Mother died in May, 1932, before I enrolled as a second year high school student in June. Her death was also a death-blow to Father’s trade, because Mother did the buying and selling and transporting of the animal hides and leather, aside from sewing the uppers of the slippers Father sewed.
I had to cook our rice in the evening good for breakfast, too, while Elix cooked for lunch.
In the afternoon after our dismissal from school I visited Mother’s grave to pray. The cemetery was near our school building.
I started being attracted by the opposite sex when I was in the second year. I liked light-complexioned ladies but I was too shy to even speak to them.
In the middle of the school term I was promoted with Graciana Bareras from Class B to Class A. My favorite subjects were Geometry and Science.
In my new Class A class, I was attracted very much by the most beautiful high school student, Josefina Absoag. She was everybody’s craze! My friend, Ham Tuazon, was dying for her.
Ham was a relative of ours, according to Father. His family owned the first movie theater in town. He allowed Elix and me, for a free ticket to see the show, to carry around town the placard announcing the show for the night. He also became a lawyer like me and supported Jojo’s candidacy for Miss Red Feather Philippines. It is a coincidence that Jojo is also Josefina, although Jojo is taller and more beautiful than Pining, my classmate who became a doctor.
When I read in the papers about Pining’s death after my retirement in 1965, I did not go to see her body in the St. James University Church so that my mind’s image of her beauty would not be changed!
I got promoted from Class Section “B” to Section “A” in mid term.