Monday, June 16, 2008


tinikling at cathcath
photofromthe internet

If there is already an internet and a blog when I was in my grades, these are what I am going to blog.

Grade 1-
I was a late enrollee and I danced the tinikling.
My mother had to think of a new name for me. I won’t use my birth
And Christian name. It was my paternal grandma’s name. I did not know that it was an Italian because it is a name of a saint. Ah basta. So she changed it. It sounded French. A name of a French actress daw. I only came to know who she was when I came to US and had seen her old movie in the American
Movie Classics. Too bad, before I graduated in college, I had reverted back to my old name.

Dance: We had a program where we were going to present, a native dance. My teacher who I suspected did not like me partnered me to a short and "napabayaan-sa-kusina(plump) boy. Yeah, Virginia, even at the very young age, I wanted someone who’s not physically challenged. Blame it on movies and books where Prince charming is supposed to be good looking and komiks which “bida” (leading character) must be the Adonis type. Worse was when my older brothers who picked me up after class and watched the practice while waiting would tease me by imitating the movements; one was supposed to be me and the other was my partner. My brother who mimicked my partner would flex his knees to show that my dance partner was short and puffed his face to show that he needed a little restraint from eating junk food.

During the program, the whole family was there to watch. There were suppressed laughs and meaningful glances and daggered looks between my parents and my naughty brothers when I joined them after the dance number was over.

Grade 2-

We moved back to the barrio temporarily while my father tried his luck in the Big City. It was not really a barrio but it was a town which was more laid back than the place where we came from. I was used to wearing white socks and boys’ shoes going to the class. My classmates teased me. I was weird for them. They were wearing wooden clogs (bakya) or flip-flops). I often skipped classes just so I would not hear them speaking in dialect which I did not understand.

At the end of the school year, I almost flunked.

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