Sunday, August 17, 2014

Outstanding Teacher in the Community

This was submitted as a school project and I thought I wrote this quite well, so I am sharing this. 

I have known him for more than a decade now, since college years. Even then, he exuded a sense of leadership not common to most people our age at that time. As a young student leader he was able to put up student-socio-civic centered organizations that eventually changed the student life of many. He was strong-willed, goal-oriented, and empowering. Although he was not majoring on education, it may have been apparent that he’s cut to be an educator.

Graduation came. With millions going out of college, and just a few limited jobs available, it was no wonder when I found out that Mr. Francoise Noel Amaya, one of Adamson University’s most indispensible student leaders, turned his back at medical school and welcomed teaching. At that time, I thought it was convenient of him to do so. I know, because I was also one of those who segued to teaching for it was the only thing I could do – better than a call center job, I thought.

Years passed and we lost contact of each other. I heard from a friend that he quit his teaching job at a small Montessori to continue his studies. Good. He’s going to become a medical doctor, after all. Just imagine my surprise when I learned he was taking up Professional Teaching Certificate at the Philippine Normal University. So he must be serious in going on to the bend and turn to the line of education.

“Teaching has rewarded me in ways I can’t imagine”, I remember him telling me when we finally got to talk years after college graduation. “Maybe it was my dream to become a medical doctor, but it’s my vocation now to fulfill the dreams of those who want to become one.”

He likes his work environment. Assumption College has a supportive community. Just over a year ago, he was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia. Beset with what he may consider as his greatest tribulation by far, the school never abandoned him. The Assumption community was with him every step of the way to his recovery by raising funds, finding blood donors, and joining him in prayers. Some parents of his students covered almost half of his medical expenses that went for almost a year. “Thank you for taking care of our daughters, now it’s our time to help”, they said in a letter. “Kindness begets kindness” would be Noel’s epiphany. 

Noel, as he is fondly called, has been in the teaching profession for 11 years. He’s now on his ninth year at the Assumption College, Makati City. With demonstrated diligence, he was promoted to Coordinator of the Biology Department a few years ago. One of the challenges he faces as a coordinator is dealing with teachers with different personalities and making them work together. It is rather difficult to lead a team to achieve a certain objective without offending anyone, but he sees to it that he gives honest feedbacks, whether they affirm or hurt the people concerned. By objectives it means ensuring that the curriculum content, departmental program, K-12 implementation in the area of Science are appropriately addressed and delivered.

Being a department leader, he is a strong advocate of further professional development for teachers. Teacher education and training, according to him, “helps the teaching staff be more effective in their jobs, so pupils learn and behave better….” More so, “it contributes to a positive ethos where people feel valued and highly motivated.” Teacher education and training also makes for a learning-centered community in which not only the pupils are gaining something but the teachers and other staff as well.  

He is also a firm believer of change. The K-12 program is indeed a big change in the world of education. This change is needed to address the needs of the 21st century learners. The Philippines has long been the only country in Asia to have a 10-year basic education cycle. If we want to remain competitive globally, we have to sync in with the programs offered by developed countries. The use of mother tongue is one of the main differences of K-12 from the previous education system. Noel believes that this will promote not only patriotism and love of country but also love of one’s roots or origins. English should still be part of the instruction, as this has emerged to be an important language of international business. We have to make sure that as much as we want to produce graduates who are internationally competitive, nationalism should still remain as the core foundation of their values even when they are already playing in the global arena. He also stressed the importance of media education and environmental literacy to create holistic individuals who contribute to the development of the society and the world.

There are people who have taken to the education profession even when they did not plan to in the first place. Like Noel, I was among those who take this path out of accident. I have always declared that I didn’t choose the teaching profession. It chose me when a mail inviting me to teach at a certain learning institution landed at our home one fateful day around ten years ago. I ignored it at first but the call persisted that it got too loud to bear. So, I went ahead and heeded that call. And like Noel, I have come to love this profession.

“I like the attention I am getting when I am in front of a class.” one college professor said when asked why he chose the teaching profession. Though he was just teasing, that very attention he’s referring to is what makes this profession all-encompassing and challenging. Students look up to that leader in front of the class. That leader effects change not only on the lives of his students but also on those whose lives his students will touch, which in the process shapes the society in the most implicit of ways.

I dare say that teaching is a dangerous profession. Given with the perpetuity of his influence, a teacher must be careful in how he leads his class. Therefore, a teacher should be able to lead his class in the proper direction. To do this, he must be properly tooled with his own education and mastery of his subject area by continually developing his skills through further education. He must also be aware of what is happening in the society and the world, and keeps himself updated with the latest news, trends, and even fashion. Finally, his brain and his heart must be in full function, both in and out of the classroom.

Teaching here in Thailand makes me realize how much of an influence I am to my Thai students. In a way, I am part of shaping the future of this society. Like the many OFWs in other countries who were compelled to take care of other’s children, than taking care of their own, I feel like I am shaping the future not of my children but of others. But I am going back. When I come back, I hope that I will have prepared enough to face the challenges of being an educator in the Philippines. I am doing it one step at a time. And this, is just one of the first steps of my preparation.

Friday, February 14, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 33

still feeling sick, but I'm not one to just sit the vday off...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 32

Still feeling a bit under the weather today. But at least fever is down by 1 degree... Though needed rest, I couldn't. It's the last day of classes and my students are going to have their final exam next week. When I came home and tried to take a nap this happened:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 31

A short post for I am a little lovesick... 38.5 degrees is something :)

Just had the final presentation with the students. Final meaning finalmente, last, and vacay!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 30

I went home a little bit early this afternoon so I could take a nap. However, this dog won't let me have the couch to myself.

Monday, February 10, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 29

In my 30+ years of existence, I never really experienced receiving flowers on Valentine's Day. Well, I received a few in my younger years, but I asked for them - like catching a good guy friend in the corner and threaten him if he didn't give you a single flower on Vday. Yes, that is the story of my pathetic little life. So, I made a wish and put it in my wishbox, hoping that the universe would surprise me and a bunch of flowers be sent my way for Valentine's. Little did I know that such wish would be granted a few days shy of my target day. My students gave me a bunch of white mums this morning and I just couldn't be any happier. Well, I can't afford to be choosy, can I?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 28

Played impromptu entrance hymn for the Sunday Mass this afternoon. Our instrumentalist met with an accident, and I had no choice but to take over lest no one would. Good thing he came right before the last line of the hymn ended, so he took it from there and played Glory to God while I took care of what I am good at taking care of - the second voice for the choir! :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 27

Watched the production of Hairspray by the Performing Arts Society of KKU. It was fun and the students made me proud!

Friday, February 7, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 26

Posing with the students in this happy and active afternoon!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 25

We just had the International Cultural and Food Fair at the university which was participated by several faculties including Humanities and Social Sciences and International College. We hold this every year but this year is extra special. For one, it's the first time that Filipino food has a representation. Thanks to the ever energetic lady professor of Tourism from the International College. Another thing is that this is the first time I am attending that I can really relate and enjoy the occasion. I think I've made friends at the university over the year, which makes me feel a little more comfortable acting out of my comfort zone. Sad to say, in my five years of stay at the U, I kind of isolated myself for three years. But I am not doing that anymore. I am now more sociable and willing to do stuff other than teaching. I am now ready to party!

And... being open and more sociable means making yourself more open to possibilities. One of which is...

Viva Spain! (at itatago na lang kita sa pangalang horhe)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 24

A cat napping in a box one lazy post-winter afternoon brought the sweetest smile on my lips the entire day.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 23

Nothing could be more ideal than to tag along a travel buddy that does not complain but just follows, does not talk but just listens, and does not whine of tiredness but leaps with excitement as we walk every single step to get to our destination.

Monday, February 3, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 22

Cute little rascals...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 21

Happens everyday! You get out of the bed and in less than five minutes someone takes over your space!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 20

Craving pork blood stew since Monday. So...

Friday, January 31, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 19

A day is not enough to complete everything. So when you are able to do even at least 1/4 of your tasks, consider yourself lucky! This, on top of my studies. I'd really turn into a zombie if I'd not be careful...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 18

Saw this cute figurine at the agricultural fair at our university.

I actually have a self-diagnosed ranidaphobia or fear of kermits. I don't know but the mere sight of frogs make me go nuts. But this little fellow just stared at me, there at the fair, as if telling me to take him home. Well, that I did and he's now the newest tenant of my room, together with my bears, dogs, and other beings.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 17

The appetite is back! Time to gain the 3 kilos I lost in the past stressful months of BERS...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 16

Ok! The Spanish guy in the last room - that mysterious looking Spanish guy - talked to me while heating my food in the microwave. Now, I have a resolution to always heat food at exactly 12pm - when he's on his way to his office from class...

Monday, January 27, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 15

Got home a bit early after my short stint at the immigration for my 90 days report. The dog was unusually sweeter. Then...

Oh! She's been playing with my toys again!!!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 14

Empanada for breakfast before the start of the 11th Khon Kaen International Marathon, 11km challenge...

And I'll never walk alone...

How wonderful a journey would be if someone would just walk along with me... and would stay...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 13

Studying at Mcdonald's? Why not? Got bored being under house arrest for two days that them creative juices won't find their way to my brain... So...

Friday, January 24, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 12

Still under house arrest and starting to get bored despite the so many tasks that have piled up for me to get done. I am so tamad. Good thing I saw these babies which reminded me of the so many things I'd like to do. Now I'm up and inspired once more.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 11

I am now under house arrest, thanks to the 10 degrees temperature. The flu may stay with me for a couple of days more, which means not being able to go to the university to perform my checking obligations. Good thing, I saw this coming and brought some exam papers with me yesterday. Yes, I finished all 80 writing exam papers and am ready to send the scores to my fellow lecturer. Now, ready to mark the reading papers!

With the completion of this task, I remember a story of a friend who's taking up her MS. She called her professor one day to say she's a bit indisposed and couldn't go to class. Her professor then replied that it's a good thing for her to just stay in her dorm and complete her thesis proposal. Once she completed it, she'd find joy in her heart and would feel well and recuperated. We found it silly and just laughed it off. Turns out, I am having my own doze of that medicine for I'm feeling better now that I'm done with the writing exams! Well, never undervalue the wisdom of a much senior colleague! :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 10

A friend made these cupcakes for us. Although a bit of under the weather today - and the cold weather's not helping at all - this should be enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. Yabadabadoo...


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kung ikaw man ay mapadaan dito muli....

Katulad ng iba
Katulad rin nila!
Aalis ka rin
   patungo doon
Sa kung saan ka man pupunta
Kagaya nila,
   isa ka ring manlalakbay
Na napadaan lang
   sadya man o hindi
At darating ang araw na ika'y aalis
   magpaalam ka man o hindi

Patutuluyin pa rin kita
   Sa kabila ng di kasiguruhan
   Sa kabila ng katotohanang
      di ko naman maunawaan
At pasensya na
   kung hindi kita ipaghahanda
Hayaan mo munang
   magpakasaya tayo...

Hindi muna kita ipaghahain ng ulam
Hindi muna kita ipaghahanda ng unan
Namnamin natin ang bawat
   pag-usad ng kamay ng orasan
Dahil batid kong...
   bago magtakipsilim,
   kasabay ng paglaho ng liwanag
      ang anino mo'y
      di ko na matatanaw
      kahit man lang sa kanluran
Alam kong
   ang kasayahan
Ay kasama mong lilisan
   Bago lumubog ang araw

Isinulat nuong ika-8 ng Marso, 2007, Araw ng mga kababaihan,  Lucban, Quezon

100 Happy Days - Day 9

My college friends had a mini get together last night, finally and sans moi. But I told them I'll be there via skype, only that I couldn't be there for long as I also had a live class in UPOU going on at the same time. Tzie, made me promise to ring her again because she had a "surprise". I initially thought it was a boylet she's going to introduce. Lo and behold, it's no other than Winnie the Eli straight from China visiting the Philippines. And boy was I so jealous that they were together in person! Of course, the night was once again filled with reminiscence of our college life - courses, professors, and other stuff. I'm also glad that I was present as we have this long time tradition of talking and making fun of someone who happens to be absent. So, poor is the one missing in the get together...

Why were they covering their faces, you ask? They just couldn't contain they laughter! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 8

Because I'm such a gleek, I'm just so happy to have achieved the Rachelle Berry look. How I wish I could sing like her...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 7

Picking up the babies from the dogtel.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 6

wedding. beer. at isang platitong mani.

Friday, January 17, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 5

Always happy to decorate the church! 1 more day!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 4

The babies are ready to be given as wedding souvenirs. 2 days to go!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 3

Red velvet cake! Awesome!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 2

I used to watch this when I was a kid and cried buckets!

Monday, January 13, 2014

100 Happy Days - Day 1

I finally got around to organizing my study area cum work space in my room. I am pretty satisfied with though it still looks like it needs more colors. Well, it's a work in progress. I will be sure to add more decorations to lure my muse back to me.


in search for my muse

A scene from the movie Wonderful Radio:

Ja-seok:    You don't write anymore?
Jina:           I can't. Something's missing here. (points to her left chest)

Korean movies make me depressed. Officially! You watch the leading man sweep the lady off her feet and you somehow wish you have such a man and then, puff! Reality would sink in and make you realize it's not going to happen, not even in your dreams. Then you sit in your dark room in the middle of the night after watching the film and ask all the divinities WHY? I guess men are better in fiction. Or these fiction gods are created by women who wish the same as I do. That, this dazzling hunk of a man would come up to me - and just love. In a way a woman wants to be loved. Just like how the writer of the story wants to be loved.

It has always been my passion. Writing. I have always wanted to write. There may be times I find my writing skills wanting. Yet I write still. 

Then I stopped.

It didn't happen gradually. I just woke up one day and suddenly didn't want to write. I didn't even realize it at first. I just didn't write. My love affair with my muse ended. She left without a warning.

I am now in search for that muse who left me half a decade ago. It's not over yet to go after my dream of immortalizing my name through the lines I write. It may be a long difficult process - the search - but I am determined to get her back - my muse.

A lesson

It's just falling in love.
No big deal.
For love, like life, is a journey.
So, travel on.


Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

And LOVE is on its way...

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia 2013

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 came and went

... just like that!

I didn't even notice it tiptoed into and out of my consciousness. I can't remember a thing I accomplished or a goal reached. All I know is that I just did what I usually do, which is do nothing. Before I knew it, the year has bidden goodbye without a single noise  for me to wave adieu back. And so I am faced with a brand new year clueless of what I should do. Er, perhaps not really. I've always known it, only that laziness always takes the place of determination and wins. Now, God willing, I hope to accomplish a few things that have been long shelved somewhere. And I swear to this time set my heart to completing what I am about to start.

1. I will definitely work hard to finish my studies. It's being long overdue has taken a toll on my progress both personally and professionally.

2. Will continue my ASEAN collection tour! Been to Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. This year's a good time to set on a new journey in any of the rest of ASEAN countries I've not been to yet. I've got my eyes on Myanmar especially that it now has signed a bilateral agreement with the Philippines and Filipino tourists are granted a pass without priory applying for a visa. And I can only say yay to that. Singapore and Indonesia also sound very closely possible since I'm attending a conference in Singapore in April. Another fingers crossed on this!

Well, these are my short term plans and I'm writing them down to be a reminder of the things that I have had missed in the year I had been idle. I hope that 2014 won't pass that by too quickly, and that it would leave something for me to remember.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Moving on

And then, I saw.

And that's everything I need to know.

Love... I guess... Nevermind... 

I. Am. Moving. On.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Phu Rua

Starting the year being on TOP!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's been more than a month since I promised myself to update this blog regularly and yet, yes, it's been more than a month!

Now I may be officially called a juggler. Not that I've finally learned the trick of throwing things in the air and catching them in such a fashion that will amaze any spectator. No, I've been juggling work and extra-curricular activities for weeks now. Thanks God for the activities that I can no longer determine which one I should do during my free time. Free time is plenty but things to do seem to be more. (At nasabi siyang free time?) Beside the 3 courses I coordinate (and I never coordinate courses in the 2nd semester in the previous four years of my tenure at the uni), I am slowly getting involved with uni activities that I never bothered to give a second look at before.

Yes.. this is incomplete because I am always lazy to think...