IT'S true when people say much of what a person will become in the future is shaped by how one spent his or her childhood. The kind of upbringing, both at home and in school, plays a significant role on the overall development of children and more importantly, the kind of person they will turn out to be when they become adults. As I look back now, I can pretty much say that I am one lucky kid indeed. I grew up with a loving and supportive family, and I had a truly delightful time at UAGS.
Just musing over those happy memories when I was an elementary student gives me pure, simple joy. While it has been exactly 30 years ago when I started as Prep Pink student under Mrs. Sayre, I should say, almost everything is still etched vividly in my mind. I can perfectly recall which section I belonged to in every grade level (plus the classroom) and the adviser and teachers who helped me excel and develop the skills and potentials I have.
Being a Catholic school, UA ensures its students are grounded on moral and respectable living even at the meager age of 5 or 6. How can we forget those days of attending masses every First Friday of the month, and receiving the fundamental sacraments such as the Holy Communion and Confirmation? When I was in Grade 3, I started serving as one of the choir members under the guidance of Mr. Meynardo Lansangan, our Music teacher whom everybody adores so much. At the same time, I also served as a lector during the Mass and mentored by Ms. Ana Yabut.
When I was in Grade 2, I represented our section in a Singing Contest and rendered a song by the Apo Hiking Society entitled "Piece of the Peace." Although my parents were not able to watch me during my performance, I took home the first place trophy and P200. That amount is certainly a lot back then for a child like me. I was so excited to go home that day and share my achievement with my family.
When I was in Grade 3, I also joined Teatrong Kayumanggi or TK under Ms. Olivia Hernandez. During one of our plays, I portrayed the role of a hen. I remember our endless rehearsals because Ms. O wanted our presentation perfect and smooth.
When I was in Grade 4, I joined the Declamation Contest and I was coached by my adviser Ms. Jennifer Dizon. That was the time she told me I will make a good news reporter, and consequently motivated me to take up a course in Broadcast Communications. Although I did not win in that contest, I believe it was the best experience I had that honed my skills as a communicator and public speaker.
During our intramurals, I would also be regularly chosen for the inter-section dance competition, and this developed my dancing skills. I was in Grade 5 when Ms. Girlie Manabat asked me to join the dance club, and we competed in Chevalier School in Angeles City with our "Black Cat" dance routine. This helped me become a more confident and graceful dancer.
Of course, I am always full of pride to recall my days as a Lumen Staffer under my most favorite teacher, Ms. Amira Paniza. I was initially a News Writer and I was in Grade 4 when she assigned me as the News Editor. This experience definitely helped me a lot and gave me other wonderful opportunities such as winning in essay writing contests.
Indeed, much of what I am and what I can do now is deeply rooted in the countless wonderful experiences I had in UAGS. And for that, I am forever thankful.