Even at 66, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. still pays respect to teachers — all the more that he is now the President of the Philippines.
According to Marcos, he would still call female instructors “Ma’am” during his school visits even if he is now the Chief Executive.
“Mula noon hanggang ngayon, basta teacher ang kausap ko, ‘Ma’am’ pa rin ang tawag ko. Hindi ko na matatanggal ang habit na ‘yun (Until now, if I am talking to a teacher, I still call her ‘Ma’am’. I cannot take away that habit anymore),” Marcos said in a pre-recorded address aired on Sunday night during the third installment of the “Konsyerto sa Palasyo” (Concert at the Palace) at the Malacañan Palace grounds in Manila.
The President watched the concert with First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, Vice President and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Sara Z. Duterte, and Senator Imee Marcos, among others.
The free concert was specially dedicated to teachers and a huge contingent of instructors graced the event as they were treated to musical entertainment and got a chance to see President Marcos up close.
Marcos vividly recalled the time he spent with one of his first teachers in school, a certain Miss Reyes.
“Noong Grade 1 hanggang Grade 2, may teacher na ako ang naging teacher’s pet niya. Lagi akong tinutulungan sa pag-aaral (From Grade 1 to Grade 1, I had a teacher who made me her teacher’s pet. She helped me a lot in my studies),” narrated Marcos, a La Salle Greenhills alumnus.
He said the mentorship he got from Miss Reyes went beyond the classroom.
“She was very very helpful to me outside the school. Tinutulungan niya ako pagka may kailangan ng tutorial. Binibigyan ako ng mga grocery at prayer book. Hindi ko siya makalimutan (She was helping me when there was a need for a tutorial. She was also giving me groceries and prayer books. I will never forget her),” Marcos added.
He said Miss Reyes was his inspiration in the way he treated teachers until now.
“What impact did it have on my life? I learned to respect teachers,” Marcos said.
Duterte said the DepEd is grateful to President Marcos for giving importance to all teachers and thanked the organizers for a good show.
“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa lahat ng mga guro sa serbisyo nila sa bayan natin at nagpapa-abot tayo ng suporta sa kanila na maging matatag sila sa hamon ng pagpapa-aral ng mabuti sa ating mga learner (We thank all teachers for their services and we extend our support to them. We wish they will be strong in meeting the challenges of improving the quality of learning),” Duterte said, as quoted in a news release by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
“At nandito lagi ang Department of Education at ang buong national government kasali ang mga local government unit natin na susuporta sa ating mga guro at mga paaralan (The Department of Education, entire national government and local government units will always support teachers and the schools),” she added.
Dr. Myra Borja Mangkabung, Schools Division Superintendent of Basilan in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said she felt her value with the simple gesture of Marcos in dedicating the concert to all teachers.
In her 50 years of teaching, Mangkabung said it was her first time to visit Malacañang.
“We are very happy now na may boses na tayo. Napapakinggan nila ang boses ng mga guro (that we have a voice. They listen to what teachers have to say). So, maraming salamat (thank you very much), President [Marcos],” Mangkabung told the PCO.
The free concert featured the rap trio MC Leandro of General Trias, Cavite; B.O.N (Bars Overcoming Negativity_ of Tanza, Cavite; Delicano Uno of Sta. Cruz, Manila; and vocalists Alex Dagaleam, Rommel Arellano, Bea Sacramento and Luke Dela Cruz.
Multi-awarded theater actors Gerald Santos, Shiela Valderrama-Martinez and Ima Castro headlined the musical performance, which was one of the culminating events marking National Teachers’ Month which will end Oct. 5, just in time for World Teachers’ Day. (PNA)