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A Great Teacher is Never Forgotten

Two days ago, my daughter asked….

do you remember Miss Syquia?

Of course I remember her. How could I not forget the sweet and soft-spoken first grade teacher/homeroom adviser of my eldest daughter? Many years ago, I vowed that I’d take an active role in Parent-Teacher activities just so I can monitor the progress of my kids at school. So I asked L how her first grade teacher was.

OMG, How tragic! Miss Syquia died last Monday after giving birth to twin girls.

My heart filled with sadness. Aww how terribly shocking. After giving life , her life is taken away?

I hugged my daughter and felt her grief. I knew her teacher was like a second mother to her.

Apparently, L is still in contact with some of her classmates at Miriam College. An email got circulated to her former students since she had been a teacher for the past 15 years. Many knew her. L went on and on how her First grade teacher was so nice to her. Her succeeding teachers were not as memorable as Miss Syquia. L and I paid a visit yesterday but L refused to take a look at her coffin. L chose to remember her teacher as someone alive and well. I noticed a few of her younger students looking so sad.

I gathered from a brief talk with her husband that her married name was Ma. Theresa Erlinda Syquia Caringal and that her nickname was Ernie for short. And the cause of her death?

Pulmonary embolism

She died a week after her cesarian operation.

Such a sudden death. If that was not tragic enough, a day before Ernie died, her mom passed away. In fact her burial was just 2 days ago.

I couldn’t ask her husband on the cause of “pulmonary embolism” because I know how tiring it must be for him to keep repeating the same story all over again. Just this afternoon at our monthly Compassionate Friends meeting, a friend-doctor shared how life is just so precious. She knew of a mom who just gave birth and turned blue on the way home from the hospital. Cause of death was pulmonary embolism.

Two moms died of pulmonary embolism this week?

I gathered that pregnancy increases the risk of developing blood clots. Wow, I never knew that. I had 3 cesarian births. Though I always thought I’d die with each operation I never thought blood clots could be one of the causes of childbirth complications.

Today, Ernie was cremated. Her sudden death is very devastating to her loved ones. Trying to make sense of or understand sudden losses can be difficult. Survivors are left asking “Why?” “Why did this happen?” Like all deaths, the “why” will never be answered in this lifetime. “In our hearts, we all know that death is a part of life. In fact, death gives meaning to our existence because it reminds all of us that life is precious.” It’s just that coping with the loss is not an easy task.
L and her First Grade Teacher

17 thoughts on “A Great Teacher is Never Forgotten”

  1. She was my younger sister’s homeroom teacher. I knew her too—I studied in Miriam College from nursery to high school (actually, I was in the first grade when they changed the name from Maryknoll). But I didn’t know her as much as my sister did. I’m still figuring out how to tell my sis the news, to be honest (she doesn’t cope with news like this like the rest of us).

    Another one great “teacher” passed away this year. Mrs. Lourdes Navarro… Remember her? She was the grade school asst. principal, but she was a teacher during my mom’s time.

  2. @Gail- Talaga! I remember Ms Navarro too. During Ms. Syquia (Ernie)’s wake, her first batch of students who are now in her mid-twenties came over. She had taught Grade 7 before she was assigned to Grade 1. It was just her second year of teaching when L was in First grade.

  3. that pulmonary embolism thing is scary. i heard of someone else who passed away last week, two days after she gave birth to her first baby due to pulmonary embolism. she was really young pa, coz i remember seeing her around school when i was younger…

  4. yeah… Actually nga, Mrs. Navarro’s son ran into some difficulties paying the hospital, pero the Miriam/Maryknoll teachers and alumni who were very close to her raised the money through donations.

    I think your daughter is my sister’s batchmate 🙂

  5. @gail- Miriam is well known for taking care of its students and faculty when crisis occurs. Maybe your sister is a batchmate! If she is in senior college, perhaps

    @manzkee- welcome blogger mate!

  6. noemi, i just read this post this pm. Ernie’s hubby is my good friend, Ronald, classmate in lawschool. I met Ernie once before the BAR. I wrote about his loss in one of my recent posts. So pulmonary embolism pala ang cause of death? I didn’t have the heart to ask Ronald. It’s so heartbreaking for those little girls to lose their wonderful mom.

    1. Lemon,

      Ronald was my classmate in law school. Will you please give him my sincerest condolences. I just learned about this unfortunate event through a friend. Two years ago, I was in the Philipiines and have tried a million times to get a hold of him -and two years later, this news. My name is Beng and please ask him too how I could contact him. Thank you.

  7. @Lemon- what a small world. I know it was hard to ask but I did anyway. I was quite suprised that he even approached me, a stranger seated alone before my daughter joined me. I feel so sad for the twins and the boys and Ronald of course. I told Ronald that I know the loss is so devastating and that if he needed some sort of grief support group, I can refer him to one that involves loss of a spouse. (Compassionate friends is for loss of a child)

  8. Ms Syquia was my sibika teacher in third grade. I learned about this last saturday lang. Sayang di man lang ako nakadalaw. She was one of the best teacher I ever had. Si Miss Navarro din pala. sigh. It’s so sad to hear that:( By anychacne, would you know if a mass would be said on the 40th day?

  9. Hi, Noemi.

    I just found out about Ms Syquia’s death yesterday. I feel awful about not being able to say goodbye properly. I was in the only Grade 6 class (6-Lila) she taught in her first year at Miriam. She was a fresh graduate then. I saw her last when I visited her in late June 2006. She told me she was having twin girls and that she was about to go on leave to prepare for the coming of her babies.

    I’ve been trying to process the information since I heard it last night but I still can’t reconcile with the news that she’s dead. I am hoping you could point me to where I can contact her husband Atty. Caringal. I’ve been googling but I can’t find anything on him. I really want to pay my last respects (even this late).

    I really hope you can help.


  10. Hi all! I’m an alumna of Miriam College Grade School ’98 and High School ’02. Was browsing through mutual friends’ lists on Facebook and stumbled upon the Knoller site then visited it’s forum site. That’s where I learned about what happened to Ms. Syquia. I’m still in shock right now. She was the kindest, nicest and prettiest Sibiki teacher I’ve ever known. I’m just so sad right now because it’s been 3 years already. Hay.

  11. ^^ francis! ngayon mo lang pala nalaman:( ako nung nalaman ko 2 weeks after they laid ms syquia to rest:( ang sad nga kasi she was one of the best teachers ive met.

    Ms noemi im not sure if you remember pero we exchanged emails around that time. btw would you know where they laid her to rest?

  12. Hello. I`m currently from MCGS, a grade 6 student.
    I remember Mrs. Caringal (Ms. Syquia, for you) as my grade two Sibika teacher. My classmates were really shocked by this news when we heard it when I was in the third grade through the PA.
    It`s really sad.

  13. Can’t describe what I feel right now. I’ve been looking for her through facebook for the longest time. She was my favorite teacher. Will include her in my prayers.

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