• Teacher for 7 years
• Currently teaches at Philippine International English Institute (ENL-Bonifacio)
• Previously worked at Enderun Colleges and Amazing Grace School
• Authorized Volunteer Fundraiser at UNICEF Philippines
• Curriculum Developer at STEM World
• Certificate in TESOL (by TESOL Asia) at The Study by Enderun
• Diploma in Music at COP Music College; Certificate in Theology at COP Bible College
• Bachelor’s in Secondary Education in English at Philippine Normal University, Manila
“I want to be a professional theater performer,” I said. “Oh, but this university is for teacher training. There’s a major for Stage and Theater Arts though, but it’s still focused on teaching,” the interviewer apologetically replied. “Oh” was all I could say.
To this day, I still wonder how I passed that interview as a student applicant without knowing what kind of institution I was applying to.
Needless to say, I had no intention of being an educator. But I’m grateful to be one now.
I graduated from Philippine Normal University, Manila. I had my first teaching job as a private school English teacher in San Pedro, Laguna, my hometown, at 19 years old. I became a licensed professional teacher at 21. Even though I loved my job, I left it after a year to pursue other fields of study. At that time, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to be.
I studied theology, dance, and music for the next four years as a full-time student while working as a private tutor. Part of our education program was doing charity work in Aroma, Tondo – one of the most poverty-stricken areas in Manila.
This, in particular, was the most significant experience I had in that four-year period. In that chapter of my life, I learned that the acquisition of quality education was a privilege rather than a basic human right.
I learned that the pursuit of dreams was impossible for others, mostly because they had no clear vision for their future. Why? Because they were trapped in their present turmoils. Trying to stay alive. Trying to avoid planted drugs and fired guns. The more engaged I became with the residents there, the more personal encounters I had with unfortunate realities.
My once-innocent eyes had been opened to life’s cruelties, and I realized how important education and language were. And that’s when I went back to the teaching profession.
Today, I often find myself imagining a world where differences are met, heeded, solved, and celebrated by a common language. How wonderful would it be if we could fully understand each other? That’s why I try to make a difference one class at a time. The inarticulate, misunderstood, unheard, and voiceless inspire me every day to be a better language educator.
I also want to inspire others to have a love for studying. There are many things in the world that we cannot control, but we can gift ourselves and our society with our own education.
No matter how hard (or nearly impossible for others) it may be, I don’t want anyone to give up on school. I believe that education is one of the bridges to our dreams. Each dream matters. Each soul matters. And even if life may seem too short to fulfill it all, at least we’ve got an entire lifetime to learn and try.
I’m grateful I didn’t know about my university’s specialization when I was 15. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even have agreed to apply. I’m grateful to the interviewer who passed me even though I’d given lame answers. I’m grateful to have taken the Licensure Examination for Teachers–even halfheartedly.
Most of all, I’m grateful to have gone back to teaching, trying to make a difference one class at a time.