In the year you were born, I took the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) National Competitive Exam. To my dad's amazement, I passed the First Screening. For him, it was not just an achievement, but something that brought pride to the name I'm carrying.
But that was just the start of my series of achievements. I marched in secondary school with the highest honors, passed the premiere state university of the country, and placed tenth in the board exam. I didn't know that the Lord paved me that road way ahead of time. Hence, I was happy for myself, and my parents happier.
I never knew all of these would happen. Way back in grade school, I struggled to top my class. But despite all of those hardships, I landed sixth, eighth, or tenth. The highest honors I received was being 3rd honors in third grade, cliche, isn't it?
Today, Dr. Estrella F. Alabastro, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Chair of the PSHS System Board of Trustees, announced that of the 21,303 applicants, 1,119 examinees successfully hurdled the one-step screening administered of the PSHS National Competitive Exam administered last November 15, 2008.
Just like your parents, I am very proud of your accomplishment.
How can I ever forget you Naomi? You were a very sweet girl in fourth grade. A very shy kid, but really exerts your effort to understand the fourth grade Science lessons. I never knew that Science was your favorite. I should have encouraged you more back then...
Do you still remember the gift you gave me during the Holidays of 2006? The card wrote:
Please have a joyous Christmas.
How can I ever forget that card? It always makes me smile every time I read it. Unfortunately, I did not have a 'joyful' Christmas that year. Typhoon Reming struck my province a month before Christmas. My family needed to evacuate our house; strong currents of the river at the back of our house brought down our 3-meter high concrete fence. I was teary-eyed to see the leafless coconuts as my bus brought me home during the Christmas break.
But still, thank you very much...
By the way, I still have that bottle of chardonnay at home.
I was ecstatic upon hearing that Joshua will be a part of the GMA7 local version of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grade?" dubbed as "Kakasa ka ba sa Grade 5?" Janno claims that you were the smartest among the first batch of fifth graders for the show. Believe it or not, every time you mentions that your favorite subject is Science, I always feel a sudden rush of blood in my arteries.
You always challenge me in class every time I alienate you with a new scientific information you haven't heard before. You even bought a three-inch thick Campbell book for our Biology topics. You compelled your Mom to the bookstore because you want to use the same reference book as what I am using.
I was even flabbergasted to see the True Friend Test you've created when I googled my ego. It contains a question asking who your favorite teacher is. Of course, I answered the entire quiz just to prove that my hypothesis is correct!
Kitty, you're a Math expert. I've only realized that this year when you became a part of my advisory class. Hence, your analytical skills developed very much since fifth grade Science.
Look, here is a YM conversation that will prove me right:
All of us were surprised when we learned that you passed the PSHS entrance exam. You are very silent in my Science class. I even get mad at you every time you answers back with, "I don't know," and that happens very often. Grrrrr. I knew you know a lot of things! You're just too hesitant to push thru challenges given to you. I hope this one would be an exemption. I believe in what you can do. So please believe in yourself also...
JM is a very aggressive kid. He's very competitive. His alertness and agile sensory-inter-motor neuron stimulation caused their triumph over this school year's PSYSC Science Olympiad. Thus, he's really determined to bring home the bacon this year.
Our defeat during the 2007 competition almost brought down my sanity. And so I quote from my very first blog:
Remembering him teary-eyed after last year's competition gives me a sense of fulfillment when I saw him teary-eyed after winning this year's competition. A year of preparation paid off. It was a sweet victory for him. What more for me?
It seems that David has mastered already my teaching strategy. I have no more tricks left for him. He would always get a perfect score in my exams, surpass my standards in my requirements, and effortlessly digest and absorb all of the knowledge I share to him.
At times when he commits a mistake in an item in a quarter exam, I would really laugh out loud because he was not able to get that question. But when I return to him his paper, I would still reprimand him either verbally or thru my comments for committing a trivial mistake. Poor kid. I know, I am that bad. Sorry, Dave.
But how will I forget this comment of his on my Friendster page when he was just in fifth grade:
Teaching is a very crucial job. Teachers deal with lives. Fragile lives.
I've seen David grow for the past two years. Any parent would really be proud of this boy. I may not be a Science competition champion, but at this point, I want to brag that I've produced one. I'm really proud of you...
I flunked the second screening of the PSHS National Competitive Exam in February 1997. I failed my dad.
But from what you five have accomplished so far, it seems to me that I've passed already the most competitive high school entrance exam in the country.
And yes, dreams do come true...