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My Pretty Normal Life

December 20

Submitted by Raymond Arancillo

This story is about a boy named Raymond Arancillo. Take note, this is not a diary. This is for my eyes and the professors eyes only.

Look. I really dont want to share any parts of my life. If youre reading this because you think my life is all cool, my advice is: stop reading this right now. Go on and read something that is worthwhile like the all time favorite Harry Potter or you might want to read the quests of my friend Percy Jackson, (whatever you do dont watch the movie though, its awful !). You could go along with Katniss Everdeen's adventures or Frodo Bagginss journey to Mt. Mordor. Their great stories can make forget that youve ever had this paper in your hands. But if youre reading this because you just want to know something about me, great! Read on. We could be friends and if you will share my secrets, might be the end of the road for you. (Joke, but jokes are half-meant). And if it, somehow, starts to bore you dont blame me. I am not a good writer. Dont say I didnt warn you.

My name is Raymond Arancillo. I didnt know exactly how my life started because Im a little bit unconscious at the Early Stages of my life. All I did was nap, cry, eat, answer the call of nature and repeat the entire cycle until my parents fret. From this fact, you can deduce that I was born lazy (Wow). I just love doing those things, except for the crying part. So because of the unconscious problem, Id like to share the first part of my story which was my grandmas version:

Ricky Ortula (by the way that was my father. Why was? It is because he fathered other children from another woman. I am just kidding with the was part though. ) met the lovely not so young lady, Cowen Arancillo. My mother was 29 that time and my father was 18 (what an age gap). They fell in love with each other, had a night of happiness. So the result: Me. A year

later after I came out, they had another night of happiness. They gave me a brother. Then they fell out of love, broke apart, and left us in our grandmas care without sending a single penny. Sorry for my grandmas version of my parents love (and un-love) story. I know she was a bit bitter. So lets make the story a little bit better (not bitter this time).

Ricky, an 18 year old college boy, was taking up Aeronautical Technology in Cavite. He was living a quiet simple yet dull life. Everything has change the day that a lady passes in front of him while he was buying a sago gulaman. She never saw that girl before. He really finds her pretty so he decided that every day hell wait around the corner just to see that lady again. He really had a crush on the girl.

The name of the girl is Concepcion, also known as Cowen. She was a bank teller that time. She noticed a young college boy that was always around whenever she walked her way home. She thought hes kinda cute. She and the boy would stare at each other for seconds, and would curse herself why she loved staring back. Days went by. And they seem to be a little relaxed whenever they met. One time, when Ricky was busy drinking his Sago Gulaman, Cowen smiled at him. And the boy spilled his drink over his shirt because he was surprised by the girls smile. But they never talked. Everything was all in stare, smiles and nods. (Yeah more like watching a silent movie).

One day, Cowen was too eager to go home. She was thinking about that young man. As she passed the route where they have their usual magical encounter, she noticed that the young man was not there. Disappointed, she walked faster. Then someone whistled.

Every time he sees her, every stare and smile makes Ricky fall for her even more. The way she blushes whenever he looked at her for too long. He cant forget that first time she smiled at her. He has to do something. So Ricky gathered his strength, to finally profess his attraction to the lady who always passed that route. He waited the whole afternoon because of excitement. Feeling a little boredom as the time passed by, he ran to the nearest store to buy some refreshment. By the time he returned, the girl was already at the far side. And then he whistled.

Cowen, turned around, a bit angry for she believes that whistling to a girl is very rude. Fuming, she squinted to see who have the guts to do that to her. All her anger abated when she saw the man that she was hoping to see that very day. It looks like shes having a bad day, Ricky thought. He couldnt find the words. Just ask for her name, he thought. My name is Ricky, whats yours?

Then all is history.

That is how my parents came to know each other. My mother got pregnant (she was carrying me at that time, Im the first born son, see) after a year. On January 9, 1991 about 3 am in the morning, I started my way out of my mothers womb. They named me Raymond (oh Im really glad youve figured that out). Unfortunately, my parents werent married at that time so I have to bear the last name of my mother. (Thanks to them Im illegitimate)

My parents tried to live (of course with me) as a family. And in the Year 1992, my brother Roy was born. . Then the 3rd year of my life messed up. My mother found out that my father was having an affair with a younger woman. I dont know what exactly had happened at that time, all I knew (the info is from my grandma) that my mom was the one financing the studies of my father and was the breadwinner of the family (whereas my dad was the bread eater, just kidding). And she caught my father in the act. She was devastated. My mom then started to work abroad as a Domestic Helper. I can say that mom did that to try to forget everything. After all, who wants the stare ends with glare love story? I cant remember the times that they are both around. Life without them was pretty normal for me and my brother. Now let me stop talking about how miserable that part of my life was. Ill tell you a secret. At an early age, (they said, and I happily agree) that I have shown some signs of being beyond normal (I overstated that for effect). I could easily follow instruction, already know alphabet before school and know lot stuff. This was probably because, my grandma, who is a grade 1 teacher, often tugged me to go along with her to her classes in Angono. I sat there at the

back, playing with paper boats and sticks, sometimes listening to my grandma while she teaches. I cant forget those days because that was the time that I experienced my first ever heartache. Her name was Flordeliza. I cant remember her face. But I guess shes beautiful. I have the eye of an artist since I was small. Flordeliza always seats beside me, holds my hand. We ate together during recess. I could even remember my grandma saying that we look so cute together. But everything we had was destroyed by poop!! One day, I ate a lot of sandwiches (grandma actually sells them but being her grandson I can eat it for free!!). Then my stomach feels strange. And of course, I couldnt control it. It went out without my permission. I sat there and became so stiff to avoid my poop from falling out of my shorts. Soon everyone in the class were wrinkling their nose and asking where the smell was coming from. Flordeliza ratted me out. I cried. Grandmas picked me up and have me wash myself. Flordeliza never talked to me again. And I never came back to that classroom afterwards because I was too ashamed.

But on a happy note, I moved on. My grandma was reassigned in Binangonan Elementary School, so we left our comfortable apartment in Angono. I started my kindergarten in that school. I went directly to kinder 2 for they noticed that I was pretty advance for my age. Unfortunately I graduated with no honors. I even turned my grandma down during the graduation ceremony. I was suppose to dance with a partner (I cant remember who) then I saw that my costume was too girl. (Of course it was for ballet, it was girly). I refused to perform. They cant force me to do it. So my grandma gave me a good beating back home. (She used a hotdog pillow, I didnt even cry!) But she was surprised when I recited the poem delivered by the class valedictorian, The Wisdom word per word without any copies.

I continued and went on my grade 1. Unfortunately I was too afraid of my teacher to attend the class. Her face was so scary (I was pretty judgmental that time, sorry!!). So grandma decided to let me have my preparatory schooling in Good Shepherd Learning Center, which is near the house. And I excelled there. I graduated as the valedictorian of the class. And as a great fan of recycling, I recited the poem that my classmate had delivered that previous year, the poem entitled Ang Karunungan (I said it like Ang Karunungan, bow).

My aunt Rechel, my fathers sister, gave me a book as a gift. It was The Bible Stories. I love the stories of Noah, Joseph the Dreamer, Samson and Jonah. Now that I mentioned it, my grandma was pretty religious. She taught us how to pray before meals and before going to bed. I love praying Your guardian angel especially at the part that you could ask to bless someone; I would include the whole family like. We always pray the Angelus; if we were playing outside, grandma will fetch us or entice us with rewards just to come home and pray.

Another gift that I received for being the valedictorian was a dog. I named him Fulgoso, after Marimars dog because those are the days that almost everyone watches Marimar, a Mexican-telenovela. My brother received a dog too, and named him after Marimars another dog. Well I havent introduced you to my brother. I mentioned his name though.Man, were tight. We were always the partners in crime. One time, one of my playmates threw a stone to me and unfortunately because of my lack of attention, I caughtthe stone with my head. Well, it bled a lot.(wow I searched the internet for the past tense of bleed, thats really embarrassing) What my did was: he picked up a dipper ran toward my assaulter and bashed him like crazy. Thats when I took note that I will never get the bad side of my brother.

As a kid, I always play outside, have afternoon naps. I am not like these kids these days that would rather spend their time clicking the mouse, swiping the screen, or dancing in front of XBOX-es. Id rather play sipa, patintero, agawan base and many of the outdoors stuff that seems to be shelved these days. I and my brother would sometime play texts which means graphical cards those days, played by tossing (like cara cruz) and betting if its crown or head. (Back or front). We werent given a lot of money that time, not because we cant be responsible handling it, but for the reasons that we have a really little of it. My mother stopped having the remittances before I entered my grade 1 (for the second time around). So it was pretty hard for my grandma, to have to earn a lot for us. Thats why she was a little bitter, sometimes

badmouthing my gone-with-the-chicks dad and of course my gone-in-riyadh mom. Did I mention that we had several baby sitters? I really forgot. Well we had Ate Genevieve, Ate Ghaga, and Kuya Arnel. And they didnt last long. I really dont like the idea of having someone like them watch over us. We are pretty independent. My brother and I can cook

noodles and egg and even champorado. We even made a homemade tocino, although it wasnt that good but it was a start of our culinary career. The idea was to fry a piece of meat in sugar. That failed though. Back to the baby sitters; we didnt want them so we find ways to have them kicked out.

For Ate Genevieve, we told grandma that she was TELEBABAD-ING over when grandma is not around. Actually, I call some random food delivery service just to make the bill a little higher than usual. Of course, she was kicked out. I was so brilliant (and harsh).

For Ate Ghaga, we told grandma that she was the reason why Whitey the cat (our cat) didnt return home. We told gran-gran that she was shouting and throwing things at the animal after it took one of our viand fish.She was yelling bad things at Whitey, poor animal, she might be crying and homeless right now She was also kicked out.

Kuya Arnel was the best though. He would play games with us, but unfortunately, he was called back by his father in the province. He never came back.

So that was the first several years of my pretty normal life. Are you up for more?

To be continued

So how the media influenced me as a young boy? Find out in the next chapter of this journal. Merry Christmas!