Wednesday, January 31, 2007

there are some things money can't buy

Location: Greenhills Memorial Park
Time: 7:30 p.m.
I hate to say this was our reunion, so when I saw my 4-Mayer students again (now that they are in college), I said to myself that this was definitely the most awkward place and moment to see most of them in any given time. Everyone (well, as I mentioned, most) got to Greenhills to visit the wake of Efraim's father, who passed away of brain cancer. I remember someone saying that people get to be together in birthdays and wakes, and surely this gathering with my dear students still fits the latter. We had to pay respect for the lost of a father, but I felt the group was more excited to get to see each other.

Everyone has moved on, I guess. Most of them are occupied with their undergrad studies (as freshmen students), preparing for the upcoming midterm examinations. Others are still struggling to adjust to the pressures of college life. A few, well, I should say just are engaged with other things aside from school simply because they want to or because fate has struck them awe.
Whatever and wherever they have lived their lives at present, I am still proud of them.
I was able to have dinner with Cherrylyn, John Kim and Louie at Tapsi Time when we reached downtown. I guess the long trod up and downhill really took its toll for us.
Chicken and Pork Adobo: P55.00
Iced Tea: P28.00
Breaded Pork Chop: P 85.00
Fare: P 10.00
Reunions: Priceless

Monday, January 8, 2007

a promise is a promise

Economics as a subject was just a minor class during my college year and yet I met a very good teacher who handled it quite well. The class appreciated his efforts to make the class understand concepts in the subject. I greatly esteemed how he based his lectures on the grassroots level. With him, you could touch and feel assumptions such as value, supply and demand, price and scarcity.

Economics = farmers + mercado + soil + gantang + dirt roads + sipi

He was good at what he was teaching… but there was one thing wrong about him.

We heard he was ill.

We knew he wasn’t feeling well. But he never told us about it. Even if he did his lectures, we could all sense that he felt tired after every class. Our room was located at the fifth floor and it seemed like every day, our teacher would come a minute late than yesterday. When he arrives, he pauses to take a deep breath, like gathering his strength to get going in life… to survive.

One time in the middle of that semester, some classmates and I met him on our way to the classroom. I remember we were somewhere in the third floor of that building. I was a part of a cultural presentation during that time and so and my classmates and I gave him two tickets for him to see the show.

“Sir, complementary tickets for you and your wife.”


“Tan-aw biya sa among show, Sir ha?” (“Please watch our show, will you?”)

“Tan-awon lang nako, salamat daan.” (“We’ll see. Thanks.”)

We gave the tickets and after that, we were just overwhelmed by the late night practices and the show preparations… not to mention the show itself.

But he never watched the show. Days after, we heard the sad news. He died of cancer in the liver.

I can’t help but think about it even until now. Then, we were all surprised of what happened. It was still the middle of the semester. He wasn’t able to finish teaching us the course. Was he that weak? Was he trying his best to make the most out of his life? Did he know he would die then? So many questions left hanging… not knowing if they are going to be answered. I still can’t help think about the coincidences – half of the semester, halfway to the classroom. He never finished the semester, just halfway. Well, maybe I just think of ways to justify the lost.

He was replaced by a teacher entirely from the other side of the pole. She was the exact opposite. We never really liked her though. One student complained that he got better grades in the subject during midterms than in the semi-finals. She berated that we should go the grave of our previous teacher, kneel and ask for our grades. I pity her.

Economics = Dinar + dos andanas + luxury cars + Jollibee China + BS Economics

I am writing this because I made a promise to myself that if I had the medium to write about this, I would. And I just did. This is my constant reminder to myself as a teacher.

Requiescat en Pace.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

like the flowing river

Reading other people's reflection is such a reliveing experience. This book is not be to written about. This book is to be read and reflected upon.