Grade school at Ateneo de Manila was spent in Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila, the place the buildings had been nonetheless scarred by the battle which had ended solely a few years in the past.
Then the school transferred to its current location, Loyola Heights in Quezon City, amid rolling hills overlooking the Marikina Valley. There was a forest close by, now most likely gone. Mountains offered a formidable background to the faculty constructing at one finish of the campus.
The gymnasium with its gigantic Blue Eagle was already an iconic landmark then, and there was a lot exercise within the Covered Courts. There had been spanking new buildings within the High School grounds, and through rain showers the campus took on a new look and appeared to bloom with greenery.
The rector was the very good-looking Fr. James McMahon, and all of the Assumption and Maryknoll colegialas had a crush on him. The required holy terror was personified by Dean of Studies Fr. Raymond Gough, whom we known as Caligula as a result of he spoke like Peter Ustinov, who performed the mad Roman emperor within the MGM movie “Quo Vadis,” starring Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr and was all concerning the early Christians being fed to the lions.
Fr. Joseph Galdon we known as “Bob Hope” as a result of of his supposed resemblance to the American comedian. Our class director was the jovial Fr. Paul Campbell.
Bias in opposition to the close by University of the Philippines-Diliman was robust (and vice-versa). I bear in mind one instructor saying, “How can you call that UP professor a good man when he is an atheist?” But the picture of a godless establishment was softened one way or the other when Father Gough celebrated Mass there and good-naturedly complained, “There were so many receiving Holy Communion my back was breaking. . .”
Irish-American Jesuits of their white soutanas had been in all places. There was just one Spanish Jesuit, Father Orozco, and he taught us Latin.
Most of the school officers and lecturers of that period are gone now, however expensive “Mr. Pagsi” (Onofre Pagsanghan) is nonetheless round, educating. He taught us Religion and English, and had not but based Dulaang Sibol, which might make him well-known.
And there was Eric Torres, the poet-art critic. He was the one instructor we known as by his first title after school. “I’m in a reunion mood,” he informed my classmate-cousin Dando Santillan and me after we ran into him as soon as at Rockwell Center.
And there was classmate Rolly Severino, who as soon as pawed an effeminate schoolmate, declaring “This is my wife…,” unaware that an American Jesuit with out a sense of humor was proper behind him. Before we knew it the intercom in each class was intoning, “Rolando Severino of 4-D is hereby suspended…”
Classmate Mike Ligon (later a sportswriter for the previous Manila Times) had an argument with Father Campbell, misplaced his mood, rose and shouted, “This is a democracy!” Father Campbell thundered in reply, “The Ateneo is not a democracy!” Everybody froze.
There had been penalties for talking in Tagalog. The solely time we may communicate within the language was through the Tagalog hour after we grappled with the verses of Balagtas’ “Florante at Laura”—with English translation within the reverse pages!
From these childhood, when Ateneo was an all-male faculty, I developed a lifelong devotion to the Lord Jesus and Mother Mary, liberal and unconventional Catholic that I could also be, and to the Spanish founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola, and I pray to him in his personal language.
Another legacy is the English language which has served me effectively, plus a love of English literature.
In previous age, reminiscence may be a difficult course of, and in my case extremely selective. By and huge, these years at Ateneo of olden days had been a comfortable expertise with solely a few unhappy moments. The music of Barbra Streisand mentioned all of it: “Memories can be beautiful and yet if too painful to remember we simply choose to forget. So it’s the laughter we will remember, whenever we remember the way we were…” —CONTRIBUTED
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