Sunday, June 03, 2007


No, this is a not a picture of a young boy running to school. I was in Intramuros this Sunday where I caught sight of a group of young children gleefully playing; making the best of the summer's final day, I thought. This Monday marks the opening of schools all over Manila.

Strange, with all the professions I wanted to become when I was young, being a teacher never crossed my mind. Perhaps, it was because I knew what a tough job it is. But then again, since moving back to Manila, I sometimes find myself asking what it would have been like as a teacher.

I know of two fellow bloggers who are in this profession, Rhoda and Bugsy, but I think Rhoda had already retired from it. Incidentally, Bugsy posted an enlightening entry, The Travails of a Teacher, which made me realize that teaching ought to be one of the highest paying professions worldwide.

Be that as it may, to all the students and teachers going back to school this Monday, I wish you all another fruitful school year!


posted by Señor Enrique at 8:53 PM


Blogger mgaputonimimi said...

naku pasukan na bukas.. it means.. traffic... plus road constructions pa.. Good luck sa mga students! Ü

June 03, 2007 9:51 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

I was once berated by a very erudite teacher/columnist from Mindanao for being almost treasonous, having abandoned both teaching and country.

My reply was that it was the other way around. Teaching abandoned me because I never got to acquire the skills and mental constitution necessary for being at least a decent teacher.

Indeed, teaching and being a teacher is one huge task.

June 03, 2007 11:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss being a teacher...

It really warms the heart when, even after graduation, some of my students would still come to me for advice and guidance.

It also made me feel and look young being surrounded by young people. :)

Though teachers are underpaid, I guess there are also non-pecuniary benefits that a teacher derives from the profession.

June 04, 2007 12:47 AM  

Blogger Gita Asuncion said...

baligtad naman tayo. to be a teacher was one of my earlier dreams when i was a lot younger. but my mom, a retired school teacher herself, wouldnt hear any of it. two teachers in the family is enough daw. my sister kasi is also a teacher, she is in arizona now, teaching in elementary.

she wanted me to be a doctor. well, it was an equally fulfilling calling anyway so ok na din.

and yes, i have always had that respect for teachers. teaching indeed is not a mere profession but a vocation.

June 04, 2007 1:34 AM  

Blogger Belle TH said...

i think teaching is a good profession. they may be underpaid as they claim but hey they get to enjoy long time off during summer, and Christmas holidays.

June 04, 2007 2:17 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

gusto ko paring maging teacher sa isang regular school pero ngayon i have to content myself with teaching koreans hehehe. =)

June 04, 2007 7:30 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Talk about enthusiasm, Mimi: In the news this morning, they mentioned a girl who showed up in school today at five o'clock in the morning! You go, girl!

June 04, 2007 7:38 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I'm sure it was done because of the great loss or sense of abandonment they felt upon your decision to go abroad. You must have left a very good impression, nevertheless :)

June 04, 2007 7:41 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I've a feeling that you were a very popular teacher, Rhoda. Your warm and sincere nurturing nature must have been a big hit amongst your students!

And for most teachers, because they derive much pleasure from their job, the administrators felt they need not be paid all that much. It's like working in the music industry -- so much fun but so little money (unless of course you're a big time recording artist).

June 04, 2007 7:45 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

At least with your academic background and accumulated experiences from your practice, you can someday opt to teach in some medical school, too, Gita. So it's a win-win situation for you :)

June 04, 2007 7:47 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That is true, Belle. But since they don't earn all that much, they're unable to put aside some money for a fun-filled extended vacation in some faraway place ... hehehe.

June 04, 2007 7:50 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Well, Carla, that is still teaching so, you're all right in terms of actualizing an inner desire :)

Guess, you're back in Manila now, right? Welcome home!

June 04, 2007 7:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you know, Eric, that a beginner public school teacher in the province receives as low as P10thou a month? Tapos mayroon pang deductions such as tax and insurance?

Now, if one has a family to feed, and is a sole breadwinner I can't imagine how they are able to make both ends meet.

June 04, 2007 7:57 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That is really a pittance, Rhoda. So only those teachers with husbands or parents as the main breadwinners can somewhat enjoy comfortable lives. This is sad, really.

June 04, 2007 8:08 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two older siblings were teachers. Older sis is still teaching English in College for 38 years now! Late older brod was also a teacher but shouldn't have been one in the first place. Reason: his own kids tried to teach him the bad effects and how to quit drinking and smoking which led to his early demise.
I feel no sorrow for teachers especially in the elementary level who are abusive,i.e slap, spank, hit these little kids w/any object. Such attitude does not belong in the classroom, yet the irony is that there are some out there. Great post as always. Cheers and goodhealth....

June 04, 2007 2:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am similarly situated eric, me not having in mind teaching as a profession when I was a kid. But after graduation, I had been invited to do some guest lecturing and found the experience so challenging, doing one's best to imapart the lessons in the most effective manner and at the same time, struggling with patience with each word ought to be repeated from the textbooks, and making them your own--explaining possibly in a better manner.

Teaching needs a lot of patience...

June 04, 2007 6:32 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Wow! That is a family of teachers you got, TruBlue! Admirable, indeed! Sorry to know of your older brother's demise. I was once heavily addicted to nicotine myself for many years, but for some strange reason, I just woke up one morning "knowing" my body no longer wanted it and I stopped just life that. In fact, I blogged about my personal ordeal with cigarette smoking:

I feel the same way as you towards those "mean" teachers at any level. Those people have no right to be working with children, period. Most of them can destroy a child's psyche for the rest of his life.

Thanks, TruBlue and same good wishes to you!

June 04, 2007 7:25 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That's it, Major Tom! Patience! The key to a teacher's success in imparting wisdom to his/her students. But having those kids of your own, I'm sure, helped you developed even more this virtue within you.

Now, why am I feeling confident that you had done a good job in your teaching/lecturing posts? Hehehe!

June 04, 2007 7:28 PM  

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you very much for the mention, Eric!

The payback that comes from teaching is, as we say in accounting, non- quantifiable.

The true reward is to see that your students have become professionals and citizens you can truly be proud of. That may not come soon ... but I can wait. I just hope it comes in my lifetime. :)

June 05, 2007 1:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hola Senor Enrique!

I was just browsing the web when I stumbled upon your blog, I am fascinated by your entries. it is very interesting and at the same time educational. I read about your entry of the former San Lazaro racetrack which was converted to SM San Lazaro. I was just wondering if you're interested in acquiring a property on that location. Im referring to the Celadon Park & Residences. I apologize if I sent my letter here, if you are interested. My e-mail address is
Hope to hear from you soon.

June 05, 2007 6:09 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

No doubt, Bugsy, I'm sure those many students felt privileged to have been under your tutelage. You are a born "teacher;" a natural. Many of your past entries mention of your great concern for the welfare of your students.

BTW, thank you for teaching me a new term, "non-quantifiable." I shall now use it in sme of my writings...hehehe.

Thanks, Bugsy!

June 05, 2007 6:51 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hey Anonymous!

Heard from some residents in the area that some hear sounds of galloping horses in the middle of the night. Ghost of the Daily Double past, perhaps?

June 05, 2007 6:54 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

Once a year, the weekend before school starts, my father would take me shoe shopping at Carriedo. But no matter what style I requested for footwear, I always ended up with hi-tops rubber shoes and the brand choice I had was either ELPO, CUSTOMBUILT or STURDEE and black was the preferred color., No leather shoes for me for I have ruined many a pair walking the flooded sampaloc streets during the rainy days. And the only time I would wake up early(like that girl who went to school at 5am)to prepare and walk to school was the first day I have to break in my brand spankin new "tennis" shoes on the first day of school. Proud like a San Lazaro race horse strutting the tracks, I walk with care to school not to smudge the canvas top with dirt until the big bully in school does the "binyag" step on my brand spankin new shoes, then an early morning fistfight with the bully ensues and gets us both in trouble, sent home by the principal with a note to my parents, i would happily strut with my brand new "tennis" shoes to the nearest moviehouse(Trabajo Theater)and wait for the first showing of a black and white tagalog action movie...25 centavos for a kids pass and 10 centavos for espasol leaves me 15 centavos from my baon for a cup of lugao at the Trabajo and Dapitan talipapa. Yes, I was sent home on the first day of my 4th grade class at UST Elementary School! Mr. Motomal was the principal then and Mrs. Cristobal was the head teacher of the 3rd and 4th grade class.

June 05, 2007 9:28 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

In elementary, it was only Ang Tibay for me, but a pair of Custombuilt whites for high school gym, which I would wash with soap and an old toothbrush. Darn, a tough pair of shoes to keep clean.

I can understand why you fought back; those bullies are nothing more then pansys anyway -- appearing tough only when he has an audience.

Many thanks for sharing with us a childhood memoir, Noypetes! You just incited some memories; blog material is more like it ... hehehe.

But what did your father say when you showed him the note from Mr. Motomal?

June 05, 2007 11:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, summer's coming to an end there ... And it's only the beginning for me!

I kinda miss school already!


I love the art on the wall.

June 05, 2007 11:14 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Same in NYC, Kyels; just started this week, in fact.

Enjoy your summer and don't think of school for now :) You need a respite!

June 05, 2007 11:18 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

I gave it to my older brother who faked my father's signature on the note stating that my dad read it and will impose punishment on me. I survived the big bully's sucker punch and straight punch to my nose but would've been worse if my father found out what happened in school.

June 05, 2007 12:30 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ah, lucky you, Noypetes, for having such a cool big brother!

June 05, 2007 1:36 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, it must have been just a hunch...I don't know if I did those lectures well but for a period of three years, I get a call from my old college to be a resource person. I was kasi an editor in chief of the school publication there and I was made to lecture on Poetry and Literature...

Once I have given this film viewing lecture and I showed them the film "Dead Poets Society"; at the end of the movie session, some of the female students up front startde crying coz it was really a tearful movie, and for the first time in a classroom, I panicked. How does one handles young girls crying in the classroom...never been in that situation before, till then.

June 05, 2007 3:50 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hahaha! That only proves what a very good teacher you are, Major Tom, because you picked the right film to touch their senses. But I can imagine how alarmed you must have gotten with those young women crying and all in class ... hahaha.

That's a really good memoir of yours worth blogging about in its entirety!

June 05, 2007 4:38 PM  

Blogger -= dave =- said...

Ah school, I must say I did well back then so I had mostly happy memories, especially in high school and college, just like what Jose Rizal said.

As for teaching, I've been tutoring my peers usually in math ever since high school. Got my first "paycheck" when I coached elementary math contestants in college, and yeah, holding that cheque was a real boost. People have been egging me to teach, but I still find handling an entire class quite a challenge, I'd prefer a one-on-one tutorial, since that's what I've been doing (and I can potentially earn more with lesser effort, hehe).

June 08, 2007 1:19 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Makes me wonder, Dave, why you never pursued mathematics. This is one area I did poorly and wish I had someone like you as a tutor; I might have developed a finer understanding of which.

June 08, 2007 6:14 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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