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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

June 26, 2012

A Visit to the School of My Son

June 22, 2012  was Parent-Teacher Conference Day at the Grade School of my son Marcel.  Since Marcel’s Grade 1  days, I have been attending this school activity and this year 2012, Marcel’s Grade 7, is no different. 

Aside from the rare opportunity to get to interact with the homeroom teacher of my son, I look at this school activity as some sort of open house for parents like me to visit and explore the school.  And explore I did.

Marcel’s locker

I had the chance to look at the locker of my son.  The lockers of my son’s Grade 7 class are more colorful than the other  Grade 7 classes' as the lockers were made personalized.  Kudos to the homeroom teacher!

Of course, I visited the grade school cafeteria to try out the food that my son and the other grade school students would eat. I got a spaghetti, minatamis na saging and fresh watermelon.  Not bad.  They were delicious.  

Canteen food at Marcel’s school

I also looked at the bulletin board announcing the clubs that the Grade 6 and 7 students can choose to join.   I wonder if a student is allowed to join several clubs.  I wonder what club my son will join.  I have my bets but it will be my son’s choice.

Lakbayan Club sounds interesting.

Of course the running dad is hoping that his son goes for Track and Field.

The frontrunner for Marcel is Karate.

Perhaps my son may want to try out the art scene.

As I was on my way out the grade school, I noticed  the statue  of Jose Rizal sitting down on a park bench and reading something.  I didn’t know for sure what our national hero was reading, but I would like to imagine it is his poem about the youth.  It reads :

Raise your unruffled brow

On this day, Filipino youth!

Resplendent shines

Your courage rich,

Handsome hope of my motherland!

Fly, grand genius

And infuse them with noble sentiment

That vigorously rushes,

More rapid than the wind,

Its virgin mind to the glorious goal.

Descend to the arena

With the pleasant light of arts and sciences,

And unbind, Youth,

The heavy chain

That fetters your poetic genius.

See that in the bright zone

With pious and learned hand,

Offers the son of this native land

Resplendent crown.

You who ascend

On wings of your rich fantasy,

Seeking from Olympus in the clouds

Tenderest poetry,

Sweeter than nectar and ambrosia;

You of the celestial accent,

Melodious rival of the nightingale,

Who with varied melodies

Dissipate the mortal’s bitter pain

In the night serene;

You who animate the hand rock

With the impulse of your mind,

And with prepotent  hand makes eternal

The pure memory

Of the refulgent genius;

And you, who with magic brushes

Are wont to transfer to simple canvas

The varied enchantment of Phoebus, beloved of

Apollo divine,

And the mantle of nature.

Run! For the sacred flame

Of the genius awaits to be crowned with laurels,

Spreading fame

With trumpet proclaiming

O’er the wide sphere the mortal’s name.

Day, oh happy day,

Philippines genteel, for your soil!

Bless the Almighty,

Who with loving desire

Sends you fortune and consolation.
Jose Rizal statue at Marcel’s school
What is he reading?
Dr. Jose Rizal composed the poem, “To The Filipino Youth”, to the youth of the Philippines. He wanted the Filipino youth to use their abilities and skills to excel not only for their own success but also for the success of the country. Dr. Jose Rizal wanted the Filipino youth to develop their talents and use them to help those who are in need.

Generations of Pinoy youth have been inspired by this poem.  No doubt, the generation of which Marcel belongs will be inspired as well.

Wow.  I never expected that a visit to a grade school could lead to some rising nationalistic fervor.  


  1. Where is this Rizal monument located at? Thank You :)

  2. The Jose Rizal statue is located inside the campus of the Ateneo de Manila Grade School which is in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.