Thursday, May 27, 2004

St.Joseph's Rules! (or Why I'm Glad My Folks Didn't Send me to St. Andrew's)

***Written a mighty long time ago****

This column could get me into major trouble with Andreans. You may have friends and relatives who went to St. Andrews. I myself have quite a number of college buddies who trace their roots to this school.

Sooner or later they will get wind of this article and that's why I'm not taking any chances. As soon as this column goes on-line, I'm packing a Beretta and bracing myself for tons of hatemail from the walking wounded. But ,dear batchmates, difficult as it may be, someone has to do the dirty job of articulating what we Josephians have known all these years -- that St. Joseph's is better than St. Andrew's.

Why? Read on.

•Girls! Girls! Girls!

St. Joseph's does not just have girls, but darn pretty ones by the truckloads. Pity those poor suckers in St. Andrew's. I mean, for Josephian boys, the unpleasant task of getting up and hauling themselves to school on chilly mornings was at least made a bit less painful with the promise of scoping those girls in the delicious blue and white uniforms. E sa St. Andrew's? Tell me, what's so motivating about seeing your male classmates' mugs day in and day out? It may be argued that St. Paul's is a stone's throw away. But who said they had prettier girls anyway? (Uh oh, now I'll really get it)

•Bamboo Organ

Whenever clueless relatives would make me repeat the name of the highschool I went to, I don't. I simply would tell them that it's the school where the Bamboo Organ, a very big deal in most parts of the world, is an ordinary, ho-hum thing that we got to see everyday. For extra shock, I would add that a classmate could casually saunter over to the instrument and play "Take on Me" whenever he felt like it. Two seconds later, ooohs and ahhhs of recognition fill the air. St. Andrew, on the other hand, is known as the school across St. Paul.

•Lantern-decked Acacia trees on the Church patio

For those who haven't experienced it, no explanation would suffice. For those who have, no explanation is necessary. Walking under the those acacia trees and looking up to see the small lanterns dotting the firmament like little stars is simply magic. Last time I checked, I didn't see any lighted acacias in St. Andrew's.

'Nuff said.

•The smell of puto bumbong on nippy
December mornings

Freud was right about deep-seated memories unconsciously shaping our present thoughts and actions. I know this is pretty wimpy (and I'm crazy to be sharing this) but I have very vivid memories of getting misty eyed as I watched Misa de Gallo attendees stream out of the Church while the aroma of puto bumbong wafted to my nose. The experience seemed to me to be as close as you could get to Nirvana while still breathing this earth's polluted air. And that little snatch of memory might be the reason why to this day, I still get a quivering stiff upper lip whenever somebody serves me puto bumbong. As for St. Andrews, the only aroma that wafts to the nose is the one coming from the murky river beside it.
I mean, I don't care what eventually became of him. The man simply loomed larger than life. His towerering frame, his stentorian voice, the guttural way he spoke English, and the way he glowered at miscreants gave us the closest brush we could ever have had with the hooded frailes of Noli and Fili. Is that cool or what?! I used to get bored out of my skull during the mandatory Music Appreciation class Fr. Leo made us all sit through every Monday. But when friends and family began noticing that in addition to knowing dudes like Dvorak and Puccini, I was also peppering my speech with high-falutin words such as glissando, arpeggio, bel canto, and staccato, I was not sure I still hated the class.

I would pay a month's Internet subscription to anyone who could prove to me that St. Andrew's had a cura paroko as interesting as our Fr. Leo.

Girls! Girls! Girls!
OK, OK, I've a one-track mind.
Now I sit back and wait for the hate-mail.