Salo-Salo sa San Francisco '02

Bay Area Inter-Batch Reunion! Sat, 6 Apr. Sunset District, San Francisco CA.

Coordinators: Cendaña Sisters Mae ' 75, Lisa '78, Audrey '79, Michelle '80 (host), and Chacha '82.

Seated (l-r): Jennifer Lee '78, Lisa Cendaña '78 with daughter - birthday girl Sabrina, Lara Balitactac'79, Marela Mijares'78, Chacha Cendaña '82 with son Colin, Kathleen Niguidula '78 with Maddie and Lisa's Jackie, Michelle Cendaña '80, Audrey Cendaña '79 with son Tommy. Standing: Mae Cendaña '75, Erica Miranda '75, Sophia Rola '78, and Audrey's son Jordan. Find out more about Audrey's celeb children.

Mae's report, part 1:

From: Mae Cendana

Date: Sun Apr 7, 2002 5:34 am

Hi everybody,

It's 3 am SF time (daylight savings time) and I just got back from the reunion! It was another fun night! Paos na naman ako and I don't know know how I will explain it at my band rehearsal tomorrow. Bahala na.

Erika came to the party at 12:30 pm but had to leave at 3:15 pm for Cathy's (Cecile Lozada's daughter) debut at 6:00 pm. Then, I picked up Louella at 6 pm (she had to go to her second son's, Gabriel, orientation at SFSU earlier) and she went home about the same time I did. Kawawa naman...may trabaho pa naman bukas at 11 am.

I will make kwento about Erika and Louella nalang later, OK? As for the scoop of the party, we (Kat Niguidula and I) have volunteered Marela Mijares ('78) to do it when she gets back to Orange County --- hindi niya pa alam;-)

Happy Spring, everybody!



And Marel obliges... J

From: Marela Mijares-Flick

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 17:53:37 -0700

I am so very, very glad I attended the April 6 reunion in San Francisco. Wow, ang saya talaga! The eight-hour drive was definitely worth it (bale nine hours, including a lunch stop in Gilroy, garlic capital of the U.S., but that's a different story).

Although the reunion was supposed to have officially started at 2 p.m., some people came early. Na-excited siguro. I arrived at Michelle Cendaña's story-book blue house near the beach at 3 p.m. She has the most beautiful garden in her back yard. That's because she's a landscape designer. Pang-magazine layout yung backyard niya!

Big Sister '75, Little Sisters '78 (clockwise (from top left): Marel Mijares, Mae Cendaña, Kathleen Niguidula, Sophia Rola, Lisa Cendaña with Sabrina, Bebet Abiva with Isabella.

Hay naku, I'm really not sanay to these super-tall San Francisco houses, so I'm not sure if I was the only one who ended up knocking on the garage door when I arrived. Buti nalang Sophia Rola saw me coming and she came down the stairs to get me.

So as I was climbing up the Mt. Everest of stairs, Audrey and Lisa Cendaña? each with a baby on her hip, napaka-maternal ng dating ? started screaming at the top of their lungs as a warm gesture of salutation. Welcoming committee, Paulinian style. I couldn't stop laughing. Their babies weren't the least bit bothered by the tilian. Tipong sanay na sanay na. One was even yawning.

There's something wonderful and magical about seeing old, familiar faces again after 24 years or so. All I can say is, for the most part, everyone pretty much looked the same way. Except for a few lines here and there, the smiles and the eyes haven't changed, and the laughter was richer. It was such a comforting experience.

The Niners: Carol Sevilla, Susan Fernandez, Connie Leyva, Nadine Niguidula, Eleanor Francisco, Lara Balitactac, Audrey Cendaña with Macy's model, Tommy.

There were a few girls from batch 75 (Ate Mae's), two from '76 (Dee Leyva and Cris Lorenzo) some from ours, and even more from batch 79 (Audrey's batch).

From our batch, aside from Sophia, Lisa and me, there were Kat-Kat Niguidula, Jenny Lee and Bebet Abiva. If I forgot to mention anyone, please speak up. Pardon my alzheimer's! Sometime later, Kat's sister Nadine (batch 79) arrived. Ate Mae and Sophia picked up Louella Albornoz. I'm sure you remember her. She is still as funny and witty as ever. Example, I was making kwento about how kawawa that Pinoy folk singer from the 70s, Florante, is these days, kasi my brother told me he's working as a parking attendant somewhere in Southern California.

Louella: Ba't naging ganun siya?

Me: Wala kasi siyang business savvy.

Louella: Sinong nag-savvy?

Ang tindi ano? I don't think I could top that. Sobrang bilis ng utak niya.

Mae, Dee Leyba '76 and her fellow St Scho alumna, Cecile.

The food was really good because Michelle's husband, Dave Bond, is a chef (at Café Riggio, 4112 Geary Blvd - between 5th and 6th Ave - San Francisco). I loved the Chinese Chicken Salad! I felt bad for Lisa, she finally ate somewhat late na kasi she had to take care of little Sabrina, who is the cutest little China doll you ever saw! She really looks like her dad, so Bebet and I were teasing her. Sabi ni Lisa, "Wait til she starts talking. Lalabas yung genes ko." Tama siguro si Lisa because her baby is so madaldal. She keeps babbling and cooing every time we're making chika, trying to join our conversation.

Speaking of babies, Bebet's little Belle was such a cutie pie as well! She has grown since I last saw her, and seems to smile quite a bit more. Her dad really adores her and I could tell this baby is going to be a daddy's girl. Bebet is so thin these days. Katropa na ni Kat-Kat. Bruha talaga. Audrey's toddler Tommy is also an adorable little pumpkin, running here and there! Too precious for words! Her other son, Jordan, is so guapo and is my son's age.

Sometime after Louella arrived, Michelle brought out her guitar and, imagine this, a book-bound stack of old Jingle magazines! Memories ba? I wanted to thumb through it, kaso lang I might end up reading it for the next two hours, so I stopped myself. So ayun, Michelle started playing old songs, and most of us were singing. Tapos, the Cendaña sisters started singing some of our old Glee Club songs. Ibang klase talaga. They're still sooo good. Singing is really in their blood. That alone was worth the trip. By the way, Ate Mae, who is still pretty and kikay after all these years, is singing with a band again. Stay tuned for more details in the future.

Mae, Louella, Cha-Cha, Michelle, Eleanor.

Anyway, going back to the reunion singing, all of us who were from the Glee Club sang our award-winning song, "Chatanooga Choo-Choo" in four-part harmony. I sang in Rica's honor (kasi I know she's been wanting to sing that with the group, plus we were both soprano) and all I can say is walang sinabi ang Manhattan Transfer. We blended so well pa rin after all these years. Yabang ba? Wala akong pake. We kick ass pa rin. Tapos, everyone sang the Paulinian Hymn, "Hark, Daughters of the Great St. Paul." Doon sa mga high parts ng song, Louella sang Mariah Carey style, yung tipong pinakulot niya yung mga nota. Nakapikit pa ang bruha, with matching facial expressions and diva-style hand gestures. It was so hilarious.

I had to leave at about 10:30 p.m. but I hear the party lasted until about 3 a.m. I had such a great time, and I'm sure everyone did too! Thank you so much to Michelle for graciously hosting the event at her house! Thanks to all the Cendaña sisters for making sure we all had a wonderful time! You guys are the best.


Mae's report, part 2:

From: Mae Cendaña

Date: Sat Apr 20, 2002 2:11 pm

Bago ang lahat...Ma'am Malu, Happy Birthday! Miss U!!!

As promised…here’s the scoop on Erika and Louella.

Erika arrived at Michelle’s at around 12:30. The party was supposed to start at 2:30 but since Erika had to go to Cathy’s debut, sabi niya mauuna na siya. By 2:15, Erika was ready to leave but isa-isang dumarating ang mga Paulinians. So, it took her another 30 minutes to say goodbye. Naipit nang naipit sa introductions and KODAKAN. If you remember, Erika has just had surgery over a month ago and is still recuperating from post-opt symptoms – ano ka’mo? Bloating! Feeling niya she’s always bloated and kept saying "ayoko nang kumain, ayoko nang kumain" but, nge... wala rin --- kain din nang kain!


Left: Mae and Erika. Right: Gracious host Michelle and Audrey's Tommy.

Around 5:30, I called Louella’s house and got to talk to her first born, Steven. (BTW, Steven is now a high school track coach.) Sabi ko, "Steven, I’ll borrow your mom for the night, OK?" Payag naman ang mabait na anak! He gave me his dad’s cellphone number since he knew that Louella and family were out in San Francisco State University attending Gabriel’s (2nd son) college (yes, college!) orientation. So, tawag kaagad ako kay Andrew (Louella’s husband).

Mae: Andrew, hihiramin ko yang asawa mo tonight, OK?

Andrew: Sure!!!

OK, 'no? Payag lahat!

I drove Lisa’s van with Sophie Rola (78) who I think got a little scared. Nakarating naman kami ng buhay at Louella’s around 6:15 p.m. When we were about to leave, two of her kids were out in the playground. She pointed them to Sophie and said "Ayan ang mga anak ko," and called the kids....

Louella: Hello, mga anak. You want to come with me?

Kids: Where?

Louella: To a party --- there are other kids there ---

Kids: No.

Louella: Mga anak...

Kids: (no reaction and continued playing)

Louella: Hoy, kids!

Kids: (no reaction pa rin)

Louella: (to Mae and Sophie) No, mga anak ko talaga yang mga yan! Believe me!

Louella: (to the kids) Hoy, children! I’m your mom! Remember me? Your mom???

Kids: (no reaction pa rin)

Andrew comes out of the backdoor and checks what's going on...

Louella: (Smiles at us while pointing at Andrew) And that’s my husband...

Andrew closes the door.

Louella: Mga walang-hiya! Hoy, children!!! I’m your mom!!! Hoy!!!

All this time, Sophie was dying of laughter in the backseat:-))

On the way back to the party, Louella told us about her harrowing experience as a Special Instructor (I forgot the more sophisticated term) to a kid who has Down syndrome. Ayaw na daw niya if she wants to KEEP her body parts together! Apparently, the little girl is really VERY high maintenance that Louella literally has to watch her every move. Nabali-balian nga daw siya from running after the child every time the girl decides to run to the parking lot in the middle of class. People working in that school are REALLY surprised how Louella can hang on all this time. So, to keep her sanity (or insanity) Louella will just finish this school year and return to her library and other school jobs. But she loves the kid, like her own so so she thinks that what kept her going. I suggested that, maybe, she should apply in a special ed school because now that she has the credentials, she can ask for a better position and pay (of course!) Kaya, abangan nalang natin ang susunod na kabanata sa buhay ni Louella.



The object of affection of LAFF -- Louella Albornoz Fans Forever -- finally arrives. She was pleasantly surprised by fans and paparazzi alike!

As soon as we got to Michelle’s, Sophie went upstairs and must have warned everyone else. I entered the door first and said "Here she is..." And Louella was welcomed with 6 flashing cameras! Talagang grand entrance for the STAR of the NIGHT!

At one point in the party when Batch 79 was having their meeting, the other batches decided to go to the garden. Some of the husbands joined us and one (Lara’s husband, Carlos) conveniently sat beside Louella. Louella looks at Carlos from head to toe and...

Louella: (while looking at Carlos) Oh, girls... by the way, I would like to introduce my husband...

Ayy!!! Tawanan lahat. Namula si Mr Valdes, natakot yata!

Then, towards the end of the party, another husband (Susan’s Bugsy) asked Louella to sit by him. Louella runs to the sofa and wraps her arms and LEGS around Bugsy! AYYYY!!! Sigawan na naman!


The one and only Louella Albornoz: Nora Aunor's crony, sidekick, and movie double... the veteran TV and silver-screen comedienne… the funny lady of Tagalog blockbusters Ang Boypren Kong Baduy, Ikaw ay Akin, Chikiting Master, Annie Batungbakal, Bongga Ka Day, Ibalik Ang Swerti, Ina Ka ng Anak Mo, Burgis, Totoo Ba Ang Tsismis?, Tartan, Iskul Bukul, Yakapin Mo Ako, Lalaking Matapang, at marami pang iba!

But huwag kayo...The husbands who came to last year's reunion were also present at this one because they have been looking forward to seeing Louella… o, deevaa? Hindi sila namihasa. And, when I asked the other husbands (the new "victims") if they were coming back for next year’s reunion, I received a very enthusiastic "Oh, YES! Of course!" I tell you, Louella knows how to turn them on;-)

O siya…ang haba na nito…


Text from Mae and Marela; photos from Audrey Cendaña's (Click for more.) Thanks!

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