“Magiging teacher ka!”
(You will become a teacher!)
With conviction, Nanay gave her unsolicited opinion as she was watching me and my cousins playing turu-turuan, aral-aralan; since I am the most “maldita” as my Lola addressed me, I played the role of the teacher and my cousins as my students.
That remark is like a comet that landed in front of me! I don’t know what urged Nanay to say that, I don’t know if it is a joke, but definitely it’s not a funny joke for me. I don’t know if it is a prophecy, but I am sure Nanay is not a good fortune teller. If it is a curse, well, I should have to do something to reverse the effect. I should have not allowed it to happen; I don’t want to be like someone whose future is already planned with seal and authentication at the registry of profession. At a very young age, I already knew what I want, what I want to be and I will not allow a single “role play” to hinder me from achieving my goals in life. To be a teacher is not my dream; I am certain of that.
Full of respect and determination, I answered Nanay’s commentary, “Nanay, laro langpo ito, hindi po ako magiging teacher”. (Mother we are just playing; I will not become a teacher) My mother just gave me her sweetest smile and cynical nod. The things she always does if she is sure of what she is thinking.
How can I blame my seven-year old me if I really don’t want to see myself as a teacher? Who would have dreamed/dreamt to be a teacher knowing that they have the most frantic schedule and the toughest job in the world? Who would want to be in front of more or less 50 students with diverse personalities to deal with, five days in a week? Who would want to continuously learning despite of many long years spent in school? Who would want to wear the outmoded uniform while struggling explaining the parts of speech? Who would want to stay awake until wee hour in the morning writing and reading the lessons? Who would want to be a parent of children who have different problems in life? Who would want to be emotionally attached to children who would leave you after sometime? Who would want to be the subject of expectations of everyone to be forever morally upright? Who would want to be the unsung heroes of the new generation? Count me out! I don’t think I can bear the pressure of such career.
That scenario with Nanay was three decades ago. Many things had happened; many events had occurred. Nanay is already in the arms of our Creator. I am already married. I’ve already witnessed seven Presidents promised to change the future of our country. I’ve observed how Filipinos constantly hoping and dreaming that those promises will come true. After 30 years, I am proud to say that I am fulfilled and contented with what I have become.
Thirty years ago, I want to be a Psychologist, someone who would help people find solutions to their problems, someone who would make others feel that they are not alone, that they have someone to understand them because I believe that it takes only a person’s trust for you to believe in yourself as well. I fulfilled that, I may not become a Psychologist, but I became that “person”. I became a friend to many young souls.
Thirty years ago, I want to be a Doctor, someone who would devote time to help others in finding relief from their sickness, someone who would give a spark of courage to those who are already hopeless, because I know that illness is half-cured as long as you are happy and you know the value of acceptance. I fulfilled that, I may not become a Doctor, but I became that “person”. I shared a light to little helpless minds.
Thirty years ago, I want to be an architect, someone who would design bridges for people for easy access. I want to design houses for families who would live a decent life because I believe that everything begins at home. I fulfilled that, I may not become an Architect, but I became that “person”. I designed bridges that connect the gaps of misunderstanding and disarray among young individuals.
Thirty years ago, I want to be an engineer, someone who would build infrastructures as symbols of success and progress, I want to build tall buildings because I believe that there is no such big dreams as long as you take actions bit by bit. I fulfilled that, I may not become an Engineer, but I became that “person”. I became builder, builder of innocent souls.
Thirty years ago, I don’t want to be a teacher. I promised to my Nanay that I will not become what she thought that I would become. That was thirty years ago, and I was wrong. I was not able to find ways to reverse the effects of the “curse” I became a teacher. I was able to bear the pressure of such profession. Everything happened as opposed to what I have planned. Now, I proved that “mother knows best”. Nanay is right naging teacher ako (I became a teacher) and I am wrong, and I am happy that I am wrong, that I was not able to run away from my destiny, that I was not able to ignore the calling of my destined vocation.
If I would be given a chance to have a conversation again with my mother, she would probably say, sabi ko sa iyo magiging teacher ka! (I told you, you will become a teacher) I would proudly answer, Nay hindi po ako naging teacher, hindi po basta teacher, kundi isa pong mahusay at masayang teacher! (Mother, I did not become a teacher, not just a teacher, but a better and a happy one).
I am already 14 years in service now and have no plans to look for another job. My heart is beating for this profession, if this is a “curse”, well, this is the sweetest curse ever made. Teacher may have the most frantic schedule and toughest job in the world but I am certain that they have the most fulfilled life. I should know, because I am one of them. This is Ma’amVangie #ProudToBeGuro.