During my childhood years, I really wanted to be a dentist. I just thought that having beautiful and complete teeth (naks!) will make me a good dentist. I imagined myself then wearing a perfect white dentist uniform with my super high-tech dental chair, dental mirror and a mask in my face – presto! I am a dentist…. in my dreams! And I am responsible in giving you a “no more, no less… only teeth that shine” smile! My desire to be a dentist was really intense then, maybe because all of my childhood friends wanted to be a teacher, so to make a difference, I wanted to be a dentist. Unlike them, being a teacher as a profession never entered in my neurons. Not because I regard the profession lesser than a dentist but I’m afraid of the responsibility attached to it, hence, I don’t want to be a teacher! :)
Isang nakakaantok na tanghali,
Kalaro 1: Hoy laro naman tayo.
Kalaro 2: Sige, tara ayain natin sila Menggay at Gelay!
Gelay: Ok, sige tara punta tayo kina Bebejho!
Mga Kalaro: Bebejho! Bebejho! Laro tayo!
Bebejho!: Tara! Anong laro ba? Piko tayo!
Gelay: Mainit pa eh.
Menggay: Oo nga, saka nde ko dala yung pamato ko sa piko, swerte un eh.
Kalaro 1 & 2: Eh di mag-aral-aralan na lang tayo!
Mga kalaro: Tama! Ikaw na lang ang teacher Bebejho!
But just like any other child, that childhood dream eventually changed. In my high school years, I’ve been busy being a sports news writer for our school paper “The Breeze” and in later years being a Logistics Officer (G4) of CAT. The intensity of being a dentist had its natural death and my heart wanted me to be a ringside sportscaster in PBA instead. It was during these years when I became so fascinated with sports, from basketball to bowling to billiards to boxing to athletics to chess to swimming to OTB (sports ba to?). Although I had this interest when I was young I think the peak was during my high school years. I took every opportunity to develop my sports writing style, watched other sports analyst and learned technical terms used in different sports. Sometimes I’m practicing my sports casting in front of my mirror. I had this obsession not until my high school graduation. All of a sudden I became confused of what I really want. But even during those confusions being a teacher was never an option for the same reason still.
Up until now, I still don’t want to be a teacher eventhough I had some orientation in teaching. I’m still afraid of the responsibility of being a teacher. Henry Adams once said that, “a teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops”, and I’m afraid of this. For me, this means “making” or “breaking” a student’s dream depending of what a teacher may pass on to his/her student. I, being a teacher, may influence them to do well and be of help to chase those dreams or might fail and be cursed by my students all of their lives. Although I believe that success comes to those who really want it, influence of the teachers really has an impact.
Last March I was invited in San Francisco High School to facilitate one of recollection groups of the graduating class. The main objective is not just to encourage, motivate and empower them but also to impart Christian values as they will be more independent after graduation. I handled sections 16 and 17, tough sections really! It was here where I met Jasper. (pre-requisite ang Kuyukot ni Jasper)
Jasper caught my attention at once. He was untidy, with loose-fitting dirty-white polo, busted black shoes, silent and aloof. I don’t know how to approach him, luckily he smiled at me and I just asked him “Kamusta ka?” And we started the recollection.
After that day, I can’t stop thinking about Jasper and the youth of the new generation. Jasper was the VOICE of the struggling Filipino youth who could be an answer to the problem or could be the problem of the society if not properly motivated. How many young Filipinos are in the same situation of Jasper? How many of them chose the same path as Jasper’s or be on the other side and became delinquent? These thoughts really burdened me and found myself thinking of ways how I could help these young people.
For me, high school years are the critical times of a growing individual. It’s during this time where we start drawing our principles and molding our values. And so I thought, to be in-touched with the youth, I should be in school, in high school, helping the youth to draw their principle and mold their values.
Today is my first day as a volunteer Values Teacher of VOICE Phils (Values Orientation In Classroom Education) in San Francisco High School. I am now embracing the responsibility of influencing young people to be a God-fearing, good citizen of this country.
Indeed, our youth today is the only hope of tomorrow. So let’s make a difference in their youthful years!
I still don’t want to be a teacher but I want to be a motivator, influencer, adviser who teaches not just in the head but also in the heart. :)