Tuesday, November 08, 2011


3 and I, we go back a long way. I first encountered him in first grade as I did not go through prep and kindergarten. But in our class I was the bibbo kid who already knew how to read and write while my classmates were learning to hold their jumbo pencils. 

I wrote "3" in reverse, parang E. I was embarrassed. And shocked. Mommy already taught me these at home, how could I commit such a mistake? Apparently, i wasn't alone, my teacher also found it strange that bibbo kid moi could blunder so horribly at so basic an exercise. To make matters worse, she even announced it while she was returning our papers. Perhaps that traumatic experience killed my capacity to love numbers, and up to now, while I could write numbers in their numerical forms (siguro naman ano?), I could not bring myself to like even simple arithmetic. My aversion towards numbers grew as the maths grew more complicated (fractions, decimals, negative numbers, percentages). In short, A α M, where A is aversion and M is math. Hahaha.

The horror stories continued. During the second grading period in second grade I was toppled from the 1st to 6th place because of my poor performance in the Math exam. In 5th grade, I got a tsk-tsk-tsk and a dismayed look from the Math teacher because I was the only one among the top 4 students asked to solve the problem on the board to arrive at the wrong answer. In 6th grade, my spot in the honor roll was threatened because other students scored higher in the Math part of the NEAT. High school wasn't any different, and I could not comprehend why the x's and y's were being added and subtracted and multiplied. Letters belong to the alphabet, to form words and sentences and beautiful stories. Subjecting them to these brutal operations was blasphemy.

and I find this absolutely hilarious. :)
But then, I trudged on. Math was an unavoidable abomination and I just saw it as something I could ignore since I did not fancy a career in Engineering or Medicine. As long as I performed well in other subjects, I thought I would manage. 

And I did. College and work didn't involve a lot of numbers. That's until I took up Law. I thought it didn’t involve Math, but I was totally wrong. Succession had a lot of fractions, and I messed up our final exam. We had two Taxation subjects, and these had a great deal of nosebleed-inducing arithmetic. And there goes my reason for writing this entry. I passed Tax 1! I couldn’t believe it. The midterms was horrendous as it only consisted of 12 problems. No MCQs, no True or False, no essay. Just pure computation of “tax consequences” and “exposure”. While the final exam had MCQ, T or F and tax rates, I didn’t feel any better because I applied the “when in doubt, choose B” and “when the statement says ‘always’ or ‘never’, it’s false” principles. 

Now I feel a little fondness for one number -– 3.

I think I shall never see
A grade as lovely as a three
A three that’s earned with blood and sweat
When failing is a serious threat
A three I've asked from God all day
Knowing praying is the only way
Exams are taken by fools like me
But only God can give a three.

*poem printed on a UP shirt


  1. Love the poem.

    I feel you, 'te. Pinilit ko lang ipasa yung math, tapos biglang mga BPO at budget-budget pala ang kakaharapin ko.

  2. Haha. Di ba? Sabi nga ni Rico Blanco, "Tadhana'y mayro'ng trip na makapangyarihan." Nakakaloka.


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