Sometime in 1960, when I was in grade one, a memorable incident took place and became the greatest influence of my life and made me of what I am today. It started when I was playing with the two tiny turtles from our improvised terrarium inside our classroom.
|Principle of Racing Turtles|
Early in the morning at that day, we attended the flag ceremony. After that we proceeded to our humble classroom. Our class adviser, Ma'm Dolores Acot formed several groups and assigned them to their respective ground assignment to clean. I wasn't given any group to work with for I was overlooked. What I did is to look for something to do. Thus, I picked some dried or withered leaves from the bushes along the foot walk, and weeded out and cultivated some ornamental plants at the back of our classroom.
Curiosity Pops Up
I finished my work earlier while some of my classmates were busy cleaning everything in the surrounding in the vicinity of our classroom. I entered the room and put my things on top of my chair. I noticed an improvised terrarium at the corner with two tiny turtles which were craning their heads out. I was curious. I observed them attentively. Then a thought popped up!
"Gilbor! What are you doing there?" a voice overcame the room.
"Nothing!" I answered back. As I looked back, I saw Ma'm Acot was in the room getting some stick brooms from the broom box.
"Excuse me, Ma'm. Why are we busy cleaning the school surrounding?" I asked.
"We're expecting some visitors within this week." Ma'm Acot replied, "Why are your asking?"
"How I wish everyday the school will have visitors so that our school is always cleaned." She just smiled with my suggestion.
Ma'm Acot reminded me if I'm not yet through with my work outside I wouldn't tarry inside the room. After she left, I took the turtles out of the terrarium and brought them outside. Just across our classroom door was a two-and-a-half meter drinking fountain which hadn't been used for quite sometime. I put those tiny amphibs in a row and had them race each other. Their heads and feet gradually sticking out and they started moving. Then I shouted, "Faster! Faster!"
"Gilbor! Gilbor!" shouted Ma'm Acot, "Return those turtles back to the room."
Biggest Life's Question
Then she came over to me and tapped me on my left shoulder and said, "Turtles are not to be played with. Those who used to play it will become dull. So you want that?" I had to reason out, but I held myself back.
"Why?" was a big question that bothered me while I got back to the room, carrying the two small turtles.
At the end of the first grading period, I received my report card. I noticed from the teacher's remarks that said: "Doing work without being told to do so." This is what I got when I used my initiative in what to do without getting instruction from my teacher. This remarks didn't bother me.
What kept on bothering me is: "why I become dull caused I played with the turtles." From that time on, 52 years ago, a challenged to myself was hatched. I wanted to prove to our class adviser that playing with those turtles won't in anyway affect my studies and won't make me dull.
When I was in Grade Two and Grade Three, I was in Section 3. In Grade 4, section 2, and in Grade Five and Six, section 1. Until I finished high school, I belong to Section 1, the highest or A-1 section.
And I did it practically!
I finished my Grade Six with flying colors. I was the most outstanding grade six graduating pupil in Industrial Arts.
In college days, I garnered scholastic accolades. I was the consistent honor students in Commerce and in Education and even in my Secretarial Course.
In my first year in ROTC, I was the gold star awardee which is supposed to be given to the second year ROTC cadets.
I completed my Commerce and Education Courses in a separate years with a full scholarship grant as the Editor-in-chief in The College Voice, the official school organ of La Carlota City College.
Before I graduated in my Commerce course, I was sent to Central Bank of the Philippines for training by the Rural Bank of La Carlota, Inc., which I underwent my apprenticeship. I didn't march in our graduation rites, but when I went home, I already got my job in the said bank. I worked there for 5 years. While I was working there I pursued my Education course every off office hours and I completed it.
When I graduated my education course, I took the teachers' board once, then I passed it. I took also the Civil Service Examinations earlier. I passed it too.
My Great Mentor
I would like to thank my late grade one teacher, Miss Dolores Acot for challenging me that "playing with the turtle will make me dull" which eventually molded my life as a successful individual in which I proved her wrong. Instead, this became my springboard which dared me to use my latent talent and wisdom to excel. And I did it.
From bank employee to classroom teacher like her, and now a school principal of elementary school in the division of La Carlota.
With writing expertise I've, I look forward to have an online jobs for me