loyalty award. We, especially Mama, have entrusted our education and growing up with the school and its faculty and staff, the award is nothing short of well-deserved. Part-embarrassing and part-empowering though was when we sisters were called up on-stage one-by-one with an introduction like no other (i.e. For Karina, batch salutatorian in high school, cum laude in Ateneo de Manila, and now working in Nestle Philippines). My only hope is that this sort of thing inspired the audience and prompted their relatives to enroll at the school more than it annoyed them. Haha! And of course Mom had to shed a tear or two.

It's been a tradition that the graduating student compose their batch song, and this is how 2013 performed theirs

Congratulations, Kendi and her best of friends. Wishing you all the best in college!

All-out support from the representatives of our clan, again for our first high school valedictorian

Ahhh, I'm just so proud of my mini-me! She stepped up our game in epic proportions!

And the photobombing and the goofing around ensued...

Girl and star power! Unfortunately brother bear wasn't able to join the celebration

Pulling off our wacky poses, I believe Mom wins on this one

Indeed a generous outpouring of blessings for our family

Obligatory High School Musical jump with our dear photographer's son (Thank you, Nang Marge!)

Sister connection: the graduates being candid for the camera with their ates

High school, the years spent and the institution itself, will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for having us!!! We'll see you again in the future. ;) Meanwhile, #sentisaturday, anyone? I sure am getting a hang of this.

"We have found hands to hold, hearts to follow, friends to be with. We thank God for friendship, love, tears, and laughter. The ups and downs brought us closer, and now we celebrate the best years of our lives." — Our batch song "21st of June," an original composition

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