Her name is Lexxina. Lexxina Ravela.
She’s the mark that I already visited half of my class, and I am so excited to finish knowing them all.
I remember the first days of school. Lexxina was so timid, and she would cry if she would be seated beside a guy classmate. She didn’t even let me measure her height and weight, so I called her father to measure it for me. I was so pissed by what she did, and told her during a private conversation with her that she should trust me; I would not hurt her.
Her mother said that time that she was really timid inside the classroom, and she didn’t like to be laughed at because of her weight. Yes, I thought so; I was like that when I was a kid. I even thought she was well-off because her skin was as white as snow, and she’s one of the few who had a normal weight.
We rode a tricycle to their house. She warned me that it was far, but it was okay since we weren’t walking. We had to walk inside an eskinita where bags of trash welcomed me.
“Ma, andyan na po si teacher.” Lexxina said as she went to the other room where she said hi to a baby.
“Hi ma’am.” Her mother laughed, “Akala ko talaga nagbibiro si Lexxina nung sinabi niya na pupunta kayo dito.”
I smiled as I followed Lexxina’s whereabouts, “May baby, kapatid ho niya?”
“Hindi ho pamangkin. Bale, ito yung panganay ko. Lima ho silang magkakapatid.”
Lexxina’s sister was still young, maybe even younger than me. I thought of sayang, she could have worked first before having a family.
Lexxina began to talk loudly, and so was her brother. I was suprised by this because both of them were very quiet in school.
“Grabe, ang ingay pala ni Lexxina dito sa bahay!”
“Ay nako oho! Sa school lang yan tahimik. Pero pag dito sobrang ingay niyan.”
I remembered my elementary days. I had the same personality; quiet in school, noisy and bossy at home.
“Pero kamusta naman ho si Lexxina? Buti hindi ho masyadong napapasama kasi may billiaran dyan sa tabi ninyo.”
“Ay negosyo ho namin yan. Ang hirap ho kasi kailangan talaga may pinagkikitaan ka.”
Lexxina’s father went out. I noticed how silent he was.
“Oo nga ho.”
“Eh dati may pinauupahan namin to. Eh nagkagulo kaming mga magkakapatid, pinabalik kami dito kaya kami na lang tumitira. Eh ang hirap kasi kapag walang paupahan, kaya nagtayo kami ng billiaran.”
Then we were distracted by Lexxina’s noise as she answered the assignment in Math.
“Oo nga ma’am eh. Dati nung grade 1 sinasabi sa kin na tahimik daw siya. Ako sabi ko, ‘ha? talaga’ kasi ang ingay dito sa bahay.”
“Sa school ho, minsan lang magrecite at magsalita. Masipag naman sa school pag inuutusan sumusunod. Nga lang ma’am bumaba siya kasi di pa siya nagpapasa ng project.”
She called Lexxina as she said, “Wala ka namang sinasabi sa akin.”
“Meron kaya.” Lexxina replied.
“Meron PO kaya.” I butted in, “Ay Lexxina. Wag kalimutan ang po.”
“Ganyan yan sa bahay. Nakakalimutan ang po.” Her mother said.
“Eh sa school naman po sobrang behave, yun nga lang ho alanganin sa grades.”
“May bagsak ho ba ma’am?”
“May bagsak ho siya. Pero sa average, papasa naman.”
“Nako dati ma’am talagang hindi dapat yan papasa ng grade 1. Nagmakaawa ako sa teacher na i-tutor. Eh ang dami pang nangyayari noon. Buntik na kami maghiwalay ng asawa ko noon. Buti na lang pumayag yung grade 1 teacher niya na ipatutor ko kahit magkano ibayad ko.”
I was glad that their relationship was saved, but I was a bit skeptical about having Lexxina pass in grade 1 by tutoring her in the last quarter.
She elaborated it more, saying that she wanted it to be that grade 1 teacher because she was strict so and so.
Before I went home, I reminded her of the upcoming NAT. She asked me if there was something to pay, but I replied none.
“Hindi ho pwede ang maningil sa mga magulang,” I said. “Nasa rules ho ng DepEd yun.”
She crossed her eyebrows, “Eh bakit dati parang nagbayad kami ng 100 ata nung grade 3 nito?”
“100? Ang mahal. Ewan ko ho dati. Pero ngayon wala na po.”
“Kaya pala nagulat kami na wala kayong pinapakolekta na kahit ano. Sabi ko nga bat hindi kayo nangongolekta pang classroom dati.”
“Bawal ho kasi talaga.”
Then she ranted about the yearly payment for the fans and the lights. She questioned saying, “Ano yun tinatanggal yung dati tapos pinapalitan ng luma?”
We laughed as we conversed then I decided to say my goodbye. Well, it’s nice to know that there are parents who are informed.
Student number 27, check.