Sunday, July 5, 2015

Randy's Literacy History

Randy Limon
RDLG 579 (Literary History / Autobiography)
4 July 2015

I grew up in a small town called Las Piñas, just outside Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. I come from a big family; I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers. I am the fifth child. I learned to understand at the age of three that my father was an overseas worker. I knew this because my father was mostly not home. My mother would tell us where my father was and what he was working on. Every year, my father moved to different countries to do big projects in oil rigs as an Engineer. I remember exactly the special occasions when my father would visit home. It was mostly during Christmas seasons.

I was about 3 years old when I learned to flip the pages of books or magazines lying around at home. Back then I knew I was going to learn reading at such a young age. I learned the alphabet and number songs when I was a little over 3 years old. When I was about to turn five years old, my father told that he would buy me a bicycle as a birthday gift if I would show him that I could write my name. He also told me that he would send me to Kindergarten as part of the deal I got with my father. I got all so excited and curious about what it was to be like to be going to school. I attended my Kindergarten class in a Day Care Center near my home.

I completed my elementary education in a public school in Almanza, Las Piñas. My reading and writing became formal at this stage. Then I went to a parochial school for my secondary education. I had 10 years of basic education. I finished my undergraduate degree in University of Santo Tomas, a large catholic university in the Philippines, at the age of 21. I did not have a lot of opportunities to explore reading when I was growing up. Money was tight. All my siblings were also studying at that time. We had to prioritize on our basic needs. Literature was not a high priority in my family. I had textbooks as learning material to support my content literacy. I found it challenging to learn content when I attended my bachelor’s program. Learning from other reading materials aside from textbooks was different. I somehow learned to extract relevant information for my specific studies. But somehow I started to develop my own style of learning from reading different text materials. Looking back to my early education, I was only exposed to learn content from textbooks provided in my school. Reading to learn was a whole new dimension to reflect on when I attended university.


  1. Randy, I understand how home finances can have a significant impact on access to good books. I come from a blue collar family with many members who did not graduate high school so there was little value placed on academics and less on books and reading. I didn't consider myself a reader for a long time and struggled in my college years. It wasn't until I realized that there were books I could simply enjoy at my own pace did I start becoming a reader. After a while, reading just became a habit and a way to relax. It turned out that it also translated into developing my writing. Writing was always something I struggled with and would avoid. I realized as I was writing my dissertation that I had no formal training in writing since high school where I was only taught how to write five paragraph essays. I really believe it was the sheer amount of reading that I did that allowed me to develop my skills enough to write the dissertation and all the other writing requirements in my doctoral program. I hope you find something you enjoy reading. There's lots of great stuff out there, but don't be afraid to put the book down if you don't like it. :)

  2. Randy,
    You write so well, I was so caught up in your story. It's a really reflective piece of writing.