It has been almost 14 years since I graduated High School at Immaculate Conception Parish High School. Early this afternoon I attended my youngest sister’s graduation at the new Basketball court of the school. Entering the new establishment, I can’t help but compare how this place was during my high school years. Back then we call it the Jurassic Court since it literally looked like a scene from the Jurassic Park movie. You can only see two  almost dilapidated basketball hoops, a semi concrete floor and layer upon layer of vegetation, and it has no roof to protect the players from the heat of sun or from the harsh cold of the rain. Many years after and the place is very modern and well equipped even to host the class 2012’s commencement exercise. Watching the program from the side with my dad while holding a camera and taking snapshots of Maima from time to time, I saw some familiar faces from the stage. Former advisors and subject teachers were there overseeing the program. I saw my adviser from my sophomore year – Mrs Sandoval (Ms Halog when she was still single and was popularly coined as the “crush ng bayan” then), my best adviser from senior year – Mr Llanos who thought me a lot and helped me get through the difficulties of my financial and personal situation from before. As the years pass by I can see lesser familiar faces. One familiar face who doesn’t seem to forget who I am is my 4th grade teacher, Mrs Tabbal. She waved at me and I approached her and we began to talk for a few a minutes. I said to myself after the conversation that these teachers are really dedicated with what they do. I have high respects for teachers. They should be treated well and compensated more because the future of this country depends so much on them – literally!

I can see my sister from afar, i took some pictures when an opportune time and angle shows itself. Me and my Dad laboriously watched and listened to all the speeches and addresses plus of course the awards – academic and non academic. Their non academic awards were named after saints. I wasn’t able to hear and understand what those saint named awards stand for, but I am sure that the salutatorian got almost the saint named non academic awards. He is not only good academically but he is also good in his extra curricular activities. It is also worth noting that during my time we only have less than 10 awards but now I think they gave away 20 plus awards plus scholarships from the University of the East and Fatima University. The kids right now are blessed to have so much opportunities given to them especially to the very intellectual ones.

My sister is a member of the pilot (star) section. She is a very smart kid, curious and naive at times. I can still remember her time as a small and very cute baby. I call her our family’s miracle baby not because of anything magical but because when she was born things for and within my family turned for the better. Now that she’s all grown up and will soon become an adult and indulge in a new chapter of her life, I can only thank the Lord because he has always been there to help and guide us through the difficult task of keeping Jemaima in a very good Private and Catholic school. I only have gratitude for my parents because they did everything just to make today’s event a beautiful reality. Four more years and Jemaima will face the real challenges of life but until then, she must first prepare herself and take all the opportunities and learnings college will offer her.Image

I am so proud of my Baby sister Joan. Congratulations and We are always here for you.