Wind and wings-A A +A
Sunday, February 17, 2013
THOSE who know, know this to be true: The toughest evaluators are one’s peers, not those of clients or superiors.
So it was no small joy for me yesterday when my peers in the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Alumni Association chose me as this year’s “Outstanding Alumna” during the homecoming ceremonies.
While the award bears my name, it is not totally mine. I share this with people who illustrated passion in their work long before it became a management buzzword. My passion for teaching and training first grew in my childhood. My father was the college of law dean of another university here, while my mother was an elementary school teacher. Every night after dinner, I would hear them share anecdotes about students and fellow teachers and new learnings. Their enthusiasm was very catching, so at that tender age, I dreamt of being a teacher.
At USPF, teachers nurtured that dream. While I was among the pioneer students studying towards a B.S. Foods and Nutrition degree, I was mesmerized by the colors and flames in the chemistry labs of Ofelia Anoche and Lydia Canalita. I wanted to be like them who memorized all the valence numbers of each chemical element.
I wanted to be a chemist, but I didn’t have the aptitude for it. In time, I did something better; I married a chemical engineer.
I also learned at USPF the importance of autographing one’s work with excellence. Particularly in the English classes of Lilia Cinco and Pedro Ybañez, I developed the attention to details, to review my answers for accuracy and coherence, to make sure that the letters in the words and phrases were not disjointed.
To learn a foreign language, consistency and constancy in drills is imperative. This I learned from Sonia Lopez, my Spanish teacher. How I loved Spain through her eyes when, after a vacation there, she regaled us with stories of bullfights, of señoritas dancing to their clicking castanets, and of hombres serenading and recalling their own historia de un amor. Masterfully, she had enabled us to build our Spanish vocabulary through her story-telling sessions.
The first lesson on Management by Walking Around I learned incidentally from the USPF founder himself, Engr. Agustin Jereza. While waiting for my next class, I would see him going into classrooms, looking up and down walls and corridors, and talking to students or teachers along the pathways.
He demonstrated that some things are better learned and understood first-hand, similar to the Indian who keeps his ears pinned to the ground.
No achievement is ever one’s own alone. Others buoy one up, the better for others to see, weigh and appreciate. My award couldn’t have been without the initiative of the alumni association led by businessman James Yu, and the stringent processing by its selection committee chaired by lawyer Isaias Giduquio.
“So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strength… I could fly higher than an eagle, For you are the wind beneath my wings.” Those beautiful lyrics from a song never fail to get me.
My father, my husband, my children, my friends, my peers… in all my various journeys, they’ve been the wind beneath my wings.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2013.