Memoirs of a Navy Brat






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Cavite National High School Years 




My high school years at the Cavite National High School [CNHS], in the heart of the city, were the most memorable and happiest of my schooling days. Probably so, because like in our case, my classmates and I remained almost intact for 4 years, except for very minor changes in our section. And we’ve been friends since then, till now, and hopefully, till kingdom come. We were in the “exploratory age,” when our young minds began to delve into a lot of yet unexplored things, thus making the experiences memorable indeed, to be embedded in our young  minds for the rest of our lives. And it's always a lot of fun reminiscing those experiences during our reunions.

Though very shy and timid then, I  somehow managed to join the Cavite National High School's cultural dance troupe, simply because my classmates were in it. I think we were still freshmen when we had that grand memorable performance at the newly constructed Montano Hall. We had several dance numbers, but what I can still vividly recall now is the native dance "maglalatik," wherein I was one of the tumblers. I think the other one was Roger Jordan.

There were afternoons after classes when we would drop by the city’s recreation center to enjoy games of bowling or billiards, funded by the savings we scrimped from our daily allowance. At times, we’d rather spend the time playing at the Samonte Park, just outside the navy base, before going our separate ways to our respective homes.

Some of my classmates were already experimenting on smoking, something that simply didn’t appeal to me. I tried it once because everyone seemed to be trying it, but I didn’t like the stuff and that was the beginning and end of my short honeymoon with it. No amount of peer pressure, even from my acknowledged mentor, could make me touch the stuff again, ever! I keep wondering, then and now, what smokers get out of smoking. As for the alcohol stuff, I tried it when I was already out of high school. 

Girls? Not a chance! I still remember Nonong Arce, my mentor in a lot of growing up matters, doing the talking for me when we asked permission from the mother of Lou Broas, our petite and pretty classmate, to allow her to be my sponsor for our forthcoming Preparatory Military Training [PMT] Class’ presentation of sponsors. Just got no b_ _ _s to do it on my own! Ha ha ha. Of course I had crushes then which I just kept to myself. If you want to know who they were, go to my blog where I'll divulge everything, for a fee.... lol!!!

High school programs, held at the school quadrangle [see photo above], were always anticipated events, times to relax and have some fun and laughter. At the forefront of these programs was the tandem of Joel Lamangan and Ben Aguilar, classmates who possess a natural flair for theatrics. They never fail to make their audience, students and teachers alike, roar with laughter with their crazy scripts and antics. So, it’s no surprise that “Che”, as Joel was better known at that time, is now one of the country’s multi-awarded and premier movie and television directors.

By virtue of an alphabetical seating arrangement, I was to occupy a seat beside Joel in our Pilipino class. One afternoon during class, Joel just couldn’t contain his restlessness and kept pestering me until we caught the attention of Mrs. Bartolome, our teacher. Both of us were made to stand up and got a hard pinch on our ears. Mrs. Bartolome just smiled when I reminded her of the incident during one of our reunions which she attended.

Joel, because of his height, big built, and loud voice, was named as the corps commander of our PMT class when we were on our 4th year. I was one of his corps staff officers with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. I remember every time I reported late for our Saturday morning class, he would make me run around the entire track and field oval, which doubles as our parade ground, in my crisp uniform, leather shoes, and saber. By the time we started with our drills, I was already soaking wet with perspiration and my feet aching from the run.

Sad to say, there's an end to everything. So after four years of togetherness, we had to bid farewell to our high school years, and carry on to the future the memories, sweet or otherwise, sealed in our young minds.

[University Campus Life]


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