My Mommy Reminisces Her Childhood!

Mommy called sometime after lunch today. Her half-an-hour phone card ran out in twenty, so I dialed. She couldn’t sleep even if it was almost midnight in LA. She said that perhaps now that she is alone, she gets to reminisce her childhood, one that was so difficult because of the world war. The call was rather long, but I enjoyed mommy’s recollection…

She was a happy child despite their house getting bombed and burned down by the Japanese forces… She sold peanuts and envied her classmates who queued for their classes… and one day, her friend Punggit forced her to leave her peanut post and come line up for class. She did, and when the new teacher asked who she was, Punggit answered She is our best student!

Mommy was under a teacher called Mrs. Suarez. One day, Mrs. Suarez gave the top students some seat work. When the bell rang for recess, mommy ran to the lohiya to eat her merienda. Her stepfather was there and she asked what was the answer to one choose the correct answer item. Her stepfather pointed to the answer she thought was right. So she marked her answer, folded her paper, and returned to class. Then the teacher asked them to submit their papers. Little did mommy know that that was the final test that would determine the rankings of the honor students. The following day, the teacher announced the placing, and mommy was first honor. Ha Ha!  Mrs. Suarez declared that in  her 23 years of being a teacher, the class mommy belonged was the best.

Mommy said that her classmate Cesar Gonzalez was pitted against her in spelling. It was sort of boys versus girls. Cesar asked mommy to spell the word immediately. Mommy forgot one m and the girls lost! Cesar went on to become a doctor, so mommy said he was really intelligent. But that is mommy”s way of saying that she didn’t have books, much less a dictionary. Their house got bombed. In fact they didn’t have towels. They used their clothes to dry themselves after bath. And she had only two worn dresses then. Mommy was accelerated from fourth to fifth to sixth grade all in a span of one year, three months for each level. That was also why she was not given elementary honors, because she only had 3 months of 6th grade. but she graduated.

Mommy said that one of her classmates , Odon de Castro, became a priest. So, their batch from Cavite must really be a good group. And of course mommy turned out to be the best secretary in the US Naval Supply Depot. She was high school valedictorian, after all.. And the Blue Cross of America lauded her for performance par excellence.

Mommy said that a student from Northridge named Pam was writing her thesis in 1994. Pam wrote mommy’s story and her childhood experience is now archived in the university. 🙂

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