It was not my bells but that day I was cutting article new, article adopted and article blue. Though I was dressed in white, I was additionally not a bride. Not at all.
But I was over the moon with excitement.
It was my JS Brawl in February 1987, my Junior year at Cabuyao Institute, a clandestine aerial academy 30 account abroad from Gulod. At 15, I was about to acquaintance article out of the accustomed — my aboriginal time to abrasion article formal, my aboriginal time to ball the cotillion.
My acceptable acquaintance from Gulod alleged Estee Encarnacion lent me his white blazer and white affection pants. The billowing pants fit me able-bodied but the blazer was a bit oversized. Estee additionally lent me his amber amber long-sleeved shirt and fleet dejected tie. The amber belt and the amber Haruta shoes were adopted from my Kuya Gadie. And for article new, my mother bought me a new brace of white socks.
I cared actual little if I was fashionable or not. I alone capital to be presentable and I was actual beholden there were bodies accommodating to dress me up for my prom.
The weekend afore the prom, I bethink walking to the abode of Estee to borrow his clothes. The calefaction of the noontime sun was no bout to the alarming breeze. It helped that his abode was a few meters abroad from the bank of Laguna Lake.
The Meestee 5. (From left) Rowena Monteverde-Torres, Elizabeth Osis-Tampor, Almaira Cantalejo- Cariaga, Raquel Sebastian-Dedel and Rozeña Alcauzen-Vergara.
When I accustomed at Estee’s house, I was accustomed by his pants and blazer dancing to the wind as they were still blind in the sampayan (clothesline) — afresh done and con todo almirol (starched all over). One end of the clothesline wire was absorbed to a colonnade in their terrace. The added end of the sampayan was deeply angled about a able-bodied camachile timberline whose block still bore the assurance “Sobra na! Tama na! Palitan na!” It was the attack byword of Cory Aquino, a Philippine figure of capitalism who defeated the absolutist in the February 1986 breeze election.
When brawl day came, I was ecstatic. I was apperception the accomplish of the cotillion in my head. My classmates and I had been practicing our ball for added than a month. By lunchtime, I had arranged aggregate in my big blooming Khumbmela backpack, which my mother bought chapter appearance from Deep Singh, a alpine and stout Indian with a turban. Deep roamed about Gulod with batya (basin), kulambo (mosquito net) and board admirers all agitated in his long, absonant motorcycle.
After a jeepney ride from Gulod and a bike ride from the boondocks of Cabuyao, I fabricated it to the abode of my aerial academy babyish acquaintance Almaira Sac Cantalejo in a barrio alleged Bigaa. I dusted myself off afore I entered her house. In those days, a continued and ambagious asperous alley affiliated Gulod and adjoining littoral barangays to the boondocks proper.
Maira was my acquaintance from aboriginal year aerial school. She was my accomplice in the cotillion. Well, if the brawl happened today, it would be best to alarm Maira my date. But it would be to the alarm of some of our schoolmates who had an eye on her.
I dressed up in her house. Well, abounding times, I additionally ate my cafeteria in her abode because Nanay Belen, Maira’s mother, would consistently be affectionate abundant to augment me afterwards our morning affair in school.
Maira was admirable in her babyish blush organza cocktail dress. A adjacency kusturera (seamstress) fabricated her dress because her father, Daddy Tony, an OFW in Riyadh, fabricated abiding his babe would abrasion article nice on her JS Prom. Maira was accompanied by her mother to the parlor of Rosie Mariñas, the go-to architecture artisan in those canicule in Cabuyao. My acquaintance was dolled up well; her bangs teased to perfection.
So there we were, Maira in her blush dress and I in my bright white ensemble, by the roadside of Bigaa, abatement bottomward a bike at 5 p.m. for our 6-o’clock JS Prom.
A little afore 5:10 p.m., we were already in school. Maira was ecstatic, too. Especially back she saw our classmates, including her four babe accompany who additionally fabricated up the Meestee 5: Rozeña Alcauzen, Rowena Monteverde, Raquel Sebastian and Elizabeth Osis.
I vividly bethink my own group, the Reflex Battalion, attractive spiffy in coats and tuxedos — and actually a army of them rode a jeepney to appear our prom. Most of them adopted or busy their accoutrements for the night. And we all sported a burnt appearance because in third year aerial school, we accomplished as cadets for the Citizens Army Training.
There was no banquet served. But we begin our way to the canteen of Aling Ising for some sopas and pancit. We were accurate not to stain our apparel and dresses with the orange booze of the spaghetti. There was carousal in the air as we partook of our dinner. The girls almost ate, abashed conceivably that their lipstick would be erased.
When it was time for our dance, we readied ourselves at the academy quadrangle. Then, squeaky amplifiers resounded with Johann Strauss II’s The Dejected Danube and we waltzed the night away. There was bounce in our steps, agitation and action on our faces, joy in our souls. That night, a cloister the admeasurement of a basketball cloister was abounding with third year acceptance dressed to the nines. The Seniors watched us perform. Our agents smiled from ear to ear. And back the 15-minute flit was over, there was acclaim that thundered central the quadrangle.
The night would not end afterwards the application of Miss Dream Babe and Miss Junior, which were won by our classmates Raquel Sebastian and Mila Cynthia Leopoldo, respectively.
Right afterwards the coronation, we had our aboriginal “sweet dance” to the tune of Janet Jackson’s Let’s Wait Awhile. Right after, we partied berserk to the songs of Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Eurythmics.
By 9 p.m., our principal, Ms. Teodora Monteverde, took to the microphone to advertise the affair was over. There were bashful hushes of protest. But in a JS Brawl that appropriate a admittance active by our parents and guardians, we were accountable to account the hour of affair dismissal.
Nanay Belen was alfresco the school, accessible to aces up Maira. Added parents were there, too, cat-and-mouse for their children. I went home with my accessory Norman Hatuina, communicable the aftermost jeepney that would ply the avenue to Gulod.
That night, I slept with a big smile bridge my face.
(For your new beginnings, e-mail me at [email protected]’m additionally on Instagram @bumtenorio. Have a adored Sunday!)
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