TO THE TEACHERS OF
NUEVA VIZCAYA GENERAL COMPREHENSIVE HIGH SCHOOL
Now that I’m older a lot of the younger ones would tell me, “you’re such an inspiration, ate.”
Through the years, I have learned that what you don’t have, you cannot give.
And this is where it all started.
I spent 4 years in this public high school, the biggest, most populated yet most reputable in our little town. Inside the walls of this school, I went through my adolescent years. Too much fun, too much drama!
15 years ago, after feeding our brains and building our identities (or some parts of it), my classmates and I were launched into the world.
This year I came back to say hello. The stage that used to intimidate me looks smaller now.
In this platform I learned to conquer my stage fright, made stupid mistakes, practiced my leadership, cried a bucket, and won awards.
Behind the curtains were our teachers who kept scolding, pushing and caring until they dropped.
Looking back, I was a teenager with an attitude, a cringe-worthy writer, an awkward undeveloped character.
Now that I think of it, it’s amazing how my teachers were able to handle so much headache from thousands of attention-seeking teenagers.
As a public school in the Philippines, we didn’t have superb facilities, enough classrooms, adequate books but we had the best teachers.
I can say that in all sincerity, because the world has become my stage. In all my exits and entrances, I carry with me values and knowledge planted during my high school years.
The school’s mission and vision were empty words when I was a student. But in my years of working overseas, travelling the world and meeting other nationalities, I can say that my teachers should be proud of themselves.
You have raised us to thrive and survive.
The hallways are witnesses to the many sweat and tears our teachers shed for us to get where we are now.
My teachers were moulders of my dreams. They sparked the flame of my imagination and creativity.
They slowly pushed me ‘till the edge, took a step back as I tested my wings, quietly cheered when I soared and grieved when I dived down.
Their arms are always open when I come back home – whether to celebrate a good catch or to lick my wounds.
When I was in high school, I thought my accomplishments were everything. I did taste the fruits of my hard work and success.
But my best of times always brought me back to where it began.
I may be oceans away but in my heart I know that every achievement is a seed of a selfless teacher.
That is why every opportunity I get to give back, I grab without hesitations. I rally the present generation not to take their high school teachers for granted.
Listen, learn and absorb as much wisdom as you can, while you can.
To my high school teachers, you are the guardian of a million dreams. When you feel like things are too much to bear, remember the many lives you have changed.
I can inspire others because you inspired me first.
Indeed, I cannot give what I do not have.