Public School Teachers Batch 2 (January 24-25, 2015)

Forty-one Public School Teachers from Navotas National High School comprised the second batch of the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Leadership Journey for Public School Teachers last January 24-25, 2015.

The NCA Leadership Journey aims to build the nucleus of a new generation of leaders that are grounded on their spirituality who can eventually transform Philippine society. Using Ninoy and Cory Aquino as role models, the program seeks to reintroduce spirituality as a major foundation for Filipino leadership. Harnessing their innate values systems, the participants take part in a process of self-reflection that will ultimately lead to self-transformation and self-commitment for others and country.

Below are reflections written by the participants of the Leadership Run for Public School Teachers Batch 2 about the experiences and insights they gained from the program.

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The Batch 2 Participants posing for the photo during one of their meal times.

“The [Leadership Journey] inspired me a lot. As I told before, I just joined for compliance and did not expect anything. Until things happened all with sense. It had given me time to reflect deeply, connect with God, know my life’s purpose, direction, my mission and passion, the deeper meaning of it and lastly, fixing myself emotionally and spiritually. The NCA Leadership Journey taught me that LOVING must be unending.”

Menchie D. Ramos, English
7 years in service

“Passion as ‘I Pass on’ and ‘gagawan natin ng paraan‘ are statements to be remembered from the two–day Leadership Journey. This reminded me in my journey to become a teacher and my journey as a teacher. For every journey, there’s a blessing that gives me reasons to continue.”

June Kathleen A. Sayo, Science
15 years in service

Mahirap sa isang INC (Iglesia ni Cristo) na katulad ko ang umatend sa isang Leadership Training na tulad nito. Pero sinuway ko po ang utos na ito at sinubukang dumalo. Hindi po ako nagsisisi dahil natuto naman, naiwan sa puso at isipan ko ang mga paksang tinalakay. Nabuo ang bagong paniniwalang hindi lahat ng retreat ay nakafocus lang sa religion. Sana lang sa susunod na mga retreat makasama pa ako.”

Rosalinda P. Jocson, Guidance Teacher I
23 years in service

Para sa akin napakahalaga at napakaganda ng dalawang araw na training seminar ng NCAF, sa kadahilanang lalo ko pang mamahalin ang aking trabaho bilang guro at pangalawang magulang ng aking mga estudyante. Sabi nila ‘love the unlovable, like the unlikeable’, isa lang patunay na ang pagiging guro ay bigay sa atin ng Diyos, at dapat lang na gampanan ang tungkulin sa mga bata, komunidad at sa ating bansa.

Imelda B. Conde, Technology and Livelihood Education
17 years in service

Nakakainspire makinig sa iba’t ibang speakers na nagshare ng kanilang mga pinagdaanan sa buhay. Muli kong nakita at naramdaman ang kahalagahan ng aking propesyon. Nakakatuwang isipin ang tiwala ng aking kasamahan at kaibigan na i-share at iiwan sa retreat house ang kanilang mga negatibong isipin at sama ng loob.”

Ma. Editha F. Cases, M.A.P.E.H. 
12 years in service

“The Leadership Journey for Public School Teachers of the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation was really a great help in the life of a teacher. It encourages me to renew and rekindle my twenty-six years of teaching in Navotas National High School. The topics are very timely in terms of students’ guidance and welfare especially nowadays that students have an intense attitude. It reminded me not to stop inspiring and motivating my students to finish their studies, have a career, get a good job and be a good citizen of our country. I realize that teaching is not only a vocation but also a mission that gives meaning and significance in my life as a teacher. Thank you NCAF for this opportunity you have given us. God bless us all.”

Elsa G. Tongco, Technology and Livelihood Education

“The Leadership Journey deepened and reinvigorated my passion and commitment in nurturing and helping my students achieve their maximum potentials. Tracing back my love affair with my vocation and reflecting on the events that made me a teacher reignited the fire of enthusiasm in me and gave me a purer heart that is willing to extend compassion, generosity and love to the least of my students.

Truly, this kind of activity should be experienced by all teachers, both public and private, as this provide a needed respite for educators and generated a renewed sense of value and feeling of greatness as public servants who hold a vital role in molding the future.”

Marco D. Meduranda, English
7 years in service

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During one of the pair-sharing sessions of the Participants.

“Attending the [Leadership Journey] and hearing stories of unconditional love and devotion made my heart warmer and prouder. Being part of the teaching profession is truly a blessing. As the saying goes ‘Word is a powerful tool’. You can make a president or a criminal out of it. We must choose our words carefully for it may change someone’s life forever. Show them compassion, and don’t judge them base on their outer appearance. I remember my conversation with a 10-year-old kid, who told me, ‘Do not treat people the way they are ‘. All children are a gift from God and a blessing to everyone.”

Amie Rose Geraldizo, M.A.P.E.H.
2 years in service

“I thank God for the privilege to attend the NCA Leadership Journey. It was a great reminder of God’s unconditional love and acceptance for each one of us. And that same love is what we should pass on to our students. We don’t just impart knowledge to them, but we also share our life to them.”

Mary Grace Magno, Physics
9 years in service

“The 2-day NCA Leadership Journey was truly a wonderful gift to me as a friend, as a mother, as a wife, as a follower and most of all as a teacher. I’ve been teaching for 23 years, and I thought I had given my best to my students but after the seminar I had come to realized that it’s not enough that I imparted my knowledge to them. But instead I need to teach them with malasakit and pagmamahal.

After the seminar, I was renewed. It made me feel that I am loved by our God and with that, I want to love back. I will teach my students with love and concern. I will truly make sure that I will be a blessing to everyone especially to my students, my family, my friends, and to my superiors.”

Edna C. Salandanan, Mathematics and Geometry
23 years in service

“My experience at the NCA Leadership Journey for Teachers enlightened me on the real essence of being a teacher. It enhanced not only my values and attitudes as a teacher but also rekindled my passion to teach. It made me realize that I should be more compassionate and more caring to my students and give them the most that I can give. After the retreat, being a teacher really gives me a sense of pride.”

Mona Liza F. Adriano, English

“The Leadership Journey has really changed my outlook in life as a teacher and as a person. My friends are making fun of me every day, every time I am coming to school early. Why? Before, I am not very particular with the official time in. It is like beating the red light always. But now, of course, it is a little bit different than the usual.

Well, maybe the sudden change came from what I have learned from Dr. Juanita Alajar when she talked about malasakit. Aside from malasakit, I appreciated the silent time for us to reflect. The respect for quiet time is another new for me. I think Mr. Pagsi (Onofre Pagsanghan) was right that for us to be heard by the Lord, we need to have a quiet time with Him.”

Jean S. Catandijan, English
8 years in service

“Praised the Lord! The Leadership Journey for teachers organized by the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation was just on time. Being a teacher, sometimes I need a new atmosphere far from school, free from students. No lesson plan, grading sheets etc. It’s totally unwinding haggardness.

The question ‘Were there moments that you felt someone was guiding you?’ reminded me that every time I encountered problems in my job, the Lord never leaves me in this mission. I was also able to reflect on my vocation, reawakening the reason behind my serving and teaching. Our two-day Journey started with LOVE and ended up with LOVE! Now, I am sharing that love not only to my students, but also to my co-workers, parents and to my family. I am committing my remaining life as a teacher of service into EXCELLENCE.”

Estelita M. Sueño, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao
23 years in service

“It was a grateful opportunity to be included in the NCA Leadership Journey. The experienced helped me to focus more in serving my student. Being a teacher entails to be caring and sensitive to our students’ need. The Journey taught me to go beyond in reaching them. The Journey opened my mind that it is not enough to teach them but to let them feel they are love.

Job and service are different from one another, another insight that marked in my head. Job is something done in routine but service covers the totality of oneself to be able to help other’s peoples live. Service equates sacrifice for the good of everyone.

Being a teacher serves as an avenue to mold the future of the young ones. An opportunity that NCA Leadership Journey taught me not to loose it but make the best out of it.”

Edna N. Ramos, Araling Panlipunan
7 years in service

“I learned a lot from Mrs. Alejar, the principal of Payatas School. When she spoke in front, I realized that the attitude I should manifest to my students is that I have to be more tolerant and supportive toward my students in order for them to love me and remember me when they graduate.”

Manolo S. Lobedica, English
10 years in service

Ang isinagawang dalawang araw na Leadership Journey ay nakatulong sa akin ng malaki. Muli nitong binuhay at ginising ang aking damdamin sa pagtuturo. Lahat ng speakers ay magagaling lalo na si Mrs. Alajar. Ang Leadership Journey ay isang paraan para muling magkasama-sama ang mga gurong may iisang layunin para sa kapakanan ng mga kabataan.”

Cheryl P. Estrecho, Filipino
8 years in service

“The two-day Leadership Journey inspired and reminded me about the importance of being a good teacher; that teaching is not just the knowledge gained by the students but the most important are the values that you’ve imparted to them.”

Marvin Ronald C. Calanoc, Mathematics
13 years in service

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During one of the group sharing of the Participants

“The 2-Day Leadership Journey Retreat gave me a lot of realization in my life especially on my profession as a public school teacher. It rekindled my passion in teaching. It helped me improve my way of teaching and caring of my students. With this, I will do my best to do my obligation and love for my students especially to those students who need it the most.”

Jonathan S. Lardizabal, Mathematics
11 years in service

“It was an awesome experienced since all the topics were so inspiring, beneficial and touching to the hearts, body, minds and soul of all participants. I, for one, thought that it was just an ordinary retreat that I used to attend before, but this one is so different.”

Juliet T. Turreda, Araling Panlipunan

Sobra akong natutuwa dahil tama ang desisyon kong sumama sa Leadership Journey Batch 2. Dumating ang pagkakataong ito sa oras na kailangang-kailangan ko. Ito kasi ang panahon na masyado na akong napapagod kaya hindi ko makita yung purpsose ko kung bakit pa ako nanatili bilang teacher. Ang akala ko, pinipilit ko na lang pumasok para lang may maipangtustos ako sa gamot ko.

Pero dahil sa Journey na ito sa loob ng dalawang araw, na-realize ko na kaya pala ako nananatili ay dahil ito ang nasa puso kong gawin. Kahit medyo nahihirapan ako sa bawat araw, naiisip ko ang mga estudyante ko. Kapag hindi ako nakakapasok iniisip ko kung kamusta sila, at sa tuwing nagtuturo ako iniisip ko kung natututo ba sila sa akin.

Dahil sa Journey na ito, mas naunawaan ko ang bigat na nakaatang sa aming balikat bilang guro. Ngunit ipinakita nila kung paano namin ito madadala nang hindi namin mararamdaman ang bigat at ang susi ay pagmamahal. Pagmamahal na dapat naming ipasa dahil rin sa pagmamahal na aming natatanggap. Lubos akong nagpapasalamat dahil dito.”

Ma. Concepcion T. Cuasay, Araling Panlipunan
7 years in service

Napakarami ko pong natutunan sa ugnayan na ito. Lalong tumibay at tumatag ang pagiging guro ko. Lalo kong minahal ang tungkulin ko bilang guro. Napakalaki ng parte ng isang guro sa pagiging tao ng aming mga mag-aaral. Hindi lang pagiging guro ang tumibay kundi pati ang aking pagiging magulang. Hindi lang pagiging ina kundi pagiging anak din ang namulat sa akin, na napakalaki ng hirap ng aking mga magulang upang makarating ako sa kinatatayuan ko ngayon. Natutunan ko rin kay Teacher Sab na lahat ng tao ay may karapatang magbago, katulad ng aming mga mag-aaral. Kung ano man ang ugali nila ngayon ay may dahilan. Maaaring kulang sila sa pagkalinga ng kanilang mga magulang, at ako bilang guro ay nakahandang punan ang kakulangang ito sa paraan ng pag-unawa sa kanila. Ipararamdam ko sa kanila na narito ako bilang pangalawang ina sa kanila. Natutunan ko rin ang tunay na kahulugan ng MALASAKIT na pinaliwanag ni Ms. Alajar. Lahat pala ng gagawin natin para sa ating mga mag-aaral ay magagawa natin kung tayo ay may “MALASAKIT” sa kanila.

Belinda I. Salazar, T.L.E.
15 years in service

“It is an enlightening activity that touched our heart and I realized the importance of showing care and love in our job. The perspective of most teachers on the teaching profession is only a kind of job that will give them salary and to have earnings and savings. But I realized that this job is very noble. Teaching is not about how much I save from my earnings but it is how I save the soul of a thousand learners that go through my hands. It is not about how I teach the contents of my subject but it is about how I inspire their lives because I show my concern and love for them. I got inspired by the talks of the invited speakers. I just wish that they multiply to inspire and enlighten more people. Now, I will try to make my own story that will also inspire other people.

The retreat served as an open book that will always tell us the importance of serving other people without expecting in return, and will remind us that our job is a mission given to us by God. Teachers are the selected people that will continue His journey of being a great teacher. God is always on our side, extending His arms to help us in many difficult times. God is always listening to us and always loves us.”

Rafael A. Felices, M.A.P.E.H.
6 years in service

“Having a chance of attending a two-day seminar retreat was a good opportunity for me to pause and think of what I am now as teacher. Is the fire in my heart still burning? Or I am just doing it because it is my job and I am compensating for that? As I listen to the talks of different speakers, it help me realized how important the role of teachers are in molding the minds of the youth. We could build or destroy them in our actions and in our words. Teaching is a calling. It is God’s plan that we are in the service. Aside from that, I also realized that life is nothing without meaning and purpose and all of us are important in building the whole nation. This activity also reminded me that I am loved by my family members.”

Buenavida P. Turreda, Technology and Livelihood Education
17 years in service

“I realized my vocation. I really have to go beyond my limitations in order for me to touch the lives of my students. All the speakers inspired me to be more patient and loving to my students and to become a part of their journey too.”

Remedios Q. Sugay, Technology and Livelihood Education
25 years in service

“The 2-day Leadership Journey of NCAF became an instrument to me to reflect and understand the will of God. With a very busy life, we tend to forget and appreciate the people around us, even ourselves. Because we are busy working, we forget to “stop” and reflect on the real essence of life.

All the speakers in the Leadership Journey delivered a very good talk, about life, love, passion and God. Through the Leadership Journey, I understood myself better. I’ve learned that in whatever I do, I should do it with the best I can. Life is tough. We should look back to the past to understand the present and to continue with the future. Living our lives with love is important; it is the meaning of life. Loving is giving, giving is caring. And caring can be in the act of encouragement, kindness and sacrifice. We actually show these everyday, with our loved ones. But what we forget is to give our love and care to those in need, like our students. As a teacher, we shouldn’t teach lesson in school but also the lessons in life, we should teach by example. Teaching is a hard profession, because we have to love endlessly. Every student must feel this, without exception. We should like the unlikeable and love the unlovable. In loving, there is sacrifice. It means every pain and problem we experience in our life and work is part of loving. And if we stop loving, we stop living.

The Leadership Journey teaches me to understand life of being a teacher, that everything is arranged according to God’s plan and all I have to do is listen and trust Him. The journey of being a teacher is life-long commitment to learning. As we teach, we also learn.”

Cherry Daniela W. Laureano, M.A.P.E.H.
2 years in service

“As a teacher, we have the power to mold and touch individual lives. I have realized through the talks that I have to become a more patient, loving and caring teacher. I pray and ask the help of our Almighty God that He would guide me in all the problems and successes that I will face. I also pray that in the failures I will inevitably encounter, I will become much stronger.”

Peter I. Peralta, Mathematics
7 years in service

Noong una, nagdalawang isip ako kung sasama pa ako sa retreat. Pero gumawa ng paraan ang Panginoon para makasama ako sa retreat na ito.

Narealize ko na hindi lang pala pagtuturo ang responsibilidad ng mga gurong katulad ko, kundi ang maging inspirasyon sa mga mag-aaral, maging parte ng buhay nila na may pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit.

Ang pagtuturo ay hindi lamang pala isang bokasyon. Kalakip nito ang pagkalinga, pagmamahal at pagmamalasakit sa mga mag-aaral. Bilang guro, hindi mahalaga ang pera dahil gusto nating kumita ng malaki, kundi magkaroon ng mga mag-aaral na matututo ring magmalasakit sa iba.”

Agnes I. Dumapit, Filipino
7 years in service

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The Participants pose for camera during one of their break time.

Pagkatapos ng Leadership Journey, maraming naging pagbabago sa personal na buhay ko at higit sa lahat sa pagtingin ko sa aking mga mag-aaral. Natutuhan kong magkaroon ng higit na malasakit at pagkalinga sa aking mag-aaral. Hindi lang libro, o grado ang naging basehan sa pagtuturo kundi unahin ang puso para tignan ang bawat mag-aaral. Sa ganitong paraan, lubos kong naunawaan ang lagay at sitwasyon ng bawat bata. Higit sa lahat, natutuhan kong higit na mahalin kung anong propesyon ang mayroon ako.”

Bernadeth L. Magro, Araling Panlipunan
8 years in service

“The Leadership Journey was a time for me to be able to take a break from my usual life and take a step back to take a look at where I am at the moment and to see what had happened to my vocation as a teacher.

The retreat was a wake up call to rekindle my passion for teaching; a time to make that passion burn again, if not burning, at least it lighted much brighter than before in spite of all the challenges that we meet in our school’s day to day activity.

The retreat also reminded me that in everything that I do, do it for the greater glory of the Lord. There are times when it is hard for me to be productive with God in my mind because I get caught up with mundane things. Still the best thing is to put God first in everything, putting in mind that teaching is a vocation instilled by God to a few chosen people. All we have to do as a teacher is to love and loving is to sacrifice, to care and to serve. Loving those who loves us doesn’t have any impact. It is in loving the unlovable with which we can truly say that we give a part of us to our students.”

Elsa O. Lansangan, Araling Panlipunan
21 years in the service

“The NCA Leadership Journey has renewed my commitment to be better person every time, and that includes the commitment of being a good teacher to all students. It has reminded me that there are still more which I could share with every student that I encounter. This Journey enriched me more in the sense that it is validating that I have a purpose to fulfill and an obligation to complete and that is being a teacher who is capable of loving, caring and understanding any student who needs them.”

Benjamin C. Perez, Mathematics

“Which one is the most appropriate meaning of teaching? Teaching as a profession or teaching as a vocation? For me it depends on one’s heart and mind. If we love to teach and if we commit ourselves in teaching, we can stay longer in the system where we belong. Thus, this kind of leadership program given by the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation is really timely and helpful to each one of us. I learned so much from this program. I realized that touching the heart of my students is the best way to motivate them. I also learned that I should always smile to my students and colleague at all times. I will do my best to maintain all of these in my heart and mind, that I will love, care, and commit myself to my profession, and to my students my whole life.”

Carlos M. Oro, Science

“I realized that a teacher should focus not only with the lessons to be discussed on that particular day but to consider also the welfare and the needs of the students or their ‘individual difference’. I have learned that the most important role of a teacher is not only to impart knowledge but also to extend or lend a helping hand when it is needed.”

Ruby C. Aguas, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao

“In this Leadership Journey, I learned a lot not only for my vocation but also for my field that I belong. The importance of being a teacher, and being a human, that is to love, to be loved and to share your love.”

Angelita A. Matoguina, Mathematics
7 years in service

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