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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We Owe Our Mentors A Million




For the past few days, my friends and I have been busy promoting a fund-raising activity for our alma mater, the UP Rural High School.

Yesterday, we went to Rural to shoot videos of our teachers to help promote the event. We thought it would simply be a "shoot-and-run" thing but we were held back by the things we found out as we sat down and talked with our few remaining teachers who stayed at Rural.

Our beloved teachers are retiring. And one of them is sick and badly needs help. It comes to a point where one feels compelled to do something special for these people who (we really have to admit) have built and honed us in our four years of transitioning from our days as little kids in elementary to our bad-ass ways in college.

We have given so much attention to our batch and to our school, and usually forget the teachers who really are the foundation of the school. They haven't been given enough kudos, we have to admit. Usually, we really feel good about ourselves, be proud of our school, and make fun of our teachers. But who are we without these people? They're the ones who have pushed us, pressured us, agitated us, inspired us, and challenged us to be the best students that we can be.

While we were talking with Ma'am Sofia Palacpac, I saw her carrying a book about writing and I don't know why that moment struck me so much. I thought, "all those years...they spent their lives teaching bratty kids like us...all those years...ang tiyaga talaga." I actually felt bad about myself. It reminded me of a situation when parents invested so much time and money for their children's education and when the kids have learned so much they become mayabang, independent, and mostly forgetting about what their parents did for them. Well, parents are somehow just like our teachers because they have spent their lives teaching us. As for teachers, they spend their lives teaching different kids.

I hugged my teachers after shooting the videos, it was the least I could do at that moment. I haven't got the chance to do that when I was in high school. But now, I know we could do more.
Let's honor our teachers on December 19, especially those who are retiring, Ma'am Dimaandal, Ma'am Palacpac, and Ma'am Uri.

After all, having taught Ruralites for most of their lives is truly a heroic feat.

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