I felt the excitement as I looked around at the MOA Arena in Saturday’s biggest gathering of teachers. I had glanced through the list of celebrities and prizes that PLDT-Smart Foundation’s Gabay Guro prepared for this biggest tribute to teachers. Wow, this amazing production considered the diversity of the teachers’ age and interests. I call this tribute as paying forward to teachers who have shaped the minds of our children.
As the Pambansang Awit played, I felt tears clouding my vision. Touched by the presence of our teachers , my heart burst with pride and love of country. At the same time, I couldn’t help thinking that the government should give more funds to the education sector.
The entertainers made sure to interact with the audience but it was just difficult to reach to the Upper box. There should have been a celebrity from the upper box going down to the ground level. I loved how the entertainers didn’t just stand there and gyrate to the music. Teachers either clapped or dance to the music. Who would not love the music? My favorite 70’s and 80’s music were being played.
Marian Rivera got to dance with the male teachers. These teachers could dance!
The teachers were just thrilled to see their favorite celebrities.
Gifts showered as the show went on. Around 400 teachers received a gift pack from Sun Cellular that could even be used for a load business.
Though TV 5 artists Edu Manzano and Derek Ramsay were around, this Grand Gathering broke away from the so-called network-exclusivity “barrier”. Artists from ABS-CBN and GMA-7 were present– Ryzza Mae, Anne Curtis, Judy Ann Santos, Marian Rivera, Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez and Rocco Nacino.
Edu Manzano, Judy Ann Santos, and Derek Ramsay honored the Gabay Guro scholar-turned-teacher Mr.Labantria
Anne Curtis with Richard Gomez present more prizes to the teachers such as iPad and laptops.
A teacher is now a proud owner of a Foton’s multi-purpose van while Annalyn A. Dizon of Bacoor National High School, Molino Main received the grand prize : a house and lot from Stateland Inc. Annalyn must be thrilled beyond words. I posted the photo in my instagram and that’s how I found out she was the winner.
I asked Annalyn to relate her experience when she found out she was picked as the winner. She wrote this in an email to me:
“When my number was announced we were walking outside the second lower box of the Arena. My co teachers were the ones who heard that and she said ” Anne di ba number mo yun sabi ko di ah ,ano ka ba number mo yun” . Then I ran inside and I heard that Edu Manzano started to count 1 – 10 and they will draw another winner . All the teachers from different schools helped me create noise so that the people in the stage wiil recognize us ..I kept on yelling “andito po ako ,andito po ako ako po ang nanalo” pati na din lahat ng mga tao sa paligid ko. Then Ms. Judy Ann Santos said ” come on down” . I was so happy tinakbo ko ang 2nd lower box pababa sa VIP ng arena na halos di ko na po naramdaman ang pagod ko sobrang panlalamig ng kamay at tensyon po ang naramdaman ko.
This blessing will give our family a new life ,a new beginning for all of us. God heard my silent prayer,our silent prayer ..My husband is working so hard in Dubai as a Sticker Applicator di alintana ang maliit na sahod ,init at matataas n building na pinagtatrabahuhan nya para sa mabigyan ng maayos na buhay ang aming tatlong anak ”
Photo via Gabay Guro Facebook
Annalyn adds, “Ms. Noemi we are living in my in-laws apartment. Our place is in Aniban, Bacoor,Cavite na konting ulan ay bumabaha sa labas at pag super typhoon e hangang bewang sa loob po ng bahay. Mahirap na ok din na malapit ka sa pamilya pero mas masarap padin po ang magsolo sa sariling bahay. My husband always told me maghanap ka ng hulugang bahay na no down. Asiksuhin mo naman. Oo lang ako ng oo pero the truth is umiiwas po ako sa gastos. Di ko lang sinsabi sa kanya . Before I went in Gabay Guro gatherings nag text po uli siya sabi ng husband ko need ko ng feed back sa bahay na pinapahanap ko kahit mahirap pilitin natin kasi lumalaki na ang mga bata. Umoo lang po uli ako Ms. Noemi then after nun ako na ang pinalad na manalo po. Napaiyak po ako ng sobra dahil dun na magkakasarili kami ng bahay ng wala na po iisipin na gastos ,dream come true po itong blessing na ito sa aming pamilya po. God is really Good. I thanked God for blessing me more than I deserve.”
It is so heartwarming to hear her story. May God bless her new home.
As I left theMOA Arena, the teachers continued to take photos of each other, excited by just being together for this grand gathering.
There are more photos at www.facebook.com/gabayguro