Thursday, April 21, 2011

A message from Lola Charing

My grandmother (father's side) wrote this. Thought I'd share it with you.

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.

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