I left Kiañgan for Manila in August, 1936. Tata Anton gave me ₱30.00 saved by him from my monthly salary. I bade goodbye to Sobing, who looked very sad, and to my co-soldiers.
On my way I passed by Bayombong and saw the Bayabor family occupying the same quarters where we lived when I studied in Bayombong. There I met Pat’s family, who had just relocated from Bangued. But I hardly noticed Pat at all because it was Aming, her older sister, I was attracted to, even when we were in Bangued.
I lived in the apartment of Mg. Loling and Mg. Pito in Mobolo Street, near the corner of Avenida Vijal and Azcurrazon. I had just a small bag containing my uniform and belongings.
They gave me a space under their stairway for my bed. Upstairs was their bedroom. Every time they went up the ladder, dust would fall on my face. But that was good enough for me then.
Mg. Pito was a car dealer. He was sporting a new car every week. They were rich, I was poor. I ate outside, not with them.
At that time one meal cost ₱0.05; two centavos for rice, two for soup, and one for banana or a cake of brown sugar for dessert.
As was my training as a solder, I woke up at 5:00, exercised, took a bath, put on my uniform, and hiked from Sta. Cruz to Binondo, a good five miles away, every day. I was saving ₱0.05 per trip by streetcar or by caretella. Good exercise for me.
My job was as Office Orderly of the Chief of Staff, Secretary General Staff, and U. S. Military Adviser’s Office in the H.Q. P.A. & P.C. I had to be in the office every morning at 6:00 to clean the three offices, then take my breakfast before office started at 8:00 A.M. I was a messenger for the three offices.
After a week, I enrolled in the Philippine School of Business in Sta. Cruz, taking typewriting and stenography and bookkeeping.