CLASS RECORD: The transformation of Rodel and Ryan PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:16

BY Christine Y. Guinacaran


Ryan was a thin, small boy who did not leave any teacher alone.

He would linger at the teacher’s table, make small talks, and ask me questions like why I cut my hair; or why I always walk fast.

He was the son of a teacher in the elementary school which was just at the back of  our high school building.  He was proud that he helped his mother check papers and asked us if our children did the same.

But despite being  bothersome, he was fairly a good boy,who did not make deliberate foolishness in the classroom.

Rodel also was a lanky boy who looked as though he did not know that he was already awake. He seemed not to be able to make make heads and tails of any lesson you talk about.  He was the classmate of Ryan.

Whether the reason for his slowness was lack of nourishment and sleep, or mild retardation, I couldn’t really tell, but Rodel was one of the poorest learners in class.

These two boys were my students of more than twenty years ago.

Then just the other day at the Manila International Airport, while I was waiting for my flight to Zamboanga, a fine-looking, balikbayan was smiling at me. And had he not introduced himself, I could not have really guessed that he was the wearisome student of long ago, my little Ryan!

He was coming home from the ship, for a vacation. He is an overseas seaman. He married a very intelligent lass who is an accountant and works in a bank.

And because he is as conversational as ever, I was able to gather many information about his classmates.  But  what I was intrigued the most was his news about Rodel.

He said that Rodel is already a millionaire! I could not believe it, but it was true.  Rodel had a sand and gravel and hollow blocks  business, owns several pay loaders, and many dump trucks.  According to Ryan, you had to pass several body guards before you could reach Rodel.  Imagine that!  The slowest learner who I secretly regarded as a very unpromising lad had much promise after all.

You can never tell the treasures that lie hidden behind the sea of faces that look at you in your classroom. Who will succeed and who will fail, you never know.  Like Ryan, he decided to be a seaman when  his classmate encouraged him to enroll with them in Fisheries, while Rodel became an air force first,  retired early, and with that retirement money,  started a sand and gravel business. Life indeed has a lot of surprises, and I agree with my father when he said, “The Lord can answer your impossible prayers.”