Confessions of AttyArj

I – Ilang-Ilang

September 17, 2008


            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!


    August 2020
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