Thursday, April 21, 2011
For my Children and Grandchildren
February 23, 2011
After graduating from Mapa High School, I took up a two-year course at the Philippine Normal School on Taft Avenue. My tuition fee was only two pesos a year; affordable enough for a poor student.
Every afternoon, with my friend Rosa Lotho, I walked from the Philippine Normal School up to Sta. Ana, where she lived. From Sta. Ana, I crossed the Pasig River in a banca up to Punta Sta. Ana. From Punta, I walked up to my home on Bacood, Sta. Mesa, passing a wooden bridge over San Juan River. So every afternoon, I walked from the Philippine Normal School up to Bacood, crossing two rivers.
I was at the top of the graduating class, so one month after graduation, I was assigned to teach in the Division of City School, Manila. After teaching for one year, I enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas for a Bachelor of Science in Education course. Unfortunately, the Japanese war started in 1941 and all schools were closed. After the war, I taught at Earnshaw Elementary School.
After teaching in the elementary schools for 26 years, I retired. I wanted to finish my B.S.E. After 22 years with 7 children to look after, I went back to school at Arellano University. I took only one subject; College Physics. If I passed, I would continue, if I failed, I would stop. Thank God, I got flat 1.
As usual, I could pay the tuition fee for only two subjects. But one semester, I was fortunate enough to pay for a full load. In that semester, I obtained the highest average in the College of Education. My tuition fee of about 120 pesos was returned to me. Of that amount, I gave 100 pesos to our parish priest, Rev. Fr. Arsenio R. Bautista. I told him how I got the money. That was my only donation for the construction of our Parish Church.
I finished my B.S.E course at the age of 47. I taught in St. Joseph Parochial School in Pandacan for about 3 years, and then I went back to the public schools where I taught mathematics until I retired in 1983. But I continued praying the Rosary with the students of Elpidio Quirino High School before the flag ceremony until Nov. 2002 when I had my first attack of osteoporosis and could not walk.
Lola Charing 91 years old
To the students who cannot afford to go to college now: Do not to lose hope. If like myself, you are determined to finish a college course, you can do so. You will surely find a way and you can get your college degree. Just pray. Have faith in God, who will help you along the way.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I feel compelled to write about this film because it is nearing the end of its run at Ayala Cinemas (Glorietta and Trinoma). Without giving too much away, I want to make you curious enough to catch it today or tomorrow. [Update: run extended to April 20.]
Jerrold Tarog's Cinemalaya 2009 film Mangatyanan is my favorite Filipino film, which is why I had such high expectations for his latest effort, Senior Year. The film tells the story of fourth year high school students in the last few months before their graduation. At St. Frederick's, a school in Southern Metro Manila, they learn about relationships, deal with each other's differences, think about the future, and get to know themselves more in the process.
There are several characters in the story, but Tarog successfully gives each one a voice despite their number. It is a complex arrangement, and there are some shots that are probably in-jokes, but everything appears to work--a delicate balancing act. The timing can be confusing at first, but in the end, it is logical to assume that the high school scenes are set in 2010. The film's biggest flaw is an aesthetic one: the use of effects that posterize certain shots as the intramurals. This only serves to distract. But if the intention was to look juvenile, then it has served the purpose well. Other than this, everything works well. The young cast has unknowns who appear very sincere and suit their roles well. The older set has familiar names, but they do not steal the show from the real stars of the movie.
For anyone my age, that is, a decade out of high school, Senior Year will remind you of that awkward but fun period of your life. The beginning of the film draws a good deal of laughter. We've all been there before. And the learnings ring true. What seemed so important when you were a teen appear so trivial in hindsight. These what ifs matter little now. But nostalgia has its uses. And if it will give you a good time at the cinema, then that is more than enough.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Donald Gunn, you charmed me. But transcribing you was nowhere as enjoyable as the interview.
Alan Rickman, you are no hunk. Not after Sense & Sensibility, the Harry Potter series, Love, Actually (where I found you pretty gay even after cheating with your officemate), and Sweeney Todd. But there is something in this Texas music video that actually makes you--dare I say it--hot. Even if you were in your mid-50s at the time.
The song is old, but I only saw it today. I have to call out the person who is responsible for these inappropriate thoughts, one Mia Marci, who described the feeling as what you get when the friend you never thought attractive gets a girlfriend and suddenly he's magnetic. Or something to that effect. I have to agree.
Now excuse me while I have another view of that petrol station tango.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Galerie Anna, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City
March 22 to April 3, 2011
Large pieces by Proceso Gelladuga & Thomas Daquioag on the Manila Wall
Works on paper by Mel Cabriana, Obi Mapua & Peter Sutcliffe
Fata Morgana/Mirage by Deborah Del-Pan, Lita Gelano, Helen Mirasol, Teresita Mapua & Abby Yao
The past two weeks have been packed. After returning from Phuket two Sundays ago, the following day was reserved for hanging our exhibit, which opened the day after. The next days were marked by interviews of several VIPs, rockeoke, a football tournament, eating out with friends at meetups and joint birthday celebrations, receiving an accumulation of flowers, and discovering new places (Banchetto, Midnight Mercato and Tian Di). Interestingly enough, still no alcohol was involved. And at some point I completely stopped taking photos. Now all I want to do is to paint, sleep and play Dragon Age 2. Seriously.