High School Life (Happy First Decade!)
- Speedo gym bags. Doc Martens. Girbaud Stone-washed pants. Tag Heuer Watches. Ilan sa mga nausong mahal na bagay nung high school ako. I can’t believe naki-uso ako at namilit sa magulang ko na bilhan ako ng lahat ng yan. To my credit, lahat yan buhay at nagagamit ko pa (with the exception pala of my Doc Martens’ shoes, na after 13 years, last year, ay nag-rot na ang leather). The investment is paying off.
- We had to memorize the English and Metric systems for our Earth Science class. To help us, our teacher made us listen to and memorize this song called “English To Metric Conversion Song.” I think she even made us sing in front of the class, in groups or one by one ata, to make sure that we really did memorize it.It was quite effective! I remember during exams, most of us would be singing it in hushed voices or in our heads. Until now, naaalala ko pa yung first two lines ng second stanza… pero hanggang dun lang. Pero alam ko pa ang tono!
“Just multiply inches by two-point-five-four, and then you’ll get centimeters
The feet multiplied by point-three-O-five, will give you equivalent meters…”
Thanks to John Rae, who sang the whole song to me during our Sinulog vacation, nakumpleto ko na ang lyrics nito 🙂
- During our foundation week celebrations, laging merong perya rides na hina-hire ang school namin. Nung fourth year kami, kung saan most of the Student Council officers ay galing sa class namin, nagka-trahedya.Yung caterpillar na open maging sa grade school kids, nag-malfunction. It went out of control, making the operator panic and leave the ride, causing it to derail and throwing the kids out of their seats. In fact, there was one casualty. The young girl died. The incident made it to primetime news even. That was our school. After that, ilang school din ang nagbawal nang mag-rides during their school fairs. (And an arts building was presently erected and named after the young girl).
- I think I found UPCAT the most difficult. Dahil right minus wrong daw, unlike the quarterly exams in high school, hindi ako nagtangkang punuan at hulaan yung unshaded items na hindi ko natapos.Ateneo had the most difficult Math exam. Ang DLSU naman, may essay pa. I think the essay during my time was about Bonifacio or something.
- Come graduation time, nagsisimula nang maghingian ng write-ups ang mga tao sa isa’t isa. Ang nakagawian na simula pa noon ay ang mag-pass-around ng cattleya fillers at doon mo pasusulatin ang ka-close mo ng write up nila for you, which was in part an excuse to boost our adolescent egos. Ang format, tipong ganito:“Raz… Raz de la Torre… Paborito ni Mr. Elloso… Madalas naiiwan sa Gate 3… Cebu/Bohol memories!…” And so on and so forth.
Lahat ng tao, ganyan ang format. Ewan ba kung bakit walang ni isang matino at coherent paragraph na write up.
- When we were in first year, isa sa mga nauso in our class was to write novels. It was our childish attempts at writing literature. I remember trying to write a suspense/horror story. Pero among those written, pinaka-hit yung pornographic story written by DA (na Dr. Roberto Emilio Datiles na ngayon). I think it was a hit not only because it was risqué, but because the characters were all based on people in the class.
- Naturally, Intrams ang isa sa favorite events ko in the year. My favorite sports were volleyball and track and field. I remember, madalas kami maging finalist in the inter-class volleyball game, and a few times, kame yung overall champs sa track and field.
- Another favorite event was the cheering competition. Intrams ulet. My batch was champion when were Juniors. In our Senior year, we were only second place. I can vividly remember, yung opening ng routine that year was danced to the tune of Superman’s overture. And there was this huge “S” sign that served as background. I thought that was a kick-ass performance from our cheer dancers, and honestly thought we were robbed of a victory.
- Isang important aspect ng local school culture ay kung saang gate ka nagpapasundo pag dismissal. I think the coolest people waited sa back gate, sa Gate 3. Shempre, dun din kasi ako, hehe…I loved hanging out sa Gate 3 even if it was a long walk to the canteen (where we usually had afterschool hours merienda bonbons, funwiches, and black gulaman).
- Ang class adviser namin nung Seniors kame ay si Mrs. Telen (who now acts as the Alumni liaison). She was also the Physics Lecture teacher. She’s really brilliant and all, but being her advisory class, I must say, wala ako masyadong natutunan sa kanya. Kasi naman, homeroom spilled over to her class, and homeroom concerns became top of the agenda.Sa lahat ng homeroom concerns, ang madalas on top of the agenda ay ang Cup Collecting. This was an activity she assigned to the whole batch. Basically, what we did was collect plastic Coke cups. It was stacked on top of each other, and then measured and then converted to points, and the points were added to our Physics grade, I think.
It was a normal thing to see Senior students (the boys in barong pa) going around the canteen collecting used cups from tables. Weird talaga.
- Another high school tradition (which I think during our generation, ended in our batch) was the INITIATION. Ang principle is this: The Seniors are paired off with a Freshman and they initiate the younger counterpart. The Seniors get to bid on the Freshmen they like, and for the rest, they get assigned.The two batches’ lunch and recess schedules were synched so that the Seniors would get a chance to bully the Freshmen, who are required to act as their slaves. I was lucky mabait yung “master” ko. She basically made me sit to hang out with them, occasionally asking me to buy her lunch (with her money shempre). That was for one whole week, which culminated in a big parade on the fifth day. All the freshmen were made to wear costumes. My master made me dress up as a mummy. Simple lang, kung tutuusin, not that expensive pa, pero di pala ganon kadali.
Buti na lang, gumana ang creativity ko. Instead of using rolls of tissue paper, which was too weak to use for the whole day, I opted for the paper used in cash registries. So I walked around as a mummy, tapos natago ko pa yung mukha ko (so it wasn’t as embarrassing!).
When as Seniors, it was our turn to initiate the Freshman na, nakakainis cause the School admin realized it wasn’t a genial practice to prey on the innocent Freshmen. So Initiation became a kapatiran activity, nawala na yung aspect ng pambubully. I became good friends with my “neophyte” and her barkada. Nakakafrustrate lang kase di kami nakaganti!
- The closer we got to graduating from High School, the more courageous we were in traveling and gimmicking out of town.For Jacky’s debut, we decided to do an overnight stay in our island in Cavinti, Laguna. It was fun cause we all slept in one room, with electricity provided by a generator lang. Later in the evening syempre, we shut the generator off, and we wore ourselves out to sleep by exchanging stories and scaring ourselves with the big bugs.
That same summer, I spent a weekend vacation naman sa Baguio resthouse ni Janis. Then we followed it up by another trip to our house in Cavinti. Both occasions, Janis and I were with her brother and our classmates Kristine and Rose.
- If the Seniors and Juniors had the JS Prom, the younger ones had the FS Night (Freshmen-Sophomore Night). It was smaller in scale of course. It was held in the school gymnasium lang.I remember going both times. Pero ang mas naalala ko was this incident where Paul, our valedictorian, danced like he just discovered music, at sa sobrang excitement ay tumilapon yung takong ng shiny leather shoes nya.
- Aside from passing notes, my classmates and I communicated with each other from across the room using the sign language. Not the complicated type ha, letter by letter. Kaya until now, alam ko pa how to sign all 26 letters of the alphabet.
- Mr. Lozada, our Vice Principal then, usually talked at our Wednesday general assemblies. When we were in Grade School, he warmed up the audience by asking us to sing, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…”Ewan ko ba kay Mr. Lozada, perhaps we were perpetually young in his eyes, pero even in HS, he made us sing that. So kahit disi-sais na kame, we’re singing, “If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet…” (Sabay padyak ng paa sa concrete floor ng gym).
- One of the classic scenes sa class namin: Habang pinapagalitan kami ng mortal nemesis namin sa Faculty na si Mr. Elloso, nakita nya si Clems (na Atty. Jill na ngayon) na nangingiti. Naturally, he was pissed. So he asks her,MR. ELLOSO: Ms. Sabitsana, ba’t ka tumatawa?
CLEMS: Wala po.
MR. ELLOSO: Alam mo ba kung saan napupunta ang mga taong tumatawa ng walang dahilan?
CLEMS: (barely audible) “Sa mental?”
Buti na lang di narinig ni Mr. Elloso.
- Our Work Ed classes were either all boys or all girls, where two classes were merged. Our teacher naman there was named Mr. Pacheco. He was a small, very quiet man na Fil-Chinese. Because he was too kind, us guys took his class for granted. That was the time na either sobrang ingay namin, or we did other things instead of listening to his lectures.Isang beses, sobrang nagalit si Mr. Pacheco. There was one guy from the other class na sobrang gulo at ingay. Sa sobrang puno ni Mr. Pacheco, he threw a chalk at the guy. Pulang pula na ang maputla nyang mukha sa galit. Nice statement sana, kaso, di tumama yung chalk sa target nya.
- For P.E., our teacher Mr. Satorre taught us dances. Ang pinakanaa-alala ko, Chacha.He’d go, “one-two-cha-cha-cha. One-two-pose!”
Kala namin nung una, strike a pose, cause when he demonstrates it, he stops. Yun pala, hinto. Pose. PAUSE!
- Mang Bravo was one of the most popular personalities in our school. He was the messenger. He’d usually knock on our front door to hand a note for the teacher to read out loud.One time during our Freshman year, Mang Bravo arrived during our Math class and handed our Math teacher, Mrs. Apostol, a note. On her way to get the note, she slipped. Parang sa cartoon, she literally flew up and landed on her butt. At that time, I was slouched on my seat, tipong ang nakikita ko lang e yung ulo ng classmate ko in front of me, then the blackboard. Nagulat ako cause Mrs. Apostol suddenly disappeared from my line of sight.
Out of courtesy, the class held their giggles in.
Buti na lang her fall was cushioned by her butt. So she stood up, and pointed at the slippery spot. “Ah, eh… basa. Basa diyan.”
Uhmmm… yeah, we can see that.
- Most of the people in our class, I was classmates with for four straight years. I entered the class kasi when we were Freshman.We did have a pseudo-classmate from another class, however, by virtue of her undying love for our valedictorian Paul. May isang beses, during our field trip, she even rode on our bus instead of her class’. Itago na lang natin sya sa intials na JA.
Later in the day, the guys in the class started calling Paul “tokwa.” Out of curiosity, someone finally asked. “Ba’t ba tokwa si Paul?”
Then Emir says, “Kasi may baboy na siya.”
And everyone burst into laughter.
(JRae, thanks for reminding me of this. Hilarious! And mean.)
Ahhh…. high school life. Ten years! Those were the days 😉