Life Goes On In Canipaan: The Faces Of Hope

In Remembrance Of Manay Edna

 P1080016by: jun asuncion

 

 

 

 

 

 

(click photo to view Teachers’ Gallery)

They were Manay Edna’s faithful daily companions in her work as a teacher to our young Tagabulans- her  teaching colleagues in the Bulan North Central School. We visited them one day in their school which is just across the street where our Manay Edna had lived.

Listening to their stories (of how they have reacted upon hearing what happened to their beloved co-teacher with whom they were working and exchanging jokes just 4 or 5 days ago)  and recollections about Manay Edna and also their concerns as teachers made me feel so much in touch with the noblest und human side of Bulan. In truth, at this very moment  I’d wished that all the people of Bulan were teachers. I was awed at how they were carefully attending to their newly-organized  and very modest library, with meager quantity of books and materials- and how proud they were with the computer they have with Internet connection.

This moment was a revelation for me of how the world is really unequal or unfair. I mean the unequal distribution of resources, materials, wealth and opportunities that are in this planet Earth: One computer and only a handful of reference books for the whole school while I have  in my  high-tech home office four computers with router and wireless Internet with complete peripheries. And books? I have a bigger library than this school, with many other books already shipped home and still boxes of books and magazines at the cellar waiting for the verdict- be shipped or be given away.

Abundant in materials, yet I felt humbly poor in the presence of Manay Edna’s co- teachers for I didn’t have their feeling of excitement over such a modest number of office materials-and their desire to have a better library with more books. I”ve sensed the opposite trend in me which is dismantling my library, disposing away my books and other materials I now consider more as a burden- a burden?, indeed a shameful thought in front of these teachers; and of how living in a materially rich society can rob you of your senses for the simplest things and disconnects you from your past, although I thought that I had never changed. But surely, time and circumstance can change your perception without you even noticing it.

Be that as it may. However, this  meeting with the teachers  reminded me of one of the best moments in my elementary years- the distribution of new books at the beginning of each school year, how I carried them home with such care and excitement and how Manay Edna would help me cover each book with kartolina or even pages of her of old magazines. I still recall vividly these two favorite books in Grade  2 under Mrs. Britanico- WeWork And Play and Fun At Home And Away

Those were indeed happy years of learning to read and write in Bulan. Thus, this meeting with the teachers reminded me of my beginning, of the virtue of simplicity, perseverance and the importance to have a dream that propels your life which in turn helps you endure the hardship and kakulangan (material deficiency) that a simple life brings with it. For although we tend to have a romantic understanding of a simple life, it is not that simple to be a teacher  if you have children to feed and send to school while you receive a meager salary, and life is surely not easy to be one among the eight children of a teacher.

But over and above these life’s situations, it is of remaining human and dignified that counts in the end in the face of  poverty- or even richness, and the quality of your person and the memories you left to the people you have known the time when you were still part of the rhythm of life. The memories and retrospection I’ve heard from Manay Edna’s co-teachers (and countless pupils!)  have shown me how my sister has been loved and treasured. For like them, my sister Edna also lived a very simple life.

Yes, life goes on in Canipaan if you would just  look at the faces of Manay Edna’s co-teachers- the faces of Hope.

 

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8 Comments

Filed under Education

8 responses to “Life Goes On In Canipaan: The Faces Of Hope

  1. Angelita

    Teachers of Bulan – The Faces of Hope

    I was admiring the many faces of our teachers featured in this article. Teaching is a very noble and honorable profession. I found these quotations about Teachers.

    The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.” – Dan Rather

    Don’t try to fix the students. fix ourselves first. The good teacher makes the poor student good and the good student superior. When our students fail, we, as teachers, too, have failed. – Unknown Author

    A teacher’s purpose is not to create students in his own image, but to develop students who can create their own image. – Unknown Author

    Teaching is leaving a vestige of one self in the developement of another. And surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures. – Eugene P. Bertin

    Teachers who inspire know that teaching is like cultivating a garden, and those who would have nothing to do with thorns must never attempt to gather flowers. – Unknown Author

    The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners; it is in making winners out of ordinary people. – K. Patricia Cross

    And lastly, this is my favorite.

    One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw materials, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. – Carl Jung

    Thank you Teachers for your dedications of training the minds and laying the foundation of the future generation.

    They are our hope for a better progressive Philippines. You could be producing the future President of the Philippines.

    Please let me know what can I do for your school. I will be happy to help and make our school a wonderful learning place to be.

    Here is my email:
    angelita@canyonsoft.com

  2. To Angelita,

    Thank you for sharing to us some selected qoutations about teachers /teaching. I especially like these ones:

    “Teaching is leaving a vestige of one self in the developement of another. And surely the student is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures. – Eugene P. Bertin”

    and

    “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw materials, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child. – Carl Jung”
    …………

    Allow me to paraphrase these in relation to Bulan Governance/leadership:

    “Leadership is leaving a vestige of one self in the developement of Bulan. And surely the town of Bulan is a bank where you can deposit your most precious treasures. ”

    or:

    “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant mayors, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The town administration is so much necessary raw materials, but warmth is the vital element for the growing town and for the soul of the town people. ”

    ……

    jun asuncion

  3. ryan mirabueno

    …wala na si mam penos.😦 siya ang guro namin sa Filipino noong elementary. ang teacher kong kamukha ni gloria diaz.

    naaalala ko pa yung araw na piningot niya ang tenga ko gawa ng wala akong asaynment.
    masakit.
    pero natuto ako.

    naalala ko rin yung araw na tuwang tuwa siya sa akin kasi ako lang nakasaulo sa klase ng mahabang tula pinapasaulo niya. naaalala ko pa ang mukha niya.
    naaalala ko rin yun mga ngiti niya sa mga artworks ko.

    dami kong natutunan sa kanya.

    kung wala siguro si mam penos, di ako magiging Iskolar ng Bayan na patuloy lalaban para sa tunay na kalayaan at demokrasya. di rin siguro ako naging mahusay sa wikang Filipino at minahal ito na nagtulak sa aking isipan na hanapin ang kahulugan ng mga terminong nasyon, bansa, sambayanan, kalayaan at rebolusyon. isa siya sa mga naghubog sa aking damdaming makabayan.

    lagi niyang nakukuwento noon sa klase na dapat marunong pa rin kami bumati sa kanila kahit mga matatanda na kami at matataas na trabaho namin sa hinaharap.

    subalit, di ko na siya mababati. di ko na rin makukuwento sa kanya ang mga karanasan ko sa up.

    di niya na rin maaabutan ang pagpula ng silangan dahil sa liwanag na ililikha ng paglagablab ng mga tore at mga makina ng pagsasamantala.

    makapiling niya nawa ang Bathala.

  4. To Ryan,

    Thank you for sharing with us your experience with your teacher Mam Penos. As Carl Gustav Jung said, one looks back with gratitude to those teachers who touched our human feelings. Mam Penos had touched your ears but now you look back with gratitude for as you have grown older you have understood her message: she wanted you to be closer to your dream through discipline- or as Michaelangelo used to say “removing the excess stones” in order for the form to come out of the original material. Removing excess stones is a lifetime assignment for every sensible being and so with the pursuit of dream. How a dream relates to a teacher is captured in this phrase by Dan Rather::

    ” The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.'”

    The truth is also that teachers instruct us to learn good things only and they encourage us to search for this truth a lifetime.
    To sum up it is all about education, which according to Rizal is the light of our nation, or in the words of John Kennedy:

    ” Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.”

    As you wrote colorfully:

    “di niya na rin maaabutan ang pagpula ng silangan dahil sa liwanag na ililikha ng paglagablab ng mga tore at mga makina ng pagsasamantala”

    Teachers are also for the greater strength of our nation, we learn it from them and so we continue their fight even if they are no longer with us – the fight for freedom and democracy.

    jun asuncion

  5. Roberto Fernandez

    hi jun can you please say hi to your tita (the former miss marichu vergara). you can give my e-mail address. thanks

  6. MTgO

    I am one lucky person to have studied at BNCS-B.
    I believe that great and bright teachers are in this school.

    I will always remember Ma’am Penos as very refined educator.

  7. mila asuncion

    To the Teachers of Bulan Elementary School:

    My Greetings to you all!

    We visited Bulan last May 2010 with our children.

    We all enjoyed our short stay.

    Instead bringing books, we brought 5 boxes of Medicines which were received by Mr. Tonying Vytiaco to be distributed to the needy .

    The five big Balik Bayan Boxes which were filled with Books, supposed to be delivered to Bulan North Elementary School, were destroyed by typhoon Ondoy.

    Please be patient. We are working hard to bring you another set of educational items.

    Mila G. Asuncion

  8. Gaspar Genetia

    thanks sa reply eto email add ko

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