Recognizing Filipino educators as the foundation of everything great, Diwa Learning Systems Inc. (Diwa) and Bato Balani Foundation Inc. (BBFI) share inspiring stories of teachers who were handpicked because of their crucial role in shaping the country’s future.
These teachers are part of “The Many Faces of the Teacher” of DIWA and BBFI, an advocacy campaign that highlights the contributions of teachers who manifest the ways they contribute to nation-building.
Looking after communities
Among such educators are Yrene Dineros, Master Teacher II and Alternative Learning System (ALS) instructional manager of the Quezon City High School; Fe Lustañas, kindergarten teacher of La Huerta Elementary School Division of Parañaque City; Dr. Marloe Sundo, University of the Philippines associate professor and director of University Planning and Maintenance Office of UP Los Baños and Jill Manapat, UP Diliman assistant professor.
Dineros, a mother figure to her students, help out-of-school youth by integrating foreign language in her ALS classes. Through this, she hopes that her students can have better opportunities in the future.
Lustañas is a teacher with no bounds. She continues to help illiterate Filipino children through “Education Under the Bridge,” a program she developed for the indigent children of Bulungan, Parañaque City and which is conducted under the La Huerta Bridge, beneath the Manila-Cavite Expressway.
Dr. Sundo has transformed the lives of homeless families in Los Baños, Laguna. He led the conceptualization, design and construction of 238 low-cost housing units for several families from the municipality.
Manapat is the driving force behind the creation of HEED or Humanitarian Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Design, a university-wide research and design group. HEED integrates the strengths of various disciplines to address pressing problems of underserved communities in the Philippines. One of her projects includes a plastics recycling facility in Malabon to address the increasing volume of plastic wastes in the area.
Bringing change through environmental work
Care for the environment is the concern of Alletta Yñiguez, Ph.D., Associate Professor 7 of the UP Diliman; Franco Rino Apoyon, Senior High School Teacher III of Kabasalan National High School; Marvencent Bangoy, Teacher I, Bantayan National High School; and Bryan Pajarito, Ph.D., associate professor and Research Laboratory head of UP Diliman.
Dr. Yñiguez’s expertise is Biological Oceanography. She is at the forefront of understanding harmful algal blooms, more widely known as red tide.
Apoyon created the “Adopt-a-Watershed” program that enables students from Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay to help rehabilitate and preserve its municipal watershed.
For Bangoy, recycling electronic devices that are old or haven’t been used for a long time can have environmental benefits such as conserving landfill space. He was able to establish a community-based gadgets recovery and recycling facility that repairs computers that are then given to students from poor families.
Pajarito is founder of Polymer Research Laboratory, a training ground for budding scientists who create solutions to a number of industry problems. One such solution is the development of an additive to rubber that reduces its obnoxious odor. Another is the production of an absorbent that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in plants
for a better future
Jinabelle Prieto, Master Teacher II at Francisco Benitez Elementary School; Morishka Nicole Uy, Teacher III of Don Vicente Rama Memorial Elementary School; Venus Alboruto, Ph.D., Master Teacher I of Surigao City National High School; and Junmerth Jorta, Teacher I, Keuplayanan Te Balugo (Public school in the IP Community) at Sitio Balugom Kalagangan, San Fernando, Bukidnon, have come up with different ways to help students become the best version of themselves.
Prieto created a scholarship program called “Project Aral” for the children in the slum areas of Tondo. She helps these children by giving them daily allowance, school supplies and guiding them towards the path of education.
Uy did not let her disability get the better of her. After a motorcycle accident that caused her left leg to be amputated, she continued to be an educator and showed her students her remarkable courage and resilience.
Dr. Alboruto improved the performance of students in school in terms of science process skills development and knowledge in different scientific concepts. She developed the Strategic Intervention Materials, which is a series of interactive modules.
In his work, Jorta believed that he was sent by God to Kèupiyanan Tè Balugo to help the students create a better life. He saw that many of the students go to school with empty stomachs or miss school because they have nothing to eat. But through his program called “Balugo Pagkaon Sakto,” more and more students in the community in Bukidnon have enrolled and continue to study.