A friend asked me if I would be willing to write and share a story about my favorite teacher in time for the October 05 celebration of this year’s World Teachers’ Day.

I quickly scanned through my memory to see who will it be if ever I wrote one. Instantly, I remembered the old times during kindergarten and grade school days, a smile on my face as a memory of a younger and clumsy me flashes in mind with my patient and caring teachers. They taught me the basics of mathematics and of reading, of taking a nap, of singing the national anthem, of sharing responsibilities for class recess, of good manners and so on. Also, it was during these formative years that I get to learn to be active in extracurricular activities at school, which provided for holistic learning in school. In high school, coming from a Paulinian school, I would meet a nun as my teacher in one subject. The very first to assign me to be one of the three representatives from my class in a quiz bee contest at school. A student from a younger batch would say that she told us a story and it’s some good stuff about you. She may not be a favorite, but I cannot forget her as she showed trust in my capabilities.

Today, Teachers’s Day, I remember them and I am forever grateful even for the strict professors in college who helped me and supplied my passion for Mass Communication.

But if I had to pick, it would definitely be Angie Ipong. And no, I did not meet Ka Angie in a four-walled classroom rather in a farm where I saw the good and harsh realities of life. She is good with farming techniques and shared her knowledge to peasants, devoted her time to explain the gains of collective and organic farming that could empower the community.  She never actually formally taught me anything. But what I learned from her are real life lessons we never get to acquire from expensive schools or universities. She would tell me that I am still young and can choose from hundreds of possibilities life can offer. I can push through with reporting, or I can have my own family, I can do corporate jobs, I can study again, etc. But it is from her I saw genuine happiness in the life she chose to lead, serving the people. Even at an old age, her positive aura and outlook in life becomes so influential.

So here I am, still pondering on life’s greatest question on what to do with it. I may have probably the answer, but still have a lot of contradictions to contend. Living and working abroad was a quick decision I had to make to consider my mother’s request. I would still like to know, someday, if I would be able to apply what I learned from my favorite teacher, my hero wherever I may be.

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