His name is C-jay. C-jay Dasco.
For an 11-year-old boy, he’s really quite small. He’s one of my balik-aral’s who actually stopped two years ago. Well, C-jay had been one of behaved students so I really had no problem with him. Though recently, he had several absences already so I needed to visit them.
Since C-jay and Ivan travels the same route, I told Ivan to go with me. We had to take a tricycle since I didn’t want to be late for my meeting, and I hoped I could still attend the other meeting I had that day.
Again, it was like narnia. Turn to left and it was a dark narrow road, turn to the right that I didn’t see.
I landed on C-jay’s aunt’s house which I thought it was theirs.
“C-jay!” His older sister shouted, “Andito teacher mo o!”
It was not long before C-jay came, drinking soft drinks. Surprised, he entered the house.
“Tingnan mo ang bait ng teacher mo pinupuntahan ka pa dito.” His aunt said. “I-enroll kaya natin yung dalawang babae kay ma’am?”
“Sino pong dalawang babae?”
“Eh yung mga anak ko ho kasi hindi nag-aaral.” Her aunt said.
“Ma’am di ho nakapasok si C-jay kasi nagbukol yung tainga niya. Nagpapagaling na ho siya.” His sister said, “Dapat nga ho papasok na siya pero ayaw. Bukas na ho.”
“Ito ho yung card niya.”
I gave his card to his sister, and was surprised by how high his grades in math and science were.
“Ang taas mo pala sa math o!”
“Ay oho mataas talaga yan sa math. Kaya nga sayang ho kung marami siyang absent kasi top 5 siya sa mga matataas sa math.”
“Eh kasi ho yung parang bukol niya eh gawa ata ng hikaw po.”
I asked C-jay if I could look at the bump behind his ear, and yes, he had this lump behind his ear. I tsk-ed and told him not to wear earrings if that would result to another lump again.
“Asan papa’t mama mo?”
“Nasa kabilang bahay po.” His ate said as she pointed on the curtain. I guess behind it was their house. “Sa tita niya ho kasi itong bahay.”
“Ay sorry ho! Napa-upo na ako.”
“Okay lang ho.”
So I stood up and followed C-jay.
It was a 10-second walk to their house. There was a narrow eskinita leading to their house. Well, yeah, the curtain was the ‘wall’ of his aunt’s house and theirs.
I could not enter since their dog began barking. Her other older sister shoo-ed it away.
His father was lying on the floor while he was playing with his three nephews. His other sister was then cooking fish.
“Pasok ho kayo ma’am.” His older sister said.
At first it was a bit awkward since his father was still lying on the floor. I told C-jay to give his card to his father so he could sign it. His sister asked for it, and I could see she was nervous.
Well, I was glad I saw a smile on her face when she opened the envelope.
“Magaling ho yan sa math.” I smiled. “Sayang ho kung umaabsent.”
“Oo nga eh,” His father sat. “Natakot ho nga ako halos ipa-ospital ko na yan. Buti na lang lumiit.”
“Asan ho si misis?”
“Ay naglayas ho. Isang taon na ho nakakalipas.”
Honestly, I felt awkward. I was blaming myself then that I asked that question. Maybe I’d ask that personally to C-jay.
His sister even gave me softdrinks and sky flakes. I received it and thanked her for accomodating me.
While his three nephews were playing, I heard footsteps from upstairs.
“Sino yung nasa taas?” I asked C-jay.
“Yung anak nung ate ko.”
I realized there was actually only three ‘houses’ in one roof. All separated by a curtain.
“Salamat ho ng marami ma’am.” They told me.
There are some things that are just too much to ask, or maybe I need to practice psychology or whatever. I was just glad that even though C-jay had to undergo this situation, he could still be one of my mathematicians in class.
I know he could go further than this.
Student number 8, check.