Bulan Teachers’ Day 2009 Message

By: Mayor Helen C. De Castro

Theme: “Our Teachers…Our Heroes… Our Life…”

Honorable Councilors,

Our Distinguished Guest of Honor and Speaker, Dr. Remigio G. Tee,

Superintendent Dr. Marilyn Dimaano and the Division Administrative Staff,

Our Bulan Schools Administrators,

This Year’s Hosts, the SSC-Bulan Campus and the Different Private Schools,

Our Dear Teachers,

Guests and Visitors,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mga Pinapadaba ko na mga Kabungto:

Good Evening!

Tonight, we welcome back to our fold one of the foremost products of our local schools, whom many of us may not have known, especially among the younger generation of teachers, a true-bloodied Bulaneno, who has excelled in his own field of endeavor, and we are really proud of him. With his great expertise, he could have worked to get rich in the United States or elsewhere, but he rather chose to be in our country, to teach and serve here. He is a real patriot. Thank you very much, Dr. Remigio Tee,  for coming to grace this affair.

And tonight as well, we are so glad and proud of  the presence of a truly wonderful kid, who has a lot of promise in the future, for so long as we never lose that love and  dedication to nurture her, while she is around in our schools. She is an honor not only to our town but to Sorsogon and the whole Bicolano community as well. You are a gem to us, Shaina Marie Obis Villareal, national champion in storytelling and oral interpretation. We share the pride of your school, of your teachers and of your parents, Edgardo and Maritess.

And tonight as well, while we give a toast and celebrate the Bulan Teachers, we also raise our salute a little more higher to your colleagues, our outstanding teachers this year. For sure, all of you share in this honor of theirs. Maybe, we have questions like – how do you measure dedication or devotion to the teaching profession? How do we prove competence? How do we measure a teacher’s guts and love for his or her students? Or, the other way around, how does the student perceive or look up to his teacher? How has he or she influenced the very life of the person under his or her care? These are questions left  for the individual teacher to answer. We cannot decide on those questions much as we want to. We believe that there are hundreds, and thousands and millions of teachers, not only here in Bulan, but everywhere else, who are willing to share their very lives to the vocation they have chosen to pursue. We therefore leave the material criteria as they are when these outstanding teachers were chosen, and they represent the very noble causes that all of you are espousing.

A few days ago, CNN has chosen this year’s CNN Hero of the Year. He is Efren Penaflorida, a Filipino. He has gone to great sacrifice, using his Kariton, to bring the classroom to streetchildren who didn’t have the privilege of going to school, He has used his imagination, creativity, his organizational skills and above all his love for children. It is this love that drove him to teach. But I am sure that the motive which drove Efren to teach is the same driving force that motivates many of you as well. Efren only represents the very essence of the heroism in many of you.

There is a Jewish Proverb that says, “If you have saved the life of one person, it is as if you have already saved the world.” Essentially, it also means that if you have changed the life of one person, it is as if you have already changed the world. But we are billions in this planet, that is why  we seem to have an  insurmountable setting, where this Jewish Proverb seems to be futile and unrealistic. But we must continue to do our job as teachers, to reach out to most, and be the best we can.

Human society has placed the greatest, the most stringent, the strictest, the severest pressure and demand on people who take care of other people. Examples of these are the priests or religious ministers, the policemen or law enforcers, and especially the teachers and educators. That is why when a member of any of these groups go astray or commit a wrong-doing, they immediately become the target of all kinds of detraction, of calumny, of hate, of misgivings and suspicions, dragging with them almost all other members of their group. Priests and teachers, are especially always looked up to because of their moral ascendancy over people; they are considered the guardians and vanguards of morals and character-building, and for their shortcomings, people, especially some in the media, can be unforgiving. This is because the teaching profession is on the top of the pedestal among the moral guides and guardians of our society. Oftentimes, the teachers are not treated fairly by some people, especially when the issue or concern against teachers is elevated in the  media, the shortcoming of one becomes the shortcoming of everybody else in the profession.  This is sad, because this is not true. This is sad because, in general, majority of the teachers are good. We must overcome it by proving that indeed teaching is one of the most noble of vocations and professions.

Personally, I have the greatest regard for our teachers. What we are today as a community would not be if not for our teachers. You are our heroes, our life. In your hands, we have the future of our country, of our children.

That is why when we, our local administration and  your organization, conceptualized this Bulan Teachers’ Day, our objective is sincere: that honor be given where honor is due. It is not lip service for teachers, but a sincere desire that we are one with you in your aspirations for your well-being. The local government may not be able to give those material benefits that teachers seek and demand,  but we hope this gesture today  can be seen as a gesture of goodwill and of our highest esteem for our good teachers in Bulan.

I have time and again told the Mayor’s staff that they should accommodate our teachers very respectfully every time they come to my office. Otherwise, if I do not do these, all our ideas about a teachers’ day is nothing.  This is our way of saying thank you to all of you for your service. When our teachers come to my office, for so many reasons like seeking assistance for some school needs, or solicitations, or accompanying their students for some financial or material assistance to this or that contest or attendance to some conferences or gathering of schools, we try our best to be a lending hand. We may not be able to give all and every favor to our schools and teachers, but we do the best we can. Many teachers come to my office to seek help, but they come not for their own needs, but for their students or pupils, for their schools and school activities. This, is a sign of their service for others. Many schools in Bulan were improved not because of  the national government, but because of the selfless dedication, hardwork, sacrifice of our local teachers.

Tonight, I would like to also use this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to every school and every teacher here in Bulan for your wonderful support and cooperation to my administration and to our community programs. Many of my programs were successful because of the partnerships and collaborative efforts we have built up over the years. And thank you on so many instances when typhoons and floods struck us, we used your classrooms as evacuation centers, even if it meant a lot of inconvenience on your part later on.

We would like to give special mention and appreciation to this year’s Teachers’ Day sponsors, the Sorsogon State College-Bulan Campus and Private Elementary and High Schools. Allow me also to congratulate the State College for their wonderful job of fully coming up with programs and projects to promote quality education through their own resourcefulness and self-reliance. I attended their Report Conference on November 11. In the same manner, allow me to extend my congratulation to DepEd for their ManCom activities. I have also attended their conferences with the Division Superintendent for one whole day so that I shall be kept abreast of their activities.

For every school activity that we are invited to, we say thank you very much for your trust in us.

I am one with you in your prayer and hope that all your aspirations as teachers will finally come to realization.

Thank you very much for your great presence today. Mabuhay tabi kamo entero! Mabuhay tabi an kada maestra nan maestro san Bulan!

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