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                         Oh What a Night!
                               by Maida Mancao Napolitano
                               December 22, 2007

After a final flurry of e-mails and text messages under the watchful eye of Christina (Reynes)-our resident techie, STC’s Batch ‘83 Annual Christmas Party & Reunion took off without a hitch at the sprawling estate of our one-and-only Mylah Escalante-Naggar and her husband, Mike, last Saturday, Dec. 1, 2007.  And, boy, what a party it was! Mylah’s home is nestled in the hills of picturesque, wine country in Temecula, California, where the Naggar’s just happen to be local celebrities.  Mike currently serves as Temecula’s Mayor. (That’s right, ladies – that would make our dear Mylah, THE First Lady…)

This year’s much-anticipated event welcomed 15 of our batchmates and their friends and families.  People came from far - Hawaii, Seattle, Canada & New Jersey - and near – San Diego, LA, Yorba Linda - to attend the joyous occasion.  The food was amazing!  First off, Angeli Mae (Cabrera-Sala) came laden with macadamia nuts (my favorite!) for everyone…Then there were colossal Dungeness crabs from Seattle (thanks, Junji!), this mouth-watering langka/buwad cooked in coconut milk concoction, a delicious ham from Christine “Dutsie” (Duterte-Patron), lechon kawali, crispy pata, pancit palabok, and lumpia shanghai.  I haven’t even mentioned the desserts:  bico, red ribbon cheesecake, brownies…(I have to stop; I feel like I’m gaining weight just talking about it.)  After our host said a heartfelt prayer of thanks, we all dug in and mastered the art of daintily chewing and chatting at the same time, while temporarily forgetting pesky stuff like calories. 

After the big feast, we all gathered around Mylah’s living room and exchanged our Secret Santa presents. We were all pretty happy with what we got – despite some stealing here and there - but it was the White Elephant presents that brought out the biggest laughs.  The White Elephant presents are those items that are laying around the house that you really don’t need, wrapped and brought to the party for the 2nd round of Secret Santa exchanging of gifts.  I’m not sure which got the biggest laugh.  It definitely was a close race between Cecily’s framed (and signed, of course!) picture of herself and Mylah’s lacy ORANGE underwear gift set - complete with internal body cleansing fluids (believe me, you don’t want to know…)

We also managed to walk down memory lane as we went through the pages of our yearbook from both Grade 6 and 4th year High School. From the hairstyles, to the rolling up of the skirts, and who’s got the shiniest pair of Greg shoes – we all shared our personal stories which certainly added to the nostalgia.

  Then of course there were pictures, pictures, pictures…with husbands standing in as paparazzo's…and even more chatting, laughing (let’s just say the Marilou (Cruz-Rodriguez’s) hyena chuckle will be missed…), and even some impromptu, acappella singing (just imagine “dueling Annie’s”)…By the end of the night, cholesterols were high, but old friendships were stronger than ever…and looking forward to next year. …We missed all those who couldn’t make it, but to those who did, thank you for one memorable night! 

The venue was at the sprawling estate of the Naggars in Temecula, California.
Seated (L-R) Era dela Victoria-Burgos, Jun-ji Oliva-Barber, Maricris Climaco-Lozada, Cecily Laurito-Nelson. Standing (L-R) Dorothy Navales, Fe-Cinco Carsten, Marilou Cruz-Rodriguez, Zenaida Datan, Mylah Escalante-Naggar, Daisy Bertulfo-Uytengsu, Christina Reynes, Lalaine Canares-Wong, Maida Mancao-Napolitano, Angeli Cabrera-Sala, Christine Duterte-Patron

Our hosts: Mike and Mylah Naggar
Jun-ji and the crabs she brought all the way from Seattle, WA
MC and Mylah’s mom, Esper Escalante
Feasting and chatting around the amazing food – Dutsie, Christina, Cecily, Maricris, MC, Sonji (Mylah’s sister), Mylah, Fe and Era

Fe, Jun-ji, Era, Dorothy, Daisy, Mylah, Lalaine, MC, Christina and Maida
Bottom: Dutsie, Dorothy, Jun-ji, Zenaida, Cecily, Angeli, Maida, Era
Top: MC, Mylah, Christina and Daisy