We arrived in Digos City on June 12, 1994. There’s no way I can forget the exact date because at the time the vehicles especially the tricycles had small Philippine flags decorated to them commemorating Philippine Independence Day.
Two days later, I continued my 3rd grade education in Don Mariano Marcos Elementary School, which is just situated in front of the house where we lived. I was brought to school in the afternoon so I skipped the morning session of the day.
I was in section SPED-A under Mrs. Ando (her twin sister is adviser of SPED-B). Later I learned that these twin sisters had a crush on my biological father (RIP). Anyway, Mrs. Ando asked Ken Bryan, who later became my best friend, to find me a seat in the classroom. The classroom has four long tables arranged in a peculiar way. The first two tables are side by side perpendicular to the blackboard. The two other tables are perpendicularly placed after the first two tables.
I was seated at the 3rd table, so almost at the back part of the room. The first friend that I met was Joel who was my seatmate. He told me the names about everyone in the room including a little background of their personalities. After that, we had our first subject that afternoon. And for our first subject, we had a quiz first. It’s the least of all things that I expected. I think I got a grade of 95% for that one, not bad for my first time.
What made that day difficult for me to adjust with is the language barrier. I was a straight Tagalog speaker at that time and my classmates are primarily Cebuano/Visayan speakers. Overall, it was a really good day.