Kid at Work

Deep meaning lies often in childish play. – Johann Friedrich von Schiller Mentoring CWTS 2

Playful. Child-like. Student of life. Teacher. Disciple. Oh no. This can’t be haha! I’m becoming a kid, again. And I’m becoming a teacher. Well, at least, that’s what I’m going to be in years to come. The Lord has brought me here, at the right place and right time. He’s showing me something. A glimpse of the future that I thought and used to believe will never come to pass. But things are different now. His vision and plans for my life are now more clearly than ever. I have never felt and heard His Word for me as loud and as close as now. Everything just seems orchestrated.  All things are working together for my good.

Yes, I still have it in me. It never left me actually. I’m a kid.  A child of God who will always be in awe of his Creator. These Sibol kids from Gawad Kalinga don’t have even the slightest idea that they are a very strong message for me from the Lord. That I am learning His will through them.

I am privileged to meet these young people of Los Baños. What seems to be a burdensome task from our CWTS 2 class became a passion and source of happiness and enjoyment for me and the whole class. There’s just magic each time you look into a child’s eye.

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2013: A New Beginning

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been
 Rainer Maria Rilke batang sibol

Yeah! The 2013 just got started. It’s time to stretch out some muscles. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Need to juggle up things such as work, studies, Sunday school. As of last year, these are the things that fill up my busy days. These are the things that I have learned to love doing. And for this new year, I’d like to add to that list a sort of a community service, a class requirement. This time, I am going to do it out of town. The Christmas party with the Sibol kids of Gawad Kalinga in Los Baños last December has moved something in me. I guess it’s really the right time to reach out to others and see things differently. This time, on a child’s perspective.

January 12, Saturday. Just got out of work at 3 o’clock in the morning, should be home by 4 o’clock, prepare a bit for a busy day ahead and by 6 o’clock, I should be at the UPOU Learning Center grounds in UP Diliman, our meeting place and where the van that will carry us to Los Baños waits. I’ll just try to get a sleep along the way. I don’t know, but going out of town, in a place I’m not that familiar, gets me excited. The thinking that I’ll be spending time with those kids gives me ease. Not to mention the opportunity to get to know my classmates and try to work with them. A sweet escape indeed from all the city battles that I try winning on a daily basis.

We arrived at the town of Los Baños at 9 o’clock. Had breakfast in a fast-food chain and look for some ingredients for the feeding program. Walking became our way of life every time our class goes to that part of Laguna. Time seems so slow there and not in a hurry, a typical provincial atmosphere which is I truly appreciate. We started our program at 10 o’clock. A short prayer and everything follows. Indoor games, storytelling, and our most favorite, feeding time.

Batang Sibol 2

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Tuloy-tuloy pa rin ang Pasko

“Christmas is a necessity. Sibol ChristmasThere has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” – Eric Sevareid

December 15, 2012, Saturday morning. This would be the first time our CWTS 2 class will go to the Gawad Kalinga in Los Baños, Laguna to participate and attend the Christmas party of the Meralco Sibol School, the pre-school for the young citizens of the community. Our meeting place is at the UPOU Diliman Learning Center and will travel by van provided by the university.   I am a bit hesitant, I admit. I am not used to handling kids, or preschoolers at that. Though I have nephews, I never really teach them, just played with them a bit. Now that I am becoming a teacher, the time is right for me to practice honing my skill to handle kids and try to incorporate knowledge into their young minds. If this doesn’t work, I will just enjoy the time playing around with them.

When we arrive at the site at noon, everyone is there already. The Christmas spirit is so present. They have been waiting for us, I supposed! It was like; the kids are expecting something special for that day, presents. They knew it is their day, their time of the year. As for me, I have always believed that Christmas, is really for kids. Not just for the kids at age but also for all the kids at heart, for all humanity. For one can only truly receive Christmas in his heart by having a child-like spirit, in anticipation of the Messiah’s coming into the world, and be with His beloved children.

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Something to do with my hands

“Somebody has to train these kids. Somebody has to teach them, and if not me, who? If not now, when? We must do it. It’s got to be done.” Oral Lee Brown – founder of the Oral Lee Brown Foundation, a nonprofit committed to education

It seems like it was just an ordinary Saturday morning, just got out from my work (BPO) and looking forward to an awesome weekend. I’ll be attending a class F2F session for my CWTS 1 class in Diliman and see what’s in store for me from the Gawad Kalinga, the education track that I chose for that course. As we wait for our class session to start, I realized I haven’t really done something significant for my community recently. I know I’ve been too busy. The main reason why I choose Gawad Kalinga track which is located at the Los Banos, Laguna is because I need to do something out of town, out of the city. It will be such a relief from daily city battles, a sweet escape.

As I go on listening to our track presenters, I know something in me is changing. I am being reminded. Yes, I still have in me that trait of voluntarism, helping, of reaching out to others, and I still do have that obligation to my neighbors, to my community. These hands of mine need to get back to work.

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On Good Citizenship

I wanted to be a citizen of the world but not in a superficial way. – Robert Fulghum 

It really feels good whenever I look back and reminisce on my elementary school days back in my coastal town of Libagon in Southern Leyte. It is there where I started to somehow contribute to the welfare of our sleepy barrio. We were given vegetable seedlings by our municipality officials and planted and took care of it until the harvest time comes. We sell our harvest to our neighbors, teachers, and to our parents. It’s such an opportunity for us, as young students then to be given that responsibility to grow the money that was entrusted in our hands. At the end of the school year, we were able to raise the amount that we need to buy a wall fan for our classroom and for our year-end celebration.

Another experience that I had is when I was asked by my teacher to teach my classmates who cannot catch up with our lessons because of absences due to economic reasons. Yes, most kids during our time help their families in mostly farm-related works. Attending school on a daily basis becomes secondary priority to them when their family’s welfare is at stake. I was somehow reminded that I am blessed to have parents who earn enough and able to send all their children to school.

It was then when I first learned the value of teamwork and the importance of volunteerism. Caring for others became part of me when I realized things aren’t always fair. Indeed the best time to indulge yourself in community and group activities is when you are young for you will be able to adapt it as you grow older. Until now, I still carry that servanthood in me because of the experiences that has molded me over the years. I am now more than excited to complete my degree requirements and go back to my hometown and serve as an ALS (Alternative Learning System) teacher to the young people of the Eastern Visayas region.

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I am a man of the republic. I follow, and then I lead.

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. – Aristotle

First and foremost, it is an honor for me to be part of a public service university like UP Open University, an institution of the world that caters to the ever-changing needs of the society for it to continuously evolve and to reach its full potential, anywhere in the globe. 

As learners of the institution and being part of the national university of the Philippines, we have this duty to serve and give back to the country what we’ve learned. This is the price we have to pay for being taught and mold by the brightest minds of our time. Let’s get governed. We must learn not just to follow but lead. Be at the forefront. Let’s give more and expect less in return. It’s good that we know our rights but it’s another thing that we know our responsibilities and obligations to our nation.

Being distant learners, we have been trained to think out of the box and be responsible in our own. Weren’t used to being spoon-fed all the time. Obviously, we have the capacity to make a difference in our community because we are used to it. We are doing ordinary things in a different way, as students of alternative learning system. 

As for me, I have learned to love being a servant. I have learned to take care of my family, take care of my work, and every Sunday morning I take my place at the church. I know, I’ll be pastoring the next generation through education. 

Let’s get out of our comfort zone and lead. 😀 

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