If you are truly passionate about something, then you are willing to go above and beyond to fulfill that goal. Just like Teacher Ginnie who is literally going the extra mile for her students. In this feature of It’s Showtime’s 2019 Holy Week Special, Anne Curtis is travelling all the way to Tarlac to witness one woman’s commitment to providing education.
Ginnie Victoria Panguelo is an aeta who has been teaching at Tarukan Elementary School since 2002. Which means, for nearly two decades, her commute to work is walking through lahar then hiking up a mountain. It usually takes her three to four hours but being able to see the aetas makes it all worth it. With a nearly complete PhD, she can work at any other school that is much closer to her home. Yet, she chose to help her fellow aetas, “sila ‘yung mga taong pinili ko at doon ako nakahandang maglingkod”.
Teaching has always been a dream to Ginnie. Now that she has achieved this, her new dream is for her students to be able to graduate someday and maybe even follow her footsteps. Holding on to this hope is what pushes her to take one step forward during her long walks to Tarukan. “Mas lalo kong na-appreciate ‘yung ginagawa niya. There’s so much dedication for you to have to do that. That’s what you call passion and love for your own community,” Anne praised.
When they finally reached their destination, awaiting them was a dance ritual around a bonfire to welcome new guests. The aetas believe that the fire symbolizes the dance while the smoke serves to drive away any bad spirits. So, of course, Anne had to join ceremony. Teacher Ginnie then showed her second home up in the mountains where she would stay during the weekdays. They even made coffee from grains of rice.
After the quick detours, they eventually reached the class that Teacher Ginnie handles. The room consisted of grade one, two and three students. Anne only spent one morning with the community, but it was enough to touch her heart. It’s Showtime donated food and school supplies to the students as well as a teaching kit for Ginnie. On top of all these, Anne personally offered to fix their solar panels and even provided them with lamps.
It is people like teacher Ginnie that help put our lives into perspective. While many of us complain about the traffic in Metro Manila and the long hours spent inside classrooms, this is still a luxury compared to the lengths that others have to go through for the sake of education.