Having attended the RELCAAP (Regional English Language Center Alumni Association of the Phils.) 2007 at Montevista Resort, Calamba, Laguna has added a feather to my cap. It is considered a vital professional endeavor for English and Filipino teachers in the country. The topics presented were focused on fluent use of the English language. Speakers were the country's best crop, better than the foreigners. Why say this? They invited a Peace Corps volunteer and he made me sleep. No slides, no voice projection, no audience rapport - I couldn't stay 5 minutes awake. But the Filipino counterparts- they were brilliant, if not outstanding.
MOre than professional gain, is pride that my aunt Dr. Vilma Labrador, is Undersecretary of the Dept of Education, adviser of RELCAAP, and recently UNESCO Commissioner. In her closing program speech, she emphasized that poverty is not a hindrance to success. She can bravely prove this point because she came from a family of 12 children - 3 sets of twins and orphaned from her father at the age of two, at the age of 5 she lost her mother as well. She was taken cared of, nurtured by eldest sister Nena (Avelina) until she graduated in college, magna cum laude. Tears gushed out but I didn't mind co-delegates see me sobbing at the last row of the hall.
What was impressive in her talk was that the meaning of education is Guro, Magulang, Anak (GMA). Well, she's a presidential appointee! She has the duty to be loyal to her apoointing officer. There are three vital elements in education: love, listen, and learn. But most importantly, the 5 qualities of a teacher are competence, courage, collaboration, capability, c
Well, she's one of a kind. She is the only DepEd Central Officer who rose from the ranks. She's got what it takes to be promoted principal, supervisor, superintendent, asst. secretary and now, undersecretary.
I salute and love you Mama Vi. You're my inspiration and brightest torch that lights up my path. I will be praying that your heart will stay on, on, and on.