"We know the tremendous amount of work you do each day and we salute you as our unsung heroes. Please do not give up on the Filipino children.”
This is the important message that Education Secretary Armin Luistro gave to the 10,000 teachers present during the grand celebration of the World Teachers’ Day at the PhilSports Arena (formerly ULTRA), as the Department of Education leads the nation in giving recognition to the nobility of purpose and profession that teachers stand for.
“This is the day that was allotted for all of us to remember our teachers fondly and to remind ourselves that teaching is a very challenging job that not everyone can do, because not everyone can multitask like teachers do,” Luistro stresses as he pays tribute to the teachers and the critical role they play in society.
Among the personalities who have taken their time off to personally salute the country’s teachers is Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Patricia Licuanan and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director-General Joel Villanueva, along with members of the upper and lower houses and the cabinet.
Also joining the teachers from the National Capital Region, CaLaBaRZon, and Central Luzon are various teacher organizations.
“I hope that all the teachers present here realize this – that teaching is not just spouting scholarly knowledge. If it were, then it wouldn’t be so hard. Teaching is also parenting, counseling, advising, nurturing, understanding, forgiving, analyzing, distinguishing, classifying, adjusting, etcetera, etcetera – practically every verb in our language that speaks to the heart. In this day and age of high-speed technology and communications via computer – that is what we need - teachers with heart,” Luistro tells the teachers from the live audience.
One of the highlights of the celebration is a tribute to Teacher Carmen Pascual, now 91 years old, who dedicated 43 years of her life molding young minds and making a difference in her students’ lives. DepEd has learned about her after it received a letter from an 82-year-old publishing executive Teresa Alvinaseeking the help of Luistro in finding her former high school teacher (Teacher Pascual) whom she wanted to thank 63 years later.
Indeed, teachers are most influential when they touch hearts at the same time that they teach minds, just like how Teacher Pascual did in Alvina’s life. As Luistro puts it, their story explains the very essence of the World Teachers’ Day celebration. “Even though we don’t really aspire to be treated as heroes by our students, we cannot deny that it feels good to be appreciated by them especially after slaving away at this oftentimes-thankless job.”
Artists and singers were also invited to render their performances in honor of the country’s dear teachers. These include Anne Curtis, Ogie Alcasid, Sam Milby, Sitti, Princess Velasco, Nanette Inventor, Sam Concepcion, Nyoy Volante, Jamie Rivera, Tippy dos Santos, Mike Chan, Joseph Valerio, Gerald Santos, and The Lamars.