Teacher Mina: Isang kwento ng pagbangon

“Sakaling madapa, huwag bumangon kung saan nadapa; bagkus, gumapang patungo sa lugar kung saan maaaring bumangon nang hindi na muling madapa.”

Ito ang prinsipyong pinanghahawakan ng isang dalagang minsang nadapa ngunit gumapang, bumangon, muling nagsimula, at napagtagumpayan ang mga hamon sa kanyang buhay.

Ipinanganak noong 1989 sa Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro si Carmina Payas Caritativo na mas kilala bilang Mina. Panganay sa apat na magkakapatid, lumaki siya sa payak na pamumuhay, ngunit maaaninag sa kaniyang pagkatao ang determinasyon na umahon sa kahirapan kasama ang kanyang pamilya at mga magulang na walang humpay sa pagsasaka. Kaya naman pinagbuti niya ang pag-aaral hanggang makapagtapos sa elementarya nang may ikalawang karangalan taong 2001.

Read Also: Grace in brokenness: The story of Teacher Nicole

Mga dagok at pagsubok

Pagtuntong ni Mina sa ikalawang taon sa mataas na paaralan, dumating ang isang masalimuot at madilim na karanasang hindi niya inasahang magbubunga ng isang babaeng anghel sa kanyang sinapupunan. Lingid sa kaalaman ng kanyang pamilya, magiging isa na siyang ina sa edad na labinlima.

Tunay ngang hindi natanggap ng mga ito ang pangyayari at hinimok siyang huwag ituloy ang pagdadalang-tao. Ngunit lalo lamang tumibay ang pagtitiwala at pananalig ni Mina sa Diyos kaya’t nanindigan siya na bigyang buhay ang biyaya ng Amang lumikha. Hindi nagtagal ay muli siyang tinanggap sa kanilang tahanan bago niya isilang ang kanyang sanggol. Ngunit kinailangan niyang tumigil sa pag-aaral.

Namasukan siya bilang kasambahay sa Maynila sa edad na labimpito kasama ang kaniyang anak na noon ay dalawang taon pa lamang. Pagkalipas ng sampung buwan, muli siyang umuwi sa Mindoro upang doon na lamang mamasukan. Nakilala niya ang isang employer na noon ay nangangailangan ng kasambahay. Isinama nito ang mag-ina sa Zambales kung saan bagama’t nanilbihan si Mina nang walang sahod ay pinag-aral siya ng employer na tumuring na sa kanila bilang pamilya.

Read Also: When Students Are Reduced to Numbers

Mula ALS learner patungong ALS teacher

Taong 2009, nalaman nila ang tungkol sa Alternative Learning System (ALS) at sa pamamaraang modular, naipagsabay ni Mina ang pag-aaral at ang paghahanap-buhay. Naipasa niya ang Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test para sa antas sekundarya, at kumuha ng kursong Bachelor of Elementary Education sa pamamagitan ng pang-gabing mga klase sa Ramon Magsaysay Technological University.

Hindi naging madali ang lahat para kay Mina – pag-gampan sa araw-araw na gawaing-bahay, pag-aalaga sa kanyang anak at sa anak ng employer, at pag-aaral sa gabi. Ngunit dahil sa determinasyon, pagsusumikap, at pagtitiyaga, nakapagtapos siya at kumuha ng pagsusulit sa pagka-guro. Pinagpala siyang agad na makapasa noong Setyembre 2015. Boluntaryo siyang nagturo ng ALS sa Botolan upang maibalik ang serbisyo sa kapwa ALS learners. Naanyayahan din siyang magbigay-patotoo at maging inspirasyon sa naganap na ALS graduation noong 2016.

Read Also: Who Colonized the Philippines? “Malaysia, Indonesia and the United States of Emerates”

Boluntaryong nagturo ng ALS sa Botolan si Teacher Mina na dati ring ALS leaner upang maibalik ang serbisyo sa mga kapwa niyang nadapa ngunit muling nangangarap at nagsusumikap.

Dahil sa kabutihang-loob at malinis na hangarin, naatasan siya bilang permanenteng guro noong Mayo 2017 sa pagpapatupad ng Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd). Kasalukuyan siyang nagtuturo sa Paaralang Elementarya ng Bihawo, Distrito ng Botolan. Nito lamang nakaraang ALS graduation 2018, muli siyang naanyayahan ngunit sa pagkakataong ito, siya na ang panauhing pandangal.

Read Also: The Rise of New Teachers Called ‘Professor Dogs’

Inaanyayahan si Teacher Mina tuwing ALS graduation sa Zambales upang magbigay-patotoo at magsilbing inspirasyon sa mga nagsipagtapos.

Ang kwento ni Teacher Mina ay patunay na ang bawat hamon ay mapagtatagumpayan sa tulong at gabay ng Panginoon. Maituturing si Mina na isang huwaran para sa mga kabataan, at nagsisilbi siyang inspirasyon sa mga guro na pag-ibayuhin ang hangarin na mabago at maibangon ang mga tulad niyang nadapa.

The Department of Education (DepEd) formulates, implements, and coordinates policies, plans, programs and projects in the areas of formal and non-formal basic education. It supervises all elementary and secondary education institutions, including alternative learning systems, both public and private; and provides for the establishment and maintenance of a complete, adequate, and integrated system of basic education relevant to the goals of national development.

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