1. I am a teacher
2. Lesson from my dog
3. “Tatay” (Father)
I am a teacher
Being a teacher for 17 years, I have encountered countless of students sitting in my classroom. Year after year, faces come and faces go, some of which the names I can’t barely recall when they leave the university during graduation. But I don’t forget the faces who, for each semesters stared at me, some inquisitively while others blankly. As a computer engineering teacher, it is not just the knowledge of the course that I want to impart to them but in my heart, it has always been my great desire to give to each one of them the wisdom about life that will help them for the challenges that may come along the way as they step the corporate ladder once they will leave the university. And so, I made the platform my pulpit, teaching them about life – assisting and listening to their complains and sharing with their joys like an ordinary person in the campus.
It is my great consolation, when wherever they see me, they always go out of their way to say “how are you?” and in some occasions many years after they graduated, they still visit me in school. I sometimes encourage them to give advices to the students in my class. There, they would share to them the hardships they’ve experienced under my class. And it gives me immense joy when I hear how, that instead of being bitter, they are very thankful for the knowledge and the Christian guidance that I used to teach them. Others would e-mail me from other parts of the world, happily informing me what’s going on with their career and their lives. Even though my former students are now highly successful and highly paid in their respective careers, but for me, I will always be a teacher at heart, to continue molding the youth. It is my consolation and my joy to be a part of their growing up years, to be part of their life as students.
Lesson from the Dogs
I have dogs. Labrador Retriever by breed and I love them.
One day I noticed that my female dog named as Shiloh has this appetite that is not of the normal. I was just thinking that its normal so I didn’t mind. But then I noticed that my male dog named Spag lost its appetite, which is the opposite of Shiloh.
I then found out that my female dog is pregnant.
So what happened is that my female dog eats what male dog leaves on his dog bowl. As a result, Shiloh the female dog has gained weight and my male dog lost weight. I tried to curtail her of her too much desire to eat and did my best to have Spag eat his food. But even what I do, I could not help but let it be.
Weeks after, Shiloh gave birth to several puppies. They are healthy beautiful puppies.
During the lactating days, Shiloh, the mother could not cope with the needs of the puppies. Even though how much I feed the mother, still its taking tool on the health of the mother. But since she has stocked nutrients in her body, she has managed to survive the ordeal of being a mother.
I am just imagining on what have happened now if she did not gain weight during pregnancy. What could have happened if she did not increase her appetite to eat. What could have happened if my male dog have not lost his appetite.
Now I understand.
My worries have turned into gratitude. Happy that she gained that appetite. And also why my male dog lost his appetite.
These things can be explained scientifically. But I believe that everything happens for a reason.
There are times that we seem to forget the reason of our existence. Or even question the misfortunes in our lives when we know that we have done our best. But then again everything happens for a reason. The best things are always in store for us. When there is pain, it would be for a certain gain. Just be patient. And be happy knowing that God has always a better plan for us!
There are four(4) of us siblings in the family. I have a sister and two brothers. And though my parents are private school teacher, their salary is very low just enough for us to survive decently.
One summer when I was still in elementary, our relatives from Mindanao (the southern part of the Philippines), made an exodus to our home place in Negros Occidental (a province in the central part of the Philippines) because of drought experienced on their place. Plants could not grow, rivers have gone dry. They lost the ability to survive because farming is the only way of living they knew.
These relatives of mine, more than 15 of them coming from my mother side are a lot of mouth to feed. My father who is a very good man took care of my mother’s family as if it is his own. No buts no ifs. He just worked hard and help them as much as he can. He is a man of virtues.
This situation has driven to a certain level of hardship that we as siblings(I am the eldest) has to divide an egg among the four of us. But I know that I am still luckier compared to children in Africa. But to the eyes of the child I don’t understand things as they were. I don’t understand poverty. I only know that there’s not enough.
With this limited resources, we as his children are moving towards malnutrition.
In my hometown, there is this “Camansi” fruit tree that has large seeds that you can cook. One fruit can contain 30-40 seeds. These seeds are one inch in diameter and is really nutritious and at the same time delicious. The tree is really big but really old. The branches are brittle and to make matters worse, it grows on a cliff near the river. The only way we can get the seeds from the fruit is to wait until the fruit ripens and voluntarily falls to the ground and hopefully not reaching the river. The flesh is not anymore edible. But the seeds are perfect.
People in the community would wake up early and do their best to locate the fruit that has scattered on the ground because of the impact. First come first serve!
My father was the best. He always get it.
He does not sleep, and if ever he does, he wakes up at 2 AM and using a kerosene lamp, he would find he way to scour the place and get the fruit in pitch black morning just for his family to have it long before other people would wake up. Rain or no rain he is always there.
This effort of my father did not pass through unnoticed from my young eyes. There are moment that my tears would fall. But I know that all of these hardships will come to pass.
My mother’s family went back to their farm and things went back to normal for us.
The drought lasted for a year, long enough for us to go malnourished if my father did not do anything about it. He knew that it would have an adverse effect on our growth and that would hinder us in developing our full potential as a person.
This thing, is just one of the many, he did for us.
Now we’re all professionals. Trying to build our own family. We can’t help but do the same for our loved one. Nobody should tell us that. We have a firsthand experience from a great man we call as “Tatay”.
As long as I remember I have never heard him saying I love you.
But I know it’s not necessary.