Dear 1981

I started my first-ever journal in 1993 using a small multi-print journal logbook.  Yes the one used by organizations for writing down meeting minutes and other transactions way back when computers are not that popular yet.  And I remember that my first entry on that journal was also about a diary - my very first diary.

I have been in-love with writing since I was very little.  In 1993, while I was thinking of what story to open my journal with, I decided to trace my most vivid memory when I was a child and plotted a sort of a chronological recount of what has already transpired in my life 20 years back.  The self-examination took me to 1981.

1981 was a very special year for me.  I was 8 years old and a third-grader from P.Villanueva Elementary School.  P.Villanueva is a street in Pasay City, Metro Manila - that's where I spent most of my childhood days.

P.Villanueva Elementary School (PVES) is not a very popular primary school back then.  It was a sort of a second-class public elementary school.  Those who are more privileged was enrolled at Jose Rizal Elementary School (JRES) which is located right beside PVES.  That's where my younger sister was enrolled.  tsk-tsk-tsk.. talk about favoritism hehe.

Well anyway, to add insult to injury, my classroom was located at the Annex building of PVES.  So, the birds-eye of the situation was - I was studying at... "Sa tabi ng pinaka-mababang paaralan ng P.Villanueva."  tsk-tsk-tsk.. and more tsks.

What's worst about the whole experience of studying there was a 'terror' math teacher!  I was practically good at everything in school except math.  And having a terrifying teacher is no help either.  She would throw everything at me whenever I fail to answer a simple math equation on the blackboard.  Everything except the chairs (chairs are much heavier then - no monoblocks yet).
Class Picture - I am seated on the floor 3rd from the left
That experience conditioned my mind that I was not good at math, and it took me years of reconditioning to finally realize that I am not a math 'bobo' after all.  I am no longer allergic with numbers especially when I learned the importance of numbers with the peso sign attached to it.  More numbers to compute is better than no numbers at all - cause if I have nothing to count and compute that could only mean that I am flat broke.

1981 was a very nostalgic moment for me.  That was also the year when we moved to a new house.  I couldn't say that it was the worst place to live in but the place that we moved to was technically not a house.  It was a small room on the second floor of a very old wooden shanty that has a CR.

Compared to our previous two-story house where we got a front lawn and a backyard, a garden of different fruit-bearing trees and vegetables plus a sari-sari store - this new house was a dump.  But hey, it was a roof over our heads and I have made a lot of awesome memories in that dump.  So right now, I can honestly say that I am glad that I once lived at that crap-of-a-place we called home for more than two decades.

Why did we ended up living there was a different story.

But going back to that diary I mentioned earlier?  Well, 1981 really started as a bad year for me and you know that feeling when you're sad and you just want to pour your feelings somewhere - well, I did that and I started my very first diary using a notebook that I was not using in school.

And things have started to change around me after that.  I don't remember exactly the very first story or experience that I wrote there however I think that was the very first time I discovered my love for writing stuff.  And I never stopped writing since then.

And it all started with two beautiful words...  DEAR DIARY.