Friday, July 27, 2007

Nostalgia (Part One) : Flag Retreats and the Pisay Hymn

The ending of Solito's Pisay had the main characters singing the English version of the PSHS Hymn during their graduation. Despite my feelings towards my high school experiences, I could not help but feel nostalgic. As I watched the students on the screen singing, I was briefly reminded of a scene in JM Barrie's Peter Pan wherein Peter tells the audience to "clap if you believe in faeries" in order to save Tinkerbell. While Peter's words compels you to clap, seeing those kids sing me want to sing along.

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During my second year in Pisay, I was somehow got myself the position of Student Alliance Secretary. Because I was a freshman (and the younger sibling of a known bully ^^;;) when I became a candidate, I narrowly won against an opponent called "Abstain". But, win I did, and that year I spent pretending to be a bit more responsible than I really am is part of my history. I had little love for that position as I was a shy girl who had no passion for administrative work, but I have fond memories of it, as well.
Because I was not a stellarly punctual student and missed the Monday Flag Ceremony without fail, my peers in the Student Alliance stuck me with the responsibility of conducting the weekly Flag Retreat. I often held it alone as Ate Thea (President), Ate Steph (Treasurer), and Kuya Mike (PRO) had CAT while Kuya Eric (Vice President) had soccer practice. Conducting the Flag Retreat meant making the end of the week announcements, singing the Philippine National anthem as the Philippine Flag was lowered, and singing the Pisay Hymn as the Pisay Flag was lowered. This is why I know the Pisay Hymn by heart.

Because I was alone, I had to recruit my friends William, Jomar, Joseph, and Vladimir to help me lower the flags while I sang the necessary hymns. During one of my first Flag Retreats, whoever was lowering the Pisay flag lowered it too fast. His partner told him that the flag was going down too fast and so whoever was in charge of the Pisay flag reraised it and lowered it again, thus creating the "dancing flag" phenomenon. I got a rather interesting scolding from the S.A. adviser Mr. Curaming after that.

Later on, in the middle of the year, in accordance with the Centennial Celebration of Philippine Independence (1998), they made me use the Tagalog version of the Pisay Hymn. It took me two Flag Retreats to get that Tagalog version right. Now, its ingrained in my heart.

It's weird. I kinda miss conducting Flag Retreats. Embarrassing as it was back then, I realize now that it taught me how to leave my comfort zone in order to do what needed to be done.

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These are the Pisay Hymns that I remember:

PSHS Hymn
by Mario Taguiwalo (PSHS batch 1/1968 yata)
(hahah... small world. I know this guy. he's my mom's friend)

Philippine Science High
Thou stands above with thy thoughts that lift
And fit all thy sons with wings
To lend us flight in the sowing of our gifts

Oh, Philippine Science High
Thy wisdom arms our youth
As we reach for our dreams, as we strive for our goals
As we search for the untarnished truth

Philippine Science High
The PSHS in us will grow
And go as we wonder o'er
The crests and troughs of the sea of life that flows

Oh, Philippine Science High
Thy light our beacon be
In our path through the world, in our fight for the right
In pursuit of a glorious thee.

PSHS Hymn (Filipino)
translated by Stephanie Balois et.al. (Batch 1999)
(sorry, can't remember the others)

Philippine Science High
Patuloy mong itinataas
Kaming 'yong mga anak
Sa paglinang ng aming kakayahan

O, Philippine Science High
Dunong mo'y patnubay
Sa aming pangarap, sa aming hinahangad
Na katotohanang lantay

Philippine Science High
Sa aming puso'y lumalago
At sa'n man magtungo,
Magpapatuloy sa dagat ng buhay

O, Philippine Science High
Liwanag mo'y tanglaw
Sa amin ay gabay sa landas ng buhay
At dakilang minimithi

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Nyahahaha... feel free to correct me if my memory did not serve me correctly.

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