Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the Year for the State
of Wisconsin (U.S.-SBA)
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In my high school days, I was the Features Editor of our school paper, The Lagunian. My reason for joining the Journalism team was simply to
practice and improve my writing, be able to express myself better in words, and be a better “reporter” in most of my classes. I must be thankful for
doing it because the experience not only gave me a distinct advantage in competing for academic honors but it also greatly influenced my
decision to take up mass communication courses and earn a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of the Philippines years
later. It was my writing and editing skills that helped me build my career, starting as staff writer to editor and publications division to deputy
director in the Philippine Congress’ House of Representatives-Plenary Affairs Bureau. It was the same set of skills that helped me start a career
in the U.S.
Upon my return to the Philippines to spend my early retirement years with my family, I was naturally drawn back to my hometown where I found a
number of former high school classmates already retired but busy getting together often and planning for our Golden Jubilee reunion this year. In
between these planning sessions were get-togethers for birthdays, family weddings, baptismals, fiestas, and even funerals. I became interested
in actively participating in this working group, hoping to help while at the same time rekindling friendly relationships and sharing fun moments
with my old classmates, of course!
I have never ever thought I’d be working on my high school class’ Grand Jubilee Souvenir Book, but I found myself volunteering to chair the
subcommittee that would do it. I truly was relying on my publishing experiences and my passion for this line of work; thus the start of the journey
toward creating a Souvenir Program/Book which would capture the two-day Grand Reunion celebration of our high school’s Class ’68.
Our Grand Reunion was held last February 17-18 in our hometown of Sta. Cruz, with more than 230 student-attendees and 15 former teachers.
The main program during the first day was held at the Cultural Center of Laguna near the Provincial Capitol. We had games, raffles, dance
numbers, and lots of food. That night, we had ballroom dancing with a live band, and the big hall literally was full of happy, eager and colourfully-
attired dancers. The second day was a picnic at a resort in another town, which, aside from lots of food, featured videoke singing, dancing, and
All in all, thousands of photos were taken by the photographers we hired months before. And it was my role to choose and reformat each photo for
inclusion in the Souvenir Program/Book. The job was not easy, for I had to conceptualize the layout of a 130-page hard-bound book, full color, with
sections that would include messages, facial shots of attendees, the two-day photo coverage, the Then and Now photos, List of Departed
Classmates, Acknowledgment pages, and tons of advertising pages. I am not done yet, and my team isn’t giving up as far as creating ads for
classmates who contributed money for the Souvenir Program/Book’s printing cost though never indicated their intention to have an ad. Again, I
am thankful I have the skills to make this happen, and extra thankful for two batch mates helping me complete the job.
Looking at the first draft, I am quite satisfied and happy that pretty soon, our high school’s 50th Anniversary celebration would be memorialized in
the form of a beautiful book that we could keep forever for ourselves and our families.
Let me share with you some of the photos I reformatted for our book. I am sure my story here resonates with some of you. Remember your high
school days and your reunions?