School walk

Our first son Cean formally started school in September last year. I bring him to school everyday while his mum collects him in the afternoons. It is a rather short 5-10 minutes walk to his school from our house, and rather uneventful (at least from my viewpoint).

I still have quite vivid memories of some of my school walks. The earliest among them was during my kindergarten days in Holy Spirit School in Tagbilaran. I must have been five or six years old when it happened. One day, I got carried away playing after class that I lost track of time. When I went out of the school building it was eerily quite and almost empty. There is no sign of my cousin who came to pick us up nor of my older brothers. I went searching for them for a while before I resolved to myself that I will walk home. I remembered the route very well so I was confident going home, which I did. Upon arriving safely at home, there were sighs and shouts of relief from my family. That was the only walk I did during my short stay in that school, though.

I spent my first three years of primary school in a public school in Baclayon, my father's hometown. It was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed, especially the school walks. I still cannot forget that surreal walks past the huge balite tree situated between my school and our house. That tree was said to be enchanted so it always feels a bit scary everytime we pass by it especially in the afternoons even though it is found beside the national highway. I now forgot the time of the year when this tree sheds its leaves. During this time, it was a surreal experience walking past the balite tree while yellow green leaves rained on me from above the high branches. It reminded me of those slow motion scenes in recent Chinese martial arts movies where multicoloured leaves are flying.

In high school, I went to Divine Word College in Tagbilaran (now Holy Name University). In my freshman year, the high school department moved to its present site in Dampas. It was then still quite rural with few houses and lots of open spaces covered mostly with grasses. I have not gone back there for more than a decade but I gathered it has now become crowded. There were some memorable walks after school that I still remember. In freshman year, I befriended Alan who introduced me to a walking route from the school to our homes. It involved walking in footpaths passed houses and grassy open spaces that rather made me think that I was walking in the bukid rather than in the city.

We would then come out of the open spaces into Calceta Street Extension (I think). Next, we then walk to the elementary school where Alan's late mother was teaching to say hello and to catch our breath. After a short rest, we take a shortcut to Alan's house. Goodbyes said, I then proceed to walk home passing by Governor Aumentado's house, BDRC, Garcia Park and then down to BAEx office and the DA nursery before I arrived at home.

In sophomore year, I explored other walking routes with some friends. I remember well a route that had become popular with students. It takes you on footpaths that pass by the back of houses and into Tamblot Street near Camp Dagohoy. One time (I think it ran for several days) neigbourhood bullies waited in ambush and demanded money from the students before they let them proceed to Tamblot Street.

I was not there when it happened but I imagine it must have been quite scary for some. After this incident, very few now take this route and instead now use the main roads. I used to take this route to Camp Dagohoy with my classmates Reg and Arthur. From the Camp, we would walk through streets I now forgot (in the absence of a map) until we ended up in the corner of Visarra Street and CPG Avenue. We would stay for awhile and talk under the street signpost until it gets almost dark. We then said our goodbyes with me getting a tricycle ride home while my two friends would proceed to Visarra ubos to their respective houses.

There were still other walks I did in junior and senior high school years that I can still remember. The aforementioned ones, however, brings back very good memories indeed. I do not know what Cean will think of his school walks but I hope there are good ones in it as well.

1 comment:

mikeygatal said...

jerry,makahilak ko magbasa ani sa kahadlok sa imong natamo sa pag walking walking nimo going home,ayaw na kahadlok karon kay ako na ang astig sa Tamblot Street,hehehe,naa man mi puyo duol sa barracks karon corner B. Inting street and Tamblot. thanks for sharing and here are some pics of our classmates:


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