We owe our country’s success to teachers – Briones

Danielle Nakpil
We owe our country’s success to teachers – Briones
'Bakit tayo nagtuturo?' Education Secretary Leonor Briones asks the country's teachers as she leads the celebration of National Teachers' Day in Legazpi City

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – “Kaligayahan namin kapag bumabalik sila [mga estudyante] na successful na (We’re elated when our students come back successful).”

These are the words of Paterno Fadrilan, a Math and social studies elementary school teacher for 25 years now. He was one of the few who agreed to be interviewed and have his picture taken during the National Teacher’s Day celebration on Thusday, October 5, at the Ibalong Centrum in this city.

Fadrilan said a teacher or mentor derives the greatest sense of fulfillment when a pupil becomes successful. (READ: #ThankYouTeacher: Netizens praise second parents, mentors)

He said chose the profession because he wants to impart his knowledge to the youth who will be the future leaders of the country.

“Binibigyan namin sila ng magandang kinabukasan (We are giving them a good future),” Fadrilan added.  

Fadrilan was among the thousands of teachers honored on October 5 which, under Republic Act No. 10743, is National Teachers’ Day. The Department of Education (DepEd) led the celebration to thank Filipino teachers for their passion and sacrifice in honing the youth. (IN PHOTOS: A daylong tribute to the country’s teachers)

Why teachers teach 

NATIONAL TEACHER'S DAY. Paterno Fadrilan has been a teacher for 25 years. Photo by Rappler

“Bakit tayo nagtuturo (Why do we teach)?” Education Secretary Leonor Briones asked this question in the middle of her speech on National Teachers’ Day.  (READ: DepEd hosts National Teachers’ Day celebration in Legazpi City)

Briones, a former teacher herself, noted the hard life of teachers but their hard work and love are being reciprocated as well.

“Ang ginagawa ng teachers ay hindi nasusukat ng pera. Ito ay expression ng pagmamahal (The work of teachers cannot be measured by money. It is an expression of love),” she said.

Addressing parents, this time, Briones said, “The best way to teach our children values, good morals, citizenship, human rights, is to exercise them.” 

She said that world leaders are all products of teachers.   

“I congratulate you all…for what you have produced – the greatest pride of a teacher. When you see a senator, a congressman, or a mayor, or a great man and you can claim you taught him or her, then the country owes you,” Briones said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

According to Briones, there are 687,225 teachers attending to the needs of the 26,629,845 learners in the country.

Day of celebration 

Education Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali echoed Briones’ message.

Ang uri ng bansa na mayroon tayo ngayon ay dahil po sa mga guro natin na siyang naghubog ng kaisipan ng ating kabataan kahapon. Kung kaya’t ang ating bansa natin bukas ay dahil po sa uri ng mga guro – mahuhusay, magagaling, may malasakit – na katulad po ninyo ngayon,” Umali told the teachers.

 TRIBUTE. The Department of Education honors teachers on National Teachers' Day

(The kind of country we have now is because of our teachers ,who mold the minds of the youth. That is why our country, in the future, would also be based on teachers  who are excellent, caring – just like you.) 

Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, who was at the celebration, welcomed the teachers to the province known for its good ecological waste management and disaster risk reduction and management practices.

Salceda shared that both his parents were teachers.

“I was born to two teachers. So I owe my whole life to teachers. I am here to thank you. In doing so, I thank my father and mother,” Salceda said.

On Thursday morning, October 5,  teachers were also serenaded by various local talents in Legazpi City.

They also showcased their talents in singing and dancing in “Teachers’ Got Talent.” – with reports from Raisa Serafica/Rappler.com