My high school photo (that’s me no socks on) with batch mates.
I am feeling nostalgic these past few days. After 21 years, my class in senior high school is planning to hold a reunion for the batch 1994 this coming May. As a salutatorian, I should be attending the reunion. But, unfortunately, I will not be able to attend this special event. Sad, I know.
As I was talking with my former classmates, memories of my high school life were popping up in my head. I can say that high school life was the best part of my teenage life. In the photo shows my batch mates. Two of them are my neighbors – the girl beside me and the one on the far left.
Behind us is the elementary school and to our left are the junior, senior, and high school administration buildings. The middle school buildings are located on top of the hill. My neighborhood is located over the hill so when we go to and from school, we sometimes bypass the main road and take the short cut which is the going up and down the hill. Going to school was fun because every students in my neighborhood walk to school almost at the same time 6 o’clock in the morning. Flag ceremony is at 6:30 and classes start at 7. Then we go home for lunch at 12 noon, come back for classes at 1:00 P.M. Then classes dismiss for the day at 5:30 in the evening.
Everyone of us have different life experiences growing up. Here’s mine:
I can say that if not with my determination to finish school, I won’t be able to find a good job. And if I did not have a good job, I won’t be able to help provide for my family’s daily needs. I am the eldest of four in the family. In the Filipino tradition, the eldest child looks after his or her younger siblings and is also responsible for the welfare of the whole family besides the parents.
Came from a family who lived in poverty, I motivated myself to pursue my studies and dreamed of someday I will be able to help my parents provide for the family. I won’t forget those times when I had to go to school wearing a pair of overly beaten shoes – mid-sole cracked with an old pair of white-turned-beige socks – with 2 pesos in my pocket for recess. In the province, it’s a whole-day class and we had to go home for lunch (some students had packed lunch) and come back at 1 P.M. for the afternoon classes.
On Saturdays, I work in one of the grocery stores in the market in town as extra helper. If grocery stores have enough helpers, I work as a dishwasher in a small canteen at the market. And when there’s no available spot in the canteen, my friend and neighbor will take me with him to work for an elementary teacher as a weekend helper at her house – doing the dishes, laundry, grating cassava for cassava cakes she makes to sell in school, tidying up clothes and ironing – in short, weekend housemaid. Earning 30 Pesos (less than a dollar of today’s conversion) for the whole day’s work in the grocery store or in a canteen or at the teacher’s house, I can buy a sachet of toothpaste, a small bar of bath soap, two sachets of shampoo, and a few school supplies. The rest I had to share with my sister who is in grade school at that time. My father’s earnings as a pedicab driver will provide for the food on the table. We did not have electricity and water supply. We had to do our laundry and bathing in the river.
It was a difficult life with lots of challenges. But with the help of prayers, hard work, and God’s guidance, my family and I are helping one another to overcome them.
Congratulations to the graduates of Class 2011 especially to my husband’s nephew!
I remember my high school graduation day back in 1994. We were very proud on the stage in our white toga receiving our diplomas. The four years of high school earned us friendship, lessons, and knowledge to be used as a guide to our future endeavor…college.
Every memory of my high school life is beautiful (except some personal challenges). High school days are exciting and fun. The friendship we built was strong. I still hear from my batch mates once in a while. My teachers were wonderful. Like everyone else, I had favorite teachers. But it is normal to pick favorites. I had a couple: Ma’m ‘English’, Ma’m ‘Science’, Ma’m ‘Filipino’, and…Ma’m ‘Social Studies’? No!!! I never liked her ever since. Even so, I graduated a Salutatorian.
I treasured all the memories of my high school days. They are so great that they make me smile whenever I reminisce.
Although we were sad on our graduation day, we were happy too. Sad because we will have to part ways and will not hang out in the high school canteen anymore. Happy, because we will no longer be in a whole day class.
High school graduation is the start of the big milestone that is waiting ahead.