Confessions of AttyArj

I – Ilang-Ilang part II

October 11, 2008
4 Comments

Sabi ni Mama, they transferred us to a public school para hindi kami lumaking suplada, maarte at pa-sosyal.  (Sorry Ma, suplada’t maarte na talaga kami.)  Sabi ni Papa, maganda daw sa RTPI, parang Science High School and duon daw nag-aaral lahat ng honor students nang Rizal province.  (Like I care! I don’t even know them!) Sabi ni Ate (na medyo nag-rerebelde din), hindi daw totoo yun, nag-titipid lang daw parents namin.  Grabe naman, sobra kaming tinipid.  Imagine, yung tuition fee ko for one school year P180.00 lang (as in!).  Tapos, libre pa yung books.  Grabe noh, child abuse, hehehe.  Sayang, wala pang RA 7610 (anti-child abuse law) that time, hehehe.

Para makabawi sa parents ko, I demanded that they buy me expensive stuff for school.  I remember I had the most fabulous bag freshmen year, it was a black and white “Felix the Cat” messenger bag na may velcro lock that goes all the way across.  I remember I can’t open my bag in one go kasi sobrang ingay nung velcro, na-ba-bother yung mga teacher namin. 

I can’t find a picture of the bag but here’s Felix:

Felix the Cat

Felix the Cat

 Cute noh?  Did he bring your memories back too?

Anyway, back to my story. 

To further my rebellion, I refused to wear the prescribed uniform (remember the generic uniform of all public schools back then?  It’s the plain white blouse and the plain blue skirt.) the first two weeks of class kahit ready na yung uniform ko.  Whenever the teachers ask why I’m in civilian clothes, I just say na transferee ako at tinatahi pa yung uniform ko.

The first few weeks of class served as an eye opener for me.  Kumbaga, namulat ako sa katotohanan na marami palang mahirap sa Rizal.  I felt a bit guilty kasi ang yabang yabang ko nun.  Eventually, my personality changed.  I no longer showed off my things because 70% of the class have nothing.  It’s freshmen year and yet most of my classmates’ uniforms were luma na.  Yun ang start nang pag-ba-bagong buhay ko.  Dyologs kung dyologs.  Hindi na ako mayabang at pa-sosyal, maarte na lang.   

Since galing akong Siena at medyo maayos ang grammar, naging favorite ako ng English teacher namin.  Grabe, lahat ata nang essay writing contest at spelling bee nung first year isinali nya ako.  Problema, madalas akong ma-out sa Difficult Level kasi hindi ako familiar sa words.  Never akong nanalo.  Sayang, kasi yung mga words na pang Clincher or Final Round mga spelling words namin sa Siena kaya memorize ko.  “A” and “D” probably knows what I’m talking about kasi sila yung madalas kong kalaban sa spelling bee.  Sila ang mga pambato ng I-Sampaguita, section 1, hmmph!

Halfway through the school year, masaya na ako sa bago kong school, madami na akong friends and medyo sumikat ako sa campus because of an incident involving my Mama.

Hindi ko matandaan if it was the first or second PTA Meeting basta ang alam ko bago pumunta nang meeting si Mama, nag-atend muna ng wedding.  Nang papa-uwi na kami, napansin ni Mama na wala na yung necklace nya so punta agad kami sa principal’s office to report the incident.  After that nagpunta sina Mama sa isang mang-huhula sa Tanay.  Sabi daw nung manghuhula, bata ang naka-kuha nung necklace, kung siya lang ang masusunod, she wants to return it, kaya lang nag-da-dalawang isip yung nanay kasi malaking pera yun pag na-benta.  Pero, ‘wag daw kaming mag-alala kasi hindi raw nya papatulugin, kokon-sensyahin daw niya.

The following Monday, I was summoned to the principal’s office, may nag-soli na daw ng necklace ni Mama.  Si Margarita yun, a fellow freshman.  It’s either mabait talaga si Margarita at yung nanay nya or nag-work yung ginawa nung mang-huhula.  I think mabait and honest lang talaga sila.  

Because of Margarita’s honesty, nag-karoon nang awarding ceremony, binigyan sha ni Mama ng reward.  Hindi ko na maalala kung ano yung reward basta ang natatandaan ko nangyari yung awarding during the flag raising ceremony sa school grounds.  Since andun lahat ng students and teachers, naging instant celebrity kami ni Ate sa campus.  Lahat nang tao, ultimo janitor at tindera ng malamig, kilala kami.  Kami kasi yung mga anak nung Aleng nawalan ng mamahaling alahas.  Way to go ‘Ma!

Nung first year din, narasanan kong maging girl scout at mag-camping for the first time.  Natuto akong mag-tayo ng tent (kaya lang umulan so sa basketball gym kami natulog), mag-prito ng itlog sa manila paper (for real!), mag-basa ng trail signs (yung mga pinag-patong patong na bato at tinali-taling dayami na nag-tuturo ng direction.  whatevs!), mag-buhol (knot tying ang tawag duon) at matulog sa cardboard (not fun at all). 

Masaya pala sa public school, ang daming extra-curricular activities.  Meron pang sunrise parade at torch parade.  Yung sunrise or bukang-liwayway parade (ayan ha, free tagalog lessons kayo), ginagawa pag start ng scouting week.  You have to wake up at 4am, wear year girl scout uniform and then go to school for the parade.  Yun namang torch parade eh pag-matatapos na yung scouting week.  Pang-sunset naman yun and kanya-kanyang dala nang tibanglos (torch).   

The most important lesson that I learned during freshmen year was to never cheat.  Cheating is bad.  May karmang kapalit.  

Nung first year, nagulat ako kasi uso ang cheating.  Mahilig mag-kopyahan ang mga kaklase ko.  Sa Siena kasi mahirap mag-cheating kasi may folder lahat pag may test.  Bawal mag-usap at lumingon sa likod at sa katabi.  Sa RTPI walang folder, pwede mong tanungin yung katabi mo or basahin nang pa-simple yung sagot nya, kelangan discreet ka lang at ‘wag mag-papahalata or mag-papahuli sa teacher.  Yahoo!  I love it!

Halfway through the school year, when I was already getting the hang of the cheating thing, something very very bad happened.  Hindi na ako nahuli noh!  May x-ray vision eyes ako at magaling sumimple.  I didn’t get caught but I caught bulutong, as in chicken pox!  Eh malay ko bang may bulutong si Rommel na seatmate ko.  Mokong na yun, kaya pala he’s red all over, binu-bulutong na pala, hindi man lang ako sinabihan, hmmmph!

Because of the bulutong incident, more than one week akong hindi naka-pasok.  Pag-pasok ko, may exam pala sa History at wala akong ka-alam-alam!  History yun, hindi pwedeng bolahin or hulaan, patay!  Resulta, bagsak ang lola mo sa exam.  Ms. Fulgado gave me a 78 sa 3rd Grading Period so sugod ang Papa ko, kinausap ang bruhang teacher.  Aba, siempre ang drama ko, kasalanan nung teacher kung bakit mababa ang grade ko sa History, sabi ko hindi man lang ako binigyan nang chance eh matagal akong absent.  Nasan na kaya si Ms. Fulgado?  Pag nakita nyo paki-sabi galit pa rin ako sa kanya.  Paki-sabi hindi kelangan ang history para pumasa nang bar exam, hehehe.

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taga RTPI

October 1, 2008
7 Comments

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a blog site maintained by a (high) school mate.  The blog site’s name is “Taga-RTPI” so I read some of the blog entries.  Since he’s just a year older, I can totally relate to his anecdotes, kilala ko rin halos lahat ng characters (i chose this word kasi ‘karakter’ talaga sila) mentioned.  How can I forget about them eh isa ako sa mga COCCng (Cadet Officer Candidate Course) pinahirapan at tinerorize ng mga CAT officers ng batch nila.

To the author of said blog (I think I know who he is), kudos to you.  Your anecdotes were funny, well written and, sa totoo lang, made me a little nostalgic.  Parang nag-flash back lahat memories ko with your batch, good and bad.  I have a pretty good memory but, compared to you, para akong si Dory (nang Finding Nemo).  Grabe, naalala mo lahat yun?  And wala akong masabi sa pagkasentimental mo ha, I can’t believe you saved your senior shirt and sports fest uniform.  Siguro pati ID, report card at back issues ng RTPI school paper itinago mo rin.  Question, malaki ba ang bodega nyo?

Anyway, enough intro.  The reason why I’m writing about the said site is because I can’t seem to access his account.  I repeatedly tried to post a comment to his “sabayang recitation” blog entry pero ayaw talaga, laging nag-e-error.  So, dito na lang.

In said blog, Taga-RTPI blogged (este, bragged) about their prowess in the chorale recitation* and then talked about their abysmal (hehehe) performance in sabayang pagbigkas**.  Sa RTPI kasi, every English Week and Linggo ng Wika, ang highlight ng celebration eh yung dalawang contest na yun, ang labanan kasi eh per year level.  Yung batch ’91, according to Taga-RTPI, won the chorale recitation during their sophomore, junior and senior years, pero never silang nanalo sa sabayang pagbigkas.  At dahil medyo nagka-amnesya ata sha kaya di nya nai-kwento kung sinong champion sa sabayang pagbigkas, gusto ko sana siyang i-remind na kami (batch ’92) yung tumalo sa kanila in all those years.  Problema, hindi nga ako makapag-post ng message sa site nya.  Kainis!  Karma ata yun, bad intentions kasi, hehehe.

Eto sana comment ko.  Sana mabasa nya.

“FYI, kami po yung tumalo sa inyo for 3 consecutive years.  Sori ha, mas magaling lang talaga kami sa inyo.  Had we known na dadalhin nyo hanggang ngayon yung bitterness at sama nang loob ng pag-katalo, sana hindi kami gaanong nag-praktis.  Peace!”

From a proud member of batch ’92 (sabayang pagbigkas champion for 4 yrs.)

“FYI again, Dev Comm din ako, nag-training (meaning, nag-panggap na manunulat) sumulat kay Sumikat S. and I eat at Guevarra’s, hehehe.”

 

 

*a yearly English Week competition.

**also a yearly competition done every Linggo ng Wika.      

 

   


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I – Ilang-Ilang

September 17, 2008
2 Comments

 

            While my classmates and the other graduating students were excited and busy preparing for our graduation program, I was likewise busy but for an entirely different objective.  I was busy scheming and thinking of various ways and means on how to convince my parents to let me enroll in Assumption Antipolo or, at least, let me stay in Siena.

 

            Given that my Ate already lost her case (at that time, she was already a sophomore in RTPI*, the public high school where my parents were threatening to enroll me), I figured that drastic measures had to be taken.  A drama scene (translated, crying bout) worthy of a FAMAS award (forgive me, I’m not yet familiar with the Oscar’s and the Emmy’s) was definitely in order.   

 

            Since my miserable grades failed to secure me a slot in the honor roll, I didn’t have any bargaining chip.  I have nothing.  I was a lost cause.  Not even my best rehearsed line — “pero pag sa Assumption or Siena po ako nag-High School sigurado, sa magandang school ako sa college” worked.  I’m doomed. 

 

            Eventually, summer came.  I had no choice but to take the RTPI’s entrance exam.  Although its my first time to take an entrance exam, I was pretty confident considering that I came from a private school.  sabi kasi nila advance daw ang lessons sa private schools.  Mas magagaling daw ang graduate sa private schools.  And so, with the intention of proving those theories correct, I went inside the examination room, took my seat and prepared to ace the exam.  How hard could it be right?  Wrong! 

 

            While the rest of the exam was a breeze, there was a portion that dealt with electric meters and electricity consumption.  DUH!  Who cares?  What do I know about the dials found in electric meters?  All I know is that we receive MERALCO bills every month.  Also, there was that Science thing about dry cells.  What the f_ _k are dry cells**?  And then there was a lot of abstract stuff.  (I hate hate hate hate haaate abstract.  Kaya ata ako pumasa ng Bar kasi walang abstract) Suffice it to state, I didn’t do well in the exam.   

 

            To make matters worse, my neighborhood contemporaries, all of whom studied in public elementary schools, seemed to have aced the exam.  When they walked out of the room, I noticed that, unlike me, they wore smiles on their faces and were talking animatedly.  Parang nadalian ata sila?  Paano nangyari yun?  Kala ko ba ‘advance’ kami? 

 

            When I came out of the room with a somber face, Mama asked me what’s wrong.  I told her that I had a hard time, the exam was difficult and that I had no idea what some of the questions were.  Mama told me not to feel bad and that she’s confident that I did better than the rest.   

 

            Two weeks before the start of classes, the results of the exam came out and were posted in the campus bulletin board.  And what a big board it was.  Imagine, there were no less than 23 freshmen sections with no less than 50 students each.  Finding one’s name was an adventure.  A nightmare.  A heart attack waiting to happen. 

 

            What if my name’s not on the list?  No way!  What if I didn’t pass?  Not possible.  On second thought, that’s good news right?  If ever, I’ll be able to study in the school of my choice.  Yipee!  But still….it’s so dyahe (embarrassing) to fail.          

 

            After pouring over the list for 20 minutes or so, somebody told Mama that she found my name and that I’m in the I – Ilang-Ilang section.  I – Ilang-Ilang?  Ang pangit naman.  Walang dating.  Why not the pretty flowers like Rosal? or Camia? or Carnation?

 

            True enough, my name was there.  I’m one of the 52 students relegated to section I – Ilang-Ilang. 

 

            Since the sections weren’t posted in order (as we have come to know, in RTPI students are ranked and there’s usually a pilot section), we asked around regarding Ilang-Ilang’s section number.  Although no one seemed to know, one smart ass told Mama that, the year before, Ilang-Ilang was section 22.  Section 22?  Whaaat???

 

            And then the Dam broke.  I couldn’t, in all honesty, contain my misery.  Section 22 out of 23? I bawled.  Bhu hu hu…..nakakahiya……bhu hu hu……galing pa naman akong private school…..sob sob sob…..section 1 ako sa Siena, tapos dito kulelat…..bhu hu hu…..bakit si Ate section 2?…..waaaaa….      

 

            When we got home, Papa, for my peace of mind (actually, probably more of his), went out to talk to someone who might know the real deal about my section dilemma.  After two hours, he returned with some news.  Good news – I’m not section 22.  I knew it!  Bad news – I didn’t get into the pilot class, Ilang-Ilang is (just) section 2.  Loser!

           

          

            *RTPI is the acronym for Rizal Technological and Polytechnic Institute.  It’s in the heart of the Municipality of Morong, Rizal.  Every year, elementary graduates (including the honor students) from neighboring Rizal towns converge to study in RTPI.  In the 80’s, RTPI, considering its student population, is probably the 2nd largest school in the Philippines (Rizal High in Pasig holds the top position and the Guinness World Record).  Over the years, RTPI went through a lot of changes.  I think it’s now part of the conglomeration of Rizal public schools known us the University of Rizal System.   

          **A few weeks into freshmen year, I found out that dry cells are batteries lang pala.  As in Eveready!  DUH!


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