Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Prom Night

The other night, I happened to pass by a hotel filled with young people dressed for some special occasion. The first thing that came to my mind was: Prom Night. And it made me smile as I recalled my first (and only) prom experience.

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There was a debate then among our teachers as to the propriety and relevance of JS Prom for us government scholars. But the traditionalists prevailed, and prom pushed through. Most of our batch mates were excited about it. The girls were giggling, and narrating the experiences of their older siblings, and even that of their parents. Both of my parents skipped their own school prom during their time. I am the eldest and there was no one who told me what this event was all about.

We were high school juniors then, naïve and rather innocent. But I, along with a few, was scared as hell. For one, we don’t have our own dates. And we were too shy to ask. Some senior boys asked the prettiest girls from our batch to be their partner. We just watched with envy. Some of the pretty senior girls asked some of our gutsiest boys to be their escort. There was one teacher who told us that in the US, plenty of teens lost (or willing to lose) their virginity on prom night. We just laughed about it, but we’re actually curious.

On prom night, the teachers did the matching for those of us who were not taken. We were paired with the seniors who also had no dates.

I was never concerned with how I looked. I was even wearing the barong my dad wore on his wedding day 15 years earlier. Nobody noticed. I didn’t want to buy something new even for this event. If I had my way, I’d skip this one. But my dad smiled and was proud when he saw me wear his barong. “At your age, I already had a girlfriend” he told me. At 14, I thought of it as ridiculous.

I was paired with a Chinese-looking girl with a Chinese-sounding family name. She smiled at me. I didn’t know how I reacted at that moment. Perhaps I smiled back. But I was turning cold. Then all pairs were made to march to the stage. I just followed what others did. I cared not how I walked, or how she walked. I did not even notice the smell of her perfume. She was holding my arm and I felt like melting at the gazing eyes of the others. I took a very deep breath every now and then.

At the dining table, she tried to open up a conversation. I kept my answers few. She immediately concluded that I was really very shy (hmmm…, it’s true). She then turned to her classmate who sat beside her, made a few introductions, and then I just sat there not knowing what to do or what to say.

After dinner, I slipped out from the table without even excusing myself from my partner. There at the lobby I found my friends who also ‘escaped’ from their uneasy situations. We laughed and enjoyed the ‘all boys’ moment. We did not return to our respective dates that night. Perhaps our dates just danced with their girl friends. Or perhaps they were also glad they got rid of us immature bunch.

I went home with nothing much to tell about the experience. "Did you get yourself a girlfriend, son?" my dad asked. I just smiled and shook my head. I thought it was better that I skipped the event altogether.

Prom was abolished the next year, when we were seniors (as we also agreed to its abolishment). The announcement broke the hearts of the many juniors anticipating the event. I wasn't able to redeem myself, at least by behaving properly and not leaving behind my partner.

26 comments:

Vince said...

LoL! the barong! that's the only thing captured my mind! I experienced being in a prom, unluckily, i had no gf that time so, walang chance to be with special someone that night though we were paired also, hahahha! oh, nice moments... know what, high school life is the best life as a student, i missed it. i turned out to be the "most-serious-type-of-guy" pero di pala ok... nahpag-iiwanan, just like now? hahaha!

vernaloo said...

susme! masyado ka namang shy :) I don't know but during our JS Prom though many boys din naman are shy, they still like the idea of the prom night...:)

Pero okay ang barong ni Daddy ha...talagang may sentimental value na yan :)

alvin said...

Now that you mentioned I must say that I enjoyed my prom years... Always the prince but never the prom king... hehehe I enjoyed the whole experience especially after the prom... :-)

Stephannie said...

Wow! kung ako ang naging partner mo? eh hindi na kita papansinin forever. Hehehe. Peace Lazarus! Ü A memorable Prom night indeed!

keep on blogging, Kuya. Ü

Daisy said...

i enjoyed my prom night even without a date. my friends and i just formed a big circle in the dance floor and danced with high-heeled shoes on to the music of milli vanilli (eek!). nahilis lagi ang tikod! murag nag running man pa man gani mi haha

Swipe said...

I studied in an all boys school and the girls from the local all girls school was usually partnered with the boys from my school. four years before I became a junior the nuns banned the event for reasons I don't know. The priests from our schools were trying to restart the event when I was a senior, we were all looking forward to it. Our teachers started including formal etiquette in our lessons. The priests believe that contact with the opposite sex is part of a healthy development of teenagers. Unfortunately, the nuns disagreed and the prom never happened.

tin-tin said...

honestly, i pity those who have not experienced prom.

my brother had his prom last saturday and we're more excited than he is. hehehe. my dad even bought a gift for his date. aliw! hahaha. my brother is like you na walang pakialam..but i don't think he left his date. yun pa! super gentleman nun. a proud sister. hehe ;p

Lazarus said...

vince, honestly, i don't find high school life to be that exciting then. I felt like I skipped high school.

verns, sobrang shy ko talaga nun. Especially in conversing with the opposite sex. I lacked the social skills. Mas ok na sana nung senior na ako, pero wala na prom.

Lazarus said...

Alvin, sikat ka siguro pero may mas sikat pa sa yo! he he. Siguro at that time, i was too young to understand it.

Steph, sana na understand ni partner ko yon. Or baka, she was also happy na umalis ako. Kung a year later lang sana yun, I could have acted differently.

Dais, i really felt lost sa prom na yun. I also avoided the dancing.

Lazarus said...

Swipe, the priests are right. It could have been part of improving the social skills of the boys.

Tin-tin, 16 na yung bro mo di ba? I was still 14 at that time, and medyo nahirapan sa adjustment. If it happened lang talaga a year later sana. I don't have any regrets though. Immature lang talaga kaya iniiwanan sa table ang partner. Ngayon, pwede na ako mag advise sa mga youth not to act like an idiot on prom night.

ghee said...

JS PROM!!very Nostalgic!! Although hindi ganon ka romantic ang naging experience ko,at least na experience ko rin nman :)

Halos sabay pala tayong mag sicelebrate ng Blogsary natin? LOL!

Abaniko said...

Wala bang booze during your JS prom? That could have made the night more exciting. Naku, nang-BI pa yata ako dito. :D

sexy mom said...

that reminds me now to post "2 proms and a soph night". you see, with 7 children (3 of them now teens), during this time of the year, it's proms here and there. and gee, proms of yesteryears are so different from proms nowadays. long time ago (though i guess yours is not that long), proms were soooo innocent, even lackluster, maybe dull. nowdays, the youth brim with energy, with so much fun.

Wil said...

kawawa naman ang date mo. naiwan sya. ;) Pero ako rin guilty sa improper prom etiquette. Here's what happened.... a girl asked me to our Junior High prom. At first, I said yes. then I changed my mind and said no. I avoided her for about a week and she ended up writing me an angry letter, handed it to me, and then said, "I hope you're happy!" :-O Bad me. So pareho tau bad. hehe. Well, bata lang kasi tau. We don't know any better. ;)

Sidney said...

He,he... nice story.
I guess girls are more mature at that age!

Lazarus said...

ghee, at least nakaexperience ka nag prom.

Abaniko, alam ko ang mga seniors nag iinoman afterwards.

Sexy Mom, masyado daw pormal ang prom before.

Wil, bad ka rin pala. ha ha ha. di mo siguro type si girl.

Sidney, as to the maturity, i really think so. Thanks for the visit!

kendi said...

you're shy? geez... very dashing ka cguro wearing your dad's barong kaya nag-attempt tlga si girl na kausapin ka. but you're shy nga... oo nman.

but same here...
i dislike proms. ew.

cess said...

wow. the way you acted that night - i wish my son would do the same when it's his turn to go to a prom :) the girl won't like it, but i, the mom, will surely like that. heheh!

tin said...

Prom! Hahaha! I remember very well my date, he's so shy like you, that I even asked him to dance because he was so quiet!

iskoo said...

naalala ko sa mga american movies yung prom sobrang pinaghahadaan nila at talagang inalalaan nila sa mga girl/boyfriends nila. dahil nag-aral ako sa pang publikong paaralan di ko alam kung ano talaga ang prom, wala kasi kami nun :)

tina said...

i never got the chance to be in a prom. :)

Francesca said...

naalala ko prom night ko,kilig to the max ako sa crush ko, gwapo,clear skin, close up smile, yun pala nabalitaan ko,nong nag college na, naging bading!

nyeheheheee...

Brennan Mercado said...

;)

i wonder how you would react to your son's prom n years from now...

pam said...

haha.:D

ano nga bang nangayari sa prom namin? uh.

basta what i remember is. ang aga kong dumating tapos wala akong kasama for like 30 mins.hehe

Lazarus said...

kendi, dashing? Maybe. ha ha! Shy lang talaga. Pero at that time lang yun. A year after, di na shy.

Cess, I won't advise the kid to run away. Be brave young man. he he.

Tin, did he dance with you? Swerte nya, ah!

Iskoo, at least naka experience ako ng prom. Public school din kasi ako (UP). Nag-iba na thrust nila nung 1991 kaya na abolish yung prom.

Lazarus said...

tina, may college prom pa. or someone could ask you to be his prom date.

francesca, aba natandaan pa ni lola crush nya. he he he.

brennan, i would tell him to behave and be courteous sa partner nya. He doesn't need to have a crush on her. I'll also tell him not to mistreat her, just because she's not his type. Perspective change when we mature.

Pam, pero sinipot ka ba ng escort mo?