The Golden Boy


when i was eleven years old, my parents transferred me from an exclusive all-girls school to a co-ed school.

the first thing my mom said was this “not because you’re with boys now doesn’t mean that you have to be all over them.”

of course, being the romantic that i am (gee no thanks Baby Sitters Club and Sweet Valley) i immediately forgot my mom’s well founded advice when i saw the good looking boys in Colegio San Agustin, Makati.

I also forgot a hurdle of rules and did things that most eleven year olds wouldn’t do. for one thing, i tattooed my name on my arm the first week i was there and i got involved in several cheating and cutting class cases.

but you know i wasn’t drinking or anything like that, i was just trying to be cool.

which is what most eleven year olds are preoccupied with.

it was in fifth grade when i understood the meaning of “being popular” just like the tv show and what i needed to do to make a mark (i was a pretty stupid kid).

it was also in fifth grade when i met the golden boy. actually i met several of them but the first one that caught my eye was ivan padilla.

he had brown hair and a beautiful smile. he also had that bad boy thing going which made him even more likable.

he was also endearing because he only liked the popular cheerleaders and i was far from being one.

i don’t remember ever having a decent conversation with ivan. i probably had three way calling conversations with him but i wasn’t allowed to speak because he didn’t know that i was on the line (it was one of those things back then).

that didn’t stop me from thinking so highly of him. whenever i am asked about the events that happened in san agustin, ivan would always be a part of it.

he was nice whenever i spoke to him, no matter how briefly but i refrained from talking to him because i always thought that he was out of my league and we’d never have anything in common.

i haven’t thought of ivan in years and then i saw him on TV.

i saw tweets about ivan the whole day but somehow it never registered until i saw the news and saw his face.

it was shocking to say the least.

i am in no position to judge ivan or his family neither do i want to.

it’s just sad because i always thought so highly of ivan and yes, even if he was the resident bad boy, i didn’t take it to the literal sense.

what i didn’t know was behind the golden hair and the braced teeth was a boy looking for a home and it just breaks my heart because ivan was a father too.

i just pray that his son grows up in a different environment and i hope that he’s told stories good things about his father.

whatever happened in the morning that you died ivan, i hope you are resting in God’s hands now. i know that you and KC are together in heaven, probably laughing about those silly grade school moments?

and i truly wish the best for your son and i wish that kids everywhere learn from you and what has happened to you.

i pray for comfort for your family and i know that they will always remember you as that boy with a twinkle in his eye and the boy who always had a mischievous yet sincere smile.

May you rest in peace, Ivan, may you rest in peace.