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

Friday, December 21, 2012

Homecoming: St. Francis of Assisi Parish

It was not really a formal homecoming but I consider coming to Lourdes Mandaluyong and St. Francis Church homecomings. This is because the school and the church was and is a significant part of my life, particularly for most of the 11 years when I was studying there. These were formative years and helped shape what I am today. Hearing Mass at St. Francis one Sunday, I took a few photos around and in the church for posterity. After all, it is at St. Francis that I was baptized, had my First Communion, and graduated from Grade School and High School. Kulang na lang pala dito ako ikinasal! Nevertheless, the Priest who celebrated our Wedding Mass was the LSM Rector during my GS and HS (he's Rector again now).

Driveway from the church - the steel railing and the steel fences were not there when I was attending school.

The church's cross used to be the tallest structure in the area. Now, there are so many high-rise buildings in the area including these residential condominiums just across the street from the church.

Tiled floor - I remember the floor in our time was plain polished concrete and I seem to have a HS class photo in this same area. The air-conditioning is for the confessional box and wasn't there before.

Corridor along the side of the church - at the end is a staircase that leads to the parking lot and parish office. There wasn't a roof at the right back in the day so this was practically a balcony looking across the parking lot and Shaw Boulevard.

Main altar - I was a bit surprised when I heard Mass at St. Francis a few years ago and found the significant changes in the altar. This was a very simple altar before with none of the gold and other glitter. I guess I'm old-fashioned in the sense that I prefer the simple altar back in the day. I even remember that people didn't line up for Communion but instead filed along the wooden railing (this is also gone) around the first step of the altar and knelt to receive Holy Communion. This was similar to the old practice at UP Diliman's Parish of the Holy Sacrifice.

Pews and stained glass - I remember being amused by the stained glass of the church when I was a toddler. Those were simpler times and our family heard Mass here every Sunday even when we were already living in Cainta. At left are small altars including one dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Back in the day, it was only this small altar that I remember Tatay visited every Wednesday instead of going to Baclaran. At right is the confessional box.

St. Pio Chapel - this area has been renovated as it used to be just an open area with pews facing the main altar. The door leads to another corridor and a balcony facing the HS grounds. There is also a staircase that leads to the school grounds with an entrance beside the school canteen. Noticeable in the photo are ceiling fans that were a later addition to the church. The interior used to be quite breezy as the area surround the church and the school used to be vacant. Nowadays, it's not so because of the high-rise buildings in the area.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Homecoming: LSM, Alma Mater

I received an invitation to speak before high school juniors at a career talk at my alma mater, Lourdes School of Mandaluyong (LSM). I made sure I arrived early so that I could have an opportunity to go around the school grounds reminiscing about my 11 years at LSM from 1977-1988. Following are a few photos I took during my visit and prior to my talk about Engineering.

Entrance - this was the usual sight when entering the school grounds. The grade school building is on the left while the old Instructional Media Center (IMC) was located at the open door in the photo.
Quadrangle and multi-purpose hall - there is now a multi-level building where the old tennis court used to be located along the side of the covered walkway connecting the old grade school building with the canteen and St. Francis church. On the foreground is the area where we used to line up for flag ceremonies and other assemblies. The tree in the middle of the photo is an old one and was already there when I first entered LSM in 1977.
Quadrangle - we used to have our Monday flag ceremonies and Physical Education exercises in the area. Also, during grade school, we lined up before entering our classrooms in the morning and after recess and lunch breaks. 
Another view of the quadrangle, this time showing the flag pole and the section adjoining the St. Francis of Assisi Church. The section to the right houses the parish offices and the living quarters of priests assigned to LSM and St. Francis. Clergy at LSM belong to the Order of  Friars Minor - Capuchins (OFM Cap.).
Yet another view of the quadrangle, this time from the covered walkway connecting the grade school building with the canteen and St. Francis church.
Covered walkway to the canteen - this is the view when walking from the grade school building. Turning right at the end of the walkway, the walkway branches out leading to the high school building. Turning left led to the library. At the end of the walkway and before descending the stairs to the canteen, there is (or was) a wooden door to the right that opens to a staircase leading up to the church.
Heritage tree? - this tree has been at the quadrangle since my entire schooling (1977 - 1988) and is a survivor given all those typhoons that have passed through since then. I guess the buildings surrounding it have mitigated the effects of strong winds that have toppled many trees elsewhere. Clairvoyant mentions a very old tree at the St. Theresa's College campus in Quezon City that has been declared as a heritage tree. Perhaps this tree at LSM could qualify for the distinction.
View of the back of St. Francis Parish Church - below is a small garden also dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and the school's entrance to the St. Francis Theater beneath the church.
Parish office as seen from the LSM parking lot - I was surprised by number of vehicles parked in the area. It seems a lot of students are driven to school these days and there are fewer school service vehicles compared to when we were students there back in the 1980's.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

A wink, a blink and a nod

I believe I was in Grade 1 at Lourdes School of Mandaluyong when I memorized my first long poem or verse. It was a competition piece as our section competed with others in our grade level. If my recall is correct, the contest was held at the old auditorium of the Grade School Building located at the top floor and above the administration offices facing Shaw Boulevard. At the time, there were no other large venues in school. The alternative, the Instructional Media Center (IMC) could fit only two sections at best. The St. Francis of Assisi Theater was to be built a few years later, where most big events organized by the school will eventually be held. The old auditorium would eventually be converted into classrooms.

We all had to memorize parts and not all of the poem. We were, however, required to know our cues for our parts so we practically tried to memorize each groups' parts in order for us to get our timing right. I'm not sure if our section won (I forget that part now.) but I assume we got our recognition that day. Here's our piece from '78 or '79 - a full 33 years ago.

Winken, Blinken and Nod

by Eugene Field, 1850-1895.
found in the Oxford Book of Children's Verse.

Winken, Blinken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe --
Sailed off on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in the beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"

Said Winken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them al night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in the beautiful sea --
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish --
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fisherman three:

And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam --
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe
Bringing the fisherman home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea --
But I shall name you the fishermen three:

And Nod.

Winken and Blinken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoes that sailed the skies
Is the wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked hte fisherman three:

And Nod.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lourdesian blue

Blue is my favorite color ahead of rose (not maroon) and green. I am fond of the different hues of the color ranging from navy, royal, sky and dark. Blue is associated with different schools, most prominently with one along Katipunan that is well known for the blue-colored avian that represents its teams as well as its products. I am well aware of this and yet I insist on picking blue but of a different hue. 

Some people call it light blue, some say its sky. I prefer to call it Lourdesian blue after my alma mater. This variety of blue is one that is associated with Our Lady of Lourdes and is distinctive on the clothing of her image. It is my preferred hue also because I feel it to be cool rather than warm. It also blends well with my skin unlike the darker hues that seem to make me look darker, too. Many of my shirts have elements of this hue of blue and I consider it a part of my style even as I also try to diversify my wardrobe to include reds and greens. 

Of course, blacks and whites are basic colors and are pretty standard for me especially when I have to suit up for presentations and important meetings. The barong tagalog, I believe, should only be colored white or its variants. White shirts are perfect for any tie and black complements perfectly with white (e.g., white shirt and black plants and suit jackets).

Friday, June 17, 2011

School traffic

One thing I will miss about summers is the relatively light traffic along Katipunan Avenue, which is where I pass through almost everyday between my home and workplace. There is still some congestion during the mid-day and the afternoons but these are typically due to truck traffic as Circumferential Road 5 (C5) is a truck route. During the rest of the year, however, with the exception of most weekends and holidays, severe congestion is experienced along Katipunan during the peak periods, particularly in the mornings between 6:30 AM and 7:30 AM. This is due primarily to the traffic generated by schools along Katipunan Avenue, most notably the Ateneo De Manila University and Miriam College. The following photos show typical traffic conditions along C5 during the peak periods.

Slow-moving vehicles along the northbound side of Katipunan Avenue

Congestion along the northbound direction of Katipunan atop the Aurora Blvd. overpass

Congestion along the Katipunan southbound service road leading to the U-turn slot underneath the Aurora Blvd. overpass

Traffic along the southbound service road leads to a U-turn slot under the overpass where many vehicles turn, heading in the general direction of Ateneo. Most turn here in order to enter the university via its Gate 1, which is the main access to the Grade School. On most times, congestion is caused by these vehicles turning right at Gate 1 as they effectively occupy the two lanes of the northbound service road and block all other traffic. This is shown in the following photo where it is clear that vehicles bound for Ateneo and turning at Gate 1 are the main cause of congestion. Beyond Gate 1, the traffic lanes are practically free of congestion.

Vehicles turning right to Ateneo's Gate 1 blocking traffic along the Katipunan northbound service road

The afternoon peak is exacerbated by traffic generated by these schools that lead to longer periods of congestion as the number of private vehicle traffic dramatically increases when there are classes between June and April. Meanwhile, there is a noticeable decrease in traffic during the weekends and holidays. Such phenomenon is mostly attributable to the trip generation characteristics of schools, and especially those that tend towards the generation of much private vehicles. Ateneo and Miriam along Katipunan are just two examples. The traffic they generate and the consequential congestion is replicated in other places as well, giving headaches to motorists and commuters passing along major roads affected by these schools. Ortigas Avenue, for example, is usually congested during the weekdays because of traffic generated by LaSalle Greenhills, and ADB Avenue at the Ortigas Center is usually congested due to traffic attributed to Poveda.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Class Photos

The destruction brought about by Typhoon Ondoy last year has left many people scarred for life. Much of these scars are not the physical kind that may have been inflicted by debris during the floods or acquired from wounds or scratches incurred during the clean-up and recovery from the onslaught. I would like to believe that such physical scars are nothing compared to psychological ones (probably even spiritual) that will take a lot of time to heal.

For me, the healing process started when I discovered old negatives of photos I took during my 3 years of studies in Japan (1996- 1999). I felt relieved and happy that physical manifestations of memories were not at all erased by the floods of Ondoy. I must admit that until now, I have reflected on what could have beens if I only made a call to remind people to take my old photo albums to a safer place. Those albums represented my childhood, my growing up years - happy memories with my lolas and lolos, nanays and tatays, manangs and manongs, our family, and of course, close friends. These were practically archives, most of which can no longer be recovered.

Part of those albums were class photos, particularly from my 11 years of grade school and high school at Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. I was never absent when a class photo was to be taken and I knew that in some other albums or collections of past classmates are similar photos. A pleasant surprise was waiting for me when I recently reviewed albums in my Facebook account and found that some former classmates scanned and posted some of their class photos on Facebook. For posterity and to continue the healing process I post below 4 class photos that is proof of my childhood and memories of LSM.

LSM SY1979-80, Grade 2-A (Adviser: Ms. Luningning Alap)
I'm 4th from left in the front row.

LSM SY 1980-81, Grade 3-E (Adviser: Mrs. Purita Umali)
I am 1st on the left, front row.
Mrs. Umali was also my Class Adviser when I was in LSM Prep (Section C). In my 11 years at LSM, I would have the same advisers in 4 levels - Mrs. Umali in Prep and Grade 3, and Mrs. Magno in Grades 4 and 6.

LSM SY 1984-85, I-St. Thomas (Adviser: Ms. Irma Canlas [later Mrs. Irma Agoncillo])
I am in the 2nd row, 4th from the right.
I always wondered why the school decided we have our photo taken with the new San Miguel headquarters as background. Perhaps the administrators were in awe of the architecture? At the time it was the most impressive building in the Ortigas area and it was imposing considering there were no other buildings of note except Philcomcen (with its tall tower on top of the building) and Meralco. No Megamall or Galleria yet, and I remember that EDSA Central was the nearest gimmick place at the time.

LSM SY1986-87, III-St. Lawrence (Adviser: Mr. Clarito Mamorno)
I am again in the 1st row, right smack in the middle.
I will always remember third year high as a time of ups and downs (or highs and lows) that I attribute to my free-wheeling style of studying at the time. I actually got a scare in some subjects I didn't prioritize, preferring to lock on my Chemistry and Math classes. It was around this time that I had decided I would be an engineer. Notable also in the photo is the presence of 3 American exchange students - Tom, Matthew Baker and that other guy who seems to be always absent from class.