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Posts Tagged ‘grade school days’


A former grade school classmate created a group for our batch. Since I only spent two years with them before I graduated from elementary, I  no longer remember some of their faces. The names are familiar though.  What comes to mind  are those early years spent in our small barrio where I spent Grade 1 to Grade IV. Back then, all of my classmates lived in the same place as we did. Most of us are even distant relatives. We had only two teachers until Grade IV. They taught two classes in a day. My teacher in Grade III and IV was mommy’s first cousin.

Uncle Berning as we used to call him was quite strict when we were in class but outside the classroom, he was a caring, loving  and kind uncle.  When we were kids and when Mom spent some days with Dad here in Metro Manila, we stayed with my  maternal grandmother and an unmarried aunt in the big ancestral house they used to have back then. Uncle Berning had lunch with us every day, from Monday to Friday.  He would take a cat nap after lunch before starting afternoon class.  Since the school is a walking distance from the house, us kids (my cousins, older brother and I)  would run ahead when the bell rings. We never walked back to school with him. We were in awe of our elders and specially our teacher.

I remember those days when some classmates would stay standing for a while when they could not answer  questions from our teacher. I remember the days that we would clean the school yard after class or water the plants before we start flag ceremony. There were always designated cleaners for our room. Gardening was a must for us. We planted mustards, snow cabbage and even some eggplants at the back of the school.  We made simple school projects. I remember making a floor mat  out of coconut husk.

When school ends, we would run to the small wooden gate of the school. We  had no school uniforms and we went to school in clogs or slippers. Barrio life was simple then.  My Mom taught us how to cook rice in a clay  palayok, an unglazed ceramic cooking pot. It was my afternoon routine after class, cooking rice  the primitive way using charcoal or dried branches that we usually gather every summer break.

Nowadays, every convenience is in our hands. We wouldn’t need to labor around a wooden stove to cook meals. There is always the rice cooker ever ready, the oven for some complicated dish and the gas stove for our everyday use.

Those years.

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