The reunion party registration started at 11 am and the program proper and lunch started at 12 noon. It was held at a posh restaurant south of Metro Manila called Leslie's Restaurant in the Ayala, Alabang area.
Close to 300 former AMD colleagues gathered in this first ever Grand Reunion.
I'm glad I still remember many of the production operators by face and a few, by name even. I'm gladder that they still knew me too.
Of course, my 5 years of service is no match with DH's 30 years and everybody there knew her. Some even learned of her accident beforehand and asked her about it.
Advanced Micro Devices' Curtain Call
It was more than 20 years ago, in 1989, I believe, when Advanced Micro Devices decided to close down its factory in the Philippines. It wasn't clear to me what the reason was other than the factory's plants known as AMD1 (Hermetics), AMD2 (Plastics) and AMD3 (Test) were to be sold to Korean industrial giant, Amkor.
I still remember many production operators then who were in tears, clueless of their beloved second home's uncertain future. A rallying motto during those turbulent times chanted by colleagues was the phrase "AMD Forever!"
Preparation for the Grand Reunion
Isn't it funny that funeral wakes become mini-reunions themselves? I think the ball for this grand reunion started rolling after one former AMD'er, Andrew Morilla, passed away.
Naturally, many of those who attended the wake were former AMD'ers themselves and the idea to gather former colleagues in a grand reunion was born.
The popular social networking site, Facebook, became the tool for contacting and informing long lost officemates for the forthcoming reunion. The program committee did a very good job, overall, in organizing and planning for the grand reunion.
Why Attend the Reunion
DH and I never had second thoughts in attending the grand reunion. The total reunion fee was Php 450. That's Php 200 for the venue (yup, THAT expensive) and Php 250 for the catering (food, drinks, etc).
In spite of the relatively steep fee, we paid on time. Reunions, for us, are always fun. Just a few months ago, DH had the opportunity to attend a mini-reunion for their AMD QC department in a former colleague's home.
I've attended a couple of high school reunions. The first was the 25 Anniversary of our High School Graduation. The second one was the 30th Anniversary where I even wrote reasons for attending a high school reunion.
Food and Entertainment
Food was ready on the dot and the buffet table was full! My dinner plate was already full and I haven't reached yet the last dishes at the end of the long buffet table. Drinks were mostly juices like coconut juice and iced tea - no soda.
On the entertainment side, there were parlor games galore. There were relay games and games for couples, married and unmarried.
What party games would be complete without the "Bring Me" game? There were prizes for an AMD ID card, Picture with old Ray Wollesen, AMD Pendant (for 5 years service) and more.
There was also a medley dance number by former lady AMD'ers. Finally, there were raffle prizes, cash prizes and lute bags. Even with two tickets, neither DH nor I won a raffle prize though.
Blips and Hassles
Although the even was organized well, overall, there a few annoyances.
I'm sure everyone enjoyed the entertainment, especially the raffling off of prizes which took much of the alloted time. Unfortunately, not enough time was given for what attendees went there for - picture-taking!
At around 10 minutes to cut-off time, photo-ops by department was announced. Mayhem ensued because everyone on the second floor rush downstairs to have their pictures taken. They knew the reservation to the venue ends at 5 pm.
There didn't seem to be a single official photographer and everyone was jockeying for position. This resulted in pictures with AMD'ers facing every other direction.
Also, even when it announced that photo-ops would be by department, some overly eager beavers got carried away and posed with whatever groups were having their pictures taken. WTH?
Here's one that particularly caught my eye. Apparently, the attendee in the picture got carried away in the brief melee.
Don't you just love it when after posing for a group picture, someone suddenly pops up right in front and dead smack in the center?
I know it wasn't deliberate to block the shot and ruin the group picture. Unfortunately, because of the big crowd, many of these instances did happen.
Lucky to Get Out Early
After the first photo-op, which was DH's department, I was ready to leave. My feet were killing me. I've not worn leather shoes for a long time and my feet were sore and tired.
Even at my previous office, I only wore sandals and then changed to the standard white soft shoes issued by the company as is typical with semiconductor companies.
I expected the AMD'er turnout to be big. I didn't expect the parking lot to be filled to the brim, however. When I got out of the restaurant, I noticed a van blocking our car. Thankfully, the driver was there and moved it out of the way.
I believe we're the first ones to leave but still managed to finish the reunion program. I could only imagine the snarl that followed after we left the grand reunion. Still, a memorable and enjoyable event.