As part of what I do as an environmentalist, I go places and have not noticed i have been roaming around these places and provinces for quite sometime now, and I intend to share here about these places and the things I do in each location.
I will begin with where I grew up that basically shaped my thoughts then I will proceed talking about the places where I started going eventually and my memorable experiences, perhaps including faces I came to know, in these places.
I was born in Manila, according to my mom and that is what is written in my National Statistic Office authenticated birth certificate. I did not grew up in Manila though but in two cities, Caloocan City and Quezon City, which are adjacent to it and in another city to the North – Valenzuela City. I remember a little of my childhood and some occasions and life events in Caloocan City. I started schooling in Grace Park Elementary School until the third grade. I remember joining the Cub Scout here and I did not know what it was all about and what I was supposed to do. I do not know how to march or make turns. I was simply lost.
Then we transfered to Malabon City but just briefly then moved to Karuhatan, Valenzuela City. Back then, in 1980’s these cities were still municipalities. I continued my schooling at Caruhatan East Elementary School (CEES) and it was there that my Boy Scout career started. For some reasons I cannot recall I became a Patrol Leader until I graduated in grade school and the experience amazes me still up to now. It was also here that I met a girl I liked so much, Ms Donabelle Alejandro. I duno where she is now or what happened to her after our graduation but she is definitely a part of my childhood memories.
Valenzuela City was more of rice fields and it was here that I have memories of farm life. During summer, the rice fields were dry and children play, running and tumbling, in the middle of the field. During rainy seasons, farmers till the field, preparing it for planting rice. We, children, still play, but this time catching frogs and catfish. Once rice were planted, we were forbidden from playing in the fields until the rice get harvested. Still vivid in my mind are the images of green fields that turn gold as time approaches the end of the planting season in October or November. During these times, there would be lots of birds in the field, frogs and insects. It was in Caruhatan that I had my memories of birds chirping in the morning and wake you up.
I completed my grade school in CEES in 1986 and from there I continued education, this time in high school, in Notre Dame of Greater Manila (NDGM), in Caloocan City, again. (Yes, we moved back to Caloocan City to live for a few years.) Being in a catholic school, it was here in NDGM that I became better aware of the Roman Catholic faith. It was also during this time that I met Daisy, my first sweetheart, and Tess, my first carnal experience. In my fourth year, though, I was forced to transfer to another school to avoid repeating my third year for failing in two courses – Chemistry and Literature. I completed high school in St Jude College, Manila, and there I met Michelle Sarmiento, the pretty lady that gave me brief but beautiful memories of high school love. I had another love back in high school and she was Ruth Reyes, my first good kiss. It was also during my High School that I decided to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior in Lealtad Church of Christ (LCC).
In 1991, we moved again from Caloocan City to Manreza, Quezon City and I have been living in the same place up to now that I am writing this piece.
The fact that I was born in Manila City, and grew up in the cities of Caloocan, Quezon and Valenzuela, makes me a city boy. This is the kind of environment where I was raised. Nonetheless, I remember short moments living in Pasig City and in Naic, Cavite.
The first place out of town I have visited was Teresa, Rizal, in 1990 to attend an annual Christian Camp. I would later spend a few years of my life in the province of Rizal as an instructor in the International Christian College of Manila (ICCM) in Antipolo.
My second out of town travel was in the city of pines, Baguio City, in 1992, to attend again the same annual Christian Camp, and this time I was trained to deliver a message or sermon. The second time I visited Baguio City was as a delegate to an activity of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, in 2008, representing the City of San Juan, as a City Environment and Natural Resources Office staff.
Going back to my work with the ICCM, I had the chance to visit for the first time the Municipality of Mariveles, Bataan.
Other places I frequented are Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Batangas. I have also been to Quezon Province a few times.
Then I have been to Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro.
I was also chanced to see Cagayan Valley and then Capiz.
I will talk again about these places again.