Friday, October 06, 2006

School Days

What is it about watching our kids at school when its time for them to "show their stuff" in their sweet little pageants, plays and field days that makes us parents wild with pride and beam like million candle lightbulbs? I was right there with all the other super proud parents jockeying for position with my ancient digicam, fighting for the perfect angle to take just the right pic of daddy's little pride and joy.
I'm not sure what today's occasion was exactly, the marking of the end of the semester I suppose. The kids have been practising their cheers and school song for weeks in preparation for today's culminating event--I think they called it "Sport Fest." Like most happenings here there was an air of confusion and disorganization. None of us knew where to stand or what was supposed to happen next. It's all very exasperating for anal ol' me, but I think I'm getting used to it. It doesn't seem to bother me like it used to. "Go with the flow baby!" That's my new motto.
It never fails to happen, but I've ALSO learned not to get "too" upset when someone decides to stand directly in front of me as they too seek out the best view of their child. Now, I just tap 'em on the shoulder and tell them "Hey, you don't see me standing here!?" Just kidding...that was the old me; now I put a big smile on my face, still tap 'em on the shoulder and and say, "excuse me," and when they turn around to look, I shrug my shoulders a little and cock my head. Usually they move, and if not, I do. Life is too short.
More than half the kids at the school are mestiza just like my little beauty. Sometimes we get a little nervous, especially away from around here where there aren't many other mixed children. People will stare unabashedly at my girls, mostly I'm told, because folks are fascinated by them and think them unusually attractive. Of course, they are my little girls so naturally I think they are absolutely correct!
The first thing they did this morning was to form up in their classroom groups and put on their cute uniforms. My girl belonged to the Blue Whales; how they came up with that, you got me. I felt sorry for the little boys who happened to find themselves in with The Pink Panthers. Those poor guys were stuck wearing some very "fruity" looking pink uniforms, if you know what I mean.

Each class did a cheer. These cheers originated in the US and basically, in unison, they in effect "beat their chests" crowing out how superior they are to all the other teams while claiming that they will soundly defeat these other much inferior teams. What is strange is that it contradicts the speech the principle gave just moments before when she spoke of "good sportsmanship" and that "its not who wins or loses, but how you play the game." These ridiculous cheers have nothing at all to do with good sportsmanship. It's no wonder golf is my favorite sport to watch on TV these days, where the competitors actually RESPECT each other.
One of the crowd favorites was the dances performed by each class. The teachers obviously choose their best dancers and put them in front of each dance formation. I'm proud to say that my little "mover" was right there in the front of her column. No surprise, since rhythm runs in the family!

Unfortunately, my memory card ran out of room before the classes ran their relay races. My tiny athlete competed with her class in the potato sack race, where they hop inside a nylon bag to and around a pylon before hopping back to the next "hopper" in line. Out of the 3 sports fests I've watched my girl run in, this was the first time her team won their race. It was a very exciting back-and-forth affar, very nearly a photo finish, but in the end, the blue ribbon went to our team. Yay!


aurea said...

I went to an all-girls' school in the Philippines from kindergarten through fourth grade. This brings back memories of the cheerleading shows we had to do back then. Quite different from cheerleading for a sports team as is done in the US.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yeah Aurea, they call it cheerleading here, but no there is no real leading of cheers, although they do cheer. Regardless, it was pretty cute to see those little kids do their best.

Amadeo said...


Yes, the mestizos and mestizas. Even in our faraway town down south, we had them growing up with us side by side. With names like McVickers, Willkoms, Dunns, Lyons, Greens and etc.

Funny though ironic, because most of them resulted from wars and the soldiers who fought them, from WW1 to WW2. These soldiers stayed on and became part of the population.

But stranger still, because we also had Russian and even Lebanese.

Credit my being here in the US to my wife's grandfather who was originally from Michigan and came to the islands after WW1 and never looked back to his old homeland.

PhilippinesPhil said...

That's interesting how you ended up in the US because of a wife's grandfather, almost improbable...How did that come about?

niceheart said...

You've got a cute little girl there, Phil. And oh so cute little outfits. I know what you mean when watching their performances at school. When we have to watch my kids' school concerts, we want to be there early so we could choose the seats closer to the front. At least, we're seated. Are the parents in your daughter's school just standing up?

Amadeo said...


This typically was how many from there came to the US before the present diaspora created by the OFWs but after the different waves of migrant workers.

My wife's grandfather who married a Filipina, made sure for understandable reasons that his kids retained US citizenship.

When he died and got buried there, the remainder of his family, kids and their own families, just decided to leave for the US.

Members of that entourage were all declared US citizens from birth under individual family registration procedures.

And I was already married then.

Amadeo said...


And oh, I'm now in Michigan, in the Pontiac area in a township called Waterford. Visiting a brother who has been here for quite sometime, maintaining a pediatrics clinic.

Beautiful country, especially now, fall.

Aren't you originally from Michigan, too?

The way I look at it, the many problems of the auto industry has affected many areas here where the main source of livelihood is in the industry. State-wide unemployment is close to 8%, quite close to double the national rate.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Ah, I see. God bless that old American relative for giving his kids and their extended family at least the option and opportunity of American life...

PhilippinesPhil said...

Yup, I did my highschool years in Birch Run, about halfway between Flint and Saginaw... The MI auto industry is indeed suffering, and although I know its not going to make me popular with Michiganders, a lot of it is self-induced. It's all about competition, if we can't compete and sell cars that people want to buy, whether because of cost or product, the demand for MI made cars WILL decrease. American auto workers demand high wages and some pretty good benny packages, and WOULD rather see a plant close than compromise. Airline workers do it, have done it, are doing it, but not so auto workers... They have a pretty obstinate mindset, so plant closures are the result...

I always wonder why this administration gets the blame for these plant closings when Clinton seemed to escape all culpability when NAFTA closed hundreds of American factories as they headed south to Mexico and Latin America... Slick Willy was the real teflon president, not Reagan!

PhilippinesPhil said...

Hi Nice, Actually yeah, there was no place to sit this year... they used the entire gym floor for the action and we all had to figure out where to stand to best see it... It actually worked out better than last year when they had plastic chairs. People would stand in FRONT of the people trying to sit. There are some behavioral tendencies over here that can really drive the average American into paroxysms! Sigh...