Las Vegas Reunion ~~ October 2014|
By Cesar Cruz
We checked in at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino at 4000 Flamingo Road West at just past
Midnight, 14 of October 2014. First thing in the morning we took the free shuttle ride to the Strip
and started walking along Las Vegas Boulevard and bought a couple of tickets to see Shania Twain
at the Colosseum Theater at Caesar’s Palace. It was a spectacular show.
October 16, we went to the North Premium Mall via the SDX or RTC (bus services). We bought ourselves
a couple of 24 hour ride at $8 pp. This was okay as long as you do not mind the bus stops. In the
afternoon we had prepared to see Victor Aquino (SMQ), who had just picked up Nelson Reyes (JD) and Betsy at the
airport. It was a great feeling to see them both again after three years. SMQ loves to give nicknames and
it sort of gives pizzazz and tend to like it. We proceeded to SMQ’s house and right away you can
feel the hospitality of Anita and Victor. We got to meet Aida (sister of Anita) and wow, both of them were
preparing fresh lumpia, kare-kare, dinuguan, puto, etc. Then came Perla Yap Ramos, Julie Riggan, Julie del Rosario, Mate (cousin of Julie R) and my beloved grade school to high school classmate Susan Cunanan Harwood. A few minutes later Dely Calbes Asimont Bowling and Harold Bowling joined us.
The feeling I had was overwhelming and felt good all over. Naturally we were exchanging stories about the school,
classmates and all subjects under the sun. Julie del Rosario was hilarious when she told us how she
got married. I will leave it to her if she wants to tell you folks. I also shared some of my escapades during
high school. Dely also gave us a glimpse and soothing to our ears of her lovely voice while accompanying herself on the piano.
Like I said, this Harold is one lucky fellow. God bless you Harold, you sure know how to pick them. Did
any of you guys notice how sweet Dely treats Harold?
As I promised, I would drink with JD and SMQ and we did. We wound up tasting a very special wine from the
Sonoma vineyards. A true red wine that was priceless – a bottle of L. ASIMONT, courtesy of Dely. Thank you so much Dely!
October 17, 2014, Julie and the gang who were staying at the Wyndham decided to rent a big Toyota Siena.
They picked me and Becky up and we all decided to have dim sum at the Rio’s. Notice the pictures? Becky
did an impromptu joke and one of the ladies copied Becky which was noticed by one of the waiters. When
we were leaving the waiter sure enough did his rendition and we all wind up laughing. We then proceeded to Smith’s
to buy the cutlery, paper plates, soda, water for the picnic.. Back to the hotel to freshen up and get ready for the buffet at
the Paris Hotel. At the Gold Coast Hotel lobby, we saw Didi Quismundo Steven, his son, daughter and a good friend.
It was nice to see Didi again as she was always attending reunions – starting from San Juan Capistrano, the Philippines, Las Vegas 2011.
Present at Le Buffet were Rene and wife Maria (always nice to see you two and Maria is always upbeat), Tony, Ernie, Letty and
Brig (how wonderful to see you both again-sorry to hear Brig was having stomach problems), Remy (how
can we ever thank you?) Victor (you deserve more than a thank you), Anita, Nelson, Betsy, Julie R, Julie D,
Perla R, Mate, Susan, Cora Domingo Bock and Rick Bock (after 56 years I got to see you again), Letty Abad Chard
and Doug Chard (again after 56 years I got to see you again), Nelson. Betsy, and Dely and Harold. Naturally it was
conversation galore. After a while some of the folks decided to go dancing at the Gold Coast Hotel. A band named Klique
(mostly Pinoy musicians and singers) was were performing. The crowd there must be 98% Filipinos. Would you believe that
Julie R was so thirsty that she took one of the water bottles and opened it. She was going to repay the owner and then the
surprise occurred. The owner turned out to be Julie’s godson! Naturally, they wound sharing memories and the nice
thing about it is he did a “Mano po ninang”! Later on some of the ladies tried the machines and some were
lucky to win a few bucks. At 1:00 am we all called it a day. Tomorrow will be the picnic.
October 18, 2014, we headed for the Spring Mountain and please do not ask why we arrived just in time for
lunch. Julie R might heckle Victor. At the picnic, we got to meet Charito Misa and John. Charito was telling a
story and what caught my attention was when she was talking about this older woman who attracted a much
younger man. We left the Spring Mountain grounds around 3 PM and headed back to the hotel and then for the
Grand Lux at the Palazzo. We arrived at the Palazzo with Victor with a lot of beautiful roses. I was the lucky diner
who had a special order of Royale Chicken. I met Adoracion Sarthou Kalambakal and her husband Dan? Dely
entertained us with her rendition of “Ave Maria”. Thanks Harold for bringing in the piano. We met Ken (ex of Julie R).
The roses and cards were presented to our gracious hosts Remy, Pearl, Julie and Victor (card only).
Thank you all for an excellent team play. I also had a chance to chat with Juanita Olmedo Lerma.
October 19, 2014, we had brunch at the Salo Salo Grill but not all were able to attend this one as some of us
were already heading home. At this place more fun and enjoyment. I had to tell Michelle that her mom, Dely, had
a ponytail in high school. We all parted with keeping the idea of a future reunion. All the suggestions are now being
exchanged on the internet. In the evening, we went to see a Variety Show at the V Theatre at Planet Hollywood.
October 21, 2014, before our trip back home, we spent a nice quiet dinner with Victor and Anita. We love you
guys and thank you so much for everything and for dropping us off at the airport.
This experience was so wonderful and fulfilling. The attendees were warm, fun to be with and very engaging.
That Arellano High School sure turned out a lot of good people. I have added a few more names on my list who
were very meaningful to this reunion. Thank you all for the memories.
Love and God bless from Cesar Cruz.