Stories Need To Be Told...

...lest they dissolve into oblivion.
There are moments that need to be captured and made eternal simply because there is a wealth of emotions and spirituality in them. Painting a picture with words is one of the ways to immortalize these for people who were not there and for the future generation.
This is my contribution....



Friday, March 11, 2011

BLAST FROM THE PAST


The concrete/steel fence looked the same. Even the paint looked the same. But inside, I could tell there were a lot of improvements. My heart started to beat a little faster as I caught a glimpse of the Amang Rodriguez Building. An avalanche of flashbacks from my youth hit me. I had to pull out a breath from deep within. Amang Building was were I spent my junior and senior years of high school. The most challenging, the most fruitful and life changing moments of my school years. It was during these years that it was decided, I was to be in the profession I practice now. It was when my first few feathers of the gangly wings were born. Now, I am in full flight - able to migrate and go back. I owe a lot to this mother.

The huge steel gates opened and I manoeuvred my car into the campus. Twenty eight years ago, I came through these same gates on foot. I was one of 29,000 students.

To visit, in a car, with the gates being opened to me with gracious greetings of “Magandang umaga po Ma’am!” gave me both pride and humility, all in the same space and time.

I parked my car in front of the new structure – The Alumni Building. This was a product of the joint generosity of those who, like me spent four years of their lives in this campus – learning, developing, and growing.

They say high school is a crucial turning point in any person’s life. This is where the transition between child-hood to teen-hood happens. Now that, in itself is a whole universe to the one going through the process. Names like, Rene Saguisag, Bobbit Sanchez, Neptali Gonzales. Gel Santos Relos, resonate in my head, and pride swells within me. These are my brothers and sisters, once cradled in the arms of this generous alma mater

Across the street is the Caruncho Gymnasium, named after the Mayor who was in office at that time. It is a huge edifice and I distinctly remember how our PE class were the first to use it, even before it was completed. I closed my eyes and an old familiar rhythm slowly came back.

"We will... we will... ROCK YOU... ROCK YOU....” the old cheering competition between year levels.. My batch always won. On my first year, we tied with the seniors (which was a first). Then from my sophomore to my senior year, my batch always took the gold home.

There were a myriad of other memories. Some made me smile. Some made me cringe at the stupidity of youth. Some just... took me down memory lane, to how I was before I was me, today. I won't go into details as I am sure most, if not all of them hold relevance only to me. Perhaps, relevant to those who I shared them with - my classmates, my batch mates. Suddenly, I miss them. The old dear familiar faces...

The uniform is the same from my time. I call it cherry red plaid. Our competitor school called it ‘gulaman at sago’ . Haha. We called theirs, bagoong-alamang. Arellano High School’s uniform was maroon.

The view from the second floor of the three-floor Alumni Building was perfect. It was cleverly designed that it had balconies both in front and the back. The front balcony gave the view of the academic part of the campus-the old and new buildings. The back balcony gave a magnificent view of the oval track and field. All green, luscious, well kept. The tracks were regulation standards. The bleachers were just...perfect.

She was just beautiful.

All around, the old trees whose shades we enjoyed twenty some years ago are still there... Childishly, I greeted them a silent hello. Even more childlikely, I wondered if they remembered me. The wind was blowing gently and the leaves were rustling. I smiled and took it as their greeting for one of their old friends. It was a beautiful day.

In a way, this was home, and it felt good.

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