Fast forward to third grade, it was Ma’am Toning who taught us the word, “putilya” haha! Whatever that means! She’s Tintin’s aunt. Ma’am Toning would pinch us on our waist whenever she is pissed at us but it’s the kind of pinch that’s rather ticklish than painful.
She was active. Very dynamic! I cannot forget the song Samba Olay! She made us learn that song and it’s the kind that sticks. I am still singing it the way she used to sing it. She passed away some years back and my favorite memory of her was the time when we bought colored chicks from the street fair (perya) for like a peso per piece and she went ballistic seeing how many chicks we took inside the classroom!
On the fourth grade, we were under Ma’am Cora Cruz, who happened to be my mom’s aunt. She would ask me to run errands for her and the scariest one that she’s made me do is to deliver her live catfish purchase to her home. I hated catfish because it could hurt you. They slither like snakes and they have hooks that could injure you seriously. I was carrying it on a pail of water and they just jumped up and down. So I remember what I did one time, I carried it in a basin – forward, like holding a basket awkwardly, at least it was steadier than a pail that’s dangling back and forth. To my dismay, they all jumped like crazy and were scattered on a busy road, I was almost in front of her house; such luck that the seller was there (how timely, right?), the seller helped me collect the “merchandise” from the road – meaning, she did all the collecting and I was like, freaked out because they were slithering on the street!!! But yeah, that nakawalang isda incident did not keep her from asking me from running errands for her because I am an “apo” of course. One time, she asked me to deliver a dish to Lola Let, that’s what I heard. Lola Let is a Richie Rich who do not need a ration of dish proportionate to a person’s consumption, but WTH, I was asked to deliver, so be it. When Lola Let got it, she was like, “why would she send me this?” but of course, that’s food, so she’s somehow, grateful. So me, being all biba reported the mission accomplished to my teacher lola and I said, “done, delivered to Lola Let” and Ma’am Cora was like, “why would you give it to her?” Of course, my reply was, because you said so. Apparently, she was asking me to deliver it to Lola Del (her stepmom). It seems like I was deaf since childhood, or perhaps it was the earlier signs of my attention deficit, haha, whatever would satisfy you best!
One of the notable events of this time apart from the flying catfish was her hysterical pregnancy (or whatever it’s called). She was pregnant superficially but not literally. Though rare, that type of case was an actual phenomenon. That was the first time I have seen such occurrence, then after that, I have seen a lot of that kind.
Moving to grade five was a little different, we had some new classmates from Paligue Primary School. There we met Estela, Elizabeth and Julius. There’s this cute kid named Ruby and the BPES boys got crazy over her, too bad for my classmates because she wasn’t assigned to our section. Ms Bulanadi was our teacher and she got replaced by Mrs Malang. Both of them were stunning teachers! Mrs Malang’s husband, Sir Fred was our Sibika at Kultura teacher, he was one of my favorite teachers too. That husband and wife tandem is the best!
One of the memories I had this year was not mine, it was a classmate’s story. Since it isn’t my actual story, I won’t name her. She had her period this year and I remember how clueless she was. I haven’t had mine and she shared that with me, asking for help perhaps? So I was more clueless even. Haha, kids those days! Our solutions were crazy!
Grade five was the time when RPG came to picture. It’s a gang where everyone belonged except for me and my clique and the people who do not care. I believe my clique would give me up just to be part of that group! It was not that obvious at that time but later on, it has become more apparent. Some RPG members were cool to be my friend. I mean, not afraid to be banished for talking to me. I appreciate them until now you know.
Grade six came in and it was full of fond memories. Our teachers were great! Ma’am Nel was awesome. She’s had this morning ritual of asking us routine questions on the same tone over and over again. It was very endearing! Ma’am Balatbat is sisters with Ma’am Nel and Ma’am Chit, our adviser. Ma’am Balatbat was my mentor. She coached me for my speech as well as for my HEKASI quiz bees. I liked Ma’am Chit the best, perhaps because she was our adviser? I liked her because she’s the perfect teacher. She’s very diligent! She’s taught us a lot! We have had a lot of useful projects during her time. I remember having a fruit bearing garden beside our classroom and it was very memorable because we were kids! We were able to plant tomatoes, sigarilyas, sitaw among others! She’s taught us a lot of songs and made us sing What’s Up on an occasion. She’s made us learn a lot of Christmas songs that she’s forced us to sing merrily with a weird smiling face regardless of how we feel haha! That’s one effective teacher for me! I love that she was able to raise funds to build our own separate toilet from the fees from our “noisy list” and some donations from Lola Let whom I was still in good terms with at that time.
One of the memorable events was the time we were pegged to be basureras due to Mrs Manio’s instructions. She was our Science teacher and her subject is related to the environment hence our grades being based on how much trash we’ve collected! Go green!
Back to Ma’am Chit, oh how I loved our Christmas tree made of dye and water. It was awesome! I think she has a thing with Christmas! She is super energetic and I wish all teachers are as sipag as her.
I don’t want to dwell on bad memories because I grew up to be a normal non-suicidal person so yeah, WTH!