Raul Ilogon .
NOW the euphoria of graduation exercises have settled down. The reality for those who made it have sunk in. Allow me to talk about the people who molded, equipped and prepared them for the world outside the campus–the teachers!
It took me seven years to finish a degree in BS Electrical Engineering: four years in Cebu, a year in Cagayan de Oro and two years in Manila.
I love schooling. Kinsa bay dili ganahan anang sa Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao ka nag-college. I realized I was the only one in the family who did that. But that is another story. I wish I had the patience (and money) like my father. I’m also grateful to my celebrity sister, Dolly, for standing by me during my troubled youth. Daghan kaayo salamat, Papa and Manang Dolly.
Believe me, I have seen all kinds of teachers. There are those who inspire like my high school teachers. They opened my eyes to the world outside my beloved Cagayan de Oro. They inspired me to be the best of what I can be.
There are teachers who make you perspire and burn the midnight oil like one of my college professor who had a habit of giving us lists of topics. He would give one and in the next meeting, he’d say, “OK, class, take out a whole sheet of paper.”
There are those who only meet their class thrice in an entire semester. First, for the validation cards. Second, for the mid-terms. And, third, for the finals. You know, the kind who are only out there to comply–compliance lang… pa chill-chill lang.
Oh, yes, how can I forget my Strength of Materials teacher who also tested my drinking strength sa mga malalamig na lugar ng Quiapo!
To all my teachers, thank you so much. You have indeed prepared me for the outside world. The lessons and the discipline you taught inside and outside of the classroom have propelled my quick rise to the corporate ladder. I’m forever grateful.
Did you know teaching was the noblest profession in the olden times?
Article 12 of the 1863 decree states, “After five years of duty, the teachers shall enjoy the distinction as Principalia.” During the Spanish time, there were class distinctions. On top of the chain were the colonial Spaniards. Next were the Principalia or the ruling class, usually made up from the meztizo families. At the bottom were the masses. Now, if your family is at the bottom, don’t despair; there is still hope. Aspire to have at least one family member to become a teacher. It was a sure ticket for your family to be leveled up to Principalia.
Further, the teaching profession was a basic requirement for holding political positions. To name a few who were teachers and members of the Principalia in Cagayan de Misamis: Pedro Velez, Filomeno Mercado, Anselmo Abejuela and Macrobio Chavez.
But becoming a teacher back then was like winning the lottery. The family must spend a fortune. A degree in teaching was offered only in Normal School, Manila. Again, the opportunity still belonged to the rich and landed principalia.
The game changer came with the change of our colonial master. The coming of the Americans opened the education system to all. Education was free. Primary and secondary schools were built all over the archipelago. Thomasite teachers were brought in from America. No, they were not from some sort of religious order. The first batch of American teachers were called Thomasite because they came in a ship named M/V Thomas, thus the name stuck.
My grandfathers from both sides were products of the Thomasite. Both of them became school principals. My paternal grandfather walked 26 kilometers to school barefooted. This must have been the reason why I love trekking. It’s in my genes. In 1916, Mr. Pastor P. Ilogon became the first principal of Cabadbaran, Agusan Province.
Hail to the teachers!