A highpoint of its celebration is the launch of Assumption: A to Z. This alphabet book of Assumption traditions, customs, history, events, people, personages and more is the brainchild of Lui de Vera (class ’67). A visual artist and painter, Lui illustrated the 276 pages with vintage and contemporary photos, maps, and playful cartoons. Even a cursory look is rewarded with a visual feast. Members of the class and friends contributed to the research and writing but the stalwarts who shepherded the book early on until completion were Petita Aguirre, Nanette Valmores, Francie Teves, Babs Ansaldo, and Tata Poblador. For these ladies and Lui, the entire project was a labor of love.
Assumption: A to Z is a book by the class of ’67 but not about class ’67. Rather, it is an ode to the bicentennial of Assumption Foundress St. Marie Eugenie, who was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, the book imparts scarcely-known interesting details about Eugenie: her family background, events that shaped her life, her mentors and guardians, philosophy and passions, and the influences that inspired the 21-year old to found a congregation in honor of Mary’s Assumption. It then traces the origins and growth of the Assumption over the past 200 years: from the opening of Assumption’s first boarding school in 1842 with 8 students in the 5th arrondisement of Paris up to its spread to 35 countries throughout the world. The origins and circumstances that molded Assumption Malate, Iloilo, San Lorenzo, and Antipolo are well covered. Homage is given to the now revered - but once feared - heroines of the local order: Mother Rosa Maria, Mother Esperanza, Mother Marthe and all the superiors, mistresses of class, and hermanas who nurtured – and continue to do so - Assumptionistas throughout the years.
But Assumption: A to Z is far from being a dry historical accounting. It is replete with essays of Assumption student life, including the recreation pastimes of bataille and warball; festive, fun occasions such as the yearly kermesse, Mission Day Fairs with its Assumption tarts, proms; as well as dreaded events such as the annual vaccinations and the quarterly Lecture of Notes. The various music “combos” of the 60s such as the Pony Debs, Bogey Dogeys, Tinkerbelles and others are fondly recollected along with extracurricular activities such as Glee Club, Drama Club, and Girl Scouts. Vignettes of student hijinks and meted punishments are wistfully recounted. Copious quotations from students and nuns give perspective of how one group viewed the other and vice versa. And there are recipes of Assumptions girls’ favorite fare – e.g. Assumption Tart - as well as some capricious ones (Poison for One’s Mother-in-Law.)
Then there are the memories that highlight the spiritual traditions and values that have shaped each Assumption student throughout the years. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, spiritual bouquets, annual spiritual retreats – such practices were intrinsic in the Assumption student’s life, instilling in her a devotion to the Divine and to Christ’s mother Mary. Instructing catechism in public schools, visits to hospitals and orphanages, and raising money for the missions provided practical ways to demonstrate this devotion. Service to others was a value instilled in Assumptionistas.
Sr. Anunciata Ma., beloved by class 67, has said, “Not many know what Assumption really is – and Assumption: A to Z reveals what is deep in its roots, and what is still meant to be.” The book encompasses memories of generations of Assumption students and their mentors. It promises to evoke nostalgia for the Assumption of yore while inspiring hope for Assumption now here and yet to come.
Assumption: A to Z … something every Assumption girl should own.
The book launching is at 3pm on 10 March at the Assumption San Lorenzo Assembly Hall, PCFC Building. Books are being sold for P 1,500.00 each. For orders, please text or call Tata Poblador at +639178120046 or email her at email@example.com .