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happy 15th, batchmates! :)

High School Grad

It’s been fifteen years since I graduated from high school. Yes it’s been that long. Back then, I was part of a group of kids who were deemed more mature than the average high school graduate. Mostly because we graduated from the Philippine Science High School, and for four years, we were treated like no ordinary high school students. You’d think it would have applied just to our intellect. But studying in that place involved your emotions as well.

It wasn’t really the huge workload. Sure we had around double or triple the academic expectations of a regular high school student. But it came with the territory, and passing the entrance exams and interview more or less meant you were ready for it, and on somewhat equal terms, that you wanted it. Also, you wouldn’t have qualified if it weren’t for your grades in elementary, which probably required you to work your little butt off to achieve. Pisay, however which way you look at it, was really just a collection of nerds. Although you wouldn’t necessarily come to that conclusion once you really got to see and know the people.

After all, you’d find people involving themselves with different extra-curricular activities. There were a lot of young actors, writers, artists, rockers, jocks and politicians around. Almost everyone was busy doing one thing or another. And yet they all still found it in themselves to read their books, do their homework, and show up to class everyday. Of course there were some days that you’d go and miss one class (or maybe even two). You would sometimes find it easier to hang out with your friends, play ball on the court, or jam with your band than to do the social science assignment or read the biology text. But in the end, you’d still always get back to whatever it was that you had to do for you to pass your subjects.

You would have found a lot of people in all kinds of relationships and groups: boy/girlfriends, barkadas, clubs, teams, bands, casts, officers, and whatever else type of relationship or group that you could find. True, you could have gotten by as a loner. But Pisay was high school, and in high school, you learned how to make friends. Friends who shared the same interest. Friends who would play guitar while you sang along. Friends who would listen to you while you told them another one of your stories. And most importantly, friends who would let you cry on their shoulder, just like you’d let them cry on yours. You learned more than just how to make friends. You learned how to strengthen your relationships, and make them last. And in the end, that was one of the important things that got you through high school.

Fifteen years ago, I stood on the stage of our gymnasium with my diploma, which represented all the studying that I had done for 4 long years, clutched in one hand and my yearbook, which represented the wonderful group of people that I had come to know as friends during those 4 short years, in the other. Both those things represented what I had achieved at that point in time, and it would help me get through the new challenges that would face me in college, and more importantly, for the rest of my life.

So I guess it’s not surprising that most of the friends I have right now, I’ve had ever since high school. We may have grown older, but the fact remains — we’re still the same kids sitting in the front lobby, singing E-heads songs, and waiting for the dismissal bell to ring…

Happy 15th graduation anniversary Pisay 96! :)

~ Jonas Don Castelo, MD
Pisay Batch 1996

Originally posted on FB.

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Mula sa Pisay 96, maraming salamat at maligayang Pasko! :)

In behalf of all the streetchildren who attended and very much enjoyed the 4th Annual Pisay 96 Christmas Party for Streetkids held last December 11 in UP Diliman, we would like to thank you once again for your continued participation and very generous support to Pisay 96 and our projects.

The activity is an annual Christmas tradition for children in the UP Diliman and adjacent areas who are not privileged enough to have the means to celebrate the holidays. This year, we gathered 50 children from the Diliman area for one afternoon of fun, food, games, and prizes, in celebration of the holiday season.

4th Annual Pisay 96 Party for Streetkids

Of course the activity would not have been possible without your help. For this year’s party, our special thanks go to the following:

Pamy Abella for help with most of the pre-party preparations, including shopping for party supplies, wrapping gifts, and going around the Diliman campus to invite kids to the party

Jonas Castelo, Jo Santiago-Bond, and Angel Prudente for the generous donations

Ella Marie Monta for the spaghetti & hotdogs, Jeff Galan for the famous Dip’n Chk’n fried chicken, Odette Claridad for the cake, Kathy Villegas for the doughnuts, Eva Redillas (and roommate) for the assorted cupcakes and cookies, and Peng Manlapaz for the ice (sorry pala for the short notice) :D

Nina Araneta and Jappy Alana; Clarina dela Cruz and Ispok Sy; Dulce Fortunado and Bryan Macabales; Angel Prudente, Alan Castro; Hana Belo, Trina Corpuz, and Markku Seguerra for the loot bag items and program prizes

Hazel Flores (c/o Angel) for the generous discounts on the toys and gift items

Clarina dela Cruz and Ispok Sy for the slippers and clothes

Alan Castro for agreeing to host the activity (kaso hindi nag-costume :P); Angel Prudente and Fifi Runas for the (impromptu) storytelling sessions; Ispok Sy and Peng Manlapaz for facilitating the games; Bryan Macabales, Lloyd Gonzales, Ispok Sy, and Marian Baleros for the photo documentation; Bryan Macabales, Lloyd Gonzales, Jappy Alana for the (almost) effective “crowd-control”

Marian Baleros, Pamy Abella, and Odette Claridad for helping with registration; Nina Araneta, Jappy Alana, Angel Prudente, and Pamy Abella for sorting and packing the loot bags; Ella Marie Monta, Pamy Abella, Odette Claridad, Gay Macalinao, Nina Araneta, Jappy Alana for arranging and distributing the food

Pen Pablo, Tin Untalan, Jenni Mercado, Rowena Bernardo, and all the other volunteers who helped out before, during, and after the event

And of course, to all the batchmates who couldn’t be there but nevertheless sent their love, support, and good vibes ;)

For pictures of the activity, please click on the following links:

Brymac’s set
Lloyd’s set
Yhan’s set

Muli, maraming salamat at maligayang Pasko!

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About Pisay 96

Philippine Science High School scholars received premier education in the sciences to help in the nation’s development. Since its 10th jubilee anniversary in 2006, the Philippine Science High School Class of 1996 (Pisay 96) has been conducting socio-civic projects in communities across the country, as a sign of gratitude and return to the nation. The annual Christmas party for streetchildren is one of several projects that the group regularly conducts.

To know more about other Pisay 96 projects and activities, please visit  www.pisay96.com or send an e-mail to pisay96@gmail.com.

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Divasoria is a proud Pisay alumna

Batch 96’s Grace V writes about her Pisay experience in her Divasoria blog.

pisay is a special place where independence, curiosity and discovery are nurtured and questions are encouraged. it is also a place where talent is overflowing. pisay has taught me to constantly look for answers to questions and also to find my own way of answering it. if there is one thing that i always remember about pisay is the teachers always telling you that “there are many ways to kill the cat”.

Please click on the link to read the entire post.

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When I Grow Up, I want to be a rocket scientist :)

Pisay 96 launches “When I Grow Up,” a series of talks by professionals with careers in the Sciences. Through this project, we hope to encourage the younger generation to pursue science-based careers by cultivating interest in the field through fun and interactive talks. We plan to invite successful fellow alumni, colleagues, and friends to talk about their jobs, answer questions, and conduct basic science lessons that will engage the participating school children.

Join us today, 3 PM at D’ Cape Mile. Engr. Jo Santiago-Bond (and her husband Mr. Bond), from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, will be giving a short talk, answering your and (your kids’) questions, and basically telling us what it’s like to be a rocket scientist.

Taralets! :D

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The PSHS 41st Grand Alumni Homecoming

sponsored by Class of 1985

Food and drinks are sponsored by Main Campus Jubilarian Batches ’85, ‘ 80, ’70, ’75, ’90, ’95, ’00, ’05.

Alumni dues will be collected (Php300 for recent graduates (2006-2010) and Php400 for all others) if not yet paid for the year.

You can pay your alumni dues before the event. You can do this online using your credit card/paypal account or deposit your alumni dues to the PSHS NAA bank account.

If you are already registered, edit your profile and change your membership level to become an active member.

If not yet a member, you can become a member here.

Only members with up-to-date dues can vote in the NAA election of officers.

More information and online registration: Homecoming 2010

Best regards,
PSHSNAA

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Laguna medical and deworming mission: volunteers needed, donations wanted

Barangay Atisan is situated in the outskirts of the province of Laguna, near San Pablo City’s border with Tiaong, Quezon and Lipa City, Batangas. Most of the families live upland and have to travel several kilometers on foot to reach the Barangay Poblacion. The Barangay Midwife serves as the lone staff of the Barangay Health Center but is only available one day a week to provide consultations on health issues of the residents. Medical supplies and provisions are provided by the provincial government but the supplies are few and are not enough to cater to all members of the community.

Join us, the Philippine Science High School Classes of 1996 and 1997, and extend hands to the residents of Barangay Atisan, San Pablo City, for a worthwhile endeavor through a medical and deworming mission scheduled on 18 April 2010.

To volunteer you may leave a message here or contact us by e-mail (pisay96@gmail.com) or mobile phone (0920 4469728).

You may also give in-kind or cash donations, which you may bring to the following drop-off points:

D’ Cape Mile Bar and Restaurant
141 Mother Ignacia Avanue, Quezon City
(in front of ABS-CBN)
Contact Jeff Galan: 0917 8325658

or

2F AIM Conference Center,
Benavidez cor Trasierra Sts,
Legaspi Village, Makati
Contact Karen Hipol: 0915 8437087

If you would like do make cash donations you may send them through the following accounts. Kindly e-mail the deposit slip for tracking purposes:

061-3-06116664-6
MACABALES B.O.
Metrobank Retiro-Mayon

Bryan O. Macabales
109450971156
Unionbank Retiro

paypal – brymac96@hotmail.com

Once again, thank you very much for your generous support. And in behalf of the residents of Brgy. Atisan, maraming maraming salamat. :)

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