My Road to Success By Louie Magbanua

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As time goes by, Louie was enrolled to a preschool near their place. The name of the school is Genesis Montessori. He was enrolled in a class named Junior Casa One. It was then equal to nursery. Based on his stories, it was a fun experience. There were singing and dancing. They were taught how to read and write. They were also taught discipline. He said that this is one of the most precious lesson he learned from that school. He was also taught how to dance native Filipino dance there. He was taught to dance the cariñosa and his partner was his first ever crush. As he remembered briefly, during their graduation, he was asked to portray a role or job in the world. Louie picked his mother job, a Doctor. He remembered that he was wearing his mother’s coat that was so big that it hit the floor and collected all the dirt on the ground.

During Louie’s childhood. He also played with kites. He and his cousins would go to the roof of their neighbor’s house and fly kites. As they were growing up, they were bought by their parent’s bikes. They would ride them from morning till night. They would go to Fort Bonifacio (now Bonifacio Global City). At that time, it was not yet developed and it has a lot of trees. For Louie and his cousins, it is the perfect place to ride the bike and enjoy. They would also go to the construction site of one of the buildings. There is a big Pile of sand where they would go on top and slide down. For them, those were the happiest moment in their life. As a kid, Louie also loves to play computer games. His parents bought them a family computer system.

Louie got addicted to a couple of games namely Double dribble, green beret, jackal, legend of cage, rock man series, excite bike, punch out and Super Mario brothers 3. These games would be played every day with his cousins. They would tease each other because sometimes Louie beats them and they are much older than him. But usually, Louie is on the losing end. It’s natural since he is still a kid during those times. But one day, their Nintendo was stolen by someone who pretended to be his grandmother’s friend. Louie cried because their source of entertainment got lost so they looked for alternative sources of entertainment.

Since cable TV is not yet popular during those times and if it existed already, only the rich people could afford it and Louie’s family is not that kind of family. So they would only watch cartoons from local channels like RPN 9, IBC 13 and sometimes GMA and ABSCBN. But usually they watch cartoons from RPN and IBC. These cartoons are Masked Rider Black, Voltes V and many more. So these cartoons are the most popular cartoon series during the 80’s and the 90’s. Louie and his cousin would not miss an episode of these cartoons. They would really reserve some time for these shows before doing anything else. Since this was the only solution to make the kids sit and be still inside the house, their grandmother would allow them to watch these shows given that they would stay still and come dinner time they would eat their veggies.

But those things never get followed. When the 90’s came, Louie’s family decided to purchase a computer. It was a pretty standard computer at that time. Louie can’t recall the specs of the computer but what he remembers is that the computer has 2 drive bays. 1 for the 5 inch diskette and 1 for the 3 inch diskette. The operating system used at that time was Microsoft command prompt. So since Louie got interested in the computer, he asked her sister ate tot for help. He would ask her if she can teach him the basics of using the computer and how to turn it on and off. So he learned the basic and started exploring command prompt. Command prompt was very text based that generations today would say that this is so ancient and I can’t work in this kind of environment but during those times, it was the standard for offices and household computers. Louie enjoyed exploring the command prompt. Looking for commands, searching for directories, scanning viruses with the scan166 diskettes and etc. This created his bigger interest to computers. But since he still a kid, his sisters would not allow him to use it very often because he might destroy the files that they made.

Chapter 4 Louie as a School Boy

After he graduated from genesis Montessori, They looked for an elementary school where he would study. They had 2 choices since their budget was not that high at that time and it was just enough for them to come by. Their first choice was don bosco technical institute. This school was the alma mater of his 2 cousins and the alma mater of his father. They encouraged Louie to try to enter this school so that his cousins could take care of him and watch over him. So Louie and his family obliged to take a chance and take the exam for that school. For some reason that is unknown till now, Louie did not answer his exam. This was not a new issue since his teacher in the Montessori already told his mother that Louie is a smart boy but is very lazy in writing and reading. So to cut the story short, Louie failed the exam in Don Bosco Technical Institute. The next school he applied in is Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. Since it is in close proximity with his sister’s school, Saint Paul College of Pasig, it was a viable alternative to Don Bosco. Based on his story, the night before he took the exam his mother talked to him. His mother said that Louie, this is the last chance and I am begging you to answer the exam because it is for your own good. So Louie promised to answer the exam just to make his mother happy.

The exam day came and they went to Lourdes School of Mandaluyong. They were welcomed by the Guidance Counselor at that time, Ms. Teresita Agabao. This lady was one of the nicest person that Louie encountered in his life. So Louie was taken to the exam room and then began taking the exam. While taking the exam, Louie was looking at the newly built Shangri-La mall. He thought that after the exam, he wants to go there and check it out. So he hurriedly answered all the question and passed the paper to the examiner. After that, he went to his mother and asked her, “Mom, could we go to Shangri-La? I want to see what’s inside that mall.” Louie said. His mother obliged to bring him there but in one condition. He must pass the exam and should be able to gain enrollment rights to the school. So Louie, being a cocky kid said “Don’t worry mommy! I’m sure that I passed the exam. There is nothing to worry about. Can we go to Shangri-La now?” His mom replied, “We can’t go there yet anak. We must wait for the results of your exam.” So Louie waited patiently for the result of the exam and in a few minutes it was out. Louie passed the exam. The guidance counselor talked with his mom about the enrollment schedule and instructed them to talk with the accounting office for the tuition fee breakdown. Louie and his mommy was very happy that he passed. Louie kept on telling his mom that he deserves to go to Shangri-La. So his mom brought him there to eat. Since they were not rich, they went to the food court of the mall. There were so many choice that they ended up eating in Jollibee (since this restaurant is familiar to both of them). They both enjoyed their food and was very happy. After eating, they went home. They rode a bus and walked from the bus stop where they disembarked.

Before entering Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, Louie was tutored by his mother in certain knowledge areas. He was taught how to read and encouraged to ready books. Her mother bought him books from the authors Enid blyton and Roald Dahl. The stories here are very easy to finish and understand but knowing Louie, he is not really the reader type.

So the year 1993 comes. Louie was early at school with his mommy. This was the first day of school and his mother was really excited yet worried about his only son. She waited outside the gate until the teachers has collected the children from the line up area. According to Louie, his first day was fun. They were asked to introduce themselves and the only English phrases he knew that time were Hi my names is and I live in manila. But those memories are pretty much blurry. One of the most memorable years of Louie as a school boy is when he got caught in a fight in school. We all know that fight is sometimes unavoidable and this does not exempt Louie from it. When he was in grade 1, there was a bully who tried to bully him. Of course Louie would not let him since he grew up on the streets and the principle applied there is survival of the fittest. So Louie fought back and ended up beating up the bully. He inflicted bruises to the bully because one thing that the bully does not know is that Louie practices karate. So both of them were brought to the principal’s office and almost got suspended.

As Louie was getting older he got interested in sports. Firstly, Louie got interested in basketball. There was a basketball court in his aunt’s house. He would go there after class and shoot some hoops with is uncle. He would play until 8-9pm with his cousins thus improving his shooting and court skills. But as time goes by, he got bored in playing basketball. It was getting repetitive and knowing Louie, repetitive things make him bored an uninterested. He always want something new in his life and his hobbies and sports are not exceptions. He search for a new sport and found a flyer in his school. This flyer contained information about a new group that is being formed and it needs members. The sport indicated there is football. His friends were also interested so due to the bandwagon effect, Louie tried the sport. It was not a wrong decision. Louie found the sport that he really loved. He would play during lunch breaks. Even if they would get reprimanded for not following school rules. He doesn’t really understand why it is prohibited to play football during lunch breaks. As they go along, a PE teacher offered them help and lessons. So they all enrolled in this course and was coached by a Spanish guy who was really good at football. They would go to meralco field every weekend to play. After a while, the Spanish guy stopped the lessons due to some unknown reasons. Leaving the group in a stand still. Luckily, the PE teacher offered to continue the lesson and appealed to start a football varsity team. The appeal was accepted and a football varsity team was formed. There were try outs for a couple of years and Louie joined them. Every time he would try out, he would be accepted to the team but would encounter a problem with his parents. His parents won’t allow him to play because they think it was a hindrance to his studies. So he got frustrated and left football.

During the time that he left football, the PlayStation console was launched. It was the most popular console and story in school and whoever owns one is an instant celebrity. Since Louie and his mother was saving up for a new console ever since their family computer was wrecked and stolen, they had the money to buy the first generations of the PlayStation console. That particular console had normal controllers without the analog. It was very heavy and thick in size. A few units that were coming only accepted original CD’s only and won’t run pirated ones. So they waited for a converted one and as soon as it is available, they bought one. As he remembered, it was purchased from TV Games megamall with a bundle of two controllers and 5 games of your choice. So the PlayStation became the staple source of entertainment for Louie and his cousins. They would spend time playing various games for days. They would cooperate with each other just to finish certain games. Many happy experiences were created by this gaming console. They played castlevania, Mega man, granturismo and Louie’s personal favorite Test-drive Off-road 2 and 3. Louie became addicted to playing these games that he forgot about some of his duties and responsibilities in school. Castlevania particularly sapped the time of Louie. Based on his story, Louie had 3 files with playing time of 99 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds which is the maximum number of hours that the game counter can handle. With this, He started having low grades and his aim to become accelerated was trashed. He went through grade 7 and did not really had qualms about it. It was one of his best years in life.

Louie entered grade 7 and belonged to a class full of bullies. Louie being one of them, began to terrorize other people. His group would be the noisiest people in class and they would be secluded in a part of the room where they would have no seatmates. Louie sat beside the class bookshelf. Whenever he felt sleepy, he would just tilt his head lean on the bookshelf. He was never caught sleeping because it covers his head and the teacher could not see him sleeping. But there is always a first time, he got caught by a teacher because the teacher went to the restroom and upon entering the classroom again, saw Louie sleeping. This class was the best one he has ever encountered. There were a lot of fights. Some of his classmates would even burn each other. It was a class of violence. Since some of the class members are frat boys, they would be the one initiating these fights. During breaks, Louie and his friends would go to classrooms and watch fights of different people from their batch. It was like watching UFC for Free and Live. Sometimes they would have weapons on their hands like one time based on Louie’s story, one of his classmates had a PVC pipe in his hand while the other had a two by four. They started hitting each other and ended up having a bloody ending. But it was all fun because after the fight, they became friends.

For everyone’s information, Louie is also a musician. He knows how to play a couple of musical instruments namely the piano, organ, a little of violin and guitar. He started playing the piano when he was around 4-5 years old. He was really interested in music. The quote music makes the world go around is really applicable to him. That is how much he loves music. When he was just starting to playing, he was having difficulty in reading notes. This is usually the problem encountered by beginners. But as his level increases, his talents are becoming evident. He now started playing by the ear. He could emulate a melody just by listening to a song or tune. He formally studied playing the piano and the organ in Saint Paul college of Pasig. He was the only boy studying musical instruments there since the school is exclusive for girls. He started getting better in what he is doing. He started playing in recitals not just one instrument but the maximum instrument played by Louie in one recital is 3. The violin, the piano and the organ. He briefly remembers that the piece that he played on the violin was Minuet in G by Johann Sebastian Bach. In his piano recitals, he would play classical songs also like sonatas. While in the organ recitals, he would be given songs that are a little modern. But Louie’s skill was fast improving, in his organ class he would change the accompaniment that his teacher has placed to suit his taste. He would increase or decrease the tempo and change the pedal rhythm according to his style. By this, his teacher got angry and kicked him out of this school. Louie and his mother then searched for a music school that could teach him these instruments further. They found lyric Piano for Louie’s piano lessons and Yamaha School of music for his Organ/Electone classes. He was very happy at that time since he was going to study and improve his skills further. But only one instrument really caught his attention. The organ or Electone.

For people who don’t really know what is an organ or is wondering what an organ is, an organ/electone is generally consists of an Upper keyboard, a Lower keyboard, and a Pedal keyboard. The Upper keyboard is played by the right hand, the Lower keyboard by the left hand, the Pedal keyboard by the left foot (occasionally both feet if it is a 25 keys Pedal keyboard especially if Axel F is played since it is very demanding in the bass rhythm part). An electone also features an expression pedal which could control the loudness and the softness of the volume. On the expression pedal, there are two controls on board. The Left and right slider. The left slider controls the fill-ins, pitch distort and other more features depending on the model of electone you have. While the right slider controls the shifting of the memory registration. This memory registration features the set of instruments you might want to play a particular part. For example you started with strings, then you want a part that is played by brasses and clarinets, you could easily switch these things by a flick of the slider. There is also a tremolo and glide control underneath the keyboard. It is controlled or triggered by the knee. There is a short lever that you rest your knee in and when you want to use the particular feature, you’ll just flick it to trigger it.

Louie excelled in this kind of instrument. He started playing themes from movie like Axel F, Theme from SWAT and Granada. He even played a couple of popular song namely More 80(which is jazz in nature with it syncopated rhythm makes the timing for the pedal and the left hand ten times harder) and fame. He practiced and memorized each one piece so that he could perform in during Yamaha recitals. Each musical piece usually is composed of minimum of 3 pages and maximum of around 14-17(based on his songs played). As He was getting better, his teacher decided to enter him in a competition. The Yamaha Grand recital in which people from the Philippines join and represent the branch of their music school. So Louie and his sister (yes his sister also plays both instruments) competed. In the elimination round, Louie got in while his sister sadly did not make it. It was a very long preparation. They would practice every day for 3 hours without stopping. Playing one and only one song. The Marlboro theme Magnificent 7. This was the theme song of Marlboro commercials aired in TV stations. So Louie thinking that he does not want to lose, practiced with all his heart. His mother knows that once he put his heart on something, he could do it and produce an above average result. So the competition came and there are 3 contestants for the electone category. Louie was the first one to play in his division. When he first started, the volume selector was not set to the highest point. So he has to switch it to max level while playing the piece. He was very scared but has to perform. The quote “the show must go on” was very applicable to him at that time. His parents could not bear to watch their kid play on stage because they were both afraid that their kid would lose. So they just prayed and showed Louie support and encouraged him that even if he loses, he is still a good player for them. So all the competitors have performed. It’s time for the announcement of winners. They were called to the stage asked to come forward when their name was called. Louie was very scared and did not really know what is happening. He was actually distracted and disoriented at the same time. When the name of his competitor was called, he got disappointed. He thought that we had lost the battle and got only second place. But what actually was called by the judges in the 2nd runner up. So Louie was informed by his friend sunny that he was the winner. Louie remembered exactly what his friend said. “LOUIE, you are the winner! What are you still doing here? Go and grab your trophy!” his friend said. Louie and his parents was very happy. Achieving their goal and winning. There is no more happier experience than winning.

After a couple of months, Yamaha megamall decided to enter the electone festival for that particular year. They wanted Louie and his teacher to compose a song which has ethnic value and is catchy at the same time. They both did not agree to what the management wanted. Because of this, they demoted his teacher and lessened the salary they are giving her. Louie and his teacher did not like this and they decided to continue their lessons outside of Yamaha. Louie attended at least 5 recitals in Yamaha and played a couple of popular songs like axel F, theme from swat and other more. The last piece he played in one of his recitals is William Tell Overture. It was 22 pages long and consisted of a bunch of running notes and a bunch of syncopated rhythm for the left hand a right hand. But for him, it was an achievement because it was the hardest piece he ever played.

He stopped studying electone for a couple of months. But later realized that he really wanted to study again. So he enrolled in Yamaha Buendia where he was taught by the last winner of the electone festival. He was instructed to play ode to joy. At first, he was curious and really studied the piece. But as time goes by, he lost interest because it was not that upbeat and it was very classical. Knowing Louie that he really wanted modern songs with complicated bass lines and very upbeat rhythm. Since he could already read notes, he decided to pursue it on his own. He started studying popular songs that are heard on the radio. He started playing them during his free time and his dad lately realized that he could sing while he plays. So whenever he plays the electone, his dad would come up and sing to the songs that he would play. It was again a family bonding experience since his mother also likes to listen to Louie play. She said that sometimes, she can feel what Louie’s mood for that day through his music. She would feel that Louie is sad or happy depending on the aura he emits while he is playing. Another thing, his grandmother is his number fan. Even though she could not walk anymore, she would go to megamall in a wheelchair to just see her grandson and granddaughter play in the recital. She would be the one with the loudest clap and feels very proud of them.

Chapter 5 Louie and his adolescent stage

Louie entered high school during the year 2001. It was a refreshing start for him because everything is starting to change now. New set of teachers, friends (since there are accelerants in their school who skip grade 7 and go straight to high school) and principal (yes principal, since the old principal already knew him very much because of him getting involved in fights regularly). He started to take his studies seriously. He started writing notes (he does not usually write notes. Even now he is in college, he does not write notes), reading books and other things a normal student would do. But even his willpower was not enough to conquer peer pressure. Louie has a big group of friends. Comprising of majority school bullies and some are the school clowns and hecklers. So in short, Louie belongs to the bad boy group, row 4 group or whatever other people call these kind of people. They started doing naughty things like doing pranks at the fragile looking batch mates. Not doing their assignments. Not studying for their quizzes and many more. Louie’s grades began to come down. He usually averages 86 and above every quarter, now it was around 80-82. His parents started to talk to him and asked what is happening. They started prohibiting him from doing his normal activities made him focus on books. Since Louie is a very stubborn and hard headed boy, he did not follow his parents. From first year to his third year he was like this. Not studying, forgetting requirements. In short, being irresponsible. During his second year in high school, he started getting interested in online chatting via MIRC.

In MIRC, he started meeting people from other schools like Saint Paul college Pasig, Saint Paul college Quezon city, St Bridget quezon city, poveda(only a few of povedans because they have stereotypes on other schools) and Miriam College Quezon City(same as poveda). He started spending a lot of time in chatting that he already forgot his responsibilities. He would call the girls at night just to chat and maybe meet them in person. During those times, Louie is turning in to a black sheep of the family. Not following his parents and doing what he wants. Seeing his parents as distractions from getting his goal, having a girlfriend (since during high school if you have a girlfriend you are “COOL”) and not allotting time for his studies. So this caused him to have low grades. His father is very grade conscious and when the report card arrives, he would always get reprimanded because of the poor performance he is showing. His 3rd year in high school came.

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