(... the daring San Felipe, Zambales Cowboy adventures continue)
November 1966. I was 10 yrs old, family just moved back to
San Felipe from the States to live (my father retired from the US Navy),
my 1st day in 5th grade section 2, I am the shortest boy in the class (I
still am in most other classes as well), it will be recess soon. I was
"inglis spokening". This other boy Edwin (the shortest one in the class
until I came along) was being egged on by some other kids to push me
Evidently, Edwin, whom we called "Kastila", was a bit of an
aloof show-off despite his diminutive size. He was always the kid that got
pushed around, but he knew how to shrug it all off and laugh about it. He
would laughingly jump around to get away from those who would bully him.
This, being my 1st day in school in San Felipe was just
another one of those "adjustment" days. My home room teacher, Lola Pining
who just so happened to be a 2nd cousin of my Lola on my father's side let
us off for recess. So, I went out to the school grounds minding my own
Little did I know, the group of boys were gathering and
headed towards me. Kastila was among them and he came to me by the side of
the stage and talked to me in ilocano something that I could not
understand. (Keep in mind, bagong salta ako sa Pinas from the States and
not yet speaking in the vernacular. English pa lang ako noon sa day 1).
They started laughing and I started laughing back. Kastila
did not like that, so, he pushed me. I pushed back. He grabbed me and I
grabbed him back. He hit me and I hit him back. We then rolled over on the
dirt a couple of times. On the 3rd roll, his head came close to a broken
piece of hollow block and I stopped the roll, got up, he stayed down,
started to pick up the hollow block and I then stepped on his hand hard to
keep him from picking it up. By this time, all the boys and girls within
100 ft came around to see what was happening. Dust was everywhere....
Next thing I knew, Lola Pining Esposo and Auntie Angelita
Labrador (5th grade section 1 home room teacher) came by and grabbed each
of us by the ear. BY THE EAR!!! That HURTS!!! By the way, folks in this
forum that are from San Felipe and who had these relatives of mine as
their teachers would know who I am talking about. By the way, my middle
name is Labrador. (Pirit the ear HURTS I tell you!!!)
Needless to say, I was scolded. We visited the Principal.
Just imagine. 1st day in school! 1st fight on the 1st day of school. ...
during recess! At least I won. When I got home in the afternoon, I was
scolded again by my parents.... they already knew. Even in those days,
word traveled fast.
I felt bad for Kastila. For the 1st time, he would have the
chance to bully someone else. Someone shorter than him. He failed. He was
the joke of the school for the rest of the week. I felt bad for that the
rest of the week. We became friends after that. Not close friends, but
friends none the less.
  
    
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