Wednesday, April 08, 2009

RETURN OF THE JEDI

My elementary education culminated at the Southern Nueva Vizcaya District Multi-grade School of the Seventh-Day Adventists after going through 4 schools in 4 provinces with my itinerant missionary teacher mother and literature evangelist father. I never returned since then. Not until 26 years later on March 30 when I was invited as the guest speaker of its 2009 graduation rites. The church in Almaguer has been made over but the school building remains the same. Relatives, most of them my late mother’s contemporaries, came to see me. I kissed their hands in respect and to salute the ties that will keep us together. The poignantly familiar place and faces tugged at my heart. I almost cried…


Four days later, I met some of my former teachers at what is now the Nueva Vizcaya State University (NVSU) and acquainted myself with the places that witnessed my turbulent 6 years of high school. I started well as a freshman with a partial scholarship at the Northeast Luzon Academy in Isabela. But the stars were not with me then. There were huge frustrations. I was too young, too alone, and too angry. I got kicked out in my third year and moved to the Nueva Vizcaya State Polytechnic College (what is now NVSU) where I set some kind of a record by being among the top three passers of the NCEE and yet failed to graduate in 1987 because of academic deficiencies. I sulked and ran away. But I came back to face my shame, picked up the pieces, moved on, and finally completed my high school education in 1989. I never came back, not until 20 years later as the guest of honor and speaker of the university’s laboratory high school recognition and graduation day last April 3. It was good that there was a lengthy program before my speech. I had time to battle the creeping nostalgia and swelling emotions. Otherwise, I would have choked and cried…


Within a span of 5 days, my adolescent past went full circle and I come to terms with it. Deja vu indeed. I guess that’s what we do when we have journeyed a lot and began to get older; we get invited to speak in graduations.

On April 17 of this year, the Central Luzon State University where I did my bachelor and masters degrees will hold its commencement exercises. But I won’t be speaking there. Not just yet…

PHOTOS EXPLAINED (top to bottom): (1) Dear Mom pinning my second honors during my elementary graduation in 1983 at the Sabadista school in Almaguer where (2) I was the guest speaker 26 years later. (3) High school graduation in NVSPC (now NVSU) in 1989 that was 2 years over due and (4) coming back after 20 years as the guest of honor and speaker of the university’s High School Batch 2009. (5) That’s me about to receive my college diploma from CLSU in 1993.

2 comments:

ZeroGravity said...

Ano kaya itsura mo kung natuloy ka sa pag-iyak? Nyahahaha.

At least ikaw nagmartsa na suot ang itim na toga, ako wis.

Anyhow, nagoyo ako ng 2nd picture mo mula sa taas. Akala ko nag-long hair ka na, anino lang pala. Nagmukha ka tuloy santo.

Emman said...

Shubert, from your story, you are the best guest speaker on those occasions. You deserve to be there and inspire younger generation with your life experience and wisdom. Wag ka lang iiyak ha? I can't imagine kung pano umiyak si George Lopez. hehehe JK.