It was a sparkling September day at the Pacific Community Center and Park in Glendale, CA for the 3rd APO Kids Reunion. Ten years after the first homecoming, with the second being held in 2007, most of the kids have grown up to be responsible young men and women.  The park gazebo was transformed into a hub for games, fellowship, food and fun among the boisterous, excited and happy revelers.

The youngest of them was Elijah Jovellanos, who participated alongside the “big boys” during the Hula Hoop challenge between Boys vs. Girls. Alexis Salas and Lauren Calvario took leadership roles for the Hula Hoop Challenge and Hannah Marte, a top ten candidate in the recently held Miss Philippines USA, led her team to victory during the Egg Relay with her “Fierce Model Walk.”

Several popular television games, such as the “Minute To Win It” were played. Others caught up with their long-lost friends they have not seen in years or simply reminisced about the earlier days of APO gatherings and memorable camping adventures. Pizza, soda, water, chips and a variety of food were in abundance!

There were also Volleyball and Basketball games before the group occupied the Center Hall for the evening’s festivities. Tita Ella Gomez unveiled her Vegetarian Pasta and Spaghetti with meat Sauce while Tita Gie Rivera brought her sumptuous Garden Salad for a healthy dinner, with more pizza in the menu! Indoor activities included more “Minute to Win It” games, drawing laughter, unending jokes and tears among the contestants, amid the watchful eyes of the parents.

A video montage of old photos of the kids elicited appreciative laughter and cheers from everyone. Highlight of the day came with the presentation of special awards, such as “The Princess Awards” awarded to Hannah Marte and Grazie Lara. “The Good Attitude Award” went to Kristin Mae Sy and Helena Marte while “The Nostalgic Award” went to Mikael Gayon. “The On Time Award” for punctuality went to James Magsino and “the Show-Off Award” went to Glenn Rivera and Paco Franco. “The Leadership Award” went to Alexis Salas and Lauren Calvario while “The Sparkling Personality Award” went to Jerelle Medina.

The Reunion Committee was led by co-chairs Nikki Rivera and Genelle Arroyo and were ably assisted by Erica Galang, KC Ingco, Jerome Gomez and Grant Gomez, who regularly met, planned, and coordinated all the activities of the day. When all was said and done, it was one exciting, fun-filled, and memorable day at the park with the APO Kids we grew up with and those who are catching up with us. See you all at the next homecoming!