High school is the place where legends are born. My particular high school wasn’t like the high schools featured on Gossip Girl and The OC for the sole reason that it was a Christian school and unlike other schools, what made you popular were not the parties you went to but how you performed as a student and as an individual. And in our alma mater, there was no more mystical bunch than that of the Pastores sisters. All four girls were tall and slender with beautiful smiles to boot and they were known not just for their looks but most especially for their history of being overachievers. It doesn’t matter what batch you belonged to, you were bound to know and interact with a Pastores somehow. They were always somehow running the show in one way or another. The brood, which is made up of Stella, Kai, Laura, and Angel, has always been known to take the lead may it be in academics or extracurricular activities. The two youngest of the bunch, Laura and Angel, have long been known as graceful ballerinas. Everyone was sure that they were on to do great things in the world and everyone was right. But what sets them apart is the fact that they use whatever talent and smarts they have to make the nation a better place.
It has been ten years since high school (yelp!) and I finally had the chance to catch up with old friends Kai (who was a year older than me in school and the one who gave me the opportunity to write for this very paper) and Laura (my younger brother’s former batchmate). A lot has happened in ten years but it was safe to say that Laura and Kai were still as overachieving as they have always been. Kai, who recently completed her Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, is now married to Kaya Natin’s Harvey Keh and is focusing all of her efforts on nation building through several non-government organizations including Excel Center for Educational Leadership. Laura, who completed her degree from Westminister College in Missouri, is also involved in Excel Center for Educational Leadership along with other NGOs. Their two sisters, Stella is a lawyer and is married with two adorable kids, Sophia and Jaden, while Angel is following the footsteps of their parents by studying to become a doctor at the University of Sto. Tomas.
For years, I have wondered what it was like to grow up a Pastores and always wondered what the secret was. But when asked about the question, they were actually quite surprised because for the down-to-earth sisters, they were simply doing what needed to be done. When asked to describe their home environment Laura was quick to say, “We are a very close-knit family made up of the corniest people ever. Our parents made sure that family, next to God, was their top priority despite their busy schedules as doctors. They never missed any parent-teacher conferences, recitals, graduations, and family dinners. I think their active presence in our lives fostered the loving environment we grew up in.”
And despite growing up equally successful, pressure and competition is not present among the four sisters and their family in general, “We grew up in a very loving and supportive environment. There was no pressure from our parents to excel in school, rather, they would encourage us to do our best. Big difference.They would reward our hard work with a little trinket every quarter of the school year to keep us going. And honestly, I think my sisters and I were all somewhat a little nerdy so we liked reading, which made it easier to study class materials. Living in a house full of girls is actually really fun! We borrow each other's clothes, shoes, and just get along really well.”
At the end of the day, the Pastores clan proves that in order for family to succeed love, acceptance, and support is important. It’s the simple things like making time for each other, the way their parents have always made time for them that has created a home safe enough to create a breed of superwomen.