these childhood photos, stained by water from typhoons past, are only some of the pictures empoy has kept for posterity. “Kinder ako diyan,” empoy says of the photo (above) showing him in graduation cap and toga.
Mommy cecil has a memory of the young empoy displaying his wit and candor during his kindergarten graduation: “Tawag nang tawag ’yong teacher, kasi meron siyang award. Anim na taon or five and a half siya. Sabing gano’n, ‘Julius erman Marquez, best in Social Studies.’ Nakatayo ako, hanap ako nang hanap. Kasi nga, lahat sila naka-white, naka-toga. Eka sa akin, ‘Ay, ano’ng hinihintay mo? Pasko? Halika na, kanina pa ako tinatawag ng teacher ko.’ Tawanan ’yong mga mommy. Ngayon ko naisip ’yong mga gano’n, kasi di ba, e, kaliit pa lang, matatawa ka na.”
“Grade four ata ako nito,” empoy says of a 1992 photo (below) that shows him walking in procession in front of a karosa of Santo Niño statues. empoy admits to being prayerful and religious even as a child.