Early mornings tend to be so calm in Dipolog City; it’s quite, fresh, and sometimes (if you’re lucky enough) you can see a light fog hugging the city for the shortest time. Unlike in many cities, Dipolog doesn't have much traffic, but that doesn't mean it is completely free of it.
Once bright light strikes, signalling that it’s around seven, the students start their daily routine of cleaning their respective areas for less than fifteen minutes before classes start. This would require a cupped hand’s size of hardworking students and a whole bunch of students standing with a broom beside them to get that “I am cleaning, can’t you see my broom?” look while talking to one another, mostly about the latest chismis. And of course, the chitchatting group of students roars first at the checker to make sure he/she checks their names on the list for cleaning attendance.
Not all teachers are very punctual so this gives the students extra time to check or copy another’s homework only because they “unfortunately” forgot to do their homework the night before. But not all of the students of course, otherwise, there won’t be a source. Once classes start, the real challenges begin. Exhibit A: trying to explain a homework answer copied from a classmate. Exhibit B: trying to pass a test a student didn’t study for because he/she blew off his/her studying time and replaced it with TV/internet time. Exhibit C: trying to find the right words to make up during an oral recitation. There are many more challenges besides these, but many would agree that these are the most common because in school, quizzes and oral recitations are the student’s closest frenemies.
The sad part about being in high school is there’s no more recess. The only time for food and relaxation left for high school students is lunch time. Sure, it’s a good one and a half hour but does this really satisfy the students? – No. These students will only get satisfied if it’s at least three hours but that’s obviously not allowed for high school students so they have no other choice but to live with it and mope about it while they find the answers to their unanswered homework to be checked in the afternoon. Students in a section usually do “bayanihan” during lunchtime for something so small yet when observed, looks almost like a life or death situation – answering their homework. It doesn't happen every noon, only when the homework is really difficult that only the running valedictorian can answer it.
It’s a good generation to be a student in Dipolog. Why? Well, mostly because it is getting more and more progressive. There are new stores, food places, books, gadgets, and so much more. Even the schools in Dipolog City are progressing and excelling: Zamboanga del Norte National High School, Saint Vincent’s College, Saint Mary’s Academy, Dipolog Medical Center, and others more. Plus, there are more and more celebrations, festivities, conventions, contests, awarding and other paraphernalia to this.It’s actually a very interesting yet humorsome sight to see classmates sitting next to each other in a line from a source to the very last classmate. Sometimes, if there is more than one source of answers, a group of students would form a circle on one source while the others would form other circles on other sources. This is not a very honest way of answering one’s homework, but it’s not like it is all very negative. From this, the students form a strong bond; get closer to one another, form a working unit when needed and they learn the art of sharing and helping.
The teachers here are also very good, experienced and accomplished in their respective fields. They came from different schools to earn different kinds of knowledge to share to their students, thus molding intelligent and respectful ones from these young Dipolognons. Sideline to opening the students’ eyes to imagination and knowledge, the teachers also make sure that these students become more diligent, kind, understanding, respectful, and wise. Otherwise, they will be nothing but empty boxes painted gold.
Basing on this, it is obvious that the teachers are there to help and develop their students every step of the way. That is why there are many accomplished Dipolognons in this country. It even continues to these days. And as Dipolognons, there is no doubt that this will continue on for as long as possible.
At the end of the day, many students tend to stay longer in their schools (most likely to play) because Dipolog has an exciting feel to it every afternoon. That are why many students jump to the fields to play Frisbee, soccer, and other sports. Most of the girls would prefer watching by the side while talking about one another’s life or day. Others (usually couples) would rather go to one of the most romantic places in Dipolog – the boulevard. It’s the perfect place to feel the calm ocean breeze and take a load off while looking at the sunset with a very special someone.
The word that best describes and differentiates Dipolog from all other cities is “calmness”. By musical terms, it is almost mellow. You can take life slowly, with one step at a time, there’s no rush. Plus, with calmness being a major factor here, peace reigns in this city. So even if it’s not as big as Makati City, at least it’s much calmer and peaceful.
(sic) Gerr Marie Ladera Silliman University Special Awardee, Dipolog.com Feature Writing Living in Dipolog category, College level
Photo Credits: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net; http://graphics8.nytimes.com; mdenisec.blogspot.com