Wednesday, August 8, 2012

jovito's flashback

My father was a heavy equipment operator at Dolefil Inc. He met my mother at the said company who was an employee too; she is in the Research Dept. A common friend introduced them to each other. I was born early August of 1977 in Polomolok South Cotabato, the eldest in a family of five. We live near the mountainside. 

When I was younger, my friends and I always go hiking up to the nearest hills, sometimes our only snacks we brought with us came from fruit trees that we pass along the way, it’s a fun memory. We also played games in a traditional way - lots of running, hide and seek and sometimes we also play slingshots.  Here, we form two groups and using our slingshots, we hail stones to each other imitating action movies. A stone in the eye turned out to be a lesson to me- to take care of myself. It almost got me blind. From then on, I was more careful. I still played physical games though. In those days, computer and other online games are not available yet.  I believe, my childhood was fun and healthy as it is. 

We also entertain ourselves through watching action movies of Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla Sr., and Fernando Poe Jr. and laugh to the jokes of  Dolphy- but in a black and white screen. I remember that in those times only few of our neighbors can afford to buy TV set so we have to content ourselves by watching through our neighbor’s windows or ask permission to watch with them in their house. When I was old enough to go to school I was enrolled in a nearby Primary school three kilometers from our house. The only way to get there is by foot with our over-used slippers. 

When I was about ten, my father went missing- literally. We exhausted all means to find him (we got to have him declared “dead” for social security reasons only after about 17 years).  My mother was forced to work again, this time as a pineapple harvester to feed all of us. I was also forced to be mature and do some household chores for my younger siblings. But that situation made us stronger and we try to forget the pain ...and try to survive without the head of the family. In high school, during weekends I was in the farm of other people helping to weed off the grass from their cornfields or help them harvest their crops for a minimal amount of money, often just enough to cover my “baon” for the weekdays. 

During my senior year in high school I was a cadet officer of  ROTC. I forgot what that meant, remembering only that we have to wear uniforms in fatigue just like real soldiers and we had wooden rifles as we practice march every afternoon for the inter-school competition. I was also elected as an officer of Student Body Organization of our school as Senator. Some may consider them insignificant but for me, each and every event that happened was important. It molded me to who I am today.

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