This is a guest post by one of Batch 87′s well-loved and well-rounded (If you know what I mean) members, Martin ‘Ting-Ting’ Velasco. Ting-Ting discovers “ancient treasure” (some old pics in his closet) and shares the stories behind it.
Take it away, Ting…
Memories of Green – By Martin “Ting-Ting” Velasco
Scrounging through my stuff at home I came across a bunch of 110 film negatives. Like an archaeologist finding King Tut’s treasure, I decided to have these processed and was surprised to find, stored in a lot of dust, surviving the sands of time, ancient memories. Just like Tut.
I saw my mom and, according to my calculations, she was my age now around the time of the pic. My dad was younger than me present day, about 35. Now a 35 year old these days to me is a kid. There were pics of me as a doting toddler, my brother as a baby but more interestingly, a bunch was taken when I was part of class 1-D, the rowdiest, deranged bunch of LSGH High School brat/chicker wannabes at that time.
Like entering a mummy’s tomb, time stood still in these pictures. I saw a glimpse of me that seemed like a dream. Surreal. Like it never happened at all. This is what I saw….
Back we were in time when Marcos was still president, the hottest car was a Ford Laser, some Senator got shot at the airport, Al Jareau just became Jareau and sang about some cheerios in the morning and get this – Marl smokes were PhP 5, A PACK!
In La Salle, we had the most flexible academic enhancing schedule in high school land a.k.a. HALF DAY!!!!!!! In first year we had to come in at 7:30 in the mawnin’, recess at 10:20 and out scot free by 12:30 pm. That was not bad and it afforded scholarly kids like me to hit the books with reckless abandon after class…. Seriously. By 13, I could already read.
LSGH Class 1-D was one for the school’s records. They were a mix of Miguel Ortigas/Lorex Yam exquisite with equally upscale Arnold Sta. Catalina meeting a dash of Mon Capistrano, a big serving of Paul Genito with a pinch of Raffy Caeg add Doy Maloles/Eric Arboleda to the mix and you end up with quite a motley, motley crue with yours truly as garnishing.
High school was promising. In the first week of class, we were rounded up, about 8 of us strong and “preemptively” suspended by Ms. Pilalpil, without cause. That meant guard duty at the HS office as a warning because of our “stellar” decorum in Grade School. We were already marked. I actually enjoyed that standing the whole day for all batch mates to see. Things like that bonded us more as a class. It was fun to be suspended.
After school, we were in the soiree’ organizing “Keep Feeling Fascination” mode and we would hit St. Scholastica’s College to practice our La Salista Martial Arts like “Pa-Cute–Fu” and “For-ma-Do” with the wonderful ladies in blue. To someone who grew up in the Greenhills, QC, Ft. Bonifacio area, Taft Ave. was a different galaxy far, far away. To the pipsqueak Lasalistas like us, DLSU was like the NBA and we were in the La Salle barangay league. That’s how I felt. That made our daily after school trips to St. Scho an even more exciting adventure. Clad in tight fit black baston pants, LSGH threads, some in topsiders with petroleum-jelly-filled-heads. We would hitch, get on a bus and, if need be, walk to St. Scho FROM Greenhills just to make their dismissal at 3:00 pm. By then, the petroleum jelly was liberally awash on our faces aggravating our acne but we still stood by it because we had that Punk Billy-Idol-attitude.
Somewhere between 1 to 2:30 p.m., we morphed into our alter “green” egos. We became the “cooler” Lasalistas pare’. We started to speak with that Lorex Yamish twang and with the Martial Arts we practiced, we were hitting on the babes in blue, La Salle style. Our voices went lower an octave or so despite the super tight MJ “Thriller” album baston pants that was actually trying to make me a falsetto. I am proud to say our pants had no “New York Strutt-Darwin Tuason-Dance 10” zippers at the hem. It was the jeans that had the zippers but that was only on weekends, for the “showdown”.
Lines like “Can I buy you Coke? or Do you want a smoke?” were what we practiced and dished out to the ladies. Lines like “Fancy a shag” were still to be learned. It was still puppy love. What else can a pimple-faced-13-year-old schmuck with a 20 peso daily allowance can offer (That’s after skipping recess and paying for the bus a whopping 4 pesos!)? I did not need Mr. Nuñez’s algebra for that kind of calculation. Thank God, batchmates like Demy Zagala, Jun Lota and Ton Frias were living in the area. We free loaded lunch and oftentimes a ride on numerous occasions.
Those were the days. Learning about things other than reading and writing after class, at St. Scho.
I made some really good friends. Who could every forget Cherie Wicker, Stef Dedel and the rest of their Scholastican ’87 gang? They were my first experience in the then unknown, unexplored and never conquered world of women. They breathed the same air, drank the same pre-diabetic, pre-diet, pre-Zero Coke.
Why, they even laughed in unison at this guy that slipped and fell on his face on the stairs of Food Trip. After all, I found out they were human too.
I distinctly remembered how cool I thought of Scho chicks in general back in the day. They were not the “Eeeow/Gawd/Whatever” types of the other school. For me they were the au contraire, they were “real”. I wanted to marry one of them but could not make up my mind which of my numerous crushes to propose to. They were about 68 of them to choose from starting with…. Hahahahahahaha!
Eons later, the friends I made at SSC remained friends and some became friends again.
Bizarre. Like I heard in a song I somewhere, it was great “growing up, getting down” around this time, early in the ‘80’s.
If not for the pics that I found, this part of my pubescent life would have been lost, forever. Just like Tut’s treasure, these snapshots of from the past have been raised and are now part of the museum of memories in my mind that I now share them with you all.
I wonder if we can have a soiree’ soon.
Tara, St. Scho mamaya!
Ting Ting is now thinking twice if he’ll attend the homecoming with another grade school uniform. He has trouble finding Khaki shorts his size at most Men stores.
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