Buhay Talaan ni Felipe - 2

Mamaalam, tala kong may ngiti, saglit lamang, may huling habilin, sa gitna ng yong paglalakbay, sa dako mong ihihimlay dalhin ang payapa't pangakong wagas. Patawad. May lunas pa araw nananamlay mong diwa s'yang may gamay ng malay mong tilang hiram. Itong minamataa, daang tinitimbang, dala, tang kong alay. Mamaalam sa mundong kay lupit, sadya kayang nilihis sa pait. Sa gitna ng yong paghihimlay, manlako kang maghihintay. Dalhin sa paaglitis. Taglay ng tamis. Paalam. ["Alay," Aia de Leon]

jueves, diciembre 16, 2004

As a kid, I kinda hated the Christmas season. It is the time where I get to embarass myself in front of the whole school by giving gifts to my teachers or to, as my Mom would say, "people who matter."

And why did I find that so embarassing?

It has been a socio-cultural norm in any school to give your teachers gifts for Christmas to somehow improve your grades. Kahit na hindi yun ang intensyon mo kung bakit ka namimigay ng regalo, yun pa rin ang iisipin ng mga tao.

So why did I keep on doing it every year?

It was against my will, actually. Siyempre, ermats ko ang may pakana niyan. Siya naman yung bumibili, eh. She would ask me the same questions a week before the class Christmas party.

"Ilan ang teachers mo?"

"Ilang ang lalake, ilang ang babae?"

"Saan ka ba bumabagsak? Mamahalin natin yung regalo!"

FYI, not everyone gave gifts to teachers. Not so few but not a lot. Kaya kitang-kita kung sinong nagruroom-to-room.

So every last school day of the year, the day when we have our Christmas parties, I would always have a maid come to school with me. Bitbit ko ang mga regalo, bitbit naman niya yung special hotdog and ketchap spaghetti ni yaya.

I didn't have to go "Claus-ing" to pass. I wasn't exactly flunking in any subject, except for Chemistry which I REALLY hated and eventually went bloody red on the third quarter grading period. I was doing well, really. I even got exempted from taking the Trigonometry finals in high school. Math was the only subject I could love.

I don't think the gifts helped anyway. Like what I mentioned, the Chemistry bitch still flunked me on the 3rd grading period... and so did 45% of the whole batch. And how I told my Mom in January that school year that I didn't have my report card with me because I flunked Chem and that she can claim it at the vice-principal's office is another story.

And now my nephews are doing the tradition at their school. My whole family went out for lunch last Sunday. When I saw my sister-in-law talking to the boys while listing down the names of their teachers for their christmas gifts, I was smiling remembering how my Mom used to do the same thing back then.