July 26, 2009 in general
By GEMMA LOMBOY
“Taning” (defined life expectancy) is the most dreaded word one would to be commended for. Even during submission of reports, deadlines makes one crazy when one is unprepared.
Well, I am not a practicing doctor nor one who administers ‘euthanasia’ when requested but I gave myself a five-year chance to prove myself worthy and get married or else I shall bid goodbye to the land of the mountains (that was a decade ago). “Balaku sa mo… a Kapampangan term which means ‘akala ko’ I could never have what I wanted, a good and stable job, love life and offspring. Thank God my foster land accepted me without hesitation. I even got a bonus lately of having a position every mentor will ever dream of.
I then considered myself an adopted daughter of this land that happens to be a melting pot of different cultures. I am just returning an act of pro bono, their return of investment of believing in this young lass who hails from the land of tocino. This for me is a culture of caring and a culture of sharing.
It was hard at first because I cannot really understand the local dialect. During faculty meetings all I could do is jot down these words to be interpreted by others. A culture shock! Even the simplest word lapayag used by my first graders. I just shrug my shoulder and agree on the paper he told me to check, funny. What about the word mabisin (hungry) which I interchanged with our dialect as mabsi (full) no wonder I was misinterpreted by the visitor. And the word mabalin (can be) which I often associated with mabaling (awful smell) in our dialect, a messy world, huh? Solution, let us use our national dialect if you feel some cannot understand you, is it not?
When I was in college I coud vividly recall our Soc Sci 223 of Constitution and By Laws of the Philippines, balaku sa mo, I thought, I would just study the culture of the Northern part of the country their native dances and costumes, or imagine the ‘zigzag’ literally famous for, and savor the breeze, pine trees in pictures and that Ilocanos are known for their industriousness (my betterhalf is an Ilocano). But even promotion is so kind enough for me, balaku sa mo I would end up MT I (Matagal nang Teacher I), but thanks to my supervisors for recognizing my effort, and endeavors, but the real sense of being a Master Teacher.
Now, it is so fascinating that I am a part of the nation building in the field of education by being a channel and vessel for the dreamers and the aspirants of the young generation. This generation of unpredictable, and bossy attitudes. Needless to say the four-by-four account on how to discipline a child today. May the parents do their part and may society untolerate, unaccept behaviors especially like PDA or the public display of attention and the game of chances. Well, If only we could clone the Lord why not? But we could only be an advocate of goodwill to men as an educator in our motherland, this for me is simplest but my grandest contribution, it is where I belong and where I am accepted.
Just like an excerpt from the song I personally put lyrics into the tune of, The Journey, by Lea Salonga about the teacher: “Let commitment be on fire/ Selfless love a guiding path/ He will guide us through it all. Make a difference from now on/ You will see a better child/ They will learn to read and write/ For the future lies on them. Teacher is God’s reflection/ Image of goodwill/ Embracer of tomorrow/ For those who are unloved!
You might not believe me, my only purpose here before was to help my mom wash dishes and do marketing because she had undergone caesarian section twice — nothing else!
Look, now I am a living witness to trash, thrashes and thrash sites. I have a taste of strawberry jam, traffic jam and people jam. Furthermore, I got some braze of hospitality and hostility as well. Most of all, I will take part in the celebration of the Baguio Centennial because you have read and understood me.
Today and until the twilight of my life I should always wear a breastplate of strong determination and armed with a gunless powder of commitment not only to the culture I am adapting, not only to the land of tribes and rituals but to the land where rich become richer and poor become beggars if not loan survivors. The fittest in the pocket will surely survive.
As an educator for about 15 years now I would want to believe I leave a legacy only my clientele and community can tell. I have my up soars and downfall. Balaku sa mo… I would never live in the posted streamers: “BE PROUD YOU ARE A TEACHER” even if others are not. # nordis.net
(This writer is a Master Teacher I teaching for 15 years, she is currently a Grade III adviser and a mentor – National English Proficiency Program.)