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Pictorial Memories of the Quarry Boys

Since one of us started a note on Facebook [here] reminiscing our Quarry Boys days, I respond with my own picture recollection for all of us to enjoy. :-)

It was a wooden and GI sheet covered two-storey house with an attic -- Kuya Ellis's A-type house at Upper Rock Quarry.  He was the son of the former mayor of Tadian, Mt. Province and a ping-pong monster.  He is the landlord who will later have the distinction of getting indirectly ejected from his own house, along with the rest of us, since he was not earning enough from his boarders.  Our landlord's uncle lived on the first floor and we lived on the second floor with the attic.  The second floor had two bedrooms occupied by our student housemates, all of whom had their own "Malalaala Mo Kaya" type back stories.  We had a few things in common.  We were all members of the same Christian organization and all of us were from the same college.  Two of us were already graduates while the rest were still students.  I was then a second year law student worth P1,000 to P2,000 per month.  You figure out how I survived.  Most of the other housemates were in the same boat as I.  I would walk from BCF to Upper Quarry at night, buy P5.00 worth of pandesal for dinner and when I arrive home one or two of the guys would greet me with "Kuya, pakain ka naman!"

We had a combined dining-living room right outside the 2 bedrooms.  It was almost bare of furniture but was often dirty.  Bits of rice often lay on the table or the floor.  Socks, bags, jackets lay everywhere.  The CR was a tiny room with a toilet bowl and no water closet.  The kitchen was an extension that jutted out of the back wall of that same floor.  A narrow staircase led to the Attic where another alumni and a student volunteer stayed with our landlord.   Two of us slept on the floor of the attic while Kuya Ellis and a fellow alumni each had small beds.  Fog entered through holes in the attic and at times the fog was thick enough to hide my attic-mates.

Let me start with the kitchen.  The stove and the stainless steel kitchen rack.  I probably drew this on a rainy day when there was nothing to sketch outside.  I experienced cooking on firewood inside this kitchen one time when there was a typhoon and we couldn't afford  to buy an LPG gas tank.  Most of the students were on semestral break.  We were out of gas for 5 days already.  Three of us cut a big empty tin can and turned it into a makeshift firewood stove and gathered small pieces carpentry scrap for fuel.   All windows were closed because of the typhoon rains and wind.   We nearly suffocated from the smoke but we had one decent meal.  


Opposite the kitchen rack is this sink that also protruded from the kitchen wall (batalan style).  The walls of the kitchen are made of GI sheet, a common wall material in local Baguio-Benguet houses.  Typical of men's dormitories, the sink was always a cause of headaches, always with unwashed plates and utensils!  The window is also made GI sheet so when it's open you see the houses at Upper QM and you feel the breeze against your face.  This is an unfinished oil that I found just a few days ago, stretched underneath a top layer of another unfinished painting. 

The drawings below are panoramic views of the crowded Baguio City as seen from the living/dining room windows .  We had a GREAT view.  We were there when one typhoon flooded City Camp and it felt like we lived on a hill beside a lake.  The following drawings represent a full 180 degree view from our living/dining room windows:
Legarda, Burnham, Session Road and University of Baguio buildings.  Aurora Hill background

Legarda, Session Road and Cathedral buildings

City Camp, City Hall, Mount Crest, Golden Pine and Camp Allen

City Camp/QM houses and the large unfinished building at Legarda Road 

St. Vincent, Naguilian Road Area.  Quirino Hill background

Acrylic from the same Cathedral sketch above.  This was my first crack at acrylic paint. 


Upper QM houses on ridge opposite Campo Sioco

Upper QM houses.  The top of the road is the turning point for Public Utility jeepneys


A common scene in our living/dining room.  The folding table will be replaced later by our landlord's ping-pong table


Those of us aspiring artists had painting sessions at night.  We called ourselves "artis-artisan".  Two pastel on felt still lifes resulted from these sessions.  The large orange felt was framed in our house in Bicol (later disintegrated in our humid town) and the small navy blue felt which I also loved got lost in transit to my new home at South Drive, along with a few of the best pastels on felt :-(

So here ends a short pictorial memory of the House of the Quarry Boys who lived together 11 years ago.  All of us are still in contact with each other, along with the next batches of the Quarry Boys.  I miss those days -- some of the most difficult days of my life yet the happiest and most enriching where I learned about individual differences, individual struggles, leadership and genuine brotherhood.

We still have one unfinished adventure.  Mount Pulag.

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