education in the Philippines

‘Teacher ka na’: Kasambahay achieves dream, passes March 2023 LET

Russell Ku

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‘Teacher ka na’: Kasambahay achieves dream, passes March 2023 LET
Motivated by her desire to help her family, Joan Managuelod Ramirez overcomes financial difficulties to become a licensed teacher
‘Teacher ka na’: Kasambahay achieves dream, passes March 2023 LET

MANILA, Philippines – It was a dream come true on Friday, May 19, for househelp Joan Managuelod Ramirez when she finally gained her license to be a secondary level teacher after passing the March 2023 Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers.

“Oh my god, pasado ako (I passed),” Ramirez screamed with joy in a touching video captured by her proud employer Yanyan De Vera-Alandy.

Joan’s challenging road to becoming a teacher was motivated by her wish to help and inspire people like her family to live a decent life. 

Ang naging [number one] motivation is kahirapan. Ayaw ko na hindi ako makapagaral. Gusto ko kahit na kapos kami [sa pera], matapos ko ang pag-aaral ko para one day marami din akong mainspire na nahirapan sa buhay dahil sa maraming balakid,” she told Rappler. 

(My number one motivation is poverty. I really didn’t want to quit studying. Even if we hardly had any money, I wanted to make sure that I finished my studies so that I could one day inspire those who are having a hard time due to many challenges.)

While she was studying as a secondary education student at Isabela State University – Angadanan Campus, Joan worked as a part-time househelp under Yanyan so that she wouldn’t need to ask for school allowance from her parents.

Her financial struggles continued even as she was preparing for her LET as she attended review classes bought with the savings from her work as a househelp. But that did not deter Joan from achieving her dream to become a teacher.

Kulang ako sa finances para sa daily allowance ko for the review. Ang haba ng nilalakad ko papunta sa review center. Umulan o umaraw, pumapasok ako sa review para wala akong mamiss out,” she said.

(I was lacking in finances for my daily allowance for the review [sessions]. I had to walk far to go to the review center. Whether rain or shine, I would still attend review [classes] so that I wouldn’t miss out.)

Joan even recently decided to apply to work full-time for Yanyan as she was determined to help her family. The decision left Yanyan “hesitant” to hire the then-aspiring teacher.

However, Yanyan decided to approve Joan’s application due to her hardworking and humble attitude. 

“I was hesitant to approve her application because she is overqualified. I thought that she would just leave if she passed the exam…. However, she was very persistent. She wanted to still work as a househelp even if she finished her Bachelor’s degree,” Yanyan said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

The employer also hoped for Joan’s success in her new career path, saying she will “grow and thrive” wherever she goes. 

Alam ko talaga na magiging successful ka kasi napakahumble at napakasipag mo. Hindi mo hinayaan na hadlangan ng kahirapan ang mga dreams mo,” she said as a message to Joan. 

(I knew that you would be successful because you are humble and hardworking. You did not let poverty hinder you from achieving your dreams.) 

Meanwhile, Joan says she will continue to work as a househelp while finding a job as a full-time teacher, hoping to work for the government or at a foreign school. She also plans to get a master’s degree in the future. 

Joan’s advice to aspiring teachers? Never give up on your dreams. 

Kung may gusto silang marating, kailangan nilang ipagpatuloy ‘yung mga nasimulan nila (If they want to achieve something, they should continue what they started),” she said. – 

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Russell Ku

Russell Ku is a digital communications specialist at Rappler who believes in the power of stories to build an empathic society.