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Monday, November 17, 2014

What Teachers Do to Continue to Teach Into the 21st Century?

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

To continue to teach well into the 21st century, our teachers who began teaching in a kinder, gentler time have to rewire their brains to respond to the structures, functions and connections presented by technology. How else can they teach their students the literacies that education experts say are needed to be successful in the modern world?

On top of that, our teachers have to blend the new skills into the core curriculum. They cannot simply leave their students to aimlessly wander the information highway. The order is to lead the kids down that path in the context of a lesson in math, science, economics, language, arts, and so on down the hierarchy of subjects. The Department of Education’s list of K-to-12 learning goals, which necessarily translate into teaching goals, include basic, scientific, financial, technological, visual, information, media and multicultural literacies. Environmental literacy must be somewhere in there, too, because if it is not, we are in deep trouble.

The critics and cynics are shaking their heads. To begin with, our teachers do not even know which buttons to push. They have a lot of catching up to do because they are not hardwired for 21st-century hardware. How can teachers stay credible and legitimate when, in terms of digital developments, they are so far behind the students they are supposed to be guiding? continue reading

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Financial Ignorance Is Expensive

By:  Bo Sanchez
Philippines renowned best selling author, lay minister and entrep

(Excerpts or one of the articles from the book 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich)
"The number one problem in today’s generation and 
economy is the lack of financial literacy."
 — Alan Greenspan

Some people think buying a book like the 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich is expensive.  I also give financial seminars and people think the price we charge is too high.  If you think financial wisdom is expensive, then try ignorance. You’ll realize it’s a million times more expensive.

For example, in the past 10 years, I’ve lost a lot of money. Simply because I was stupid about money.  After getting married, I was able to scrape a decent amount of savings into our bank account every month. And with some very generous gifts from our ninangs.

During our wedding, after a few years, my savings reached P200,000 plus. (Sssshh. Don’t laugh too hard.)  That was when a friend asked me if I would like to put my money in the investment company she was working for. “You’ll earn two percent a month,” she said, “and you’ll help me earn a commission from your investment!”

And instantly, I invested our P200,000. After all, two percent a month came down to 24 percent a year—so much higher than the banks’ interest. That was also the time when my wife finally got pregnant.  The thought of becoming a father was an incredible feeling.  But together with my excitement was the stark realization that the baby would now be totally dependent on my finances for the next 20 years of his life.

That thought sent chills down my spine.  We borrowed a wooden crib from a cousin and prepared P20,000 for the birth of our baby. We were ready, or so I thought.  During the delivery, my wife suffered heart palpitations reaching 200 beats per minute and the doctor ordered an emergency Caesarian operation.  Yes, I almost lost my wife and baby. That emergency operation saved their lives.  After three days of confinement, I received the bill from the hospital:  P56,000.

Gulp.  Have you ever received a solid punch straight to your solar plexus?  That was how I felt at that moment. So I called my friend and asked if I could get my investment back. Perhaps just P40,000 of my P200,000 to pay the hospital bill.  She said, “I’ll try...”  “Try? Why try? Isn’t that my money?” I asked, “I need to pay the hospital.”  “It isn’t that simple,” she explained. “Your money is being used.” “What do they use it for? Who owns this company anyway? How long have they been in business?” (Do you see how wise I was? I was asking these questions after I invested my money.)

“We’re a small firm that lends money to tricycle drivers.” “What...” Have you ever seen a cat staring at the headlights of an oncoming truck? That’s how I looked. “And collection hasn’t been very good,” my friend’s mutter was barely audible. “So that means...”  “uh, that means we’ll have to wait for new investors to come in before we can return a part of your money.”  In other words, I waited for three years for nothing. After that the company closed, folded up, crashed, disintegrated, imploded, sunk to
the depths of the earth, vanished into thin air.  With my P200,000 with them.

Don’t you see?  I was financially dumb.  Let me give you my credentials: My I.Q. is 132, I have above-average  social skills, I finished Philosophy in college, I took post-graduate courses in Theology, I founded four organizations, and I’m a more-or-less over-all wholesome guy... But all these don’t take away the fact that I was a financial nincompoop.  I was 100 percent financially illiterate!
Here’s what I found out...

You could be a doctor with three PhDs behind your name.
You could be an engineer building huge bridges in your spare time.
You could be a very holy person, praying three hours a day.
You could be a scientist inventing the first car that runs on spit.
You could be 97 years old.
You could be an extremely loving saint.
You could be a diva with the voice of Celine Dion.
But you could also be financially illiterate.

A world-renowned surgeon doesn’t open up a busted TV set and say, “I operate on people, I guess operating on machines would be a breeze.” No, it won’t be. It’s a totally different world.  So it is with money.  Knowing how money works is a totally different field of expertise. Financial ignorance is expensive.

You may also like reading the complete book in this link in PDF Format:  8 Secrets of the Truly Reach

7 Tested Ways to Consider When Buying a House and Lot You Want to Call Your Home  
7 Key Financial Advise to All Young Professionals and Wokers Who Are Starting to Earn a Living  
Things the Rich Do Every Day that the Poor Don’t  
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Things the Rich Do Every Day that the Poor Don’t

(Based on Tom Corley’s 20 Things the Rich Do Every Day, on his website RichHabitsInstitute.com and Bo Sanchez Don’t Try to Appear Wealthy.)  

Wondering why the rich get richer and the poor poorer.  Aside from gigantic resources, what do the rich do every day that the poor don’t do?  What are possibly their values and attitudes? 

1.      86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.
Instead of more hardwork, the poor gambles
 (google search photo)
2.      88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.
3.      63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of  poor. 
4.      86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.
5.      81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.
6.      67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.
7.      80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
8.      6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor. 
9.      44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor. 
10.  74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.
11.  84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.
12.  76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.
13.  23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.
14.  70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.
15.  36% of wealthy bought only second hand cars and most kept their ordinary cars for years versus the 66% of the not so wealthy who bought luxury cars.
16.  100% of wealthy saves 20% or more vs. 2% of poor.

In addition to these lists, most of the really wealthy rarely wore designer clothes, rarely lives in expensive homes, rarely have expensive vacations, rarely bought luxury cars.  They lived way below their earning capacity, so that they could save more and multiply their money through investments and business.  Most of the really wealthy didn’t reside in upscale villages because it would only pressure them to mantain an upscale lifestyle—something they didn’t want to do.  And most didn’t change homes for 30 years or more!  They trained their kids in the values of simplicity, frugality and hard work.

Now, what about us, the middle class and the ‘masses’ or the common people?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

7 Key Financial Advise to All Young Professionals and Workers Who Are Starting to Earn a Living

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes
DepEd Quezon, CALABARZON

Do you still remember when you were still studying until the time when you were already looking for a job?  You were able to survive and live within your means given the meager allowance from your parents, siblings or benefactors.  In fact, there are lots of time that you were still able to save from these highly budgeted and exact allowance given to you.
Compare it to your current financial status now that you are already earning for a living as a newly employed worker or young professional.  Are you still able to save?  Is money still a big problem?  Does it still play a big picture in your life? If the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, then, you could have been going straight to the trap of financial difficulties in unimaginable magnitude as compared before when you were still studying.  You need a total life style check.
(moneytools.org photo)  They should manage money wisely.

First Key.  Reflect and analyze.  What went wrong?  Is your spending habit the same as before or it skyrocketed after finding a regular job. Commonly, once we reached a new level in our lives such as having a regular source of income comes an upsurge in our spending habits.  We begin to need things we don't need before.  These are wants which are not necessary and thus could be set aside like weekly or even monthly dine out with the family to a popular food chain, branded clothing, high-end cellphones, computers even un-planned house repair or renovation and expensive education of siblings.  The right thing to do as advised by various financial coaches is that, an increase or an additional income for the family should not mean an increase in their spending habits.  They advised that, if we are still living with our families, only our share for the food expense and groceries should be added to our regular expenses.  Meaning, if we are spending four thousand a month when we were still in college until the time we graduate and start looking for work, only the share for food, groceries and lets say utility payments should be added and the rest should go directly as savings.

Second Key.  Revisit your goal and life's dream.  Everybody's goal is to achieve certain level of financial security.  Others call it, an improvement in ones living condition.  But given the scenario above, without considering financial coaches advise, it is unlikely that things will get better.  Consider this.  What if there is sudden emergency such as sickness that requires hospitalization among one of the members of the family?  What about when you opt to decide to settle down and start a family of your own?  How will your financial status go along?  Imagine the quality of your life ten to fourty years from now.

Third Key.  Live on less and simplify.  G.K. Chesterton once said that there are two ways to get enough:  One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.  Bo Sanchez in his bestselling book Simplify and Live the Good Life explains that we should focus on what we have not on what we don't.  It's because, satisfaction doesn't come from getting what we want but from wanting what we already have. "Some take their pleasure from dining in classy restaurants, going on trips . . . and owning the latest home theater equipment.  I've chosen the simpler path: If i can simply be with my wife, or take a quiet stroll under a canopy of stars, or play with a child, or read a good book in my home, or laugh with friends over an instant pancit canton, I consider myself richly blessed," said Bo Sanchez in his book.  Certainly, we could have a lot at the comfort of our homes with our family, friends and the community.  All these for free!

Fourth Key.  Budget and start savings at once.  Start budgeting and along this start also writing down your daily expenses.  Analyze it after a month to know the pattern of your spending and you will be surprised by the result.  You will know that you are spending quite a portion of your monthly pay on things you don't really need or you could be over spending on some that you could cut back later let say cellphone load, bottled water or even softdrinks.  Continue budgeting and listing your daily expenses until it becomes a habit so that it would be easy to track and monitor your expenses.  Once you made it a habit, start saving as much as you can.  Take note, savings is an expense for the future, so a decided or target portion of your income should automatically be deducted to your monthly pay then budget what has been left.  Start saving for the following:
  • buffer fund.  Set aside money until you are able to save at least 5-months of your gross salary.  This will give you and your family a fall back in case you got laid off from your work.  You will have enough money that can supply your needs while you are looking for a new job.  If you want six months or a year equivalent of your gross salary, much better.
  • irregular expense account.  this is a savings account intended for seasonal expenses such as tuition fees, family celebrations such as birth days, wedding anniversary, Christmas, new year etc.
  • protection fund.  if your the sole bread winner, you need to be protected in a form of life or the new one, a variable insurance so that whatever happens to you, your family will be in good hands for a certain period of time.  You may have personal with regards to this matter.
  • retirement fund.  aside from SSS or GSIS, financial coaches and analyst highly recommend to have an additional retirement fund because your retirement and pension will probably be not enough to live decently . As we age, we would need medications.
  • health care card.  Considering that we begin to become sickly as we age so we need health care cards in addition to our Phil Health.
 Save, save, and save to earn interest from it instead of the creditor earning so much interest from you through loans.

Fifth Key.  Avoid going with the tide.  Don't let things such as the clothing you were, jewelries, cellphones you use define yourself.  Aware and financially educated people don't use material possessions as barometer of wealth or financial stability but on your networth instead.  Get along with people who have embraced simple lifestyle and have clear financial goals for their future.

Sixth Key.  Create your financial plan based on your life dreams.  Bo Sanchez explains that writing down a financial goal is an exercise in faith and an exercise in personal commitment.  He said that it helps our mind to open up and think of ways how those goals would be met.  As such, it would led us going back to our divine appointed mission in life- because that was how God was going to provide for our needs and desires.

Seventh Key.  Purify your thinking and motives about money. Money isn't evil.  the LOVE of money is.  Money is something that can be used to love or hate, to build or destroy, depending on how you use it.  In other words, it can make you holy or it can make you evil- much like anything else in life.  Purify your thinking towards money by embracing the truth that God wants you to have some material things to live a human life, enough for your needs and more than what you need, so that you can be generous.  Money should come from our highest values.  Money should be taken as an instrument to do more good.  That is to provide for the basic needs of our families.  To be more generous to those in need.  To support and help our churches and the ministry of your choice.

We should not forget that we could not simply give what we do not have.  But in all of these, put God first!

Reference:  Sanchez, Eugenio R., Jr., Simplify and Live the Good Life, Shepherd's Voice Publication 2008

You may also like:

 Why Living a Simple Life Style
Sustaining Gained Grounds on the Way to Financial Freedom 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

7 Tested Ways to Consider When Buying a House and Lot You Want to Call Your Home

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes
DepEd Quezon, CALABARZON

Everybody is excited of owning a house and lot.  But what if suddenly, your excitement turns into a disaster?  This usually happens when ones expectation to the property and the community falls below the perceived and even expected standards.  But these can be prevented if the following tips shall be considered.
1.  Long Term Goal and Income.  Consider your purpose and alternatives.  If you’re currently renting a house and the amount of rent is just enough to pay for the monthly installment of a mortgaged house and lot and the distance difference from the work place as compared to the property you are renting is manageable, you can go for it.  If not, and there are other alternatives, think twice.  You may still need time and possibly is advisable not to venture at having one.  Remember, a house and lot as financial adviser experts are saying will never be an investment unless it creates passive income or ones it is sold and created reasonable profit.  You should also consider your current monthly income and your budget.  Should it eat up a sizeable portion of your income and your ability to save for both emergencies and future needs, you should consider post phoning it.  If it will result in over-stretching your budget, you might be having trouble and problems in the future, the worst-case scenario, your property after sometime got foreclosed.
2.      Payment scheme and interest rates.  Don’t be fooled by zero equity and graduated monthly installment schemes because you’ll end up paying more than expected in the long run.  Before getting a real state property like a residential unit, make sure that you have disposable cash or have savings enough to pay for the equity as well as emergency funds to pay for the monthly installments.
Most of us could only afford mass housing units.
(photo courtesy of google search)
Avoid credits e.g., issuing post dated checks for a year on a monthly basis or a cash loan to pay for your equity because it may over-stretched your ability to pay in the future.  This may result in default of payments and the worst case scenario, foreclosure of the property.  Instead of having a graduated installment, choose the fixed monthly installment plan from the very start of the paying period or years.  It will help you see the reduction in your principal, as such, lesser interest payments in the long term.
3.      Developers track record.  You should consider having a background check on the developer.  How long have they been in the business and what kind of social responsibility do they carry.  Don’t be amazed by their catchy marketing phrase, strategies and unresistable pricing and promos.  Consider having a research investigation on their numerous projects.  What are the feedbacks among the existing owners in those projects?  Are they satisfied of how their property turned out to be?  You could also consider the turn-over among their agents and employees plus the working relationships and satisfaction levels among their laborers.  Be reminded of fly by night developers who are after the profit, and of course your money, nothing more nothing less.
4.      Quality and workmanships.  Affordability of the unit should not sacrifice quality and workmanships.  All the specifications in the building plan should have been carefully followed.  Watch out for these particularly on low-end or mass housing units, even the high end ones for corrupt practices is a common place, among the laborers, foremen and project engineers either with the direct or indirect knowledge of the developers.  This usually happens when the workers are underpaid and their privileges are cut short or simply don’t exists at all.  When checking sample units and most importantly the unit you are planning to purchase, bring along with you persons who if not an expert is knowledgeable enough in building and construction who can tell you if the property is worth enough the amount of money you’re going to pay.  Also remember that with the advent of strong typhoons that are now becoming ordinary, it's resistance to this should also be one of the primary consideration.
5.      Location of the property or the subdivision.  The location should not be too far from the urban center.  If you reside in the city, except NCR and other highly urbanized cities in the country, it should be within 5-10 kilometer zone from schools, universities, hospitals, malls, government and business centers.  It should be strategically located that possible commercial growth is happening in 5-10 years as the city center gets crowded and some of the business operations get transferred to the suburbs or areas outside the city.  It will contribute much to the expected increase value of your property.
6.      After sales service and warranty.  Be sure, that after sales service and warranty is clearly stated in the contract.  Based on experience, one year warranty is no good, but 2-3 years is better just in time that construction defects may come out.  If your developer don’t offer it, then you may opt to look for other developers.  There could be better offers than what they can give.
7.      Residents institutional culture, values and orientation.  If the subdivision is no longer new, lets say, three years or more and already has an organized home owners association, consider how rules are implemented and are getting followed.  Consider small bits of traits that should exist in a planned neighborhood being a subdivision perse, e.g., a.) pathwalks, are they not occupied for personal utilization of home owners such extension of their sari-sari stores, talipapa, plants, dog house, car park, etc;   b.) what about garbages and presence of litters particularly in vacant lots;  c.) presence of stray dogs and cats.  The given samples are tests of their values and character.  If you can take it, then go on, if not, find another one or better just stay where you presently are to avoid head aches in the future.

There’s really much pleasure and joy in finally having your dream house that you can call a home of your own.  But owning one don’t merely come with a price.

(The writer has been a home-owner of a mass housing unit for almost eight years now.  He has been a member of their association's election committee since he resided on his unit in 2009 as such have been pretty much aware of what is going on.)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

5 Tips to Consider When Planning to Install Home Solar Energy Systems

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes
DepEd Quezon, CALABARZON

A series of calamities that has rocked the country resulted to the increased interest in solar power.  I myself was not excused to this because just immediately after the typhoon Glenda is over, I bought my first solar power kit consisting of a 20-watts moncrystaline panel, solar charge controller, 12-volt 7.2Ah/20hr deep cycle Panasonic battery, two 1.5 watts led d.c. light bulbs and cellphone and tablet charger.

But what are the things that should be considered when you want to venture on the use of solar power as an alternative energy source as well as an investment to help save on increasing costs of electricity?  Based on first hand experiences and readings as a result of interest on this subject, the following concerns and tips should be considered.
  1.  Average daily power consumption.  If you consume 4-6kwhr electricity daily, how many of these do you intend to be replaced by the solar power output you intend to harvest.  This will be the basis of the hardware (types, cost and number of deep cycle batteries, number and wattage of solar panels, type of solar charge controller and output power of inverter) that you will need and the cost that it entails.
  2. The amount of investment needed and its return.  If your using an average of 4-6kw/hr daily, you would need at least Php75k to Php100k if you intend to totally cut your reliance on grid power.  This however will not be a one- time investment because you would need to replace your batteries every two years which could be translated to range from Php25k to Php50k unless new and long lasting cheaper storage batteries are introduced to the market as such, location of residence is one thing to consider so that you can select and decide what type of system your gonna install.
  3. Location of residence, off grid and within grid.  If your living off grid, meaning, far away from power lines, i.e., far flung rural areas still unreached by local utility power cooperatives or companies, islands or islets, valleys, mountains, etc., then consider the off grid type of connection mentioned in no. 2.  It is still a lot more cheaper than continue on using gen. sets ran by gasoline.  In this system, you will need deep cycle storage batteries even when let’s say you intend to use it only during the day.  The cost as stated will depend on the expected total power usage that you choose.  The good news however is that there already available 12volt d.c. appliances now a days like light bulbs, electric fans and TV sets which means requiring lesser power and dependence on the converted AC power by
           This is the Php3.5k solar power system consisting of 
    12v 7.2Ah/20hr deep cycle deep cycle battery, 20watts 
    solar panel, solar charge controller, two 1.5 led light bulbs
    replacing our two 25w AC ligh bulbs for an average of 3hrs 
    every night plus cp charger.
    your inverters reducing stress on your storage batteries even when you use it during the day strengthening its life-span in return.  If you’re living in grid areas, meaning within the supply zones of utility companies or cooperatives, then it is not advised to cut connection from your local utility electricity provider.  What you need is the so called ‘grid tie solar power system’ which will no longer require storage batteries reducing your cost in return.  If you’re not at home during daytime, then you may apply for the so called net metering program so that the unused electricity generated by your system will be stored or given and used by your utility provider during the day and then return or withdrawn by you at night when you already need it.  With the absence of storage batteries, you should not expect for power during brown-outs but it will surely be a good investment returns of which is expected lets say 7 to 8 years at the most and then the remaining years, consider it your profit for using electricity for free!
  4. Learn the basics.  Read and learn the basics on solar energy.  You should not rely on your agent unless you know him personally so as to avoid trouble and problems.  Without the basic knowledge, you will not understand the concept of load and actual power usage which may endanger the life span of your system particularly the life span and efficiency of your storage batteries.  You will not also understand how many batteries, its needed power and ampheres and the corresponding solar panels needed.  Consider also the strength of your panels in terms of temperature and wind speed that it can withstand and its life-span.  Solar panels now a days is expected to last for 25 years  
  5. Installers and suppliers track record.  Don’t be fooled by sweet, lofty even interesting marketing strategies and sales talk.  Even on perceived brand superiority and cost versus the other. Consider the track record of the suppliers, the brand they carry, their innovativeness and the integrity of the installers.
Along this line, solar power system’s use is a promising technology because of its sustainability as well as its being environment friendly for it produces no pollution.  For the past years, its cost has decreased tremendously and will continue to do so in the years ahead.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Why read? Six reasons why you should keep reading


Reading has been an essential part of our lives for thousands of years. There are various reasons why people read. Whether it is a restaurant menu, a newspaper article, a prayer booklet or the whole Epic of Gilgamesh, you can be sure that someone will enjoy reading it.

 The 35th Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) advocates reading and gives us reasons why we should continue to do so.

1. It stimulates your mind
Studies from the online issue of the journal Neurology found that reading or doing other mental activities can slow the progress of or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

According to the news portal Science Daily, the rate of mental decline of those with infrequent mental activity was quicker by 48%.

2. It help improves your focus and concentration
Unlike the experience of reading articles online wherein you can get distracted by ads or the temptation to check other websites in just a click, reading a book can help you improve your concentration because you are focused on a single item, thus helping you absorb what you read.

3. It can help you de-stress
Research conducted in 2009 by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex showed that reading is the most effective way to overcome stress. The participants of the study started to feel relaxed once they started reading.

4. It makes you more empathic
Reading fiction makes people more empathic, according to different studies made in January 2013. Being emotionally moved or touched by a story results in a boost in empathy as seen in experimental studies done during a course of one week for readers of Arthur Conan Doyle or Jose Saramago.

5. It improves your imagination and your vocabulary
Vocabulary is widened when you research on unfamiliar words you encounter in articles or stories you read. One’s imagination is also enhanced when reading because the mind tends to picture what is being read to achieve better understanding.

6. It can help fight depression
Studies from the University of Manchester published in 2013 state that people with severe depression can benefit from “low-intensity interventions” like reading self-help books.

Text courtesy of the Manila International Book Fair. Yahoo Philippines is a proud media partner.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Heroism is About Living, Not Dying

By:  Gilbert M. Forbes
DepEd Quezon, CALABARZON

For quite a long time, heroism is always associated with death.  Adults used to say that anybody striving to be hero is usually killed nowadays. (Pinapatay ang nagpapakabayani ngayon)  It is very popular that it has become a common knowledge and a warning.  In return, ordinarily, people just remain silent in the midst of evil occurring even within their doorsteps.  They have become afraid, paranoid, and passive.

Whenever we do things in the best way that we can,
we are heroes. (Photo courtesy of google search.)
The majority could be unaware of this fact but it could be observed on how we are delighted to learn news of we perceive to be extraordinary deeds of heroism the media usually reports.  As such the media are always in search for heroism that could be reported such as taxi driver or janitor returning million peso worth of properties left by their clients, exceptional type of public servant’s performance,  or whistle blowers brave enough to expose evil doings both in government and the private sector.

Those deeds mentioned are ordinary practice of citizens abroad but appear to be uncommon in our society this type of hype shows. Is our country in search of modern day heroes? Does heroism has become seldom and an extraordinary affair among ourselves?

The truth is its not!  There are various types of heroism ordinarily happening out there but are just clouded by the evil doers because of our passive stance to ward off these evils. Heroism isn’t only about dying because heroism is a natural gift to every one of us.

Farmers and fishermen who honestly, patiently, dedicatedly and industriously doing their jobs to support their families until they are able to slowly get out of abject poverty no matter how long and difficult is an extraordinary heroism already.  Teachers, policemen, soldiers, and all public servants who undyingly serves our people in the best possible they can all portray an extraordinary type of heroism. All government officials including politicians whose dignity remains untainted, honesty uncorrupted and service above self rendered is an extraordinary heroism.  Private individuals, who honestly pay taxes due to them, proudly follow the laws of the land; participate in all undertakings for the common good are all heroes.

They are all our MODERN DAY HEROES.  So who says therefore that heroism is difficult to do?  Who is saying that anybody who is striving to be heroes is usually killed?  Yes there are instances.  But we should not forget, we will all die if it’s our time already wherever we are.  There could be dead heroes but there are also lots and lots of living heroes.  All we need is to open our eyes and look for ourselves inside out.

As the lyrics of the song by Mariah Carey which became popular two decades ago, we just don’t have to be afraid of doing so.

“There’s a hero.  If you look inside your heart, you don’t have to be afraid of what you are.  There’s an answer, if you reach into your soul, and the sorrow that you know will melt away.”

The song further says that, once the hero comes along, it goes with it the strength we need to drive away all our fears including the knowledge that we can survive.  It furthers, “So when you feel like hope is gone, look inside you and be strong, and you finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you.

Evils should not be happening within our doorstep for evils to occur is for few good men to do nothing.  Being a hero isn’t about dying for it is more about living.  It is about living a good, godly righteous life which is as easy and natural as breathing because we are all designed to be good and live the best and righteous way that we can.

Kudos brothers and sisters out there!

Watch out for stories of heroism particularly among our teachers in the succeeding post as we celebrate the World Teachers Month.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Always Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time: A Reflection of a Public School Teacher

By:  Evelyn R. Magpantay 
Padre Burgos Central School 
Padre Burgos- Agdangan District, Division of Quezon

Another year had passed as things happened along which had contributed much to our performances not only to our families and our love ones but most importantly towards our works and attitudes in the performance of our duties, responsibilities, and mission as teachers.

Hope that this year would be a more fruitful year to all.  Hoping too that God continuously shower us with the gifts of life, wisdom and strength to cope with the challenges of our works each day.

Having moments of reflecting as to how I am doing my job as a teacher in relation to my pupils’ performance and feedback from my peers, parents and school heads, it is easy to think about getting to the conclusion that I’m still okay.  It’s because I am sure to myself that I am doing the right thing at the right time.  I make it to a point that every moment is important especially to those who are interested to learn.  I assume that everybody does for if they don’t, they will not be in school.

No time is wasted because they are slow learners and their picking up span is short that I have to make use of that precious time for them to develop the basic skills they need to learn each day.  I know they are eager to learn too that’s why I try to make the lesson simpler for them to understand.  As to my colleagues, everything is going smoothly.  The relationship with them and the parents are amazing and wonderful.  That’s why, I’m happy about it.

I am proud to inform my school head that my desire to be an effective teacher is in my heart and soul ever since I became a teacher.  And so as always, my priority is how to make these pupils improve their eagerness to learn, to study and develop their skills gradually.  

It has been my desire that they remember me years after or even if I’m gone here on earth.  That some of them my recall and say that if not with teacher Babes (Evelyn), I haven’t learn how to read, to multiply, I had stopped and so on;  that they remember and think of the good points in me instead of my weaknesses.

To others, it may not be that important but it’s all that makes me happy.  The best price I can get from laborious days of hardship each day and for many years as a public school teacher.

I think that in my age now, there is nothing more to change because I see to it that I do my best shot each day inside and outside the classroom.  I recognize that I have limited talents but I work hard for the skills bestowed in me to be a good teacher in the best way I can.  Sorry if I at times or many times I can’t cope up with the rest of the expectations from me.

Finally, I will still be what I used to be.  That is always working to be efficient until my retirement comes.  I pray to God that He looks upon me and give me longer years to live with my family and love ones, to share what I can share to others, give love to all and be contented for what I have.

(Teacher Evelyn R. Magpantay is a grade three teacher of mentally challenged pupils.  She's in the service for 35 years and her passion to teach just keeps on burning.  She is retiring in two years time.)