I am proud to be an Atenean.
I always have and always will.
I spent my nursery til high school years in Ateneo de Iloilo – Santa Maria Catholic School that everybody there from the faculty and staff to the personnel, the classmates, the acquaintances, and especially the Jesuits, have become like second family to me.
I recall how the Jesuit priests were extremely supportive of me and mentored me a great deal. My teachers too! I was almost always in every activity, event, and the like. You can just imagine the pride and happiness on their faces and that of my family and friends whenever I came home from a competition with an award in hand. To me, it was a way of showing my gratitude and love. And why not when they dedicated their time and expertise to mold you into the best that you could be? I had fun participating in extra-curriculars back in the day. The Jesuit priests and teachers were genuinely caring and motivating of everybody and always giving the students the opportunities to showcase their potentials. All my siblings went to Ateneo as well and we excelled greatly, and so did many of our peers.
College may have seen me enrolling in a different school, and I absolutely did enjoy my college years! Still, deep inside, I knew I was true blue at heart. Pun intended. (*wink wink*) A great part of who I am today and all that I have achieved I owe to my beloved alma mater. There’s just something about the spirit of Magis (of striving for more); of being men and women for others, and of loving and serving God in all things that I soon realized made all the difference in my life and how I dealt with other people. There was always a positive impact. I also loved how we were groomed to excel but to remain grounded and God-fearing at the same time. I could go on and on about how I love the Ateneo but I don’t think words could ever justify my feelings.
So when AdI had its annual grand homecoming or Big Blue Night as we always call it just this July 23 at the new site in San Rafael, Mandurriao, it felt so good to be back! This year’s theme was Decades and all night long, music from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were hot on replay.
Reunions are always such memorable occasions. There’s nothing like seeing old friends getting together once more and catching up on each others’ lives as well as bonding with their teachers again. Several batches presented videos looking back on how they were to the present. Alumni feasted on meals catered by Esca’s Garden Restaurant. To keep the homey, old school vibe going, Kudos Loveseighties band from Manila were invited to perform and entertain everyone in attendance.
Feel free to take a look at the photos of what went on during that evening –
Aaaaand… the Big Blue Night 2016 wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the fun and dynamic Ateneo Alumni Association, of which I am happy to be a part of. All those planning and brainstorming sessions really paid off!
I’ll be ending my entry right here with this official photo of the AAA taken during the Ignatian Mass. (Sadly, I wasn’t there because I was at a seminar that time.)
In Omnibus Amare et Servire Domino – In Everything Love and Serve the Lord