Catholic Girls: A Dei In The Life

I finally found time to finish my Catholic Girls comic! This first story is more of an overview. I plan to have more specific, juicy stories for the next ones.

Thanks to all my friends who helped jog my memory and who added a lot of their own stories for the content of this comic. A lot of people will probably get offended but I don’t care, you can all piss off! For those who have a sense of humor about it, enjoy!

(Click on an image to open in its own window and you can ZOOM in!)

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180 Responses to Catholic Girls: A Dei In The Life

  1. Pia says:

    Em, this is awesome!!! More please!!!

  2. Monica says:

    This is hilarious, em! Great way to be nostalgic about growing up. Man, I didn’t know your school was so uptight! I’m glad my catholic school wasn’t as bad. Haha. Looking forward to more!

  3. Marla says:

    My friend sent me a link to this and I LOVE IT! I went to high school there, too and I think we would gone along famously well if we were in the same batch (I also had multiply piercings, listened to Nirvana, had a tattoo, and stashed cigarettes in my bag). :)

    PS
    I got married in an Evangelical Christian ceremony so I guess that won’t get mentioned either, haha!

    • November says:

      Thanks, Marla. What batch are you? I love your site! The design is AMAZING.

    • Marla says:

      Aw thank you!!! We should collaborate — design-wise orif you need more dirt for the succeeding strips!

      And I’mfrombatch 2004!You should checkoutReg ofBatch 2003′s comics,too.(http://cerealsaturdays.com) She’s one ofmy bestfriends and ubertalented!

  4. nicai says:

    this cracked me up so much! Brought back so much memories!! :)

    I’d love to see more! keep em coming!

  5. Lisa says:

    Ladies, I am glad you all found your way out of there! Also, glad they didnt keep your brains. Can’t wait to read the next installment love lisa (Chan’s Columbia girl)

  6. November says:

    Haha, thank you guys! I’m glad I can stick up for the rest of the Opus Dei victims!

  7. Marnie says:

    Em? How amazing to find you through the magic of Facebook. A friend of mine posted this, so I guess you’re going viral! Congratulations, and best of luck!

    • November says:

      Hi Marnie! Someone posted you singing on Facebook too and I thought you were really talented. I didn’t think this comic would go viral (small country, I guess!) but I’m glad that people are enjoying it!

  8. Christine Murphy says:

    Haha comical! Very talented there Em’s. Catholic school girls rule! lol

  9. Reg says:

    Wahaha! You got the uniforms right on- especially the teachers and gala XD More please!

  10. Ria says:

    Dear November,

    Hi, what batch are you?

    Just wanted to say thanks for making me chuckle. This is all SO fucking to the dot, everything!! And reminds me of me and my friends in high school! And grade school! I also wanted to add that I wasn’t “allowed” to write for the school paper when I was in high school because they were afraid that I would write something scandalous or rebellious!! Wtf!!! I wrote cheers for the Red Team and encouraged people to yell and scream for the pep squad.

    cheers,
    Ria

    • November says:

      I’m batch ’95…yes, I’m old. I was actually a cheerdancer for the Blue Team (there, I said it) back when we could still wear cheerleading skirts. I think they just wear pants now. I’m glad we all got out of there with our sanity!

  11. Geri says:

    Hilarious! Looking forward to more!

  12. pmtd says:

    This. Is. Brilliant. I found a link to this comic on Facebook, thanks to a girl who graduated from this school before I did. Let me just say, I had a very good laugh. :)

    I also graduated from this school not too long ago. Everything is spot on. We did have a couple of teachers, though, who would rant about how the school administration is so f’ed up, and one of them was actually my Filipino teacher during 4th year. She would be so frustrated at how we weren’t allowed to read a lot of good Filipino classics just because it was too “obscene.” But, whatever.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your comics on this topic! :D

  13. Nic says:

    HILARIOUS! More, more, more! :)

  14. Feanne says:

    HAHAHA love it!!! BTW in my batch (’06) we were required to take up Rizal’s novels na. :P I also often forget about that dress code when I go pick up my sister from school sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing your fun comic artwork :D

  15. Ina says:

    brilliance on so many levels. they told me that bikinis were “soft porn” and that showing one’s ankles was “suggestive”. can’t wait for more, spot on!!

  16. Cathy says:

    A million thumbs up for accuracy!

  17. Stefan says:

    It’s really brilliant. I especially love your drawing. The sense of character from the people’s faces is phenomenal. As a Catholic educator, this does hit home in a great way.

  18. anonymous says:

    Here are some experiences that I had, similar to yours (by the way, everything in the comics was spot on, all true):

    Kicked out of Philosophy class for asking a valid question
    Boys not allowed to enter the school during Intramurals Open-house day for wearing shorts, not jeans
    Caught smoking with friends in gym bathroom down the hall from the faculty lounge
    Made to wash dishes and mop canteen floor as punishment for misbehaviour (but the staff were really nice and they said, no no we’ll finish it for you)
    Friends and me indeed walked around with skull necklace and vodka in thermos, and silver skull rings. One of us had an undercut, we all had cigarettes
    After school every friday starting grade 7 to 3rd year high school, me and my friends would walk to the country club, play billiards there and meet southridge dudes. lol.
    Friends smoking in parking lot after school while waiting for car (completely normal, if you ask me), sometimes waiting for the gorgeous brother of so-and-so to come and pick her up
    In my sister’s batch apparently when they were in grade school they would be fined for speaking Tagalog!
    Friend wrote fuck you note to ms sindico, left it on her desk in faculty room, there was no proof it was her but they had “a feeling” so they suspended her for other silly things like coming into class late and a bunch of other silly things that were disputable. lol.
    2 rows of seatmates (8 students out of 20) cheated during exam (including “good” honour students), it was a well-planned operation but they got caught
    Friend laughed at in a really uncharitable manner by teacher when asked why she was not invited to join the “circle” (“good” students only were invited)
    Made to, forced to, go to confession every week. one friend did not go for 2 weeks and received a letter from Father Mabanta asking, “how areyou? would you like to come to spiritual direction?”, AND a note from Mrs Paloma saying, “do you want to talk to Father Mabanta for spiritual direction”?
    Father Mabanta in the confessional booth always smelled like Eternity for Men and cigarettes.
    One friend was suspended in 1st year, 2nd year, and junior year for random “misbehaviour”, she was in the school since 1st grade, I have no idea how she made it for 11 years in that school!
    Me and my friends were asked to leave the classroom one time (10 in our barkada) as some teachers talked to the rest of the class about offenses, when asked WHY, they basically said we were bad influences (although one in my barkada was the class president), I never did find out what they told the rest of the class.
    Rene Descartes’ “I THINK THEREFORE I AM” was the ENEMY, according to Ms Frim.

    I memorize to this day Tantum Ergo, Adoro Te Devote, the entire red catechism booklet, all the corporal and spitirual works of mercy, all the rules of the Church, all the sacraments, rosary decades, etc etc etc. (was in woodrose since grade 1)– I have to admit that the mottos of the month were effective in growing up– no matter what these are ingrained in your memory.
    Latin class was a joke since exams were open book– they should have been stricter with Latin class.
    The curriculum I believe is really geared for training a girl to become a really good wife and mom. Which works for some people.

    • November says:

      LOL!!! “Friend wrote fuck you note to ms sindico” “Father Mabanta in the confessional booth always smelled like Eternity for Men and cigarettes.” Love it!
      You know, they really did send me a card after I graduated, telling me that they were waiting for my confession. I love that I am finding out everyone’s similar experiences.

    • anli says:

      I love that note to ms sindico!
      I think i remember that cheating incident, too… we heard all about it…
      I remember Ms Paloma calling me to her office threatening to take my medal away if I didn’t go to confession. I went to confession and told Fr Mabanta that I wasn’t sure why I was there, but that I was going to sit and wait the requisite amount of time that was needed and he could do what he wanted during that time.
      Em, you should write about how much trouble we got because of Tito Raymund!

    • Pia says:

      Tito Raymund who they thought was going to rape us all in the oratory. Haha!!! Who wore a condom shirt to WR. Hahaha! He was a great dance teacher btw. I still can’t do his crazy moves where he jumps over his own leg…

    • Jiki says:

      Oh before I forget about this Tito R thread. I only remember one thing from that day. He asked us if we knew what “Libog” meant and implored us to make use of it in the dancing and acting. I couldn’t think anything more ironic than him asking a bunch of WR girls in a former oratory about libog.

    • Ria says:

      “uncharitable” – LOL that is such a Woodrose word! but yes, i once bumped into Ms. Quesada in High Street as I was about to walk into La Senza and she uncharitably commented she wasn’t surprised i was about to enter a lingerie store like that. I thought of telling her, “bakit? hindi ka ba nagsusuot ng panty?” but decided against it. biggest regret of my life. lol.

    • November says:

      I am doing a confessional comic next…I may mention Eternity for Men, if you don’t mind :)

  19. anonymous says:

    They told us not to wear shorts in the house since our brothers and father might get tempted!!!!!! Imagine putting that into a 12year old’s mind!!!

    • November says:

      That is so gross!

    • Maricar says:

      OMG I remember hearing that, but I was in 2nd year already. I stood up and argued with Miss Y and told her that was so malicious. Also told her I had brothers and a father and nothing creepy like that happens in my house. To rebel against her, I did not go to confession anymore at school for the rest of the year. I argued my way out of that too :P I think I got a C in Religion.

      I also remember: never take a bath too long because God sees you naked. (DUH, didn’t He create us naked?)

    • SR MAN says:

      That’s just wrong.

  20. anonymous says:

    My friends and I talked about masturbation a lot in grade 6. We all admitted to each other that we masturbated even though it was a sin.

  21. Pia says:

    Em don’t forget, we were also told to check our nipples before leaving the house and wear a bath robe in front of our fathers and brothers at home just in case they were checking out our nipples. We even had to practice checking our nipples and checking each others nipples in class. There was construction outside our classroom, and all the karpinteros watched us touch our own boobs and check out each others boobs from the window. OMG were we actually occasions of sin? Don’t get me started on the proper way to bathe a baby girl…

    Well, Em, you always were an artist and I’m glad you’re “showing them” now through the comic! Totally brilliant!!! I dropped out of ballet because they brainwashed me so bad that I thought wearing tights and leotards were a sin because they were too revealing so I told my mom I hated it and never told anyone I did it. Oh yeah, remember when we had to cha cha in PE? And we were told we sucked because the rest of us weren’t cheerleaders? (I mean, aside from a select few *ahem*cough*cough*) I didn’t think we were THAT bad TBH. Hello, we had stunts! Whatevs, I’m a pole dancer now and wear scanty clothes when I dance, plus I’m one of the few in my aerial school’s student burlesque class where I got praised yesterday for molestation of the aerial silks and dancing with a banana. Now I can do all the “stunts” I want. Woosahhhh!!!

    We all get our revenge somehow!

    • November says:

      I must have missed out on the nipplefest because I can’t recall it. And I thought we had a good grade for that cha cha? Well Pia, I’m proud of you and your hot moves. You should do a pole dance in the uniform, haha!

    • Pia says:

      Em when I go home I’ll dig up my old uniform and sluttify it and make it my naughty school girl costume for aerials like the naughty school girl in Zumanity haha :D We did get a bad grade because we were patawa raw. Hello, I thought it was good. Our grade was in the 80′s, everyone else in the 90′s.

    • Jiki says:

      Hey we totally got good grades for that cha-cha. we blew everyone away because none of us were dancers (except for em). i still remember carrying Clara/Lala out of the gym while cha-chaing! It was BRILLIANT!

    • Pia says:

      I beg to differ. We did not get good grades. We got an ok grade and everyone else got better grades… teacher did not find our stunts amusing.

    • SR MAN says:

      “we were also told to check our nipples before leaving the house and wear a bath robe in front of our fathers and brothers at home just in case they were checking out our nipples.”

      Again, that’s really disturbing. Thank you for sharing. You guys ‘saved’ my daughter.

  22. joebrill says:

    so hilarious! so accurate! this must go on and on!

  23. jarbarf says:

    Haha it’s kinda ironic how when you read the writings of Escriva, he talks about how you’re not supposed to shove down doctrine in people’s throats and that you’re supposed to respect their freedom, and how the best way to bring them to God is by being nice, charitable, cheerful, etc. But then you have really irritating, un-empathic, masungit teachers who act like total authoritarians and seem to have no idea what it’s like growing up as a teenager.

    PS. They should probably get better Philosophy teachers as well who know how to handle valid philosophical questions. I mean it still is possible keep an open and inquisitive mind even if you adhere to a more Christian view of philosophy (like some of the great profs in Ateneo).

    • Ria says:

      very true. as much as i proudly call myself Opus Dehins, Opus Dei in itself isn’t bad at all. it’s the numeres and their form of evangelization (at least in my experience) that have made it a bad thing. they try to recruit you at a young age when you’re so desperate to belong so you’re easily brainwashed. and their views about life are so flawed!

      agree on the Philo profs in Ateneo as well. i hated Philo in WR but loved it in ADMU. i also have a fond memory of going to confession in Ateneo; after enumerating all my “sins”, the Jesuit priest laughed and told me, “hija, hindi yan kasalanan.” LMFAO!

    • SR MAN says:

      I’m a firm believer that you can seek holiness in everyday things. Escriva really made a break through with that line of thinking. I just don’t judge based on what some of these ODs do.

  24. Lala says:

    When I was a senior, my “tutor” tried to talk me out of studying Philosophy at Ateneo because Jesuits were too liberal I’d get only ideas that would be bad for me. She suggested I go to UAP or UST instead.

  25. I got in trouble almost every week for wearing ankle socks because showing your ankles was “an occasion of sin”. I didn’t wear socks and painted my ankles white on my last day of senior year. Ankles covered – problem solved ;)

    So spot on. Can’t wait for the next one!

  26. anonymous says:

    You are going to get flak for this is if gets really popular, trust me the school is going to try to conceal it and make sure current students (and former students/graduates) don’t get a whiff.

    • November says:

      Wow, that would be great!

    • SR MAN says:

      Sooner or later the OD crowd will find this but I think its important for them to realize what they are doing wrong in the first place. Hopefully, they can take a step back and really really look at the problem rather than start a typical ‘witch-hunt’.

      Knowing them as they were and are… I wouldn’t bet on it. So many self-righteous and narrow-minded zealots over there.

  27. Cynthia Estrada says:

    Fabulous! Funny. More please.

    My father was scientist-atheist. He did not send my sister and I to private catholic schools. But I have/had friends who are/were Opus Dei. But growing up atheist in Catholic society means one has to be very tolerant. Also because I was never exposed to it, I am unaware of this reality. It’s surreal! It’s cruel.

    Bravo!

    • November says:

      Thank you! And yes, tolerance is a must. It just gets very hard to tolerate ignorance in a country where there is practically no separation of church and state.

  28. Joyce says:

    I guess pulling you out of Zobel didn’t really keep you out of trouble…
    From Catholic co-ed, to an all-girls Catholic school, we still managed to find ways to rebel. My friends don’t believe me when I say that we used to smuggle tequila and rum in our Coleman water jugs and get drunk at school…those were the days…
    Bad, bad girls…

  29. Jiki says:

    All I can say is, everything is true. I did have good times in WR though and i thought we had a really good bunch of people in our batch. We were creative and funny. Not everyone shared the same sense of humour. Especially our teachers. We had a lingo ng wika where I brought a wooden statue of a farmer and his wife hugging. We put in the kiosk as decoration, it wasn’t distasteful at all! We were told to remove it and I got into trouble for bringing it. Another occasion to sin, I guess :P

    And speaking of teachers! Sorry but it has to be said, for the amount of money our parents paid, they really could have employed better educated teachers rather than numeraries who did not know how to inspire their students to excel. I always thought I was horrible in Math and Philosophy. Only in UP did I realise the problem wasn’t with me. I even graduated with honours!

    • Lala says:

      I agree about the good times and the people. Honestly I saw a lot of ridiculous and even sinister in the school but I’m not sure I’d have chosen anywhere else because overall, I was quite happy there and I do think the education was relatively good. I’m not against all-girls education at all, actually. It’s the fact that they try to make you think everything is a sin that bothers me. And they try to make you think that if you’re not like them, you’re going to hell. Like their (brainwashed) conscience is somehow superior to yours — like they spoke directly to God and can therefore tell you God thinks your shorts are obscene.

      Philosophy was “Christian Philosophy” in an Opus Dei school so I was under no illusions that it was legit. I enjoyed math but if they taught it better I may have actually considered something business-related for a major. No complaints about the Literature and Composition classes, no complaints about the opportunities to engage in group projects and things which made us comfortable with creativity at an early age. I wish they had a competent Latin teacher — Latin had potential to be so useful later in life, but our classes were useless. And I also wish they had better college prep / career prep resources.

    • SR MAN says:

      @Lala If you are Lala M (and I bet you are), you are one of the nicest persons we’ve ever met in our lives. You are the primary reason my wife and I thought that WR was a viable option for our daughter. :)

  30. Jiki says:

    yes, i agree. no complaints in language, english, literature and composition. i give WR all the credit for my creative development as well. i also wish they had taught Spanish better. to this day i regret that I had 5 years of Spanish and 2 years of Latin and nothing to show for it.

  31. anon says:

    As a graduate from Woodrose (I studied there from grade 1-4th year, that’s 11 years), a former educator and now with an MBA, I have to say that Reading and Composition were good, considering our country is not “from the “west”, diagramming sentences in 5th grade really taught me a lot about Grammar. Literature was pretty good too, we did Beowulf and a lot of classiscs, but it could have been a lot better–we didn’t read anything really modern. We also should have had art studies, not just draw this or do that, but more analysis. These subjects, however, are not really “for the real world”. Our math and science were classes were total crap. Geography was awful. Philosophy was ridiculous; everything we studied was really against Rationalism and focused on philosophers who the church loved/paid to research for them. There was also NOTHING in Woodrose that educated students about being tolerant and open minded to ANYTHING (minorities, etc), which is necessary in the real world, especially if you want to live abroad. Our education was a BUBBLE. I hear that in other Opus Dei schools around the world, it is not quite as extreme as ours (considering we live in the 21st century).

    I love the comment that somebody here posted, “It’s cruel”– you will never hear the hundreds or maybe thousands who have already graduated from the school say this.

    I URGE YOU NOT TO SEND YOUR DAUGHTERS TO WOODROSE if you want them to actually be real THINKERS and not just people who go along with the flow. There is a reason that nobody from Woodrose is as of yet in the government, or a CEO unless its their own company (or inherited). The girls are bred to be not leaders but obeyers who shut their eyes at reality, and god knows the Philippines needs less of them.

    • November says:

      Yes, it is indeed a bubble with no room for progressiveness . But let’s have a little faith in the girls…you may be surprised at how many amazing open-minded women have miraculously emerged from that school, against all odds.

    • Pia says:

      I wholeheartedly agree on the bubble. We had a few stellar teachers who were truly inspiring women who taught me how to think and sparked in me the desire to excel. I don’t want them to go unrecognized. Sadly I can only count them on one hand. I wish WR sought out more teachers like them. The majority of teachers I had I feel were underqualified and got their positions just because they were part of the Work. But for the most part, yes, we were only shown a slice of WR’s fantasy world. Sadly, I still have classmates who live in this false sense of utopia, and I fear for them because I don’t think they’ll be able to function in the real world without their husbands or fathers taking care of them.

      But I have to agree with Em about giving the girls more credit. I’ve been quite pleased with the girls from the younger batches who have been leaving non-anonymous comments. I’ve clicked on the links they have left, and I have to say they are quite impressive. Glad they grew up to be well-adjusted achievers. :)

  32. no name says:

    Can I just make it clear that non all catholic schools are like this and this is the exception!! No other catholic schools in the philippines are run like this! this is a fact. assumption and poveda girls did not have these experiences. but this is so true for woodrose girls. no pride in this. except for the literature classes and good friends made.

    • A man of Science says:

      That’s just silly.
      Woodrose is NOT the exception.
      Other catholic schools might not get the exact same treatment, but they all have their own quirks and ridiculous policies.

      E.G.:
      I have friends from Assumption that got kicked out just because they got featured in TV commercials. (their administration justified: they didn’t want their students becoming “symbols of desire”)
      Coming from an all boys catholic school, I can definitely say that our education was censored and edited similarly to what the artist illustrated; anything learned in CLE was deemed indisputable and irrefutable “truth”; questions during philosophy class are ignored; etc.
      There was even an aberration in the expression “explain in your point of view”, where it actually meant “explain according to what I taught you”.

  33. Alyssa says:

    THIS IS ALL SOOOOO TRUE!!! :)))) please keep ‘em coming! I’m looking forward for many more, especially about some teachers ;) (plastic numers!)

    Everything presented here is SOOOO true! And to be honest, Woodrose NEVER taught me anything that helped me when I got to college and even after college! I’m a recent college graduate, batch 2008 of Woodrose, and all that Woodrose has taught me are the virtues and morals and all that- but anything to do with the REAL WORLD: being a leader, open-minded, rational and just to survive in life, I learned it all from college or simply on my own…

  34. - says:

    can i just say that not everything here is true? this school has become more lenient nowadays and the students DO take up noli and mostly have fun. although the authorities may be strict sometimes…. anyway, smoking is banned in EVERY school and not just this one. and what kind of elementary schools allow students to bring alcohol to school everyday anyway? not just this one

    • November says:

      Hmmm, looks like you’ve completely missed the point but that’s okay, you are probably young and still in school. If they are requiring Noli now then that is wonderful and a great start. My comic, however, was made to document my personal experiences and we unfortunately did not have this in our curriculum at the time.

    • Gwen says:

      @November
      Uhmm. so what if it happened during your time? Why do you keep on dwelling in the past? Bottom line is that this is not what’s happening now. So, move on girl.

  35. Feanne says:

    One of our more progressive Home Economics teachers wanted to teach us how to change a car tire (it’s a practical skill!) but it wasn’t approved in the curriculum.

    • - says:

      hahahahah! In my time we were taught to sew, cook and how to “take care” of a baby! diaper-changing, what to do when it got sick, soothing itches and also counting the exact day when you got pregnant from your period dates. very practical if that’s your thing.

      PS to the girl talking about smoking, you totally missed the point. you should bum a ciggie off one of the priests. haha, just kidding. smoking is really harmful to your health, actually. I regret starting when I was 15. I never did break the habit. Don’t smoke.

    • Pia says:

      I would have loved to learn how to change a tire!!! I would have also wanted to learn how to balance a checkbook budget my salary, shop in the wet market and make HEALTHY food. One of our not-so-progressive HE teachers taught us how to pinch together the labia of all our future baby girls whenever we changed their diapers so that their genitalia would not be unattractively “gaping” when they grew up…

    • Jiki says:

      I could have really used this practical skill! It sure beats having to call someone to rescue me each time.

      I did learn something from our former H.E. teacher though – “clean as you work” has been ingrained into my system. I always tidy as I cook and it really has helped me especially now that I live abroad and rely solely on myself for all household chores and errands.

    • Ria says:

      “One of our not-so-progressive HE teachers taught us how to pinch together the labia of all our future baby girls whenever we changed their diapers so that their genitalia would not be unattractively “gaping” when they grew up…” – Jesus Christ. Pun intended.

    • Maricar says:

      “One of our not-so-progressive HE teachers taught us how to pinch together the labia of all our future baby girls whenever we changed their diapers so that their genitalia would not be unattractively “gaping” when they grew up…”

      LOL! I try not to remember that everytime I change my daughter’s diapers. Can anyone please tell me if there is some scientific explanation to support this practice??? Oh and the counterpart to the above statement was putting ice on a baby boy’s penis (or was it his scrotum?) every now and then. I cannot remember if it was to aid in his penile functions or what O_o

    • Emerald says:

      oh wow. I remember this one exam I had to do on the proper way to sweep a floor. EXAM.

    • SR MAN says:

      I would have loved to meet a girl in college who knew how to change a tire.

      Personally, I wish I knew how to sew.There are sometimes small repairs that sewing would fix. I’m so ashamed I have to ask my wife (and before I got married, my mom) to fix a small tear.

      Everyone should learn how to cook! Men and women!

      Diaper changing as part of the curriculum is horseshit.

      My 2 cents.

    • SR MAN says:

      @ Maricar
      “One of our not-so-progressive HE teachers taught us how to pinch together the labia of all our future baby girls whenever we changed their diapers so that their genitalia would not be unattractively “gaping” when they grew up…”

      This is shocking and troubling. And one of the reasons, we are NOT sending our daughter there. Absolutely un-F’ing-believeable.

  36. -- says:

    I’m ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read Noli Me Tangere. Been out of high school for over a decade. It wasn’t in our curriculum, and I never did get around to reading it. But will do so now!!

    • Pia says:

      Do it. Noli and Fili are actually quite lovely works of literature. I read them on my own once I got out. Couldn’t put them down. My only regret is that I wish my Spanish had been good enough so that I could read it in the original. But I heard Spanish had been taken off the curriculum too now. Pity.

    • SR MAN says:

      I believe that even at 17, we were intelligent enough to know not to take Noli and Fili out of context. Read it! It was a part of Filipino history after all (assuming you’re Pinoy)

  37. lips says:

    I’m almost 40, I went to Woodrose from grade 1-4th year. I got suspended during freshman, sophomore and junior years for random stuff, I wrote that fuck you note to Ms Sindico. I was told (by being kicked out of the classroom several times) to never ask questions in Philosophy class, and was told a bunch of other stuff which I didn’t agree with at all. I went to the Sates for college and it shocked the hell out of me that if you didn’t ask questions, you were considered absolutely retarded (never mind that I’d read about US college life in books–experiencing it was another thing). I “rebelled” against all these Opus Dei teachings, never went to mass nor thought about any of the stuff I was taught in Religion class growing up– but at this age let me tell you that you think you’ve gotten away but there is no getting away from Pavlov experiments for 11 years of your formative years. All those mottos of the month and shit like that are forever a part of you, even if you don’t want it or think it’s not you or whatever, it’s forever in your psyche. I’ve been out of Woodrose since forever but you can never take Woodrose out of the girl. It’s not a terrible thing, you can pick and choose what you want from your experience in the school, anyway you realize a few years after you get out of there that it isn’t all black and white like they taught us, you grow up and sometimes you’re thankful that part of your decency–especially when you’re older and have been exposed to people who didn’t grow up in Woodrose–and shit like that wasn’t just due to the other parts of your life but in large part due to being around that crap 9 months out of the year for 11 years. Enjoy your teenage experiences in Woodrose and do what you want with it! And please do tell them to be stricter with Latin class!

    • SR MAN says:

      I always felt that it was unfair that you guys only got to the 2nd Declension in Latin. I had to spend 3 hours a day to pass the damn thing to the point that I let my other subjects suffer. Then in the end, the school record showed Latin as an ‘elective’. I so hated SR for that! So beware of what you wish for.

  38. Mike Quinn says:

    I think I would have enjoyed going to school here. Especially if I got to were the gym outfit with the built in biker shorts underneath…. or the gym outfit without the biker shorts underneath.

    And I still like wearing the zit cream to this day ! But mostly on the special occasions.

  39. anonymous says:

    You’re an amazing artist. Can completely relate! At dahil maaga ako lumandi (I was one of the only ones in my section to have a boyfriend in 2nd year), I felt A LOT of judgement…probably from the hickey I wore to school once or 8 times. The Philo classes were too much, Latin was just ridiculous, and some of the teachers were so painfully ‘out of it’ (esp the ones who lived in the Centers) that it was hard to take anything they said seriously. I spent a lot of years rolling my eyes at WR and at OD, and to be honest I still don’t know what to make of my years spent within its red-bricked walls. But I do know this: whatever crap they fed us there, whatever moral compass they ‘shoved down our throats’ with such brute force, whatever ‘it-would-be-more-prudent-if-you…” comments they made during chats, made us into some pretty decent people. And by decent I don’t mean ‘saved my virginity’ and ‘stellar at attending monthly recollections’. I mean, just decent. Not too paka-wala, not too drugged up, not too many one-night stands. I guess my point is, WR may have been sorely lacking in many things, but she kinda did her job where it counted: We ended up in good colleges, with good jobs, with decent enough men, and we know right and wrong. With that said though, I still wouldn’t want to go back to high school. I kind of enjoy too much wearing tube tops, smoking ciggies, and I do get strange a kick out of calling the teachers by their first names when I see them.

    • lipstick says:

      wahahahah. I can’t believe you went to school with hickeys. I don’t think I ever did that, I can’t really remember now. hahaha! I think on the whole, compared to what I heard about friends’ from other girls’ schools, we were really not sexually as “advanced”… 90percent lost our virginities when we were no longer students there. we did experiment in other ways.

  40. Gabby says:

    Em!
    Remember me? We danced together for the Blue Team! You MUST right a comic about how our cheer dancing uniforms had to “measure up” to standards. :)

    This comic is awesome, by the way. Makes me wonder how many WR graduates will send their kids there…

    • November says:

      Hi Gabby,

      Of course I remember! Our cheer dancing uniforms weren’t even “hot”. I also remember them screening all our dances the day before the competition so they can veto any sexy moves. As if!

      Thanks for reading!

    • Ria says:

      i was never a cheerdancer and i don’t think it was even for Blue Team, but i remember one of the dances used Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up” and the students had to convince the teachers that the song’s title was “Snap My Picture”. LOL.

  41. Gabby says:

    *write a comic. Stupid autocorrect.

  42. Mia says:

    I’ve had similar experiences.
    My friends and I smoked cigarettes under the stairwell next to the AVR.
    I smuggled liters of vodka in Gatorade bottles (I can’t believe no one noticed) and shared it with people who were stressing out during finals week or with people who don’t wanna participate in the Intrams games.
    I was always given an offense for wearing eyeliner and nail polish. I wore eyeliner on the weekends and I guess some of it stayed on the inner line of my eye. My tutor at the time (fuck that bitch) forced me to wash it off even though I clearly couldn’t.
    I was accused of being “malandi” cause I curled my hair once. My fucking economics teacher even wrote a comment to my tutor, Mrs. Puruganan, about how I “cared more about my appearance than my grades” even if I was doing pretty well in her class. I was even accused of having a boyfriend already cause I apparently looked like I did.
    When I was a freshman I got a low grade on ONE religion quiz. My teacher took me aside and explained to ME why I was “failing her class”. She said I was experiencing anxiety because I was having problems at home (I didn’t) and because my mom’s upset (she wasn’t) because my dad might be having an affair abroad (he didn’t). That’s when I realized that my teachers were making an assumption that my house life was fucked up – which explains why I don’t do well in my religion classes.
    There was a teacher who was yelling at me cause I used the restroom’s tissue to clean up spilled water from my tumbler. She told me the school didn’t provide tissue for me to waste. It didn’t make any sense at all since in the first place part of my tuition goes to paying for things like that.
    What pissed me off more was how my teachers were always lashing out at us whenever they didn’t have sex over the weekend or when they were pregnant or couldn’t get pregnant.

    Woodrose pissed me off more and more as I grew older and as I was nearing graduation. I was so happy when I graduated that I left immediately after the ceremony. It’s been two years since I graduated and I still haven’t gone back. I haven’t even gotten my yearbook yet. But you know what, despite how fucked up I became because of Woodrose, I’m still thankful that I came from that school. Yes, they fed us brain-washing ideals and old world feminine manners and etiquette, but they also made us strong, down-to-earth, and practical in the way we spend, think, and pick our men.

    I guess the reality of it is… you can take the girl out of Woodrose, but you can’t take Woodrose out of the girl.

    Your comic is BRILLIANT by the way. Can’t wait to see more!

  43. Ria says:

    Mabuhay ka, November Garcia! Thank you for having the balls to come out with the truth and standing up for all Opus Dehins!

  44. Reticulated Python says:

    This was posted in my friend’s timeline in FB. Loved the comic; officemates were beginning to wonder what made me laugh like a madman. ;)

  45. yangzky says:

    ganda ng pagkakagawa miss November Garcia…more to come pls!!….and by the way…does your comics come in black and white?..coz i love to color them for you..:D!

  46. N says:

    I never went to this school, but it is in the vicinity of my stomping grounds..and I have never been very impressed with their little *prudish* antics. With that being said, I LOVE THIS COMIC and hope to see more of it! Absolutely love the illustrations (and totally relate to that last panel!) More power to you.

  47. Nikki says:

    I found this comic through FB. My friend posted it on my wall and I thought it was hilarious and spot on! We were reading Rizal’s works by our time (Batch ’02) for Filipino but we read the English version (and got away with it!). I was from the Gold Team back when cheerleading, football and basketball were still allowed. Still can’t believe they replaced it with Ribbon Dancing. Gah.

    Btw, we haven’t met (from what I can recall) but I think we’re cousins. Haha. Are you cousins with Angela and Andrew? :)

    • November says:

      Yes, it turns out we are cousins! What is ribbon dancing?

    • SR MAN says:

      I still prefer the old Red vs Blue. The competitive spirit was so fierce is spilled over to us “guests”. It just didn’t feel the same when Gold and Green came along. (sorry but that’s how it felt)

  48. Paref school dropout says:

    Once, during a lunchroom scene in a performance (I think it was of Grease, why they let us perform that in the first place, I will never know), we were told not to have one of the actreses eat a banana on stage. Whyever not, we asked. Because, our music teacher answered, that would be suggestive. Now, our 1st year high school brains weren’t always all that innocent, but I can assure you that it was the first time most of us had ever connected bananas and oral sex.

    • Kat says:

      AHHHHH! I was part of that production! Grease! It was Ms. Baseleres who said that “eating a banana is suggestive”. I was Frenchie and I couldn’t eat the banana:) Although in hindsight, having seen Grease again since, they did purposely have Stockard Channing eat the banana kind of suggestively. But we didn’t know that and the banana was just a prop. Those poor sex-starved teachers were seeing sex everywhere!

    • November says:

      This is so funny! Can I use this in a comic sometime? Also, I’m surprised they let you do Grease at all!

    • SR MAN says:

      They are so paranoid that they end up causing what they are trying to prevent. Good grief!

  49. Paref school dropout says:

    But in some fairness, previous commenters are right to point out that that school has (inadvertently, i think) produced some fabulous women. I think it might be because some of the things we were told were just so downright ridiculous that we couldn’t help but question them, sometimes in private, sometimes in front of the whole class. Some of us have never broken that habit and are all the better for it.

  50. June says:

    Somehow having a school run by Opus Dei nuns sounds even worse than the MIC. None of us really got into legit trouble though (of course the rumors floated around), though homosexuality of any kind was frowned upon and got at least one teacher fired because of this. I know a few friends who had even had to stay in the closet all the way until they graduated. My school wasn’t as draconian as Woodrose, but it was pretty much up there. One time we had a nun lecture to us in class that bras are evil and should be burned because they invite temptation. LOL and in grade 7 everyone was flinging around rumors that one class in particular won because the class president slept with a choreographer (and we weren’t allowed to have pros do choreo for us then).

    The parents are just as bad though: rich parents bringing bushels of shredded paper and actually asking manongs to buy newspapers off the streets so their daughters can win a newspaper drive.

    Ah, the not-so-good ol’ days. :))

    I graduated from my school blissfully unaware of the realities of life and had to learn the hard way. Catholic school did not prepare me for anything, and only when I started university in another country did I realize how naiive I was.

    Conclusion: MOAR COMICS PLEASE. It would be so awesome to have collabs with other people from Poveda/Assumption/ICA et al. All hell will break loose…but we’ll be laughing our heads off in the process.

  51. Marta says:

    Ems, this is just hilarious! Congrats. Come up with more :-)

  52. Chinie says:

    This really made me LOL. :D I graduated from Woodrose AGES ago (please don’t ask when) and can totally relate, but all the exagg quirks aside, I actually loved it there. Maybe it was different in our time, or maybe this is middle-age memory loss speaking, but I only have fond memories of that place. ;)

  53. edlyn says:

    this is great! hilarious!

  54. juandelacruz says:

    hahaha! Our sister school! more please.

  55. Emerald says:

    wow. This was my life from ’95 to ’01. I heard from an aunt whose daughters currently study there that they’ve removed all sports except badminton now- is that true?! And apparently because all “contact sports” lead to inappropriate (lesbian) behavior and cause damage to the ovaries??

    • SR MAN says:

      I remember when Basketball was still allowed in WR and we’d come over as ‘guests’ for intrams. It was basically wrestling cum ‘agawan buko’. Still seems really narrow-minded to remove Basketball because it might give you lesbo thoughts. hahahahaha!

  56. anon says:

    This is brill. Absolute gold. Studied there for all of 11 years and became quite the bible thumper until real life hit me like a freight train when I entered college. Can’t wait to get more of this! Laughed through the entire comic and couldn’t stop laughing while reading the comments. Cheers!

  57. Erika says:

    I’m Batch 98. I love this, and I nearly died in laughter here in the office! You’re awesome. Please keep it coming. :-) If you want more story ideas, let me know! I can’t draw as well as you can, but if you need help jogging your memory, then I’m all for it! :-D

  58. Didi says:

    This is too funny! My sisters went to sister school Rosehill and we would often have those WTF moments. Hahahaha!

    Keep ‘em comics coming…very insightful and hilarious! They remind me of Persepolis, the graphic novel :) Awesome work!

  59. This is hilarious! Reminds me of the good old days :o) Keep on writing and drawing, this looks like a hit!

  60. dementia says:

    LOL I can so relate. I went to a different all-girl Catholic school too. Big check mark on everything except the cycling shorts/skirt and Noli Me Tangere

  61. bruna says:

    Someone once told me that everyone who comes out of our school is either Opus Dei or Opposite. So glad I’m the latter. Hope a comic gets made about those mandatory confessions where they would make us use that blue, laminated booklet of the Ten Commandments as a checklist so we know what “sins” we made. I remember thay even had guide questions underneath each commandment: “Did you do your chores?” – “No.” – “That means you didn’t honor thy father and mother. Sin. Write it down. ” 0_o

    • November says:

      Oh man, funny you mentioned this because I am actually doing a confessional comic next. I may mention that chores bit if you don’t mind!

  62. Angela says:

    I think some people might (mistakenly) believe that in order to appreciate this, you have to hate Woodrose. Is it my favorite place on earth? Errrmmm…no. But I spent many interesting years of my life there and I made a lot of friends and memories there. Even though I actually got along famously with Ms. Sindico, even if my body piercings have never numbered more than 2, even if I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life and even if I never bothered to transfer my vodka to Gatorade bottles (possibly because Gatorade wasn’t sold locally till I was in college), I couldn’t help but laugh when I read some of the stuff here. And Jiki, I remember your cha-cha number (not sure if that’s because I saw the real thing–I might have–or if it’s because you told the story so well).

    • November says:

      Yeah, some people tend to take it too seriously or expect universal experiences (the “rebellious” parts are really about me). But I’m glad I’ve made a lot of people laugh anyway.

    • Jiki says:

      Angela!!! I must have told that story a dozen times LOL. It was one of the highlights of our high school P.E. performing lives. But see, there were so many stories. I never get tired recounting them with Pia and Lala or anyone from WR that I encounter. We have a bond. And, back in our time the school was relatively small so we all sort of knew each other. The batches mingled. It was cozy, I liked that. I agree about the memories – that’s the thing about WR, despite the strange, sinister and ridiculous rules and beliefs they had (and still have), we made really good memories there and I don’t think I would have ever imagined transferring to any other school back then. Years after we graduated, most of us are still good friends and when my dad died, it was my WR friends who helped me get it together. They didn’t leave my side at all. Wonderful people have emerged from that school.

      Oh and Miss Sindico and I got along well too. She liked me and I will always appreciate her for instilling in me the love for reading.

  63. tiger says:

    It is amazing how consistent all our experiences are. I graduated over 20 years ago, and still, the stories are the same. Hello Ms. Sindico. I realized on my first day in college at UP that I was narrow-minded, judgmental, intolerant, and ridiculously naive. And that Woodrose was truly a cross between a bubble and the Inquisition. Woodrose and I broke up a long time ago, but WOW that Catholic guilt cuts deep, especially when my second thought after “this is hysterical” on reading your comics, was “she is so gonna get more than an ROS”. Woodrose really died for me when they banned sports, this was way after my time though. Best thing I got out of the school though was I made some of my best friends there. Good friends who are very successful at what they do, but no one credits Woodrose. People are pretty shocked when they find out I’m from from there. Considering how open-minded, non-judgmental, tolerant, and happily gay I am. I suspect the school knew I was gay early on, but they couldn’t kick me out because I didn’t know it yet (homosexuality does not exist remember), plus the fact that I was a really good student. Is it any wonder why they can barely fill a few tables every time they call for an alumni homecoming?… Don’t let them shut you down ok?

  64. John says:

    Awesome !

  65. Catholic Schoolgirl says:

    I loved this! My school is so lax compared to yours! I wonder what school did you went to…

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  67. I love this. As someone who was raised as a conservative Baptist, I can relate with the “rules” that seemed just a tad bit…out there. (The word “extremism” just seems to fit like a leather glove at this
    point.)

    I first heard of Opus Dei when I got into UP Diliman and people would be whispering about former Senator Tatad’s daughter (somewhere close to my batch) and at the height of summer, she was wearing a long-sleeved turtleneck, a below the knee skirt and high boots. Can anyone say “cuckoo”? Everyone was raring to take their clothes off, sweltering with the insane heat, while she was dressed like the girl left behind by an Eskimo family.

    Keep them coming, November. This really is one of the best things about social media…we may have never met IRL but our experiences give us an instant bond right away. Go lang ng go, as they say nowadays. From the looks of things, I’m not the only one waiting for the next installment. :)

  68. A man of Science says:

    Kudos to you November for sticking it up to the man (or woman, or thing).
    I thought I had it bad at catholic school for practicing “free thinking” but this just takes the cake.
    This comic really made me laugh (hell, I almost fell off my chair).

    The bit on censorship and editing in particular reminded me of the good old days where my inquiries were either ignored, denied, forced a visit to the guidance counselor, or merely awarded a failing grade.
    The only “real” teacher we had was fired in the third quarter for promoting “free thinking”. Although, he was also accused of aiding our whole class for cheating (he actually did but no conclusive evidence was found).
    And how could I ever forget our graduation ceremony that turned out to be a sham.
    A student (who was favored by the school administration) was named valedictorian by mysteriously getting a 0.02% increase in his GPA over our salutatorian.
    Boy it sure was a spectacle when he went up the stage to only receive a “loyalty award”, and an award for good moral character, while our salutatorian received the presidential award among other things.

    Please continue to spread the word about the ridiculous practices done by these schools.
    People need to know how outrageous the religious private school system really is.

  69. Jenn Rojas says:

    Em!!!! Fantastic. Loved every word!!! MORE PLEASE!!!! It totally cracked me up and the funny part it, it’s all so true!!!!

  70. Sha says:

    This is so true that’s why its so funny. For those who will be offended, suck it! It really happened and there’s no denying it.
    Another experience with the school which actually happened a few years AFTER we’ve graduated was: they started telling people not to post pictures of ourselves in bathing suits. I wonder what we were supposed to wear on a beach? Our gala uniform? LOL
    And don’t even get me started on my experience on my son’s admittance interview for a Paref school. The questions and arguments were so bad we decided not to push through with the enrollment even after we’ve paid for the reservation.
    But I agree that we shouldn’t regret the experiences in our beloved school, without out them, we wouldn’t be who we are today.

  71. source says:

    Brilliant, cheers, I will visit again soon.

  72. Mai Limon-Ignacio says:

    hey em! this is HILARIOUS!!! i can’t wait to see more!!! kudos to not leaving anything out!!! gosh this really brings back tons of memories even with all the craziness we all went through in school….

    THANKS FOR MAKING MY DAY! hahahaha!!!!

  73. Angelique says:

    You summed up my grand total of two years in Woodrose. I’m still reeling from trauma from the “Don’t wear shorts or minis at home, because you will tempt your dad and brother” as that was told to me too and I can’t imagine a more malicious idea.

    In university, I was the only one in class that didn’t know the books of Rizal, which weren’t taught in Woodrose as ‘they made Spanish priests look bad.’

    I’m 36 now … I don’t recall my batch year :o Maybe ’92?

  74. SR MAN says:

    Hi Ms. November

    I’m really glad you posted this. Gives real insight into what’s happening in WR. I’m a SR grad and my daughter is about to start school. Of course, my wife and I are looking into all the possible options presently, WR being one of them. Growing up with so many friends from WR, I’ve heard that somethings were weird but didn’t realize it was this bad.

    SR was conservative and strict too in a way but there are obvious differences which I’d like to point out:
    1. At the time, idiot teachers did not survive. We normally bullied and tormented those teachers in a week or so to leave SR. Our teachers generally had 1 or 2 PhDs on their names.
    2. We could argue openly in Philo and Religion regarding any topic. Which I felt built faith rather than resentment.
    3. We had weekly confession but they never got on our case for not going. (at least, in my experience). And never did I hear that the admin get involved in such an obviously personal, private and spiritual choice as confession.
    5. They never commented on what we wore for PE.
    6. They never told us to “not look” at our moms and sisters. I can’t believe they told you guys to ‘beware your own brothers and dads”. That’s Fk’d up!
    7. Work Ed was carpentry, gardening and electronics. I can’t believe they taught you guys how to change a diaper. That’s really sexist!

    The Cons
    1. The numers were very sensitive. Example the use of “supernumerary” (google it) as a scientific word was normally punished with a tongue lashing.
    2. Going to the “club, disco, bars..” were occasions of sin.
    3. I had to read Noli and Fili after grad to make sure I wasn’t ignorant in college.
    4. We did have hard labor too. (not entirely a con in my book) Some of the crazy shit we did, did deserved some punishment.
    5. There are still some numer teachers who were hired because of their religious politics rather than their ability to teach.

    Normal Rules (from my POV)
    1. Alcohol, Tobacco and Porn is not allowed in school.
    2. Gambling not allowed too. (We did play for money sometimes though)
    3. Cursing, misbehavior and vandalism were punished.

    I’m really amazed at how different the culture is between SR and WR. They did teach us how to read, write and speak well. How to be confident and respectable men. It seems in SR they teach us how to be leaders and builders and in WR they teach you to be just housewives and homemakers.

    For the record, most of the WR friends I have now are great people. In fact, the nicest person, I’ve ever met is from WR. For the record, the most evil person I know, is also from WR so I guess that balances out. Most I have great respect for and one, I have no respect for at all. Not because she’s slutty or anything but because she doesn’t stand up for herself.

    Overall I think we’ll find some place else for our daughter. I really don’t want her to grow up like that. Again, thanks for sharing your experience. We sincerely appreciate it.

    • WR kid says:

      Dear sir,

      I would just like to point out that the maker of this comic bases her stories from her experiences in WR decades ago. It may have been “real insight” but this was real many, many years ago. Thus, if you would like to have proper information about the school, perhaps you should talk to parents who presently send their children there.

      They don’t teach us simply to be “housewives and homemakers.” Many WR students have become leaders in their own field and I don’t just mean being a mother.

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  76. WR kid says:

    Dear Ms. Garcia,

    I am a recent graduate of Woodrose and although I find your comics very interesting (as it gave me a glimpse of how it was decades ago), I find it very misleading and insulting.

    If this was a “reminiscing” of your experiences as a former student, then perhaps you should have not included any “recent” rules/events in the school. First because you lacked research and second because you lacked context.

    You seem to be a very talented writer and artist. Such a pity you’ve used it for such demeaning posts.

    Maybe you really should go back to the school (dressed properly this time) and interview the kids who study there. You’d be surprised.

    • November says:

      What recent “rules/events’ are you referring to? Strangely enough, I DO have hard evidence of said rules (an email from the school, a photo of the sign, blah blah) but I don’t see the point in defending the validity of my cartoon. It is, indeed, my cartoon and I can include flying penises if I want to.

      Thank you for recognizing my talents. I’m glad my comic had impacted you so much that you felt the need to post this comment. More to come!

    • WR kid says:

      Yes, well I don’t deny the dress code. Frankly I don’t see anything wrong with wearing jogging pants for PE class. It’s not as if we’re the only school/people/girls who do that.

      Second, we take up Noli and El Fili in school, although how it’s discussed is also quite “conservative.” Third, we’re allowed to argue in Philosophy. Fourth, there is no “tampon lesson.”

      It impacted me a lot because many are being misled by your comic strip, which I find very unfortunate.

  77. Fides :) says:

    Hi November,

    It seems like this blog has become a gathering of people who never had the guts to speak about their grudges in person :) With your permission, I’d like to give my own view – a more positive post about Woodrose.

    I love Woodrose because it’s where I discovered my faith. I love Woodrose because it has changed my family for the better. I love Woodrose because it’s where I found friends whom I can count on for life. I love Woodrose because I am very much at peace. And I’d like to say thank you to my Woodrose teachers, tutors, the chaplain, and even the auxiliary staff. I owe it to the school that I am very happy and successful today and I believe I am speaking for many other graduates who have enough respect and honor not to bash people of the school…

    Just saying :)

  78. damnright says:

    Hi November,
    I think you’re very talented..
    So you were not allowed to enter your old school? so mean! But I’m actually proud of the guards for doing so, not so many guards are very consistent nowadays, I had the same experience, although not in the same school. I personally don’t think that you’d be allowed to enter other schools that have the same principle as your old school nowadays. I think you should be happy that you were a christian and not a muslim, or else you will not last a month after posting this. LOL!

  79. M.J. says:

    Hi, November!
    Full disclosure: I’m a member of Opus Dei who has NEVER, EVER set foot inside a PAREF school campus (even if I have been in Opus Dei for over 10 years), since I am not connected with any PAREF School, and I have no business there one way or the other… Neither have I been ever a PAREF tutor… Like Ms. Sindico, I happen to be an associate.
    I cannot say anything either for or against Woodrose based on my personal experience.
    Nevertheless, I see where you are coming from. I studied at an all-girl’s Catholic school, where people had the choice to break the rules or obey them. My batchmates either came out of it detesting the school or celebrating it. But it doesn’t mean that those who broke the rules eventually detest the school. I have a classmate who got kicked out of our school in the third year (I’m sorry that I can no longer remember the exact reason why), who is now a medical doctor (my other batchmates could hardly believe it when I told them the news) and proudly told me that she sent her only daughter to study in the very school that decided for her to be expelled.
    You’re a talented comic artist. Believe it or not, I even smiled at some of your clips. Someday, I hope you may use your talent to praise whatever is you find is good rather than criticize. It’s your choice though.

  80. Juan M. says:

    November,

    Your comic strip is so funny. I am around your age, went to an Opus Dei run school and knew some people from WR. So, yes I can relate to your stories. Keep them coming coz it’s so nice to read something funny and that I can relate to.

    M.J.,

    Your message was very nice. I know you meant well but I hope you don’t get offended by this comic. I hope you are able to see the “good” in being able to make something funny and entertaining about a personal teenage experience growing up in a conservative school ( whatever school it maybe). If you read the comic only, I don’t see anything offensive written directly against the school or the Opus Dei. Infact, the author claims to have no regrets going to that school.

    WR kid,

    How old are you? “Misleading? Demeaning?” You said it yourself, the author wrote/drew something from her own experience from many years ago. How can you claim it as misleading? Did she specify it was Woodrose? Although, we know the uniform looks like it, for many other people it could be something else. I think one of the problems the author experienced is from people who are not able to accept and respect the ideas and belief of other people. Just like you. You can’t accept her experience but it did happened not only to her but to others as well. So what do you want to do, try to change her past? If your school has changed for the better, that’s good. But it doesn’t mean it did not happen. What IS misleading is to try to change the image of the past and pretend it did not happened.

  81. person says:

    ill pray for your soul….. woodrose is a great school! im proud to be a wr student.

  82. Gwen says:

    Hey november! You know what? You’re talent is so sayang while I was reading this I was wondering how much positive feedback you will get if you wouldn’t put Woodrose down like this. Seriously? Woodrose is not at all like this now. You have potential, kid. But you won’t go far if you continue this. Sure, people will say they like it and of course people are gonna hate it but then again you say you don’t care which is precisely the attitude that blocks you from becoming a great artist. Try doing something noble for a change that will actually benefit the world because this doesn’t.

    • Annalee says:

      Here’s the thing. Em wasn’t doing this for “positive feedback”. She was doing this for herself. She doesn’t feel the need to please everyone. And THAT will help her go far.

    • Hello :) says:

      I totally agree with you, Gwen :D

  83. G.H. says:

    November, i don’t understand why you’d be saying unpleasant things about Woodrose. Im a Woodrose student and proud to be one. And reading your comics kiiinda just made me realize how you over-exaggerated everything. Noli is being taken up now, you know? and there is no tampon rule. Woodrose gives us the choice to do things. You cant say that they really FORCE these things on you because hey, you made this and are they stopping you? Even if your comics contain many false information and unpleasant things about my school? Think about that. And they send those lovely cards to welcome any of you back because Woodrose cares!

    • Annalee says:

      There was no false information in the comics. These events happened “decades ago” (as another commentator put it). They happened. Accept it. Sweeping things under the rug because that’s not how things are done now is not going to make what happened go away. It’s not going to change history. Oh wait, this sounds awfully similar to what they tried to do to Noli and Fili. In fact, this is an argument that one of the teachers gave to me when I asked why we weren’t being taught Noli and Fili — “the Church isn’t like that anymore so you don’t need to study it”. Try being the only person in Intarmed who never read Noli or Fili. Smart enough to get into med school, too stupid to have read Rizal. Now THAT was a nice parting slap in the face from WR.

      Furthermore, after not recognizing my Jewish wedding, I no longer receive invitations to return to the school. I have not received birthday greetings, but ironically receive Christmas cards. Oh, and the alumnae association has not recognized the birth of my son. I guess because they didn’t recognize my wedding, they think he’s illegitimate. There’s no choice from Woodrose, you have to play by their rules.

    • Rosette says:

      @Annalee “There was no false information in the comics. These events happened “decades ago” (as another commentator put it). They happened. Accept it. Sweeping things under the rug because that’s not how things are done now is not going to make what happened go away.” — WELL THEN. YOU SAID IT YOURSELF. It’s done. It happened in the past. Why don’t you guys get over it and move on?

      I don’t think you see what’s really going on. You see, there’s nothing wrong with voicing your opinions and being creative about it. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. The wrong thing about this comic is that it’s offensive, maybe not to you, but to the WR community at this time. It’s offends the faculty and the students who are currently part of the WR family.

      My sisters don’t receive birthday cards either but they do receive Christmas cards. They’re not being picky with who they give their cards to. Don’t you think it’s nice that they give you Christmas cards and that they still remember to do so? Learn how to appreciate the little things and be thankful for them.

  84. Rosette says:

    I currently study in PAREF Woodrose and all I can say is that it’s a great school. You may think that I’m only saying this ’cause I currently study there, but no. I’m speaking for myself and I’m telling the truth. WR teaches you values that you can keep forever. They teach you good morals and proper conduct. Sure, sometimes we think it’s a bit over the top, and sure we complain about some rules but we try to respond to them in a more mature way– in other words the opposite of how you respond to them. Some comments are a bit extreme and I think that some people shouldn’t have mentioned names. I know you’re just trying to voice out your opinions and all but don’t you think it’s a bit childish of you to act like you are right now? WR MAY have been like that back in the days, but it sure isn’t like that now.
    I’m a Woodrose student, I still go to parties, I go out with boys, etc. etc., but WR helps me set boundaries for myself. This school helps me limit myself and helps me understand that there are consequences for every wrong action. So to the person who crossed out WR on the list to where they want their daughter to study… I think you’re letting such a great opportunity pass– ’cause it will surely make your daughter the best person she can be.

  85. WR says:

    To Annalee:
    Woodrose NOW isn’t how they were before in your time. Everything the comics mentioned, I guess happened to you guys, and i am truly sorry that it happened to you guys, but they had acceptable reasons to do so, if you think about it. And you just revealed to everyone about the “bad” things you did. What if they knew about everything the students in the comics did, the more they’d suggest and implement “rules” so that wouldn’t happen again, right? I mean, if you had a kid, who hated her school and resulted to bring alcohol to school, would you like that? What if your own daughter did that? Even if you move her, she’d still have those “habits”, right? Every school has rules and they try to discipline us, but they give us freedom as well. Discipline is also important in all schools, aside from instilling moral values in their students. “ROSETTE” is right. Woodrose is a great school. A school that teaches their students the proper way of doing things. Outside school, they give us the freedom to do whatever. Im a teen and i go to soiree’s and hang with my friends from Southridge, and Woodrose doesn’t stop me. In WR, we are taught how to conduct ourselves the right way inside and outside of school. They give us the chance to discipline ourselves in many things especially with things outside of Woodrose. Woodrose now teaches us values, proper manners and they give us the freedom to do things. Sure i guess they were like that BEFORE, but that time, they were stricter. But things changed because the generation NOW is different. They have adjusted their rules and regulations to our society to make things interesting for us, and to remind us that the discipline we are given is for our own benefit in many things and to succeed with God and for God.

  86. Annalee says:

    This is fun :)

    @Rosette: You said: “WELL THEN. YOU SAID IT YOURSELF. It’s done. It happened in the past. Why don’t you guys get over it and move on?” First of all, sweetie, don’t yell. It’s not nice, proper or lady-like :) Secondly, if you read the comic, we *have* gotten over it. Em was merely recounting experiences, reminiscing, if you will :) If you read the last panel of the comic, Em writes that she actually does not regret any of her experiences. Those of us who lived through the experience laugh it off and applaud Em for capturing our memories so well. Why are you so offended by our memories? You write that the comic is “offensive, maybe not to you, but to the WR community at this time. It’s (sic) offends the faculty and the students who are currently part of the WR family.” That’s like saying Noli and Fili are offensive to the Catholic Church.

    @WR: You say “Woodrose NOW isn’t how they were before in your time. Everything the comics mentioned, I guess happened to you guys, and i am truly sorry that it happened to you guys, but they had acceptable reasons to do so, if you think about it. ” I’m not sure what the acceptable reasons are, please elaborate the acceptable reasons for each and every rule that Em details in the comic. I’d really like to hear them.

    Oh, and here’s the kicker: “And you just revealed to everyone about the “bad” things you did.” If you are referring to my comment, the only thing I mentioned that was out of conformity with what is expected from a WR grad is that I am now Jewish, was married in a Jewish ceremony, and had a little Jewish baby. If that’s what you’re referring to as a “bad thing”, that, my dear, is religious intolerance. And trust me, that is not in conformity with the “rules and regulations” of today’s society.

    • WR says:

      @analee: no, i was pertaining to the comics, and what november did.

    • :) says:

      I think the bad things WR is referring to is the vodka and piercings and whatnot. We love Jewish people, what are you talking about? St. Josemaria said it himself, referring to Jesus: “The love of my life was Jewish.” Speaking personally, I have the greatest respect for Jewish people, and I doubt WR meant to offend.

    • Marla says:

      Dear Lord, how did piercings classify as “bad?” 70% of my friends have tattoos and multiple piercings and a lot of them are professionals and probably have done more good in this world than most of you.

      I’m too tired to sift through the 167 comments in here to examine the context but it is worth raising up how the perceptions of “good” and “bad” are defined in here. Here’s a head’s up, girls: Just because you do not drink, do drugs, have premarital sex, etc. doesn’t mean you’re automatically on a higher pedestal above other people. BECAUSE IT DOESN’T. It really makes me curious how you treat people who aren’t anything like you — non-Catholics, gay people, atheists, unwed mothers. I’m willing to bet that you’ll be judging them first.

  87. Rosette says:

    @Annalee First, I wasn’t yelling. If I was yelling then there would have been exclamation points instead of periods after the sentence. I was just giving emphasis to what I thought. That’s all. Second, yeah we know that. We know that she was just reminiscing on her past experiences. But don’t you think it’s a tad inappropriate to post something like this on the web where EVERYONE (again not yelling,) can see it and knowing that it can possibly ruin the reputation of the school? ‘Cause we think she could have expressed her past experiences in high school in a more subtle way where she doesn’t offend or hurt anyone- That’s why we’re so offended by this comic and by some comments on here because it degrades our school. It degrades us. It’s not your memories that we’re offended of, it’s the fact that your memories were posted in an immature way that triggered people to think badly of WR.

    • Annalee says:

      One of the basic rules of netiquette (internet etiquette) is that writing in all caps is considered shouting. It is rude and should be avoided at all costs.
      How can this “ruin the reputation of the school”, when Em never mentions the name of the school? It’s all the commentators who have automatically assumed that this *is* in fact, Woodrose. This really could be any Opus-Dei-run-school.
      Also, it’s ridiculous to suggest that memories/experiences/opinions not be posted on the internet if they paint the subject in a bad light. That violates the basic right of freedom of speech. Also, it means a lot of literature should not be written/published/read. Like Noli and Fili. They paint the Catholic Church in a very very bad light. It does not mean they should never be read.

      And, finally (and I said I wouldn’t do this, but I can’t resist it), one of the things that all Woodrose alumnae from my (and November’s) generation is proud of is our excellent command of the English language and grammar. Rather than argue with us over something that you refuse to see in another light, maybe you should work on diagramming some of those sentences in your comment. Trust me, these comments would never have passed muster with the Grammar teachers of Woodrose “decades ago”. I personally had a difficult time making sense out of them.

  88. Annalee says:

    Sigh. This is what I get for lecturing on grammar when I said I wouldn’t. That sentence should be “… one of the things that all Woodrose alumnae from my (and November’s) generation *are* proud of is our excellent command of the English language and grammar.”

  89. Rosette says:

    There’s a comment up there by November herself saying she was part of WR batch 95.
    Comments are still part of the comic. Cause without the comic, the comments would have never existed in the first place.
    I don’t recall myself saying “memories/experiences/opinions not be posted on the internet if they paint the subject in a bad light.” I didn’t say anything like that. What I suggested was to present her “experiences in high school in a more subtle way where she doesn’t offend or hurt anyone”. –I don’t think that means the same thing as not posting anything at all.
    “Rather than argue with us over something that you refuse to see in another light,” I do know where you’re coming from. I said it on my first comment. I said that I know your’e just voicing your opinions.

    • Annalee says:

      Read the comment again. November never says Woodrose or WR 95. She says Batch 95. In fact, she never mentions the word Woodrose or the abbreviation WR. It’s all the commentators who have jumped to this conclusion. Don’t they teach reading comprehension in Woodrose anymore?

      Your statement that November needs to re-present her memories in a way that is pleasing to your sensibilities is tantamount to saying that she should never have written this comic as it has been written, ergo, you are trampling on her right to freedom of speech and expression. By the way, what right do you have to impose your sensibilities on the viewing public? If you read the first few comments, they are all in support of November and this comic, which means that it does not offend *them*.

      (Oh, please take note: The word is because. Not cause. That has an entirely different meaning.)

  90. November says:

    Oh Annalee, thanks for trying but really, it’s like talking to a brick wall. There is obviously no room for logic here. Do you really think these people will be any less judgmental or any more open minded? In my opinion, their comments just help build a case against them. Just sit back and be entertained.

    • Annalee says:

      Oh, but Em, I’m having so much fun! I know I’m never going to change their minds, but it’s fun watching as they bury themselves even deeper as they get their panties in a bunch!

  91. :) says:

    This isn’t a very nice thing to do. What a waste of talent, if you just use it to put other people down. I know you’d probably despise me for saying this, but I’m praying for you. I’m Catholic, and proud, and it hurts me to see that the Church is always being bashed by everyone, without a thought. We aren’t perfect, so why do people expect us to be, and since we obviously aren’t, point out our mistakes and ridicule us for them? I love the Church, and I love Opus Dei, and granted, there must be SOME basis for what’s here, but I’m pretty sure they had good intentions, and perhaps went a bit awry in the way they implemented things, but nobody deserves to be treated this way.

    As for the vodka, cigarettes, and skull necklaces, I must say that I would expect more sense from a high school student. I suppose the gap between our generations is bigger than I thought; can’t relate.

    I can’t believe there’s nothing positive about your experience in whatever school that is, though I have a feeling I know which. I love it there.

    • November says:

      Oh lighten up, it’s a freaking cartoon. At least I can laugh at myself. You all take yourselves way too seriously. Perhaps it’s all the repression. But hey, thanks for the prayers!

  92. Hello :) says:

    Hi!! I would like to, first, admire your talent!! The comic was well – drawn and well – written. I commend your artistry and your creativity. However, considering that the story is hilarious and entertaining, I would like to point out that I think it is a bit exaggerated (no offense intended to the writer). I mean, okay, I have to accept the fact that we might be generations apart since what your describing and what I can see at present has relation whatsoever: the vodka, cigarettes, skull necklaces were never resorted to. I can only hope that, when you write about this topic next time, that it will be something positive since I do love the school you are talking about :D

    Good day.

  93. Kev says:

    I’m from Southridge, and I’m glad to see that someone spoke out. And to your haters, they should go through what we did, since RIDGEFIELD days!

    • Unknown says:

      Can I just ask, are there any gays in southridge who are too afraid to come out because of the school?

    • November says:

      Probably. If they are taught all their lives that they will go to hell for being gay, they are most likely now married with 4 kids and leading very miserable lives. Same goes for gay chicks from Woodrose. But I am very happy for those who are not afraid to be themselves. Everyone has the right to be with the person that they love.

  94. haha says:

    I wonder though, why were you so rebellious?

  95. chelle says:

    I just found this *so late to the party* and it made my day!

    One more thing – “Short shorts are a sin because exposing your legs makes boys think dirty thoughts.” ;p

  96. BATCH2013 says:

    God, I graduated with the wrong batch. I come from Batch 2013, as you can see from the name, and it’s like I hardly recognize the school from your comics. I wish I graduated with you guys instead. My batchmates are mostly “feeling” rebellious, but really, the worst we’ve done is wear colored sando to school. Or use our phones during class.

    My friends actually volunteer to go to confession–while I never stepped foot inside the chapel aside from the occasional Philosophy class just to avoid getting in trouble for skipping school.

    Most of us are very close friends with the teachers–but that’s because they’re much cooler than your teachers seem to be. They disagree with a lot of Woodrose nonsense too.

    Most of us are still virgins.

    Most of us enjoy religion/ Philosophy/ Theology class. (Because the teachers are so funny. Well, if their not talking about class stuff, they actually are.)

    I think what’s different is that Woodrose changed their tactics so that we don’t quite realize we’re being brain-washed anymore–we just kinda accept the facts. We rebel a little, but not as much as you seemed to do. I’ve never heard of smuggling vodka to school, and I already hang out with the “rebellious” group. (Not rebellious enough, apparently.)

    MY FRIENDS VOLUNTEER TO GO TO CONFESSION. Three of them WANT to become numers. WHUTTHEHECK.

    I go to Benilde now. I like the institution better there. However, that being said, I don’t think anyone can really replace the friends I made in High School. They’re just too fun to hang out with.

  97. Unknown says:

    When are you going to have the part 2 of this!! :)

    • November says:

      I already made 4! Just look under the comics section in my blog (not my portfolio…I haven’t updated that in ages). I’m planning to redo my entire site so it’s easier to read and will have a dedicated Catholic Girls section. Enjoy!

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