On Your Journey Home
To Ma'am Molly
Today, I share my thoughts about a teacher, a mother and a friend. For more than a decade of partnership as school paper advisers, we were able to make history happen for the school where we worked together. The school publications of Palsong National High School, The Palsong Point and Ang Panan-aw, had been among the best school papers not only in Bicol Region but in the entire country as well when it garnered several regional and national awards.
The labour, heart and spirit we poured on every aspect of producing the school publication from 1995 until I accepted a school headship assignment in 2005, were all for the love of letters and for sharing the gifts we received. This woman had been with me all throughout the work, attending to the leg and dirty work of school publication. Her patience in reading and in making sure the sentence structures used by the staff writers were properly done was outstanding. She had been carefully teaching them how to outline their thoughts and use a variety of devices and expressions to ease monotonous writing. She had made every piece of article something that was precious and would leave an imprint in the hearts and minds of the readers. She would enjoy every line and would at times read them aloud so they would sound clear and rhyming especially poetry. We would also make fun of some lines we read, and laugh our hearts out to everyone's delight.
How clear I could still remember how she would manage our coaching sessions that started months before the journalism competitions: when she would cook and serve our food on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, at our own expense. Yes, we embarked on doing free training sessions on writing with our staff writers to better prepare them for the different levels of competitions, that was from the district to the division, regional to national. And every year, these efforts would pave the way to a big harvest from the contests we'd joined. These had been happy occasions we celebrated our victorious efforts after each competition.
She was one who would not find faults but rather take them as lessons. She was so cheerful to find a sense of happiness in everything she was reading and doing. She was a serious worker who did not demand any additional salary as government employees could not do that. But, her orientation was more of service and love for work. She was so flexible that she could find reasons to understand everyone around her, devoting time and treasure when necessary. Generosity resided in her heart; a mother she was, and will be for most of the staff writers and students she had.
She was a friend to everybody, teachers and students alike. Parents were fond of her.She would tell stories, pose some jokes, sing songs, and every kind of stuff that interested her. She mixed well with people.
For more than five years that I had left the school, she continued with other partners the work she promised to finish until this summer when she had to succumb to the big C and finally bid life goodbye. I really did not make any effort to pay her a visit for very personal reasons I would like to retain a beautiful picture of her in my mind.
The school had lost a gem.
As she parted life permanently, she would always be remembered for being a light spirited, brave and friendly woman.
For you dear friend, we will surely miss you.
This piece I now offer to you...
Smiles and laughter you offer
Pains and aches you hold dear
Far and near, we will remember
You're free, at last, without a tear.
Faces and mazes are there
Vases and pieces scatter
Flowers and fumes altogether
Your memories linger forever
Sun and shores kiss together
Storms and rains cease the river
Thank God, earth is over
Live your life, live forever.
For all your cares are now buried in the sands of time and dreams will just draw rainbows in the sky. The laughter, the jokes, the stories, the memories - they are all good, and what makes them good is the life living in the hearts of friends and loved ones.
Thank you dear teacher, dear mother and dear friend.
Goodbye and we will all miss you.