"IF YOU have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society's heroes."
Guy Kawasaki’s words are worth mentioning in describing our dearest teachers.
October 5 is the global day proclaimed by Presidential Proclamation No. 242 which mandates a day to honor more than 500,000 educators in the country. This themed celebration is now on its fifth year.
Teachers from 14 divisions of Northern Mindanao participated in the whole-day affair.
A street dancing competition opened the affair with teacher-participants showcasing the festivals of their hometowns.
Camiguin teachers chose to showcase their top product with their very own Lanzones festival whereas Bukidnon highlighted their Pinyahan Festival.
Educators from Iligan on the other hand brought their celebration of the on-going Diyandi festival to the showdown.
Other divisions such as Malaybalay City showed up at the Limketkai grounds with the only ethnic festival in the country, the Kaamulan Festival.
The best sa Diyes awards (Top Teachers of Northern Mindanao)
One of the biggest highlights of the celebration of the National Teachers' Day was also to award the top performing teachers of the Region. Sixteen educators were given recognition for their outstanding contributions to their field in teaching.
Dexter Bontilao from Ubaldo Laya Elementary School was commended for his contribution to the Alternative Learning Teacher system wherein he notably introduced the Assessment & Evaluation Program to drug-dependents who are under the rehabilitation program.
Sol Dalonos, of the City Central School Special Education Center in Cagayan de Oro was recognized in special education teaching for being able to design a program on Development of Sign Language Skills for the parents and co-teachers in the center for them to fully understand the language of hearing impaired children.
In the Multi-grade teaching category, Zhaydee Cabañeles of Dalit Elementary School in Valencia City was awarded for her dedication to teach her students to the extent that she had to cross the Pulangi River just to get to her class.
For the Kindergarten Category, DJoan To-Ong of the Tangub City Central School was praised for being known, especially to the parents of her students for her cheerful attitude and her compassion to her job.
Faisah Dumaring of the Sheik Omar Elementary School is the foremost in the Arabic and Language Instruction and Values Education (ALIVE) category. She is known to have showcase effectiveness in her teaching skills in the delivery of learning for her learners.
Teacher I for the Elementary Level, Nyms Docdocil of the San Roque Elementary School and Teacher II also for the Elementary Level, Jeremy Lagunday of the Can-Ayan Integrated School, both has acquired recognition in their filed and rank because of their active participation in bringing education in their community as seen by their fellow educators.
On the other hand, Shyne Ancelin Lugagay of the Narciso B. Ledesma Central School received an award for being Outstanding Teacher III of the Elementary Level because of her research and her notable implementation of effective learning environments in the school.
Rene Ray Portacion from the Division of Misamis Occidental was awarded the Most Outstanding Master Teacher II for being known among the academe for his enthusiasm in bringing quality learning experience to his students.
Isobel Perreggie Jebelem Campomanes was recognized as Most Outstanding Teacher I-Secondary Level and Noemi Hisona as Most Outstanding Teacher II-Secondary Level both for their pleasant attitudes towards teaching and their students.
Honey Ritzel Barillo, who patented the Hagonoy Ointment of Iligan City was chosen as the Outstanding Teacher III for the Secondary Level.
Master teachers for Secondary Education Joel Galibo of Ma. Christina National High School, Arlyn Granada of the Ozamis City National High School, and Lepelyn Valdez of the Bukidnon National High School were all awarded for their excellency in both curricular and extra-curricular activities in their school and for being catalysts for progress in their community's educational system.
Continuing the Legacy of Quality Education for Northern Mindanao
Department of Education (DepEd) Chief Education Supervisor Noe Simene, one of the event's organizers expressed his gratitude for the success of the program most especially for the complete attendance of teachers from all over Northern Mindanao.
"I can really say that we have honored the teachers with this event for all the sacrifices and hard work that they have given in order to educate our children," Simene said.
Simene commented to one of the biggest matters that DepEd had to face this year which was the stabbing incident of a high school teacher a month ago, in the city.
"Indeed, it was a sad matter and it was the very first time that something like that has happened here in our place. However, the Department of Education is now giving its biggest efforts for the situation," Simene said.
"Aside from the Psycho-social interventions that some of our staff has given to the students, we are now making sure that the students of this region is really okay, in all aspects, said Simene.
As of the teachers, we are asking them to not let go of the role of being the second parent in class and to be more gentle when it comes to handling their students so that things like this would not occur again," he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 07, 2016.