“Only Seventeen”

How does it feel to be 17 in 2017?

I can still remember how it felt when I was 17. I was so clumsy yet determined, so teeny yet focused on my goal, so young yet full of dreams. During summer in 2003, when I was 17, I spent the summer finishing my OJT in my two-year course. I wanted to work at SJA as a canteen personnel came June so I needed to finish the OJT first. I was positive I would get the job/scholarship. And then in my heart, I knew I could. The heavens poured out this blessing and I was working, got my SSS, when I was 17.

Sometimes, I imagine how it feels to be 17, vacationing in some beach out there, with cliques and social media. Sometimes, I imagine myself being 17 again and enjoying the best time of my life as a teenager. Sometimes, I imagine to be 17 and young and vibrant.

Now, I can only feel I am 17 because the calendar tells another number.


Post-evaluation/Sharing of Experiences during the Community Programs

This morning, our dear GAS students shared their experiences in the preparation and implementation of their community program/immersion/outreach and all the thoughts, feelings and insights they learned throughout the whole process. It’s really wonderful to see how these kids fulfill something which only started as a concept paper but later on became a mission for other people. How these kids transformed little by little as responsible, compassionate and worthy individuals through this activity was a very beautiful process. No grade or remuneration in any form can equate this kind of experience!

It was really fulfilling as a teacher to become part of this and we really hope for the best to come to these kids! Congratulations GAS!

2017-03-21 08.07.02

Community Programs by General Academic Strand (GAS) Students

Art Workshop by Beverly Magsumbol, Rejean Hernandez and Lean May Rocha

March 4, 2017, Brgy. Castañas (Sitio Taywanak)


Tree Planting, Coastal Clean-up and Recycling Workshop by Vanessa Mercado, Shara Vergara and Diana Marie Briones

March 4, 2017, Brgy. Talaan Aplaya

Mar 04, 2017 11:39am


Tutorial and Painting Workshop with Zumba by Revelyn Perez, Jhonalyn Laresma and Estifanie Saludez

March 5, 2017, Brgy. Castañas (Sitio Bacungan)


Preparing for Success: A Program to Teach Entrepreneurship among Children by Gemry Gisell Bertumen, Rochel Mendoza and Daisy Sequijor

March 5, 2017, Brgy. Castañas (Sitio Curba)


Knowledge and Happiness through Dancing with God by Danessa Taguitay, Rica Mae Alvarez and Nympha Aera Balanac

March 11, 2017, Brgy. Limbon


Palarong Balibol by Mike Cabaysa and Sherlyn Jane Abadilla

March 11, 2017, Brgy. Castañas (Sitio Bacungan)


Strengthening Faith, Education and Health Program by Karen Salodez, Crispina Robiso and Carla Villano

March 11, 2017, Brgy. Castañas (Sitio Bacungan)


A Poem Writing, Reading and Storytelling Program by Kaye Karla Urquiola, Maica Krizna Canlas and Alyssa Jane Dimapindan

March 12, 2017, Brgy. Castañas


A Way to a Better Health by Rhea Oborza, Ma. Czarina De Chavez and Caila Ibarrola

March 18, 2017, Brgy. Castañas

Mar 18, 2017 9:35am


Giving Care and Teaching to Become Safe by Dave Laracas, Arlyn Arnoco and Jasmin Manalo

March 18, 2017, Brgy. Castañas

Mar 18, 2017 4:49pm

On Crying

I haven’t cried so hard these past few months. It’s because I am always busy doing stuff in school.

Whenever I am sad, I practice silent crying, controlling my emotions and making myself even busier. Whenever I am happy, I make sure to share it to everybody by being positive and jolly and bright.

Maybe I haven’t matured yet or I have become a grown up already. Like those who cannot see the elephant inside the boa constrictor, insisting it’s a hat.

Maybe I cannot cry enough now because I always remember how I cried so hard when Ate Diana died. Or maybe, just maybe, I don’t want my tears go to waste for people who don’t even care.

But still these moments of silence right now when I am the only one in school get my thoughts in one place and reminds me that I am human and still can love though it hurts. Because the “roses” in this earth come with thorns. And I have got to love them no matter how insensitive and thoughtless they can be at times. To teach is to love, though it hurts and pains.

Nov 10, 2016 6:11pm


Ang common denominator ay ‘pag-ibig’. Kakayanin ang lahat; susuungin lahat ng paghihirap; magiging matatag at matapat dahil umiibig…Ang gawaing pagtuturo ay pag-ibig. To teach is to love.

Ngayong linggong ito ay puno ng pagsubok at samu’t-saring damdamin. Ngunit sa pag-ibig sa mga mag-aaral tayo kumukuha ng lakas ng katawan, puso at isipan. Biyernes na ng gabi, makakapahinga naman ngayong weekend. Makakatulog na rin ako nang masaya dahil sa wakas nakalipat na kami sa bagong gusali!

Sa lahat ng sumusuporta at nagmamahal sa gawaing pagtuturo, maraming maraming salamat po. Pagpalain po nawa tayong lahat ng Poong Maykapal.

Sep 02, 2016 10:04pm

Congratulations and Thank you Mam Thelma!

There are some people who would just occupy a small time in our lives. But this short period has a lasting impact in our lives. I had spent only three months with Ma’am Thelma as a co-teacher. But I am very thankful to her as she was the one who assisted me in my application at Castañas NHS Senior High School. I am very happy now that she’s promoted as a head teacher at Bignay II NHS. She has laid the foundation of this school in the last five years as the teacher-in-charge. As we send her off today with all of our love and gratitude, we wish her more power and great start ahead of her new journey. May God shower all the blessings in your career and family! Thank you very much Ma’am Thelma!


On Being Proactive

Being proactive is a healthy choice. It powers the mind and widens the imagination. It exercises the body and strengthens the heart. It also fuels the passion and makes meaning in our vocation. So let’s choose to be proactive in every way and make things happen despite the challenges and deficiencies along our way!

P.S. Please help us make LRC/AVR become a reality. Details in the link: https://titserdonna.com/2016/07/12/wanted-donors-for-lrcavr/

Aug 11, 2016 9:20pm

Teaching in my Community

Three years ago, I went back to my town to teach high school students in my alma mater, Canda National High School. It was a decision made from a six-month sabbatical leave from teaching at Southern Luzon State University Laboratory Schools for more than four years. Just so lucky that I fitted in a vacant position left by my former English teacher and adviser, Mrs. Ma. Jennie L. Sayson. Those three years went fast and now I have moved into another school nearer my house. I am now teaching at Castañas NHS – Senior High School.

Why did I choose to teach in the community where I live? My new school is even nearer to my house. First reason, of course, is convenience. Since my father was the one to drive for me and fetch me to and from Canda NHS, I had to wait for his available time. I felt the burden on my father’s shoulders. I practiced how to drive our motorcycle though but I had a little accident. Moreover, the travel from our house in Limbon to Canda included passing by the river. So, it’s really tough especially in wet season. There were times we slipped and my father’s hands got injured. Rainy season dipped our motorcycle in more twisted fate because the river flooded so we needed to travel through the Eco-tourism Road sometimes. Or, I just needed to squeeze myself among passengers in not-so-safe trolleys travelling on slippery railroads.

Secondly, there was this desire to know the people near my place better. I was an SK councilor in 2002 to 2007. That was the last time I made some connections to our local folks. I don’t know now the teenagers who are the young children when I was visible in our local barangay. In transferring to the school where they go and learn, I believe that I can serve better and make meaningful connections with the people in my community.

The third reason is personal. Since my Ate Diane died, I long for longer family time and want to spend more time at home. Since my school now is nearer, I can go home anytime and in no time.

Deciding to teach at Castañas NHS seemed to be hasty decision especially to my principal at Canda NHS. But I had the later part of May to spend in coming up with this decision. Teaching in my community is, I think, a good choice and if given the chance, I would like to enjoy the rest of my teaching career here.