Da Jounce Code

When we were in junior high school, we almost fought a bloody battle with our seniors. (See Scriptum #12) In college, it was a different story. We were very close to the batch. In fact, we enjoyed common activities together and even shared common secrets. One of those was the dawn jogging.

It was entirely voluntary, of course, otherwise we would have detested every second of it like we used to do in ROTC.

Jogging was usually during the unholy hour of 3:00AM. We were adolescents then. We had the stamina to go with our enthusiasm.

Since we had regular members, we decided, from out of the blue, to form a club.

No, it was not a formal decision. It merely started as a joke during an after meal conversation. Somebody suggested calling our group the Jones Joggers. We all laughed at the suggestion. But the name stuck.

There was no particular reason for the choice of name, except perhaps that Jones was a member. (See Scriptum #9 for story on how Jones got his name Jones.)

Jones didn’t like the idea of using his name for the group, and he was insistent on us dropping it.

So, the group gave in. We decided to drop the name Jones from the name and called ourselves the Jounce Rocker instead of Jones Joggers.

We had difficulty convincing him that it didn’t refer to him in particular, even if it may sound the same. He capitulated after a while.

So that was how our jogging club became Jounce Rocker, without the “Jones” in it.

A good mix of juniors and seniors were the regulars: Soc, Mario, Jeffrey, Ping, Bobong, Gents, Chris, Pioux, Stephen, I, and, of course, JunTabs, for reasons you may already have known from an article written by Soc (See Scriptum #9). There were others who would join but were not as regular.

The route was constant. We would meet near the avocado tree between 3:00AM to 3:30AM.

Then, we would start jogging towards Taloto chapel. I always had a soccer ball with me while jogging. Sometimes I would pass ball with Ping.

We would take the road going to Penaflor. But we would make a detour, across a grassy pathway towards the airport runaway. There, JunTabs would rendezvous with a friend.

From the airport, we would proceed to the Cogon market. There was one carinderia owned by the Concepcion family that we frequented. The girls were particularly nice to us, too. We would wake them up and ask for hot chocolate. They would sleepily prepare the hot water and tabliya.

One time, we were asking ourselves why it had become usual to drink hot beverage in the morning. Who dictates that people should drink hot chocolate in the morning? We asked ourselves. Our dislike for authority (naturally since we were all in our adolescence), became apparent in the ensuing discussion.

There is more sugar in a cold halo-halo than in a hot cup of chocolate, one of us would say. Another would mention that sugar heats the body. Then, again, from out of the blue, one would suggest that we should eat cold halo-halo for a change instead of drink hot chocolate.

So that cold early morning, the Concepcion sisters got the shock of their lives when we ordered halo-halo.

At first, we observed if our body would reject the food. It didn’t. So that started the new tradition of eating halo-halo at 4:00AM.

That was one of the reasons why we frequented the Concepcion carinderia. It was the only one that served halo-halo that early. And, there was another reason why. Chris would be able to explain in greater detail when you remind him of these syllables: TO-SI-HA.

Do you want to know what it means? Well, on second thought I guess those cryptic syllables should remain a mystery and better left that way--a secret, a la Da Vinci Code, to be kept between us . . . the junior and senior class of school year 1982-83. (nox)