SMCM at 100: Random thoughts of a Marian teacher

Since becoming a teacher, I have worn many school colors. Understandably, I would always identify myself primarily as a Fighting Maroon (although the university hymn says luntian at pula) but wherever I teach, I proudly wear the school colors. This 2016, aside from gold and green, I wear blue for St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan (SMCM) for the third time.

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St. Mary’s College of Meycauayan (formerly St. Mary’s Academy) in City of Meycauayan, Bulacan turns 100 this 2016.

The first time was in 2002. I was a late addition to the highschool faculty as classes had already started when I joined to replace a member who decided to teach in a public school instead. I must admit that it felt a bit strange to be teaching in the school I had considered to be my high school’s rival. Obviously, I had some preconceived ideas about Marian students. Those would of course change over the course of my stay at SMCM. Marians would be among my closest friends, fangirling buddies, and travel and foodtrip companions. My first year of teaching at SMCM was not exactly a walk in the park but it was a memorable one. For one thing, as a young teacher at that time, I felt supported, valued, and loved. I would stay another year, and even when I decided to take a break from teaching to pursue another path, I came back for a few weeks as a substitute teacher in 2005.

The second time was in 2011. SMCM was the first to give me an opportunity to teach in the college level. Now I have former students who are members of the Integrated Basic Education (IBEd) faculty. Seeing them in the school never fails to make me smile.

I am just happy to be back for the third time since November 2015 on time for the centennial celebration this year. Now I declare myself a centennial junkie haha! Kidding aside, I think I will always think of SMCM as more than a school. To me, SMCM is like home. It is like my old neighborhood, always warm and familiar. This is why I am looking forward to see other Marians and Marians at heart to come home and celebrate 100 years of faith, service, and excellence with us. See you February 8 to 13 Marians!

SMCM at 100: A Centennial of Faith, Service, and Excellence

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Looking back, looking forward

Janus, the ancient Roman god in whose honor January was named, has two faces: one looking back and another looking forward. That’s how I spent the first day of the new year. Looking back, I have so many things to be grateful for in 2013. In February I started a new job through which I met awesome new friends. After nearly four years, I resumed Nihongo classes in May. In November, I won a contest sponsored by Uniqlo and toured Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan. I finally realized my long-cherished dream of experiencing Japan last December.
But 2013 started and ended with death in our family. In January we laid Auntie Crising, Tatay’s eldest sibling, to rest. In December, we laid Tatay to rest.
It’s only January 2 as I am writing this, but I am anticipating a number of changes. Every year, I have friends moving to another workplace or another country. My friend Simon is going to Rwanda this month for a two-year project. I’m still lousy at goodbyes but now, I worry less about leaving or being left behind. As I have proven time and again, my friendships can transcend separation in time and distance.
Some years back I have written in my journal about the core of my being, and I’m happy to note that I have been upholding it through the years. This is why whatever 2014 has in store for me, I can look forward with a smile.