Post date: Jul 5, 2017 7:46:21 AM

By: Arvic O. Baldoza, BNHS-SHS

It was practically the longest summer for me. It was not a vacation at all. Nineteen days, including Day Zero of Regional Mass Training for Teachers in HUMSS (Humanities and Social Sciences), three days straight for Training of Teachers in Research Capabilities plus other concurrent commitments were perfect combinations for a stressful and grinding summer. Staying positive in the midst of all these was indeed a challenge. So I nourished myself with reflections, which I had a chance to share to all of the participants and facilitators of the research training held at Crown Royale last….. I decided to put them into writing and in three main points, here they go:

1. COURAGE. I have drawn such an insight from the brave presentation of the research topic that has something to do with the sexual experiences of students. It attracted many comments taken from conservative perspectives but nonetheless, the method proposed was technically correct. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, gathering data will be difficult, but it is not impossible. From this exchange, research, I believe, is a courageous act. While it can bring us to new heights, research topics and results can be counter-cultural. Such is a necessity to explore new horizons. Without courageous researchers, arriving at destinations is impossible.

2. “IRON SHARPENS IRON, ONE MAN SHARPENS THE OTHER”(Prov.27:17). I do believe I was with the best people in their respective fields during these training days. And best people will only learn from fellow best people. The presentations, critiquing, and exchanging of thoughts is the whole sharpening process. Because of the differences, clashing of personalities, perspectives, practices and disciplines arose. Some went too personal and some remained professional over these differences. But that is part of the whole process. The differences and even the conflicts, after the process, made us better persons than we ever were. After the trainings, teachers can confidently walk through the streets of Balanga…, of Bataan…, of Region III…, of the Philippines…, of the World…or the universe rather, with more intelligent minds and more nurturing hearts.

3. “IT IS BETTER TO ILLUMINE THAN TO SHINE”. With all of these processes, one should not be succumbed to the brightness of knowledge received and fall into the temptation of outshining others. For St. Thomas Aquinas, ignorance is darkness, education is light. As educators, we are bearers and sharers of the light. But as we bear and share the light, let our motivation be is to illumine others so as not to outshine them. In Filipino terms, “MAS MAINAM MAGLIWANAG KAYSA ANG SUMIKAT”. Contrary to the common notion “It is time to shine”, as teachers, I prefer that “It is our time to illumine“.

Indeed, it takes courage to allow ourselves to be sharpened. However, one should not forget that our purpose is to illumine, not to shine.

Nawa, sa ating pagiging LIWANAG SA DILIM, huwag nating kalimutang maging BITUING WALANG NINGNING.