She loves to sing. Off-key, no tune, unintelligible lyrics. No matter, she loves to sing. When no classmate would play with her during her kindergarten year, she would go up the bahay-kubo above the playground and imagine that she is singing to an audience, complete with twirls and grand gestures. Nobody would bother her, nobody could understand her anyway. As long as she seemed to be having fun by herself.
These days though, she rattles off “Good morning, Brother Sunshine, Good morning, Sister Moon…” and “Morning has come, night is away, we rise up with the sun and welcome the day…” in near-perfect rendition of the songs.
Tuburan has always engendered confidence in Jan, whether she could be understood or not. And because of that confidence in being accepted, she has been developing her communication skills slowly but surely. These days, Miss Katherine is happy to note that Jan is not just singing to her to “Let it go, let it go…” but also tell her stories of when she got to fly up in an airplane.
I remember when Jan started at Tuburan two years ago she was so reticent. She used to just stand aside in the shade while her classmates would run and shout and laugh and chase each other. She would hesitate because her balance hadn’t really developed well even at 7 years old and she was afraid that if somebody would bump into her she wouldn’t be able to remain standing. Which was always the case: uneven ground, speed and small obstructions would defeat her.
Until she got to know the chickens.
Stray chickens would visit the school all the time and Jan would follow them around. When they notice her they would run and she would run after them. The faster they ran, the faster she would too. Now, Jan runs from an incline without fear in the New Loon campus, yelling as loudly as her lungs will go, just for the fun of it.