Monday, January 30, 2012

My First Brawl

At four years of age, I went to nursery school at the parish convent. My first teacher was Mrs. Lucina Alday who lives in the same street where my father built a new house for us. My favorite school mate was a curly haired kid named Hector. He was very talkative and always had a running nose. I envied kids with running noses and wondered why I didn’t suffer the same privilege.

One day, during the customary recess, I noticed a group of four or five boys at the church patio.
Hector was one of them and he seemed to have a nice discussion going on with another boy named Jimmy. I approached hoping to take part in their small convention. As I drew near, I heard Hector tell Jimmy “How about this one, will you fight him?”

Whatever dispute they had then, I did not have any idea. To this day, I still wonder what in Hector got us into doing what we did.

Before I knew what was happening, Jimmy and I were throwing fists at each other. Goodness, I never had any idea what fighting was all about. There was no television then and any form of physical combat was not in my vocabulary. But I did lock his neck in one arm and pummeled his head with the other.

Blood gushed out of his nose. No, I was not surprised even if that was the first time in my life that I saw blood. I must’ve thought it was just another case of a running nose.

I don’t know if I was delighted and had no any intention of stopping the fight. I never thought that I should go to my corner. No, I had no intention of allowing my opponent a chance to get his second wind.

Thank heavens, some of the other boys had the sense to stop the fight. But I was not mean. I was just a four year old who didn’t know what was going on.

PHOTO: PandAcan Catholic Kindergarten (circa 1948).  Front Row: Val Atienza and Jimmy Fajardo (2nd and 3rd from left).  Second Row: Vic Cruz, Pepe Bunda, Jose Carreon and Mrs. Lucing Alday (1st, 4th, 5th and 6th from left).  Third Row: Christia Umali, Erlana Gillo (3rd and 6th from left).  Fourth Row: Hector Kulot and Bayani Beltran.

First Published on June 16, 2006

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