Terrible may be considered an understatement to describe the days when I was still starting my life here in Baguio City.

I was a young, skinny, ignorant Sagada lad who stepped on the grounds of Saint Louis University to take up a degree in Communications.

Undeniably, I was the poorest soul who had no contact mobile number to write on every class card issued to us in every subject. My Filipino teacher Mrs. Peralta even called me to her desk verify that I really do not have a mobile phone.

I introduced myself as a person from Sagada but I knew my classmates had a clue because I used my Sagada Weaving bag consistently. And yes, I never denied being an Igorot. One teacher once asked me if I studied at St. Mary's School- I finished my secondary education at Sagada National High School.

When dealing my classmates, I had some tough time speaking Filipino because my native language is Kankanaey (combined with English). It took me months to polish my conversational Filipino and be comfortable with the language every Pinoy should know how to speak.

Good thing that regionalism is not a big factor in other subjects like Math and Logic giving me more chances of getting good quiz scores.

In Theology classes, I was one of the different kids who struggled to take Catholicism as the "homepage" of our religious thoughts. I was an Anglican studying in a Catholic university. 

When I got sick with flu for weeks, I thought there was only one pharmacy in the city that sells Lagundi leaves capsule.

Everyday, I had to ride the jeep then walk a few blocks to reach school. I thought riding a taxi would cost me a thousand. I had no idea that all taxis are white. 

However, I knew the story will not end in June of that year because we had four years to show my real skin. Four years after, I was one of the proud kids getting a diploma in front of a huge crowd after surviving those terrible days.