Thursday, March 22, 2012

on
I have several favorite months of the year. December is one of them because of Christmas, May because it's my birth month, January because it's New Year and March because of many reasons.

In the Philippines, think of March and think of garlands of flowers, togas, medals, ribbons, certificates, diplomas and celebrations because one school year has ended thus it's time to reap whatever a student has sown in the whole school year. Yes, I like March because it's time for recognition programs and graduation ceremonies.  

Right Photos: Me as an emaciated high school lad
Left Photo: Graduation at the PNU-AC
When I was an elementary kid I always look forward to this time of year because it would mean that I will be getting a new shirt, a new shorts, and a new pair of slippers because I will be going up the stage to receive my ribbon for being an honor student. My parents don't give me presents during Christmas or during my birthdays. I don't ask them why because young as I was, I already understood then that gifts are only for the well-to-do families. I saw kids in the neighborhood having new toys and clothes during Christmas and how I envy them but I just can't dare ask something like them from my parents or I'll get nothing but spanks. Food on our table was the only concern during that time, nothing more , nothing less. That's why in my entire six elementary years, I was always excited when March is imminent because this was the only moment that Papa and Mama become extra generous . During closing ceremonies, they always make sure to have me look my best when I go up that stage for that one-minute fame of receiving that single memento that I did good in school that year - my ribbon.

My graduation in high school was a lot meaningful not only because I graduated with flying colors but more importantly because I went through a lot during those four years. Although I was the only one being sent to school by my parents, still they hardly can survive my daily needs. Farming was the only source of income and we lost all of our farms for reasons I don't know. On my second year, we need to go back to the place that we left behind to turn it into "kaingin". We needed to start afresh. I needed to move from a private school to a public school. It was hard. I had to walk to and from school everyday, more or less ten kilometers in distance, morning and afternoon, rain or shine,  most of the time all by myself. The most difficult parts in those times were those I was asked to join presentations in school or inter-school competitions wherein I have to figure out where to borrow some outfits and how to ask for an allowance from my parents. Believe me, they never had extra for my extra-curricular activities. But I was lucky that throughout those years, I had teachers in school (Esperanza National High School) who were never just teachers to me. They turned out to be parents, sisters, friends who did not only inspire me to continue but they also contributed a lot for my graduation.

"I needed to move from a private school to a public school. It was hard. I had to walk to and from school everyday, more or less ten kilometers in distance, morning and afternoon, rain or shine,  most of the time all by myself."  

The most defining moment was of course, my college graduation in the Philippine Normal University. I never thought I would be able to reach that stage of my life after I stopped for two years. It was a long story but basically the reason is because of financial constraints. In those two years, I ventured as a free teen-age man in the huge metropolis of  Manila. I had several attempts to enroll in some universities but I failed so when my parents decided for me to go home and go to school, I never gave it a second thought although life in the city is full of vigor and excitement especially for a young man like me.

Just the same, life in PNU was never that easy as well. It was still like a roller coaster ride but what makes it different was my old folks were in full force behind me. They used to be so unwilling to send me to school. They got this ideals from my  grandparents that education can't render any food at our table. That's one of the reasons why I can't force them to give me everything that I need in school because  when I do, it was always easy for them to tell me to stop. But then again, they came to realize that I was better off finishing college and great that in those years I saw how they did their best to provide my regular weekly allowance. They both gave up smoking. They utilized all the vacant spaces around the house to plant vegetables to sell around the neighborhood. Both of them, hand in hand, had to endure all the heat just to make and sell local sweets during weekends. I am proud that this degree that I have now is a product of "bibingka at suman" and a product of the many generous benefactors and donors that I met along the way of which I am always and forever be indebted to.

Years after...
One of the many reasons why I consider myself lucky is because my graduation would have not been in time of March because I was an irregular student at PNU-AC if not with the wonderful people God has blessed me with. (I was admitted on the second semester of 2000 so I was supposed to be an Octoberian graduate.) But great again because in the university, I met instructors who became more than just mentors but family. It is really worth mentioning that my adviser back then who is now the PNU-Agusan's Executive Director - Dr. Adelyne M. Costelo-Abrea and the then University Registrar Prof. Emerita M. Gumapac had been very patient in arranging my schedules each of those semesters I was there just so to make my March graduation possible. 

So there came March of 2004, after all the battles I went through, after all the sleepless nights and the many obstacles I had to face, I proudly marched going to the stage side by side with both Mama and Papa, who for the first time escorted me to the stage, something which he never did in my elementary and my high school recognition programs.

March is one of my favorite months of the year because it takes me back to where I started. It connects me to the people who have contributed of who I am today. While reminiscing all these, I am humbled all the more and I feel so much blessed for all that I have now. I may not have everything but I have enough...and I am happy... and truly grateful.

42 comments:

  1. Very nice reflection on the month of March.

    What I remember most about this month is the preparations we used to make for my cousins who were visiting from the city. March is also the start of the pinipig season so come March, amoy pinipig na buong barangay namin and I would be so thrilled to hear the rythmic pounding of the bayo and lusong :)

    Miss N of
    http://nortehanon.com

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    1. I miss the "pinipig" days too. Those were the times when we were still living in the barrio where there was no electricity yet. Full mooned nights were the perfect occasion for this. I kinda miss those days.

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  2. Indeed, perseverance brings glory. Look at you Lor, you've brought yourself to what and where you are now despite overwhelming odds. I've seen how a grateful son you are, and that we(me and you know who) seek you always as an inspiration. The journey is still long and you'll be far greater from what you are now. Standing ovation for you!

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    1. Thank you Bellea for this very beautiful comment. I thank God always for having great friends like you and the rest. I hope to be there someday wherever it is that you envisioned and of course - G1 will be there! hehehe...

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  3. Every time i read your work, it inspires me to write also. But i never did, though. Thanks for sharing another part of you and i am proud that i was somehow part of it.

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    1. Indeed Maya...you are a big part of this story. Remember those days in college? Those moments will forever be tattooed here in my heart.

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  4. What a nice read. You've really poured your heart and soul into this post. :) Good to know that not only were you inspired by your parents, but that you also inspired them to let you pursue your education. So sweet of them to have given up smoking and maximized even small unused spaces just to help you realize your dream. Now I'm sure they're so proud of your success, just seeing how much their sacrifices have paid off in spades. I admire your tenacity despite your youth and lack of resources. Now you're a professor in a foreign land. You've come a long way, sir! And still has a long way to go. :)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by AJ much more for leaving such a moving comment here. I truly appreciate. I could only wish that I can go on further. Thank you very much.

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  5. Sarap balik-balikan ang mga memories when we were still studying. For me, high school was the most memorable. In college, I graduated October. Naalala ko pa noon, gusto ko na mag graduate agad para maka work na, pero when I am already working, I miss being in school, studying. Haha!! And whatever happens to those memoriies, our parents will always be part of them all, di ba? Cheers to happy thoughts and memories. =)

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  6. After hard work, great results will come and you'll be grateful for all you've been through that led you to your success. God bless.

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  7. Cool. Daming ala ala pag-March. Sa public school din ako nagaral when I was in elementary. I used to walk din para makapasok sa school. And pagdating ng march, dyan nawawala ang pagod ng paglalakad, dahil kahit gaano kataas ang entablado ay handa akong akyatin yun makatuntong lang sa aharapan ng tao at makuha ang aking honor. Yay! I love march. Ibig sabihin nun nung bata ako ay BAKASYON NA! :) Saranggola na!

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  8. you deserve what you've sowed Sir! Happy Memories, always reminisced! :)

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  9. Yesterday was just a scratch for your dreams, but today, the scratch became of what you've really wanted to be.
    It's your time to payback the goodness in life. ;-)
    God bless...

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  10. March is also one of my favorite months. :) That's a great life story you had. Good luck in the future and I wish you success and nothing but the best :)

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  11. Hmmn March is not actually my fave month, but I knew there are al lot of events during this month

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  12. Oh my! Enzoooooo... sobra inspiring ang story ng life mo!!!! Saludo ako sa lahat lahat, rags to riches to! pwedeng pang maalaala!!!

    I am sure mas madami ka pang mainspire... so let go, move on, reach for your stars!!! Born to be a winner - that's sooo you!!!!

    You've done it before, you'll do it over and over again - SUCCESS!

    Kudos!!! Hugs to your parents too!:)

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  13. yup, good days... especially when you belong to the honor roll, it's definitely a treat. nice share. Yahweh bless.

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  14. You are inspiring. For someone like you who grew up deprived and poor, I can really feel you. But it didn't hinder us to strive more and be successful. In fact, that particular memories were the reasons why we became stronger and surpassed every circumstances that came along our way.

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  15. I should do my own reflection .... thanks for reminding me about this

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  16. wowgaling! inspiring post:) sabi nga masarap lingonin ang nakalipas dahil ito ang inspirasyon pagtahak ng hinaharap(emo) i can relate to this post!kudos

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  17. Wow naiyak naman ako! I'm so senti so sorry... Your story is So inspiring. Thanks for sharing. I had my share of struggles emotionally and financially from grade school to college Naka relate talaga ako sa story mo.. ;)

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  18. This is so inspiring. I think you should talk and encourage kids that even though school's a bit hard, they should persevere like you :)

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  19. Now it's in March that you march onto your graduation and I'm hoping that you keep on marching on towards success in your life. Keep on marching even in your wedding day. Good luck, good health and God bless you!

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  20. a real inspiring post.. march for some especially students marks an end and start of another term. another beginning.. another chance.. another level in life

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  21. Memories linger. I feel the same actually. Please continue to share an entertaining posts like this

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  22. you are so blessed! and i know you really deserve all the beautiful things that is happening to your life now. what a very inspiring post. thank you for sharing..

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  23. Couldn't agree more... I also remember, I graduated in elementary without "handaan" and graduated in high school with my dad resigned from his work because of some personal issues. But it does not merit how successful you could be... Maraming bongga ang graduation day pero look at them nowm jobless... Thanks Enzo ayan tuloy napa-reflect din ako.


    BTW, I love March because it is the start of summer!

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  24. What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing to us your journey to success! This should inspire the young ones to follow in your footsteps :-)

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  25. December is my favorite month because of Christmas.This is the only time for a new clothes and shoes. just like you ,we never grew up with toys .my parents can't afford it. their only concern back then was food on out table and money for our education.We never had problem with house,we owned it courtesy of my fathers employer.life was so simple that but we were all happy and contented. College days was difficlut for me .I am a sickly person so my life was revolve around school and hospital.

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  26. Nice reflection!
    some, like you are challenge with the task ahead..
    as they say, it's the journey, the bumps along the way, the people who are with you when you are trying to reach your goal that matters..
    You can reflect now as to how hard it had been, but hey, what you've been to is incomparable and worthwhile than most had.

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  27. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, they say.Just I hope your story didn't bring out the cry baby in me. hehe.

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  28. I remember March more because of graduation too. Well, our graduation here in UP is on April, though, but it will be extra special because it will fall just before, after, or exactly on my birthday.

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  29. ive read this some days ago and id love to read it over and over again, why so? it is something so inspiring, i can imagine how difficult it was. but kuya, look at you now!!! every inch of you is something i look up to!!! i always have my salutes on you, why? because we are so alike!!!! we make our world, we build our dreams, we are our own!!!! proud younger sis- Kate! i am always proud of you kuya lorenz.

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  30. There is no more sweet than to reap what u have sowed

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  31. BTW, I've tagged you in my latest post - LIEBSTER AWARD - please check it out - I hope you'll accept! Thanks!

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  32. As my kumpare Oscar Wilde once said, "What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise." I think your March story is an embodiment of that.

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  33. I like the way you reflected thoughts according to months hehe. COngrats for surpassing those btw.

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  34. Nice post sir enzo, i can relate on some parts.. :)

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  35. I was inspired! Gonna wait for my turn to march and i can say atlast i'm done with those obstacles and what not :)

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  36. Wow the memories of graduation! Reading this made me remembered the day I graduated from college.

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  37. wow! This is but a good way of reflecting back all your memories. After hard work, you proved you deserve a successful life.

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  38. job well done enzo!
    i've been through a lot din when i was skoling..ako nga naging working student pa talaga..

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