My elementary school education was both fun and productive, judging from the things I learned at such a young age.
was an incoming 4th grader when we moved back to Cavite Naval Base,
from Plaza Militar in Manila. Mom had me enrolled at the Garita
Elementary School, the nearest public school from the base, about two
kilometers away. Going to and from school was no problem since
children of Navy personnel were serviced by a school bus. Initially,
our school "bus” was a 6 x 6 military truck, later replaced by a bus
when the Navy was able to procure one. Aside from the navy driver, an
armed escort was provided for security.
During our time, the elementary school education program already taught the boys at that young age the rudiments of gardening,
which I think is not being done with our present crops of students.
We would all troop to a nearby vacant lot where each of us was
assigned a piece of lot as our individual plot, which we cultivated,
planted in peanuts, watered and weeded regularly, until we harvested
the fruits of our labor. You see, I was already a peanut planter long before
Jimmy Carter became one. Lol!
Our elementary school curriculum also included woodworking
craft for the boys. For our individual projects for that particular
school year, each of us was tasked to make a functional wooden
rocking horse. I enjoyed this one, laboring on and seeing to fruition
something done from scratch to a finished usable product. The
feeling of pride for an accomplishment well done was soul-inspiring
for a young lad like me.
Based on the pattern and guidance
provided by our teacher, we started by cutting our wood, the type used
for crates, into the rocking horse parts, with our jigsaw. Once we
had all the parts ready, we assembled it by nailing the parts
together. Then, we smoothened the surface with sandpaper, before
finally painting it according to our individual preferences. Except
for help from our parents in procuring the needed materials, we did
everything on our own. We brought home our rocking horses at the end
of the school year, testaments to the woodworking skills we learned from school. I know my younger siblings and I were able to use and enjoy it at home for quite a bit of time.
I also had my first taste of “authority" when I joined the Boy Scouts.
During weekdays, a scout was assigned to conduct traffic in front of
the school during flag-raising ceremonies. A scout would come to
school in his scout uniform on his assigned days, and would take
position in the middle of the road just prior to the start of
ceremonies. Imagine a preteen like me, in my scout uniform,
commanding all vehicles to stop on their tracks with my hand signal
and sound of my whistle, and make those poor drivers watch as I execute a
snappy hand salute while the flag was being raised up to the tune of
our national anthem. Ha ha ha! That was “authority,” even if
exercised only fleetingly. But then, the concept of authority was
still vague to me at that time, and I really didn't feel I was
[Cavite National High School Years]