Nagle Profile: Manuel Gregorio
Interview by Reyzhel Gregorio
Manuel Gregorio (my dad) is an I. T. engineer at Fujitsu. He is a father of one daughter, who is still in her schooling years at Nagle College. I sat down with my dad to discuss his thoughts about being apart of the Nagle Community and a little more about himself.
Why did you want me to come to Nagle College? Was there anything that made it different from other schools?
Let me answer that second question first, yes there is a big difference between Nagle and the other local schools.
When me and your Mom was considering the High school for you, our first choice was an all Girls Catholic school. Because we want you to have the foundation that only Catholic school provide as we ourselves experience being in Catholic schools during our School years.
In addition, your Mom was also a Teacher in Ateneo De Zamboanga University High School Department for a few years which was also a Catholic school run by Jesuits.
Was Nagle the first option for me?
Yes, Nagle was our first option for you not only because of its location but also because most of the St. Patrick's Primary School graduates go to Nagle plus our family friend's daughter was also going to Nagle making it easy for you to come home from school with friends that we know of.
What was your first impression of the school?
My first impression of Nagle was that it was a nice place to nurture your Secondary education.
I have also heard plenty of positive feedbacks from friends whose daughter's also go to Nagle.
How did you feel about the school after going to the first open night?
The open night was very positive and very informative of what the students can expect and experience during their years of study in Nagle.
It is good that the school is doing that to inform parents and would be student so they can make their informed decision on whether to send their daughters to Nagle or not.
So now lets talk a little more about you, so you moved to Australia from the Philippines in 2000, am i right?
Yes, that is correct. Me and your Mom migrated here in January 2000.
What was it like first moving here? Who'd you stay with?
Moving to Australia was a big change. The first thing I have noticed was the number of people or the population here.
There is way less people wherever you go here in Australia which is the opposite in the Philippines considering that the Philippines' population was already more than 80 Million at that time.
The other thing I have noticed was the space and environment here.
Less pollution, more places to go like parks and outdoor activities.
Me and your Mom initially stayed with my brother for a few months until we found a unit to rent.
You went to high school in the Philippines, what differences are there with your old high school and Nagle?
There are many differences, first my school was not a Catholic school so we do not have religion.
My school was a Public Arts and Trade school which means we have subjects like Drafting/Drawing, Wood working, Electronics and Electricity.
We even have Automotive subject where we practice to disassemble and assemble a cars engine and car maintenance.
You've said to me before that each year is different to what we call them in Australia, am i right?
Yes, that is correct.
In the Philippines, year 7 is called First year high school.
Year 8 is called Second year high school.
Year 9 is called Third year high school.
Year 10 is called Fourth year high school.
Year 11 is called First year College and Year 12 is called Second year College.
What high school did you go to?
I went to Zamboanga School of Arts and Trade or ZSAT.
Was your high school an all boys school or coed school?
It was a COED school.
Can you describe what your uniform looked like?
The Boys wear Short sleeves White Polo Shirts with school emblem and Black Pants.
The Girls wear Short sleeves White Blouse with school emblem and Maroon checkered skirts.
What was high school like there?
Pretty much the same as High school here but the main difference was that HS there you have to do a mandatory Reserve Officer Training course or what we call ROTC.
All students, Boys and Girls were required to attend ROTC every Friday for 1 hour of military training.
Depending on the school, it can either have an Army, Air Force or Navy Training.
My school was under the Navy Training command which means that everyone has to do the Navy Training.
We even have a special Marines Unit for those students who want to have Marines Training.
Did you receive any sort or certificate or award after completing the Training?
It was completing and passing the Training that was important because if you don't, you won't be able to graduate from High School.
Was there any extracurricular activities at your school?
Were you apart of any sporting teams in school? Like basketball or or soccer?
How about outside of school? were you in any teams or did you just play for fun with friends/family?
We usually just play mostly with cousins and friends.
What did you do after you graduated high school?
After finishing Fourth Year HS, I went to University of San Carlos which was way away from Home.
I have to stay in a boarding house for 5 years until I finished my Engineering Degree.
What was it like staying at a boarding house for 5 years?
But as time went by I got to know everyone.
I think there were about 40 of us in that boarding alone and there were plenty of boarding houses in that area.
I made a lot of good friends from that boarding house considering that most of us went to the same Uni.
I even have a few classmates from the same boarding house.
And finally did this help you with your job now as an I. T. Engineer at Fujitsu?
Yes, very much.
But I must say that my HS foundation was key to me being in I.T. now.
In the Philippines, in Fourth year HS, all students are required to take a National College Entrance Examination or NCEE.
NCEE is similar to HSE here in Australia.
The result of NCEE will let you know what is the best course that you can take in First year college.
I was lucky enough that my NCEE results qualified me to be accepted to take the Entrance Exam for Electronics and Communication Engineering course at the University of San Carlos which I also passed.
After I finished my Engineering degree most of my work experience was with I.T. which made it easier for me to migrate to Australia at that time and find an I.T. job with Fujitsu.