MANILA – Two days before International Women’s Day, Maryknoll College Class 1974 alumnae fortuitously gathered March 6 at Conrad Manila Hotel to unveil plans to toast their 45th year or Sapphire Anniversary of sisterhood.
Fifteen years before the institution changed its name to Miriam College in 1989, when Filipino laity took over administration from the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic of Ossining, New York, 195 women received their diplomas. Their liberal arts school is recognized for emphasizing academic excellence, communication skills, competence, individuality and social responsibility.
Graduates as well as classmates who moved on before earning degrees are being called this year to join in the jubilee reunion and preceding series of revelry.
The class has convened a Core Group to reach out to “batchmates” throughout the world to participate in festivities they are coordinating in honor of the alma mater and the education they acquired on the Katipunan Road, Quezon City, campus.
“We have planned a series of activities this year that should rekindle friendships and foster camaraderie among our classmates, culminating with the Maryknoll/ Miriam College Homecoming on September 7,” announced Menchu Genato-Henson, who chairs the Core Group. ” As is the tradition in our homecoming events, each Milestone Jubilarian Class is encouraged to give a program number and a donation to the school. For our Class performance, we will translate our chosen theme, ‘WOMAN EMPOWERMENT: How our Maryknoll education has made us ‘Women of Substance,’ into a 7-minute song and dance production.”
The group has tapped Laly Aldeguer of the popular dance duo Aldeguer Sisters to choreograph a presentation that promises to be interactive.
“We should have the audience a-rocking and a-rolling by the end of our number! So please volunteer to join us in this stage production as your presence will make our Class number more impressive and impactful,” appealed Genato-Henson, known as Tita Maggi to two generations of Filipinos who like to cook with the eponymous seasoning she endorsed. Now a grandmother, Genato-Henson has retired as San Miguel Corp Vice President – Sales and Franchising Director for its Monterey subsidiary.
Completing the Core Group are Mawie Yan Aglipay, Odette Ong, Susan de Leon-Syquia, Annie Luna-Trias, Bong Agcaoili-Garrovillo, Maria Nimfa Fallarme-Ronson, Nena Villavicencio, Millie Sta. Maria Thomeczek, Michelle Ileto-de Belen, Linda Reyes-Geraldez, Edy Montecastro-Lim, Marilyn Aberilla-Mayoralgo, Emily Siy, Ninay Manzana-Villanueva, and Caling Tanco-Young.
They reviewed Miriam College’s “Wish List” and agreed to donate sewing machines to the Miriam Adult Education “Dressmakers’ Haven Project,” where aspiring dressmakers/fashion designers are trained to hone their designing and sewing skills.
“Our donation of 20 high-speed sewing machines will replace the Project’s outdated units,” said Genato-Henson.
To defray expenses, classmates are invited to participate in a Direct Donation Campaign. Each is requested to donate a minimum of P2,500.00 (US$50 for non-Philippine residents). A solicitation letter is in circulation with procedures for both Philippine and overseas residents.
The process would save coordinators the task of selling tickets and seeking sponsors for the series of celebratory activities.
“So be active, join our bonding activities,” urged Genato-Henson. “Volunteer to perform with us on September 7. Use our Directory to reach out to long-lost classmates. To our classmates abroad, return to Maryknoll for our homecoming. If you do, this Homecoming will be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience for you. We encourage you to regularly check our MC Class ’74 Facebook and Viber accounts for the latest news on our Homecoming preparations.”
Batchmate Liz Sy with assistance from her right hand and fellow jubilarian Alice Ignacio Rañada hosted the kickoff “pre-union” at the Presidential Suite of the Conrad Manila Hotel on Seaside Boulevard in Metro Manila. Voted top hotel in the Philippines by Forbes Travel Guide 2019, the venue provided postcard backdrop for over 50 grads who attended, some flying in from the Visayas and Mindanao. They exchanged compliments and well wishes, committed to take ownership of the occasion, boding a successful culmination of festivities on Sept. 7.
For more information, visit Maryknoll College Batch 74 on Facebook.