A Nine Year Old Remembers

The essays they first urged us to write in school was suppose to awaken
our interest in writing. I remember writing about summer activities and
in the Philippines it's all about the town fiesta or the religious
festivals. Sure, fifty year old teachers are suppose to know what
interest nine year olds. So we learned to write the topic sentence and
the introductory paragraph. They also wanted to see at least 100 words
in your two page yellow sheets. Once in a while the school won the
sports intramurals and this event boosts essay writing in the classes
where most of the time we talked about subject- verb structures.

I believe in writing one's personal experience. Nothing was more honest,
or more compelling. But then I am a bookworm when I was a kid of nine
in the 3rd grade. I got invited to audition in the school choir one
afternoon. I said sure. Little did I know, the school choir would win
the province wide contest for Rizal Province at the Kapitolyo. We placed
third place but we sure were famous enough to sing all over town. We had
two teachers advicer whose favorite materials came from Rogers and
Hammerstein's broadway productions.

I have a lunch habit of visiting the big school library. It has a four
feet aquarium full of live creatures I see only in the encyclopedia. The
librarian rewarded my interests by giving me the responsibility of
cleaning it and feeding the fishes. The library had a giant mural of our
national hero Jose Rizal on the west wall. My favorite corner was the
reference books section which contains all the magazines I can lay my
hands on. My friends' favorite reading materials were displayed out of
school in the sari-sari store. We follow our literary heroes in the
komiks. These are illustrated fiction, we rented for less than a peso an
hour but we pass it on to the next boy if Ate isn't looking closely.

In the late afternoon, we play tag or volleyball at the back of the
school. It's the only space left for sports activities. It's also where
we hold our social activities and our graduation ceremony. There's a
concrete stage facing east by the west side. During my time there were
single level school buildings on both sides of this square. I would
imagine they have constructed a roof over it now.
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