Education, Innovation and Inspiration at this year's Alumni Homecoming

December 07, 2018
Ateneo High School Batch ’93 calls all Ateneans to gather at the Grand Alumni Homecoming on Saturday, December 8, 2018 for a night of reminiscing and giving back. 
The batch and founders of The Blue Legacy, return to the hill and head this year’s Alumni Homecoming. The Blue Legacy is “an alumni-based program that aims to support Ateneo-based beneficiaries via scholarships, programs and other endowments.” 
“The Ateneo de Manila High School has undoubtedly made a huge impact in the lives of its graduates. Through its values and instruction, it has left an indelible mark in the alumni’s hearts and minds, inspiring them to become men- and women-for-others,” the group writes on their Facebook. 
“Years after, they return more experienced and knowledgeable, more mature and confident, and yes, eager to share and give back to the school they’d once called ‘home.’”
We asked the Vice Chairman, J.A. Ramon “Monchu” M. Lucero (G.S. ’89, H.S. ’93, AB Economics ’97) how it feels to head this year’s Grand Alumni Homecoming, what his favorite Ateneo and Katipunan hangout spots are, and more. 
How does it feel to be at the helm of this year’s Alumni Homecoming event?
It's an incredible honor for AHS93 to helm Homecoming 2018, so it is a "happy" kind of pressure! We knew that this would be our only time to host, and we took our responsibilities seriously. Through the support of our Chairman, Atty. Miko Palarca, we established a foundation with a Board of Trustees (our Executive Committee), composed of representatives from every section in our batch, and we also involved our batchmates from Grade School batch '89.
What do you hope the attendees of this year's Homecoming take away from it?
On December 8, we hope that everyone leaves with smiles on their faces, but also takes home a challenge: "What is my Blue Legacy?"
Our batch chose to banner our homecoming year as "The Blue Legacy: Education. Innovation. Inspiration." We wanted to celebrate Ateneo's "blue legacy" to us, as alumni, while also acknowledging our imprint on the lives of our families, friends, and colleagues. The "legacy" concept guided us from the start—from our logo (crafted by our Creative Director, Tonypet Sarmiento) and collaterals, to our chosen fundraising activities and beneficiaries and to the homecoming event itself. We will also be launching an innovation CSR program that will hopefully live on for years to come. This is our Blue Legacy.

Lucero (third from right) and his batch.
What were the difficulties and challenges in organizing this event?
This Homecoming Night took over a year in the making! Our Execom held its first meeting in October 2017, and started fundraising activities last February. 
An event of this scale—almost 2,000 attendees—requires massive funding, so the initial difficulty lay in organizing and marketing fundraising activities. We also needed to produce a great set-up and opening act, meet with various jubilarian batches, and coordinate with different Ateneo departments for facilities, permits, protocols, etc. Special thanks go to our event organizer, EVENTually, and our marketing consultants, Estima.
On the other hand, what's been the most memorable moment in organizing the homecoming?
For me, the most memorable moments of homecoming year are the meetings and activities of our foundation. The Execom is a fun, yet hardworking bunch of guys. It is an honor serving with them.
Why did you choose the greatest showman as the homecoming theme?
At the start of 2018, we already decided to go with the "vintage circus" theme, inspired by "The Greatest Showman" movie, which members of the Execom enjoyed. It proved to be the perfect choice, because we wanted the event to be memorable and something that we could bring our families to.
The class' block screening of the musical "Ang Huling El Bimbo."
What is your own, personal "Blue Legacy"?
I would hope that people remember me as a nice guy and loyal friend.
What was your favorite memory in Ateneo High School?
My section's entry for Timpalak Dula (AHS 3-B), which placed 3rd, and where I played the role of "Jesus"—my first time to perform and sing onstage. We put so much work and heart into the production, and it was the time I realized how strong our class' bond was.
It was that same bond that got us through our section's homecoming fundraiser: a very successful block show of the musical, "Ang Huling El Bimbo" last July 28.
Lucero's classmates throughout high school.
What were you favorite hangout spots on campus and Katipunan?
In GS and HS, probably Shakey's, as that was where most of our parties were held. In college, I would hangout in the Galian Room—the air-conditioned corner room with a view—which was at the old Colayco Building (now the MVP Center for Leadership).
Who was your favorite teacher/what was your favorite subject? 
My favorite subject was Practical/Visual Arts (AHS 1-B) with Mrs. Angelita Perez. For some reason, she loved my artwork, and she had 4 of my projects framed and hung in the halls of the Admin building. (I loved many of my teachers, so I wouldn't want to name a favorite.)