Showing posts with label high school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label high school. Show all posts

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Flashback shoes: Haruta

Browsing an Japanese online shopping site, I decided to order a pair of shoes that's a throwback to high school days. Haruta was a popular brand back in the 1980s especially for students required to wear leather shoes for much of the school week (4 out of 5 weekdays). I think I wore 3 or 4 pairs of these shoes including the penny loafers and the one with the tassels. Two of those pairs were brown and one was black. Almost all of these had failure on the sole right that I attributed to the shoes I had being fakes. I don't remember the prices but we usually bought shoes at the Marikina Shoe Exchange shops in Cubao. Mine were cheaper and bore some suspicious marks indicating they were fakes. So of course, I just had to have an authentic pair.

Direct from Japan via the Express Mail Service (EMS), the box is opened to reveal a flashback to the 1980s.
The shoes have to be genuine, real leather and...Made in Japan. There were many fake Harutas back in the day and I think I owned and wore a couple of pairs myself at a time when these were the rave for us required to wear leather shoes 4 days a week.
These shoes are easy to clean, easy to shine. They are relatively heavier than my Cole Haans and Florsheims. Pardon for my being mayabang but I earned the money I paid for these shoes :) 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rest in Peace, Mr. Mamorno

I learned a couple of weeks ago that my third year adviser in high school passed away. He succumbed to cardiac arrest apparently after giving a talk at school. Larry Mamorno was a very memorable figure during my teen age years. I remember him as the "Lito Lapid" look-alike teacher in high school who could get along well with most of us including some of whom I though were the more "difficult" students in our school. We learned later that he was a brother with the Order Friars Minor, Capuchins, later deciding that priesthood was not his calling. Instead, he entered another vocation - teaching. His first stint was at Lourdes School of Mandaluyong where he also stayed and served as a brother with the Parish of St. Francis of Assisi. 

I will always remember him for our "talk" one time my grades dipped and he told me he was concerned about the reasons for the dip. I don't remember exactly what I told him my reasons were. It's something about being lazy or uninspired at the time. I think I was experiencing a rut and there were no incentives for me to perform well in my classes, content with just getting by with my quizzes and other school work. I didn't have any family problems so it's not a problem at home but just a lack of motivation for myself. I don't really remember him suggesting anything except offering to talk it over whenever I felt like it. He probably told me to read more and find it in myself to convince myself to do better in class. This was likely his way of encouraging me as there seemed to be no plausible reason at all why I wasn't doing well in class. 

I do remember that during the end of our third year class recollection, he spoke to my father about my performance in class. Tatay talked to me afterwards to ask me if anything was bothering me and we had a good talk about my "lethargic" school work. I don't know how I did it but I managed to get through that "difficult" moment and I ended up with good grades for the rest of my third year. The momentum was carried into my graduating year in high school where I think I surprised a lot of people by doing quite well in my science and math subjects. During the concluding part of our class retreat, Mr. Mamorno, who was adviser of another 4th year class, approached my father again and they had what I thought was a nice chat (both of them smiling as they apparently were talking about me and other students). Frankly, I believe that Mr. Mamorno has influenced my life through that on-on-one talk and I am thankful to him just for being there during that moment.

Rest in peace Mr. Mamorno. You have done great in this life and will be remembered by people whose lives you've touched as their teacher/adviser.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

All boxed up - still on the high school homecoming

Last Saturday during our high school homecoming, I couldn't help but lift my eyes and notice the tall buildings surrounding the campus. These were mostly residential condominiums from the middle class types like Robinsons development, built on land where the original Medical City used to stand, to the high-end Shangri-la developments just across from St. Francis Church, it seemed to me that a lot of people (and strangers at that) were looking into our event from their units high above the campus. Soon, there will be more condos around Lourdes as I saw signs showing the proposed developments along Shaw Boulevard just across the school. I guess, many residents of these condos have children studying at Lourdes considering the convenience of the location. 

All ready - the stage and the dining tables are all set for the event. This is a permanent structure in the campus that hides the fire escape that was added to the grade school building only recently in compliance with safety standards. Note the high-rise condos in the background 
Suigeneris was the name of the fair our batch organized and hosted during our senior year in high school. It was the first school fair that was not financially supported by the school and so our student council had to solicit support from various donors. It was a resounding success for a student council-led event. Later, I learned that our council president and batchmate named his sounds and lights outfit Suigeneris. He provided the equipment for the homecoming.
Another batch photo - this was taken earlier in the night before the formal program started.  Notice the condo in the background (upper left)? I actually felt strange to see all the high rise buildings surrounding Lourdes Mandaluyong. There are many including the Shangri-la's posh St. Francis and the Robinsons condo shown in the photo, which was built on land that used to be occupied by the original Medical City. Indeed, much has changed since the time when we were still students here when most of the surrounding areas were undeveloped.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

High school homecoming

We had our high school homecoming last night with our class, the Silver Jubilarians, playing host to the batches represented there. It was a very memorable event. After all, you don't get to celebrate 25 years more than once - or can you? Anyhow, despite many of our batchmates unable to come home from abroad (many are currently in the US or Canada), those residing in Metro Manila came in force. It was good to see many old friends and acquaintances again after about 25 years. As expected, some looked as they were back in high school plus a few white hairs. Most probably gained weight. Some grew moustaches or beards. Some sported new hair-dos. But most brought back memories, stories to exchange, and, most important, the jokes and laughter shared throughout our high school days.

Members of LSM Class of 1988
It was also nice too see some of our former teachers including Fr. Ed Tiamzon, who was LSM rector for most of my stay at Lourdes including my graduations from grade school and high school. I learned last October that our English teacher, Ms. Marciano, is now high school principal. She was there last night sharing a table with mostly a new generation of teachers. There was also Mr Ed Caligner who was our Christian Living Education teacher and who is now with Ateneo De Manila University where he is a guidance counselor. Most notable for me though was the presence of my former Physics teacher and 4th year adviser Ms. Marissa Lemu-Solano. I owe her a lot for much of fundamentals in physics that was so useful during my university studies and until now, when I get to used mechanics and other principles when studying traffic flow.

Photo op with our former Christian Living Education and Physics teachers Mr Caligner and Ms Lemu-Solano
With our former CLEd teacher Mr Caligner and grade school buddy Jocel Roxas
I am very appreciative of our batch officers for the hard work they put in for this event to become the success that it was last night. I am also appreciative of the effort by some batchmates who are really busy people for attending the homecoming. The most notable among these people is Perci Intalan, head of TV5's creative and entertainment, who was a grade school buddy of mine. 

Now I am looking forward to a second silver jubilee celebration next year. Is a second 25th possible? In my case it is because of a circumstance I share with many of my Class of 1988 batchmates. We were accelerated back in 1984, which meant we skipped Grade 7. That led to our advancing to join the batch ahead of us who went through Grade 7 at Lourdes. As such, we left our grade school batch behind who will be celebrating their 25th year of graduation from high school next year as the Class of 1989. I got to talk with some old grade school friends and similar to other batches at LSM with the same situations, they regard us "accelerants" as their batchmates. And so next year, even as part of 88, we could celebrate with our grade school batch on their silver jubilee. After then, we hopefully can look forward to the next milestone...

Friday, February 15, 2013


On Saturday, our high school batch will be celebrating our 25th year since our graduation in 1988. I look forward to attending my first high school homecoming since 1989, when I was a freshman at UP Diliman and my barkada and I agreed to come to our high school just to meet up. We didn't know then that it would be our last reunion until now, 24 years later. I don't have high expectations for the homecoming as our batch really started serious planning and mobilization for this only a few months earlier, unlike similar batches from other schools who launched all sorts of activities like marathons, movie premieres, golf tourneys and the like for fundraising. I myself am guilty for not participating in the planning and other activities leading to the reunion for various reasons.

I don't expect my barkada to be there. Among my closest friends in high school, only one will likely be attending the homecoming. I say likely because it is still uncertain despite our recent exchange of messages on Facebook. Another friend will most likely skip the reunion as he might be expecting himself to be the subject of some japes or taunts, as he was back in high school, which was mostly because of his religion and which I think was unfair. 

It will not be my most recent visit to Lourdes Mandaluyong. Only last October, I was at our alma mater to give a short talk to 3rd year high school students about possible careers in Engineering. I agreed to doing to career talk in part because I was curious about what the school looked like from the inside after all these years, when I only had glimpses of the school exterior when passing through Shaw Boulevard or San Miguel Avenue. The career talk I will write about later as my opinions on that topic deserves more than just mere mention here.

The latin words that is on the seal of Lourdes School is said to be the favorite greeting of St. Francis of Assisi
I hear that Silver Jubilees are a big thing with many if not most schools. The Clairvoyant is already involved in their own school's homecoming preparations next year when their batch is celebrating their 25 years. I'm not sure if what our batch did for this year's homecoming would be enough but maybe it's the spirit that matters and all the other batches who will be there tomorrow will be there to enjoy each other's fellowship.

As I write this, I am listening to a radio ad announcing the homecoming over a popular FM radio station where a batchmate is working (I hear he's an exec there.). Silver anniversaries are once in a lifetime and I think it would be a great idea to meet up with friends and acquaintances from way back. In a way, we share similar experiences from 4 years and yet a lot has changed since then especially as each one of us have probably been influenced by college life as well as our work environments. The homecoming tomorrow might also be the last opportunity to see old buddies in high school, knowing it is uncertain what happens to each one of us after the reunion. That, as they say, is life.