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by Anecita Mae Cavero Rodil (Class 73)


Over the past 33 years, our school made a great effort to build a character in each of the students combining superior quality of education and discipline with moral values and integrity.

The Divine Word Academy of Urdaneta (DWAU), known as the State of Art Seminary School in Pangasinan, and still remains to be so to this day, has continually preserved its cornerstone of quality and values in decades.  This, it had successfully achieved in the face of the constant change of modern times.

The philosophy and mission of our beloved Alma Mater remains unchanged to this day.  The credit is attributable to its selection of talented faculty and staff which in turn produces an equally talented, productive youths, and citizens.

It is with distinct pleasure that I share the same values, vision and experience to the youth of the next generation. We are what we are today because our educators and mentors played a big part in molding our young minds into model citizens of today. Now, it is only proper that we share and pass on what we have learned to the youths of today and tomorrow.

Each one of us has their own version of experience and reasons to find rare, long lasting friendships. To this end, I mention my incredible friendship with the original “FHADE ’73”.  The brainchild of fellow alumni Diosdado Bautista and Ernesto Malbog, the acronym itself stands for the first names of its members: Filomena (nee Marcelo), Helen Gayanggos, Anecita (nee Cavero), Dorliza (nee Sipin) and Evelyn (nee Bascos).

As with all other great friendships, we stuck to each other through thick and thin. We were strong as a rock until such time our group became inactivate due to the pressures and calling of college.  Due to the miracle of communication and the hard work and genius of Johnny Soriano, I touched base once more with my old crusty group. Knowing that Dodie and Filomena ended up as a lovely couple and with professional degrees as a Ph.D. and medical doctor respectively to boot is a testament of the great role our Alma Mater played in their formative years.

On the other hand, I regret that I never had the chance to know each one of my fellow alumni of Class 1973.  A few of them have immigrated abroad to include myself while a big chunk is scattered throughout our homeland in the Philippines.

I can only look back and reminisce the priceless memories that we have left behind: The coaching of each other during recital grading period. The sharing of 1/4 and ½ sheets of pad paper for unannounced quizzes.  The struggle I went through Mr. Manzano’s gardening class as I took it for granted.  Now it comes all the more clear what it was, as we become parents.

The glamour of being a part of “The Boy’s Hi ’73” is unforgettable what with their great sense of humor. There was never a dull moment! I want to thank all my former classmates for taking me on their wings and helping me a great deal.

All the dedicated teachers with their style and uniqueness of teaching had made it easier for us to understand Math, Physics, Geometry, Science, English, History, Music, Theology, PE, Pilipino, H.E, Spanish, Electives, etc.

To our dear Principal who rescued, counseled and bailed us out of trouble so many times; Father Herbers and his Rectory Staff who availed themselves any time for spiritual services and a few times funds, too; the many Fraters who came and went and Sister Gloria who made us stronger with our faith, made grow in wisdom and appreciate the love for music.

To our PE instructors headed by Mrs. Ridao and formerly Ms Gerola who taught us the finer points of dance choreography, showed to us self-esteem and how to gain confidence.

I also enjoyed watching the PMT cadets perform the Pass-In Review what with sharp looking uniforms worn by these guys. Some Corps Cadet Officers really pursued their career in the military afterwards both in the home front and the United States military.

The intramurals held every summer showcased outstanding athletes and our very own basketball players were so aloof and intriguing!

During Invocations, the “Jamming Club” and the “DWA Hiking Society” composed of Paeng, Pidiong, Cel, Ernesto, Glenn, Boyet, Richie, Wendell, Jose, Ruben and all their sidekicks, always belt out James Taylor and Cat Stevens’ songs back to back ending with their trademark tune of “You’ve Got a Friend”!

The out of town fellowships and retreats with sleepless nights and unending chats from Baguio to Tagaytay City also comes to mind.

What about the Juniors and Seniors Prom that gave us all the chance to ogle closely with the boys and girls.  How about the aroma of delicious food coming from the canteen especially the adobo, afritada, menudo, pancit, pinakbet and the tapa.  Before you know it, you’re flocking to the canteen to partake of the sumptuous meal!

My favorite place after school (FHADE’s regular hang out), which also seems to be DWAU’s rendezvous place is “D’Abigail’s” in the Sison’s compound.  But if you’re up town (city now for those of you who hasn’t gone back for a long, long time) the landmark of choice is “Eniang’s”!

I can still recall the prominent faces promenading under the pine trees before and after school the “Three Musketeers” composed of Yogi Diaz, Rhodetto Magat, and Candido Bautista.

The jeepneys, tricycles and other bus services turning at the corner while students make a dash for the main gate barely making the first bell class.

Who could forget the inseparable dynamic duo, Ms Gilda Doot and Ms Erlinda Oliviano?  How about the lovebirds of all times, Mr. Gregorio Manzano and Ms Aurora Sandoval?  I also admire Mr. and Mrs. Teneza’s perseverance and rationale.  Anybody “missing in action” at that time, would just has to dial 1-800-LOCK “U” UP.  Considering the Ridao’s, “You’ve Got It Baby, The Boys and Girls Hi Shelter Home.

Who can really guess what Mr. Stackler was talking about? And what about the adorable little bunch of energy called Mr. Amolacion who seemed to have endeared himself almost to everyone playing big brother with a captivating boyish smile to boot.  As far as posterity is concerned, D’Agawin Studio was hot on our trails capturing the highlights and spotlights of our days!

These are just the common sights that we observed during our glory days.  Most definitely, I miss the Golden Girls and the Golden Boys of DWAU.  The temptation of coming home and be with the people you shared and traveled with is tops on my to do lists.

The Class of 1973’s 30th anniversary is not only remembering, recognizing and renewing the deeper bonds of friendship but also thanking those who guided us to be what we are today.

We have outgrown our past and we certainly have families of our own now yet, we still share that same vision and values that molded us three decades or so ago:  To see that our own offspring get the same kind of education, wisdom and vision as we did back then.

I am fully convinced that the upcoming class anniversary would give us a wonderful opportunity to meet again, banter with one another, old friends and colleagues alike.  “We were once lost but now we’re found.”

Please stay involved and be Divinians Forever!  Remember your donations, how big or small matter and your presence and thoughts count as well.

With that in mind, the nagging question pops up; will it be in July or December 2003?  The decision is yours and it’s your choice!  A reunion poll date is still in progress!

More power to you all and the best of life to each and everyone. §


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