This is the second of four parts. You can read the first part here.
Having graduated from a public elementary school, I felt a bit insecure when I first attended a private school for high school. Unlike some of my classmates, I did not speak in English much. Of course we had English classes; I read and wrote in English in grade school. But we did not have any English campaign or anything like that. Fortunately for me, I had not one but three awesome English teachers in high school, two of them even became my homeroom teacher, and one was the school paper adviser.
Mr. Ernesto Alcantara, or Sir Ernie as we fondly call him, was my first and third year English teacher. He was also my first-year homeroom teacher. An epitome of effectivity and efficiency, he is never late to class and is always prepared for lessons. An accountant by profession, he was initially a math teacher, but he turned out to be a pretty brilliant English teacher. He knows all the rules (and I mean each and every rule) of subject-verb agreement, and is excellent at verbal sparring. I learned how to diagram a sentence (S-LV-C, S-IV, S-TV-DO, etc.) from this maestro.
Miss Erlinda Regania was my second year English teacher and moderator of The Bamboo, my high school newsletter of which I was a staffer from second to fourth year. Initially, I found her a bit intimidating, but she would turn out to be my very own Morrie. She would listen to my hopes and dreams, my crazy ideas. She would share her joys and challenges in teaching, and her pride at helping raise her nieces and nephews.
Ma’am Regania was a journalist before she became a teacher, and she has inspired quite a number of students to become writers or editors. I always looked forward to Saturday workshop sessions with her. The newsroom was my sanctuary, especially during the turbulent period in my high school life. Long after high school, I would drop by her place or at school once in a while to catch up with her.
Mrs. Josephine Legaspi was my fourth year homeroom and English teacher. She was also adviser of the theater club of which I have the fondest memories. She has such elegance and grace under pressure.
With these three teachers, I learned the rudiments of English grammar and the beauty of literature in English. I had my first taste of newspaper publication and theater production. They are my teachers who have become my life-long friends.