Sunday, 25 March 2012

The boarder-bed spacer

Batch ‘66
Michigan, USA
"IT’S GOOD to recollect those days when we were together at your boarding house in Legarda,” wrote Pert Dumangas, (JPHS Batch ’68) in email to me yesterday, March 4, 2012.

He was responding to my request for some info which I could use in a feature story I had planned to write about him.

Well, I wanted to write about him not because he was my buddy when where that young in Mambulao, our beloved town, but because of what he had accomplished in life, despite his being born to a poor family.

Pert Dumangas ... hardworking man
Although a son of a fish vendor but with sheer determination and guts, he earned an engineering degree at the Feati University, surviving only with P100 allowance per month sent to him by his mom.

Pert was so easy to deal with and loaded with funny "antics". But when it came to school and studies, he's impressive when it concerned his major subjects.  

As freshman, he was challenged by a fellow bed-spacer: If he could get grades of 3’s in final examination, he will treat him with one movie pass, recalled Pert. 

The result of the mid-term examination was:

Math              1.50

Drawing        2.0

Chemistry     2.0

Physics          2.0

When Pert showed the examination result to this fellow bed-spacer, he did not say anything. When the final examination came, Pert was exempted and therefore deserving of the free movie pass promised.

But in the end, it appeared that his being exempted from taking the exams was just not "good enough" for the fellow-bed spacer to keep his promise.

To save for "jeepney fares", he and another bed-spacer usually walked to Feati University through the Streets of Legarda, R Hidalgo, passing San Sebastian Church, Quiapo underpass thru Villalobos, Echague till they finally made it to the Feati University campus. 

On their way to  school a couple of times, the “istambays” along Avancena High School (fronting San Sebastian College) took away their remaining pocket money and were told to just walk away without looking back.

After that incident, they changed route to avoid such a horrible encounter.

"As cash-hard student, the last week of every month tended to be the most critical stage and with little just “barya-barya” on hand, I would buy the cheapest foodstuff available at Legarda public market,” said Pert.

Semestral closing meant so much for other students but not for Pert as he had to rush back home in Mambulao to help his mother sold fish.

"Whoever it was to impress with my acquired education, it would be my mother as always and whatever I have in life today was all because of her,” Pert stressed.

Pert, his wife Len and only child Meg now reside in Los Angeles, California, their home for many years now.

My friend is pioneer-member and club officer of Mambolenos in America (MINA-Southern California).

1 comment:

  1. Great story of determination and courage.....i knew Kuya Pert and his wife when we started forming MINA in Los Angeles couple of years ago. Palagi syang may dalang fresh fruits sa meet up, so kind and generous. Thank you for sharing your story.