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TLC: A Teacher’s Love and Compassion

By JULES VIVAS

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Teaching is among the noblest of professions. It’s one of the most challenging too. An educator’s life is dedicated to mold and shape the lives of others. Teachers set the tone of classrooms, build a warm environment, and mentor and nurture young minds, whether on or off the campus. Over the years, we have heard countless of stories about the selfless service of these nation builders. Even amid the global health crisis, we continue to turn to teachers who give us hope. They are true models of great service and compassion.

These six teachers have shown us that there is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. They chose to answer their calling, even rising above the challenges of these troubled times.

Normita Nugoy Liwag

During the quarantine period, Normita decided to help the people of her community in Brgy. San Vicente, Gapan City, Nueva Ecija in her own little way. She served pancit and pandesal to their community frontliners, such as the barangay police officers, security guards, and soldiers. She also distributed snacks to the families residing along the railroad of Bagong Sikat in Gapan City.

Teacher Normita hands out food to some members of her community

Teacher Normita hands out food to some members of her community

For the Alternative Learning System (ALS) instructor, the current situation calls us to help others and extend our generosity to those who are less fortunate.

Normita has been helping prisoners, physically disabled, female escorts, rebel returnees, prisoners, and out-of-school youths so they can rise above their difficult circumstances.

Ronaldo Comploma Reyes

Together with Science teacher volunteers, Ronaldo, or Sir Ron as he is fondly called by his peers and students, conducted Covid-19 information drives in Barangays San Antonio, Bangkilingan, and Bacolod in Tabaco City, Albay.

Sir Ron teaching about Covid-19 in Tacloban

Sir Ron teaching about Covid-19 in Tacloban

Sir Ron is a Science teacher who has made significant contributions to the field of chemistry in the Philippines, and has been advocating the use of science and research not only in the classroom but also to solve community problems.

This info drive is part of Reyes’ Sci-Connect or Science in the Community, a program that aims to guide communities find practical applications of science in their daily lives. He also makes personal donations to the LGU through the Tabaco City Covid-19 Command Center for its quarantined Tabaqueños.

 

Darwin Tababa Tadifa

Darwin, with his coworkers in Tubungan, Iloilo led the distribution of food packs to the frontliners of the province. This initiative benefited 88 barangay officials and tanods, Rural Health Unit (RHU) personnel, Philippine National Police (PNP) officers, Tubungan responders, and barangay health workers.

 

Teacher Darwin with his fellow ALS teachers prepared meals for frontliners in Tubungan, Iloilo

Teacher Darwin with his fellow ALS teachers prepared meals for frontliners in Tubungan, Iloilo

The ALS teacher has been using his creativity to serve poor communities whose members would rather work to earn a living than to study. Through his passion for teaching and community service, he was able to encourage them to go back to school.

Elsie Caballero Padernal

Elsie and her son have been sharing their blessings to families who have been severely affected by the lockdown. She packed and distributed relief goods composed of rice, milk, coffee, biscuits, noodles, and other essentials like laundry soaps.

Teacher Elsie with her son along with the relief goods they are distributing

Teacher Elsie with her son along with the relief goods they are distributing

The public school teacher is a member of the Panay-Bukidnon Tribe of Calinog, Iloilo. She has been devoting her life to teaching both the school-prescribed curriculum and the rich culture of her tribe. She is currently mastering traditional musical instruments and embroidery under the tutelage of her grandmother, a pundit of both arts.

Nelfa Quinto Cepillo

Nelfa is both an ALS Teacher and Army Reservist. She volunteered as one of the frontliners to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro. Nelfa has been manning checkpoints, aware of the threat of the disease, not to mention the added burden of leaving her family behind. She is, however, used to this kind of assistance.

Nelfa in action at one of the checkpoints in Puerto Galera

Nelfa in action at one of the checkpoints in Puerto Galera

She has been trekking the mountains of Oriental Mindoro to reach learners, and toils to make learning accessible to Mangyans. 

Dr. Bernadeth Bernalte Gabor

Under Dr. Benadeth’s leadership, the Extension Services of the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) has fed hundreds of frontliners at various hospitals, checkpoints, and other essential establishments like the BPSU campuses, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Services Office, Philippine Red Cross Bataan Chapter, and the Metro Bataan Development Authority (MBDA).

 

Dr. Benadeth, on the left, turned over personal protective equipment to the frontliners of Bataan General Hospital

Dr. Benadeth, on the left, turned over personal protective equipment to the frontliners of Bataan General Hospital

Under Project Aruga, the college teacher’s team has distributed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontliners at the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center, Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital, Mariveles District Hospital, and Orani District Hospital. The gears include face shields, N95 masks, disposable face masks, washable face masks, gloves, laboratory gowns, isolation gowns, even alcohol. 

Aside from these amazing projects, she also finds time to sew improvised face masks for frontliners.

Dr. Bernadeth has been giving hope to a special set of learners. She first volunteered as an instructor at the Bataan District Jail (BDJ), and helped establish certification courses to give these learners a new lease on life.

The recognition they deserve

This inspiring set of educators consists of honorees of an annual recognition program called “The Many Faces of the Teacher” by Bato Balani Foundation and Diwa Learning Systems Inc. Currently, the program is accepting nominations from individuals and organizations who know of any teachers who have a story worth telling and retelling.

The search is open to educators of all ages who are actively teaching in private or public elementary or secondary schools, colleges, and universities. The nominee must have a project or program that has significantly improved lives or contributed to society.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/04/28/tlc-a-teachers-love-and-compassion/)

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