After my graduation from high school, my father had to continue paying for my graduation suit by installment. It cost only two pesos ($10.00), but the pay of a laborer then was fifty centavos (₱.50) a day. Hence, my suit was worth 20 days’ labor. It took Father around one month to pay the installments at ₱.25 per week. I was then a “dead-end kid.”
I started sewing slippers to make money for myself. While sitting side by side with Father sewing, I asked him what should be done to recover the around two meters of our lot that was encroached upon by our rich, powerful neighbor, who was Mayor Bienvenido Valera, or Don Bescido of Bangued.
Father said that we needed a lawyer but could not afford one. He added, “Be a lawyer yourself.” (AGABOGADOKA). That was like an impossible dream.
At that time the only people who could become lawyers were sons of rich families who can afford to pay high tuition and matriculation fees for college students in Manila and also pay their dormitory expenses there.
Tata Anton could have been able to afford that. He already had two daughters, Mg. Loling and Mg. Susing, studying in Manila.
(But God has a plan for everyone!)
Tata Anton wrote Tatang a letter suggesting that I go to Kiangan, Ifugao, his new P.C. station, for vacation, to join my brother Elix there.
He suggested that he will pay for my transportation expenses. Fortunately, Father agreed after I told him that I wanted to go. And so I left Bangued for Kiangan in the summer of 1935. I was 17 years old then.
There was no way I could continue my studies.