The other night (or morning) I was talking to a friend through Facebook chat about my wanting to share knowledge to other people. She asked me if I wanted to teach or if I am thinking of teaching in the future. Of course, my answer was a big YES. Eventually, when I already have something to say, I would love to impart knowledge to others. It doesn’t matter if I will be teaching street children, high school or college students. Learning is for everyone. It knows no age, gender, sexuality etc.
When I woke up today, I thought of my teachers and how they each made a difference in my life. I hope I didn’t forget anyone.
I remember finishing my first book when I was 4. I read The Wolf and the Seven Little Kids for more than 2 hours because I cannot pronounce some of the words in the book. My Daddy stayed up the whole night to help me understand what the story was about and made sure that I pronounced each word correctly. He was my first teacher and he encouraged my siblings and I to read. Not so long after I managed to memorize my first book (I read it more than 10 times) my Daddy bought me 3 more books to read. If I remember correctly, he got me Heidi, The Time Machine and The Three Musketeers. My interest in books grew that frequent trips to National Bookstore felt like heaven, at least to me.
As the family grew, my parents had to work twice as hard to support the family. During that time, Lolo Bert (my Mom’s Dad) lived with us and we were often left with him at home. My siblings and I loved playing outside but my Lolo wanted to keep us at home so he allowed us to watch television. I, as a kid, never really liked television and I guess my Lolo noticed that too. I remember him asking me to read the newspaper with him. I honestly didn’t understand the news but I loved hearing new words. To make things even more interesting, he’d ask me to use these new words in sentences. That was my earliest encounter with writing. Over the next few years, I always had a book and notebook with me.
When I was 10, I met Mrs. Barreto. She was our Reading teacher. I remember how she’d always compliment me for reading books and for always attempting to write stories and essays. I joined so many writing and declamation contests because of her. I felt really good about myself. I enjoyed her encouragement. I believe she was the first school teacher who ever got to me and I told myself that someday I’d find her and thank her for the inspiration.
When high school came, things were different. I left writing for a while and focused on other matters. After all it was high school. I actually felt the need to fit in (I was a high school nobody) and I tried to join different organizations to see if I would actually make more friends and at the same time improve myself. I didn’t join any writing organizations but I continued to read and write. I guess I was a shy high school student. Everything felt really awkward. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I got into the girl’s basketball team where I learned important life lessons that I never thought I’d learn in high school. I met Coach Jayen during try outs. I was there to support a friend but I ended up joining since he didn’t want anyone watching the try outs unless they are a part of it. He was strict, the fun kind of strict. He always emphasized on discipline and working hard. I remember shedding tears after fights, tough basketball practices, team problems, losses among other things. He always kept his cool. I admired him for dedicating his life to playing and teaching basketball.
Come college, I was fortunate to meet mentors who challenged the hell (in a positive way) out of me. I remember trying to understand why they were so strict, why they had such high standards and why they valued originality and professionalism so much. I guess, I only understood them when I started my journey in the corporate world. Words cannot express how thankful I am for these people. Thank you Dr. Anjeli Diaz, Ms. Judy Sibayan, Ms. Lai Rallos, Mr. Ronald Jabal and Amang Jun Cruz Reyes.
Aside from college professors, I am also grateful to Malate Literary Folio for teaching me to embrace writing as a craft, for teaching me self-discipline and most of all for showing me that life is for living. I can never thank this organization enough for all the craft and life lessons.
Fast forward to today, I can say that in my past 3 years of work I have met so many admirable people as well. Everyday is a rat race and I know I cannot slow down. All of the people I mentioned above contributed to this accumulated strength that I have. I am your product and my commitment is to never stop improving.
Someday I will have something important to say. Someday I am going to become an awesome teacher like the ones before me.
Salute to all the teachers around the world! Congratulations. 🙂