August Adventure



Alexis Kyla A. Costales, 9th Grade, Junior High School, SAS Ai Scholar

My August Adventure – by Alexis Kyla A. Costales


Monday. August 6th. It was either a highly anticipated day, or a somewhat dreaded day. It was the first day of classes for the new school year.

For me, it was fun! It was a flea market, a veritable bazaar. Orientation galore. I saw old, familiar faces – friends, classmates from last year, and a few new faces. In the crowd I recognized a familiar figure.

“Hey you… Yes, I do know you… remember me?” I tried to get my friend’s attention lightly tapping her shoulder.

“Oh… hey Kyla girl, how’s it going?” my friend reacted, twirling around to face me. “So good to see you!” We hugged and laughed, well, and giggled more or less. “Welcome to Saint Augustine’s School…” my friend tried to mimic our School Principal. It was okay.


The Costales Family – Kyla is seated center.

It was so good to see one of my school buddies from last year. We talked about many things, catching up on current events, vacation time, and family things.


Of course the orientation included the announcement of the school’s expectations – the big picture, or year-end goal. We were also “refreshed,” and “reviewed,” of the School Rules and Regulations. That part wasn’t so much fun, but necessary.

The second week followed quickly. We elected our class government officers. I accepted a minor class officer position – hey, don’t knock it; I was duly elected. Okay? We were also asked to choose our Sectoral Interest Group (SIG). Since I was already in this Interest group, I chose to remain with the “Awit at Gitara,” SIG (Song & Guitar). This group allows me to showcase my musical talents and, more importantly, share my love for music.


“Awit at Gitara”

The event of Week Three, “Araw ng Kabataan,” (Youth Day) was held with the participation of all the local schools in town. Student-officers were invited to join the event and so we did.

Regular classes followed. As the week flowed, I felt a little shaky, like when one first gets up after squatting for a while. I felt like my mental cobwebs were being cleared. Gradually my feelings of school joy and happiness returned. After all the consecutive “out-of-classroom” programs, it felt great to be back on the “Ed-Track” again, gaining more knowledge and learning something new every day.



Saint Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church

Today we attended Holy Mass in celebration of the Feast of our Patron Saint, St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, Doctor of the Church. We commemorated and, at the same time praised St Augustine’s great works, writings, and teachings important to Christian life. To a lesser degree in importance, today was also Intramural day. Exit polls taken revealed that everyone enjoyed the games.

With that, I will close.


The road to the mountain top

I look forward to a great school year, relishing the thought of my upcoming educational journey.

With grateful wonderment, I eagerly anticipate the many thrills, challenges, and surprises that I will encounter – for certain – along the way.







There were mornings I didn’t want to get up from bed. This was one of those mornings.


Night Rain

It rained during the night. I fell asleep to the soft, intricate maracas-like sounds of raindrops falling on the co-goon grass roof of our small and humble cottage. The rhythmic sounds were further made into tight percussion riffs by the crickets and night crawlers chirping, by the tiny fruit bats with their syncopated chomping on “kapas-sanglay” fruit, and by the herd of cicadas playing their inebriating kazoo music from the stand of acacia trees.


Gardenia – Rosal

I woke up to the familiar, musky, animal dropping laced smell of freshly soaked ground – a parched patch of earth that once stood arid and dry for many weeks. The ground percolated and came alive with the rich water infusion, loosening small boulders and clods into mud, awakening the docile earthworms already on the job, laboriously digging, burrowing, all the while leaving round, marble-shaped mud mounds in their wake.

The pervasive scent of flora came from the gardenia, its white blossoms giving out that sweet, unadulterated perfume. Then there were the sweet-sop trees, their branches sagging under the weight of ripening fruit. The guavas, pomelo trees, and goose berries added to the


Atis – SweetSop

overall garden aroma, accented only by the blooming orchids hanging in their coconut husk nests.

From my cot bed I filled my lungs with healthful rain-cleansed morning air. The spectacular sunrise burst out in splendor lighting up the morning firmament; I wasn’t moved. I just wanted to linger and lounge on my cot bed, wax the grateful dead, oblivious


Pan de Sal

to life itself and remaining zombie-like.

And so I tarried, half-asleep, but enjoying the smell of freshly brewing roasted-rice coffee. I heard the familiar cry, “Pan de Sal,”… “Pan de Sal,”… the Doppler effect taking over the sound fading into the distance.

First Thoughts

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

I awoke to a rooster crowing from a distance. “Funny,” I thought. “I never paid much attention to the Miller’s rooster before.”

But today was different. I felt like I was back home in the old country.

Sitting up on one side of the bed, my wonderful mind conjured up images of rice fields, nipa huts and cardboard shanties complete with the national beast of burden – the water buffalo – standing patiently by an old tamarind tree.

I could smell the fresh scent of rice stalks heavily laden with grain – ripe for harvest. My nostrils could detect the unmistakable scent of white smoke from burning straw billowing underneath the vine trellis, suffocating and driving the ladybugs and pests away while saving the long green gourds to mature unblemished. The clear mountain spring waters running down the irrigation ditch, effortlessly flowing past arrays of lotus leaves, flowers, clumps of floating water hyacinths and the exposed tangled roots of bamboo… how heavenly peaceful the sound.

Darkness diffused by early morning light signaled the beginning of a new day. My first thoughts were of home, my old village by the sea where I grew up… how precious the time I spent with my family. I thank God for granting me glimpses of these thoughts now – remembrances and snapshots of cherished time to revisit, all enshrined in the scrapbook of my soul.

Resolutions for the New Year


Water… flowing water. We take these natural creations for granted. It is time to be grateful.

Ever notice how the New Year brings about an urge to announce and declare resolutions? And we have a blast coming up with all sorts of goals and aims – even those that are clearly unachievable.

One thing for sure, we come up with a few of them – else we would have failed in our quest for self-betterment. What is your resolution for this coming year? Got it down yet? Writing it down on a 3 x 5 card helps. You can whip out the card each morning as you get up from bed, read and remind yourself of your goal.

My resolution for this new year is to walk in gratitude. I want to be grateful for everything I receive, give and take – from God, from my fellow-man, from friends, from family, and even from total strangers. I just want to walk in gratitude.

Speaking of being grateful. Take the irrigation ditch, (photo at left) for instance. How many times have we walked along this waterway, this ditch and gave it one thought? Thoughts like, running water – how wonderful and how good it is to have fresh, clean, flowing water. I think of the desert, the dry, craggy outcroppings of rocks, the promontories that adorn the arid and barren land and the people who live there. How they would appreciate fresh water readily available to them instead of having to trek for miles to the nearest oasis. This irrigation ditch allows the water to reach into the far recesses of the foothills, to the fields of garlic and tobacco, to the little village cottages, shanties and huts, and to the livestock watering sheds. We are so blessed to have water and I want to not take these gifts for granted.

I walk in gratitude. Won’t you walk with me?