31 March 2012

A Tribute.

Bo's Rose | Cebu | ©2012

When someone dies, you don't get over it by forgetting; you get over it by remembering,
and you are aware that no person is ever truly lost or gone once they have been in our life and loved us,
as we have loved them
{ Leslie Marmon Silko }

"Stay after class," my high school freshman English teacher, Mrs. Ragay said, looking straight at me. It was just about a month since the school year started, and there I was, being called to stay after class by my adviser. I remember feeling scared. I was fresh out of public school and this was a big all-girls high school. What could've I possibly done wrong? I was timid and shy (I hardly ever spoke to anyone) and my plan was to pass through high school as silently as possible and then disappear into oblivion.

But Mrs. Ragay saw something in me no one saw before. She would let me stay after class a couple of afternoons during the school year to coach me with my declamation pieces. She would stay in the middle of the room, listen to me, teach me proper diction, and cheer for me. And then she would let me represent our class during competitions and school programs. The very spotlight I didn't want, I got. The universe certainly has a sense of humor.

She was the very first person who told me I could write. Her words are still very clear in my head: "You write very good theme papers. You have stories to tell. Keep writing." When the school paper was recruiting, she encouraged me to join and I became one of the very few freshmen who got in.

Mrs. Ragay was also the one who discovered I had some artistic genes in me. She made me draw presentations and artworks for bulletin boards. She was so much like a stage-mother, telling other teachers proudly she has a student who could draw beautifully. I was even always pulled out of class (which I tremendously enjoyed) to decorate the Cultural Center for school Masses and programs. I ended up getting a Best in Arts award that year.

Her belief in my abilities was my constant source of inspiration then, especially during times of self-doubt. She showed me possibilities. She made me realize I had potential. Her unquestionable faith and trust in what I can do changed me forever.

Mrs. Ragay passed away recently. She was a brilliant teacher and an awesome mentor. And I will always remember her kind eyes, her gentleness, her motherly concern. I will always remember how her belly wingled everytime she laughed.

Most of all, I will always remember the love and faith she'd shown me at a time when it truly mattered.

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3 left some love :

Badeth April 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM  

Oh... I am so touched by this entry, Ai.

As a teacher, it is our joy to be remembered by our students. Teaching is not a lucrative profession, but being remembered just the way you did to your teacher is priceless!

May Mrs. Ragay rest in peace.

Anonymous April 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM  

This entry made me cry...tagos sa puso. Thanks for sharing Ms.Ai - from your avid reader/follower

julai April 4, 2012 at 5:06 AM  

What a touching tribute ate. I felt the emotion and the kindness of your teacher ate. May her soul rest in peace.

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