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Posts Tagged ‘high school life’


High school life was so different from the grade school years I spent in the province. The probinsiyana kid was now a city girl ūüôā

I was actually late in taking the admission test for high school at the University of Santo Tomas but since my father worked at the university, the high school principal accommodated me. I even took the exams at the principal’s office.

Though my brothers and I spent summer break  in Manila during our grade school  years to be with Dad, residing permanently in a city was a challenge for me.  I have to take a commute from our place in Quezon City to Espana in Manila. Back then, there were buses traveling the long road passing in front of the University gates. Jeepneys were plenty too and traffic was unheard of. The girl sections in all years usually had their class in the morning while our brother sections had theirs in the afternoon.  We only get to mingle with them during joint school activities like sports fests, spelling bee contests and the like.

I do remember the very first day during my freshman year. We prayed the Morning Offering after the flag ceremony then our Spiritual Director gave us each a blessed rosary.  In every subject, we had to introduce ourselves to our teachers. I felt so conscious back then. My classmates looked so smart and well-dressed. Eventually we had to wear our uniforms. It took me a while to adjust to high school life.  The grammar was okay but the diction was a little hard on the ears if you know what I mean.

I have always loved our English subjects. I didn’t like¬† Algebra much because I could not understand all those symbols but¬† I adored Chemistry and Physics.¬† Religion subject was also part of our curriculum from first to fourth year. We had yearly retreats and once a month¬† celebration of the mass in school where we had to wear our gala uniform.

It was a tradition in our school that before we leave its portals, we had to make a presentation for the lower years and for our teachers.  Each of the senior students was given assignments. We had to brainstorm on a title of our presentation but  ended with Walang Pamagat  meaning No Title. We adapted various television programs and made our own scripts. Other graduating class after us followed  suit with the same title but added numbers like Walang Pamagat  One, Walang Pamagat Two.

We started having reunions back in 2003 and it is now a regular thing every three years. Every year, the organizers are able to trace more classmates and school mates. Some groups have get-together every time a high school friend takes a vacation from abroad. Half of us are working and staying abroad now. Some of them had become doctors, engineers and lawyers.

My high school life at a glance.

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Ah, reunions!

The last time I attended one of our grand high school reunions   was seven years ago. In between though, some of our classmates and batchmates organize pocket reunions every time someone takes a vacation here from abroad.

Last January 27, they had it held at¬† the Thomasian Alumni Center Grand Ballroom¬† at the University of Santo Tomas, our alma mater.¬† It was our 45th. I didn’t attend though because I¬† avoid sleeping late nowadays. Back in August last year, some members of the group organizers came over to visit me.

This morning, I   saw this photo on my news feed at Facebook which was shared by one of our batchmates. It was the last one I attended.

I am the one in the middle of the photo.

In all the several batches of graduates from our school, ours (Batch 73)  is always well-represented. Maybe because we value the friendship and camaraderie  we have created throughout the years.  I remember those times during  our high school days  where we have to go up to the fourth floor of our building, no elevators aloud.  All girl students attend the morning classes while the boys are scheduled in the afternoon. That was how strict UST was back then.  We are only allowed to mingle with them when there are occasions in school that we celebrate together.

Many of us have now our own families, some with lots of grand kids already and a few remained single.¬† Some have become doctors, lawyers and nurses. I think¬† half of us are now residing abroad. I could still imagine myself wearing a¬† below-the-knee school uniform which some of us managed to fold at the waist line to make it a little shorter. We usually do it on our way home as long as the school principal couldn’t see us.

I remember¬† our high school teachers. Our teacher in our Chemistry class was fond of singing Carpenters songs. another one in our Speech subject would always¬† tell us to get one-fourth sheet of paper so she could dictate new words every time she enters our room.¬† I remember some of our unruly classmates¬† who are so noisy¬† in between periods. I remember those times we¬† would walk the corridor from one end to the next memorizing a piece of poem¬† or a declamation piece. I still remember some paragraphs in Vengeance Is Not Ours, It’s God’s.¬† But this is all I could vividly remember:

Alms, alms, alms. Spare me a piece of bread. Spare me your mercy.  I am a child so young, so thin, and so ragged. Why are you staring at me?  With my eyes I cannot see but I know that you are all staring at me. Why are you whispering to one another? Why? Do you know my mother? Do you know my father? Did you know me five years ago?

High school life –¬† the day you saw your crush, the days you admired that guy playing the guitar and singing James Taylor’s songs, the day of¬† our high school graduation¬† where we cried.

High school days, the teenage years. the growing up stage in our lives.

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I remember taking this shot at a¬† casual get-together with some high school classmates at Shakey’s Espana, in front of UST where we finished high school. Those bracelets were gifts from one of our classmates who makes jewelry as¬† a hobby. I do remember the laughter, the camaraderie, the game I posted at Facebook if they could recognize whose hands and arms¬† are in the picture.¬† Cherished memories, lovely thoughts shared!

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Time flies, certainly!¬† We had our informal high school reunion yesterday at one of our batchmates’ s house in Quezon City.¬† Though it was¬† not the¬† first time we had it, it was the first time since our high school graduation that I met some of our classmates. ¬† It was almost 38 years and we were just in our teens when we graduated from high school. Most of them are now proud grandparents! ¬† One of the regular attendees is a four-year old grandson of one of our batch mates.¬† He practically grew up with the batch and is familiar with almost every one.¬† I call him our “reunion baby”.

Our reunions always start with a Thanksgiving Mass and end with so much laughter, reminiscing the good old days and sometimes remembering events¬† and our beloved teachers.¬† It’s about cherishing getting older and humming songs of yesteryears,¬† updating each other on the latest happenings in our lives, hours of bantering, exchanging jokes and laughter.¬† Not to be left of course is the scrumptious¬† lunch or dinner for the batch.¬†¬† UST Education High School – part of history, part of a Pontifical, Royal Catholic University in the Philippines.

It may take years before we see some of our classmates again but the friendship, camaraderie and sense of belonging  are what we will always cherish in our hearts.

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