“All the world is a stage,” as Shakespeare puts it. The life of Mr.. Gregory Cesar Y Gout, commonly known to his students as “Sir Hidalgo’ or “Dry. Hidalgo’, is in fact a stage. His entrance to the very stage happened when he was in Grade IV. War and all the fears that it brought made Sir Hidalgo forget the English language. Survival took over his mind, instead of sentences and phonetics. The education in Butane, as with most places, continued after the World War II. Everything he knew about the English language was forgotten, erased by fear and survival. He was entering fresh in the academic world.
Although he forgot the language, it was fine for him. But this changed when the Supervisor of Elementary Education, Mr.. Fernando Baron, arrived visited his school. After seeing the classroom where Sir Hidalgo was studying in, and talking to the teacher, he looked around. And there he found Sir Hidalgo. “Is that you, Cesar? ” he asked. “Send Cesar to Grade V. ” he followed. It was wrong to object the superiors in Sir Hidalgo homeland. There is nothing he could do about it, but he wanted to deny the promotion because he deemed himself alliterate. He was having a hard time remembering the lessons before the war.
But all he could do was to follow his betters. His first day in Grade V was mortifying. The teacher immediately gave out a test in the textbook, where she expected everyone to answer brilliantly. Of course, Sir Hidalgo could not even answer the test, he forgotten all about English. When the results were handed out, he turned to “escapism”, denying the reality he was in. This was only for a fleeting moment though. A sudden rush of determination illuminated his faculties. He was determined to learn English again. So, when he got back home, he urged his mom to teach him to read and write again.
Soon enough, after only a night, he was ready. And in when he is in sixth grade the next year, he was already being appointed to recite poems in front of everyone! His efforts, and especially his mom’s, in learning the English language, got him the honor of being a valedictorian of the graduating class. There were complications that aroused before Sir Hidalgo entered High School. The most apparent was that it was too costly for his family, to send him to the only gig school in the province, which was located in the capital. But somehow, everything worked out.
And before he knew it, he was Joining a group of three students from his barrio, to the capital. Despite the difficulties in living in the capital alone, save for the group he was with, he was topping the class. The only person that was in his way was a scholarly-looking girl, about his age, and a valedictorian from loyalty. The lowest point in his High School life happened on the day when he was about contests he Joined in. But in a very unfortunate turn of events, Sir Hidalgo was not informed, save for a sweaty messenger that was sent by his class adviser, telling him that the contest was already ongoing.
Fortunately, he got there on time, with a presenter Just before his turn. He caught unwelcoming looks from his class adviser, but proceeded to declaim his piece. Though he gave it his best, he did not win. He lost to an articulate and pretty student named Racial Cabal. The next day, he got reprimanded by his adviser, and gave Sir Hidalgo a D in Conduct. This disqualified him for any honors he might have received. And, as his culture was used to, he accepted this notion of his superior. He moved afterwards to Feats High School in Manila, in the premise of helping his aunt’s store to pay for his education there.
It was hard at first for Sir Hidalgo, in adjusting to the life in Manila, especially in speaking Toga, which was important if you want to converse with the locals. But he got through it, despite the difficulties. And soon, he was graduating high school, and entering college, the Philippine Normal College. He did his best in college. He was an editor in The Torch, the official organ in PIN. He was being noticed by his professor, which was evident in his representing his college in the annual CONDO Conference, a national student organization, held in Baggie City.
In this conference, his curiosity with the Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, even the non-Greek like Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and Bertrand Russell, was aroused. And to top it all, he was a Varsity player in the track and volleyball! A very busy man he is. Sir Hidalgo completed his ETC (Elementary Teacher’s Certificate) with honors, and was given the Leadership Award. It was time to serve the public schools. But before doing that, there was one thing that standing between him and his teaching in schools- The Teachers Competitive Exam conducted by the Division of Public Schools, Butane.
It is during this time when he met his future wife again, Racial (Newly) Cabal. One day, he found himself in the airport of Butane. Every week, people flock the place, because in an island as remote as Butane, a plane’s visit was a major event. It meant of news and goods from Manila. As the passengers of the plane descended, he caught the glimpse of a beautiful, vibrant, and cheerful young woman, who was in he uniform of the National Teachers College, and clearly competing in the exam. He made his way to her, and in a trance of sorts, he did not introduce himself.
He spontaneously said Dud Dana Kuhn maharaja u capability mum ay, in English “l heard that you have been reviewing a lot. ” And it was futile. She was not impressed. But clearly, Sir Hidalgo was head-over-heels about her. The result of the exam, for Sir Hidalgo, was a blessing. He topped the exam, which he intended. He even bested his nemesis, Newly, the one he was smitten with, who amen when the evening festivities honoring the new teachers commenced. He danced with her, to the point that no one ever got the chance to dance with her, except Sir Hidalgo and the Governor of Butane, which was Knells uncle.
He courted Newly afterwards. His mother objected. His stint in teaching in Butane was put to the test when he published an article in the Philippine Journal of Education regarding his teaching technique, the Integrative Technique, and the supposed unfamiliarity of his observers with it. He surmised that observers that observed him had no idea of the technique. His intent was to target the principals and supervisors that observed him while teaching as a neophyte and a practice Grade School teacher.
He did not mean to allude it to his own School Supervisor, Mr.. Clement Mat. Shortly after the publication, the supervisor showed him a book which present in great detail about the Integrative Technique. Sir Hidalgo was red-faced. He apologized to him. But the school principal felt that he was “arrogant”. He was about to complete his two-year stint in Butane, when he decided that he should go back and find a Job in Manila. But it was hard for him because of the rustic change in his relationship with Newly, which alarmed his mother.
His mother’s reason for objection was because Sir Hidalgo was too young to be in a relationship, and he is also the eldest in the family which meaner he has to take care of his siblings first. There was also the religion issue because Newly is in another religion, Baptist Protestant, which was anathema to the Catholic Church, where his family believed in. His mother even succeeded in transferring Newly to another school, some fourteen kilometers away, in which a single dump truck that comes once in a while was the only transportation.
But this did not stop him from visiting her, hiking 28 kilometers, to Ivan to Basso, Just to see her. In one event, he even “borrowed” a horse from his unlace, without his uncle knowing, in desperation in seeing her. Sir eventually left for Manila, and found a teaching Job in the elementary department of San Bead College. He was even a part of the faculty, because the principal, Rev. FRR. Benign Banterer, found use for him because he worked as an editor in The Torch. He was also appointed as a Special Assistant, where his first Job as to edit the doctoral dissertation of the principal, at the University of Santos Thomas.
He taught English in San Bead College in the morning, and studied in Philippine Normal College in the afternoon. It was hectic. But he was used to it. Soon, he completed his bachelor’s degree in education in October 1956, graduating UCM Lauded, and immediately went to University of Santos Thomas for his master program in education. Newly also Joined him in Manila, and they planned to marry on November of the very same year. They married on November 24, 1956. Still, Butane was not far from Sir Hidalgo mind.
He and Newly decided to publish Sabbath Association, him as the president, and Newly as the Secretary-Treasurer. The said association went caroling to raise fund for the Church in Sabbath. The church needed pews, and eventually, enough money was raised for it. Soon, Newly gave birth to three beautiful and charming little girls, which was a sign of good luck. But the couple faced monetary problems. With Newly wanting continue to pursue graduate studies, after graduating Magna UCM Lauded, in her bachelor’s degree, the two formed a solution. She and Sir Hidalgo decided to take turns studying and working.