Our High School Life In The 1960’s
Let me go nostalgic and write about how it was during our high school days in the 1960’s. Actually, I already posted an article about how it was when I was young and had a short mention about my having elementary and high school education right in our barrio (barangay in today’s terminology). In my reminiscence, high school days were the happiest during my growing and maturing years. I believe that the youth of today and even the not so young anymore would agree with me on this. Each one of us have beautiful memories of our good old high school days.
I had my high school education at De Los Santos Community School (later renamed De Los Santos-Urbano Community School) from 1965 to 1969. The school was founded in 1955 and we were told that it was the first secondary-level learning institution in a rural area of the country. We, the alumni of the school, believe this unless someone would come forward and prove that there was another rural high school that came ahead of our alma mater.
High school life in rural 1960’s (and I believe even now) was real fun. Everyone in a class level knew each other (there were not more than 30 students in our class then) and normally got to next level together so it was practically the same faces in all the four (4) years of our secondary studies. For being familiar with each other, it was just normal that a high school boy would have a crush or puppy love to a girl and some partners made good together later in their lives.
Aside from the regular studies in Mathematics, Science, Language and Humanities, we had annual school festivities or celebrations that we all anticipated and participated with enthusiasm. The regular annual school festivities we enjoyed participating in were the following:
A) United Nations Day – Celebrated every 24th day of October, selected students from different high school levels wore national costumes of the member nations of the organization. The most awaited event in the celebration was the flag identification contest where the winner got recognized as champion by all students of the school. It was not as difficult then compared to present to memorize the flags of nations because there were only around eighty (80) of them if I remembered it correctly.
B) School Foundation Day – Also called Anniversary Day, we celebrated this on the 8th of December each year. The most anticipated part of the celebration was the presentation and drills by the Preparatory Military Training (PMT) cadets and officers of the school. All male students joined the weekly training and it was on this day that they got to demonstrate their military skills. Selected female students stood as cadet sponsors during the event.
C) Junior-Senior Prom – Held on a day before the graduation of the fourth year students, this was the event when the seniors transfer their school responsibilities to Juniors (third year students). “First dance” and sometimes “First kiss” happened during the dancing session that followed the turn-over ceremony.
You may not find something unusual on the things I described above but this article is important to me and hopefully among my readers who are products of the same high school I went to. Take note that I use past tense in all the verbs that I used to describe our high school life. It was not because I write about past events but more so to emphasize that those things will not happen anymore. Our high school alma mater closed its campus a few years ago. No clue in sight that it will open again and we are very sad because of it.
My high school days are likewise worth remembering as the time spent was so uncommon. My more than two years study at a minor seminary first in Batangas and finally in Quezon was then unrecognized by the government. Thus, I had to start anew my high school studies but in a peculiar way. I completed my high school in four different locations as a Catholic priest’s factotum, I was able to study at four different parishes of his pastoral assignment. It was necessary since my parents were financially incapable to support my studies.
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