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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