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The Pinatubo Student and my Kulasa Years

The Pinatubo Student...

I always tell my friends that the education system failed me. My high school years were a joke. It was the time of Mt. Pinatubo and Lahar when I was in secondary school. I remember vividly that during my second week in high school, Mt. Pinatubo erupted heralding the Jun - August sabbatical and three times school week because our school became an evacuation center. Que horror, we also termed our school "Ebak-uation" center because the smells that came off the buildings were really, really bad!

Instead of school buildings, we had our classes at the Pampanga Sports Center and UST (Under the sampaloc tree), no joke! How did I survivie? I survived by self-study - I didn't rely on my problematic teachers (they have their own household concerns). I just read books during the long weekends (what else is there to do?)

Why did I not transfer schools? Why did I not go back to St. Scho where I already spent eight years of my young life. Good question, but the answer was simple. It was UP or nothing for me during that time and that Evacuation Center will offer me the highest chance of entry to my dream university. What about St. Scho? Yes, I just smile when I remember the story.

The Kulasa ...
For about eight years, I was a Kulasa. From preparatory school to sixth grade, I donned the ubiquitous blue and white uniform of St. Scho. I knew about the Benedictine motto of "Ora et Labora" - Pray and Work. My models were St. Scholastica and St. Benedict who were siblings if I remember it correctly. I remembered my Kulasa days more vividly when Mommie Car and I bought San-san her "Litte Ms Kulasa" shirt (the shirts are very famous apparently).

Why did I not go back to St. Scho during the lahar days? Well, because, my mom knew that I had a strong tendency to become a lesbian then. She was able to read my love letter to my object of affection. St. Scho being an exclusive school was teeming with womyn loving womyn so she transferred me to a public school. The other schools were out of the question because for me, I knew, my chance of entering UP will be diminished (that was just the opinion of my thirteen year old self).

Looking back, I really think that St. Scho (apart from UP) equipped me with what I would need later in life. These are what I learned during my eight years of Scholastican education that I just realized 18 years later:
1. Good manners and right conduct - Sr. Edna (wow, I can still remember her name) espoused discipline when we lined up for our classes. Our campus was the cleanest St Scholastica branch because at about 1:00 pm (after lunch), she'll have us pick candy wrappers and any type of litter on the school yard. Who would want to do that under the brutal heat of the sun? So, instead of littering, we keep our candy wrappers on our packets until we chance upon a trash bag.
2. Good English Education - I speak and write better English when I was twelve compared today. My love for words came from my English teachers who really, really have good command of the language.

That's the only regret that I have. If I continued my Scholastican education, I might have become a good writer and more fluent in English. But I digress.

Thus, what's the purpose of this long blog entry? Well, just to say that education really plays a big impact on molding our personhood. So, for parents or would be parents, be careful on choosing the schools of your children. Your decision will play a big part on their future. Wow, ang seryoso ko naman, hahaha :) Sensya!



babynix said…
my kulasa days will always be a part of me and i agree that being a kulasa has played a big role in shaping me into who i am today. go kulasas...white ruffles, blue jumper and all :)
Normie said…
I knew Nikka was going to respond. :) St. Scho has so much good memories. It not only had a big role in my education but this is where I met my friends for life.

Yes Nette, St. Scho and St. Benedict were fact twins pa nga yata!
babynix said…
i agree with you, norms! and yes, St. Scho and St. Benedict were twins. i was a bedan as well during my gradeschool was ora et labora all the way!
Toni said…
grabeh... kulasa days... hahahah.. :)

tnx for reading norms and nix!

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