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August 11, 2007
By Eric J. Dedace

How many of you can still sing the QPHS Alma Mater song completely from start to finish? Or better yet, the right question must be, do you really know how to sing it?

C’mon batchmates, “ ‘wag na kayong mahiya”! “ Ako, inaamin ko, sa loob ng apat na taong itinigil natin sa Quezon High ay talagang hindi ko siya natutuhang kantahin nang buong-buo!” To illustrate, I can only manage to sing it as follows…… “Hear the call of Alma Mater, Bidding us to be together, Let her name stand forever (putol)…Hear the call of urgent duty (putol ulit)…..Show your courage, everybody, Hail the (putol na naman) of Quezon High! Altogether, win the battle, of our dear old Alma Mater, Altogether, we will conquer, all the foes of Quezon High!” (tapos!)

If it were a recording of an erstwhile 45 rpm disc during our time, you can liken it to the old phonograph needle hopping over its already scratched and worn-out surface, sounds - wise that is! During programs at school, I would sing out loud, only to clam up and let those who knew it by heart to supply the missing gaps. Indeed, it was much better when the QPHS Band under Mr. Romeo Licda played it on occasion, then I don’t have to sing it anymore! Such was the case from the start way back our freshman year, when Leonida Ponido was still the school majorette, and up to time we were seniors, when the baton was passed on to our very own Aurea Antenor. “ Ay bakit naman nagka gay-on , tanong ninyo?” “ Ala ay awan ko baga, basta nagka gay-on ih!”

At the Men’s Dorm in LB the following school year, my roommates from Ateneo de Manila High School, Colegio de San Agustin and Notre Dame Academy in Caloocan would try to outdo one another in proudly singing their respective Alma Mater songs. When my turn came, I would sound like that old broken 45 rpm phonograph recording so imagined once again, and they were so amused! Of course, I had to laugh with them likewise, at my own expense that is…..more so that ironically, I was wearing my old QPHS Glee Club T-shirt uniform with a musical note in it…..” Yak! Yak! Yak!” I felt like Dick Dastardly of the “ Wacky Races “ fame, being laughed at by his dog Muttley
…….” Muttley, do something! “ The illustrious lyricist of the song must have been turning in his grave at that moment……and instantly became the “ Funky Phantom “, pointing his accusing fingers at me….. “ you, you, you!!! “

Feeling “ S’yanong – s’yano ” inside then ( not for being the only “ Promdi “ in our room numbered 2104 ), I suddenly thought of the way the members of the QPHS Glee Club returned to Quezon High that night sometime in 1974 – 1975, after winning the very first “ Lalawigan Ng Quezon “ choral competitions held at the then Maryknoll Lucena. They were riding the “ bulok “ PNB Mag – Impok Movement Bus all right, but in triumph, singing our dear old Alma Mater song with all their hearts!

I would have forgotten this “ Kuwentong Batch ’77 “ of more than thirty years ago today, if not for the QNHS Global Foundation Website of Mr. Bal Yojuico ( Class 1968 ), which I accidentally surfed on the Net late one night, last July. There in front of my computer screen was the complete lyrics of that all too important QPHS song, much to my surprise and infinite delight! It was a grand reunion between our great Alma Mater song and that still clumsy and skinny high school student in white polo shirt and flaring bell-bottomed khaki pants of yore, within me.

Mind you, it was a goosebump experience! And I was soooooo mesmerized……….