Saturday, September 5, 2020

Remembering Maryknoller Maricel Lopez Hahn by Marissa Tay


My Maryknoll classmate Marissa Tay remembers our classmate Maricel Lopez Hahn who passed away last Aug. 27, 2020. 
 ~ Cecilia 

Remembering Maricel Lopez Hahn

By Marissa Tay

  My ‘closer friendship’ with Maricel began in 2014. I knew her from way back half a century ago, we were friendly because of our  St. Joseph’s Villa connection, but it was in 2014 that a true friendship blossomed. We met in Toronto 2014 for a visit, on Tere Valenton-Concepcion’s invitation, because Nina Lim-Yuson was attending a conference, and  a handful of us who lived close by to Toronto saw a great opportunity to reconnect with classmates before the big reunion in 2018. 

 Our friendship half- a century ago, was superficial, we both agreed. Those years found ourselves shy, unsure of being accepted by new friends, full of insecurities so we did the safe thing, we  limited our friends to those from our provinces. Except for the assigned dorm-roommate (mine was Alice Edano) I stayed with the Davawenos and Maricel with the Ilongos. We recalled good college days. So many adventures and misadventures . In the Villa we  learned to smoke, drink, eat someone’s care package food without permission of the owner and played “hookie” with class attendance because of over-sleeping after a party night before. All these we kept from each other. We continue to think we were shy, quiet and “goody- 2- shoes” girls from the provinces. 

  Fast forward, 2014, after  almost 50 years, we reconnected again in Toronto. Now more confident, sure of ourselves, full of  life experiences, our ‘salmon run’ in a foreign land made us women of substance, so we believe. We compared notes, so much in common, interesting and interested to get to know each other more. So we did.

 In 2015 a mini-reunion in Vancouver, Canada hosted by GV, Pachot, MariquetConsing  and Lina Flor brought all of together one more time. Another opportunity to re-acquaint with the hosts, Cora Kilayco, Angie Concepcion-David and Cynthia Lazatin. It was always a joy to meet again. A  marathon sharing  of our lives well lived.

  Maricel then extended an invitation to some of us to visit her in her beautiful place and scenic island of   Chebeague, Maine the following year.

In 2016  Maricel was a perfect host to 5 more of our Class 68 classmates (Celine, Alice, Tere, Tina and myself).  Before reaching Maine, we passed by Boston, MA to visit Anita F. ( who was just recently widowed). More sharing, tears of sorrow and laughter, exchanges about grandchildren, eating, cooking, each sharing our wonderful and sometimes challenging life story. Deeper friendship fostered. We promised to keep in touch.

  Between these years, since we had become friends, we had a lovely dinner once with her husband Jeffrey. She also came to visit me for a few days where we went to Ossining to the Maryknoll Motherhouse to meet with some of our teachers in Maryknoll, like  Sr. Dorothy, and Sr. Gabriel.

  Then in 2017, we saw another opportunity to meet once again in Toronto for a Mini-reunion  just prior to the big reunion in Manila for the 2018 Golden celebration. More classmates from Canada and US, Switzerland and the Philippine.We did so much together. Talked until wee hours of the morning! So much to share. We returned to our own homes feeling blessed for the opportunities to renew friendships.

  Then the reunion of 2018, a most special gathering of of classmates after 50 years. With open arms the Philippine hosts left nothing unturned. Those of us who came from abroad were treated like royalties, with cars assigned to groups in different places,  so we were sure to find a ride.  A group of us were invited to share an apartment in Makati by our host, Marily Ysip-Orosa.  Significant to us, the place was called  “Beacon”, as later those who were there (Maricel, Tere, Tina, GV myself with a few other invited friends) formed an internet thread we named Beacon.

  We  remain connected through that thread to this day .  So much recent sharing, I feel we have become more than friends. Sisters, in fact. And I feel bereft that I lost a sister, in the absence of Maricel.


Read also:

RIP Maricel Lopez Hahn 

The Class Reunion - Remembering the Salmon Run by Cecilia Brainard

Pictures: Toronto Reunion of Maryknoll Class of 1968

Tags; Maryknoll Quezon City Maryknoller convent school collegialas Manila Philippines

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