Destined for a Purpose

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Saturday, May 31, 2014


SHE literally had to burn midnight candles to carry on with her dream of becoming somebody someday.

Forward-Looking

Now that she has retired, Retired Regional Director of DepED Region 11, Dr. Gloria D. Benigno’s greatest achievement is the Gawad CES Award, a presidential award which she received in Malacanang Palace in 2008.

The search was initiated by the Career Executive Service Board. She was one of the five First Gawad CES awardees because of her outstanding performance and projects as schools division superintendent. Her special project which was highly appreciated by the teachers of the Division of Bukidnon was the development and reproduction of Prototype Lesson Plans in all subject areas in all grade/year levels in the elementary and secondary schools. It was started and tried out in year 2005 and was finalized in 2008. After it has been finalized the lesson exemplars were reproduced using the funds of the Division of Bukidnon. All teachers were provided a copy of the prototype lessons plans for each of the subjects they were teaching.

Another project which she was highly engaged in and passionate about was for the children of the Indigenous Peoples of Bukidnon. By collaborating with some partners the Division of Bukidnon she was able to develop the Higaonon culture based lesson guides for the teachers. She was also a strong advocate of the use of the mother tongue in schools. She sent out a division memorandum that the Binukid version of the Bukinon Provincial Hymn be sung in the schools. She had also commissioned the translation of the Misamis Occidental March of the Division of Misamis Occidental, the Caraga Regional March and recently the Davao Region Hymn to Cebuano.

Her Life’s Realization of Her Existence

In the third book she had written entitled “Destined for a Purpose” prior to her retirement, she had written this, “I am thankful to the LORD almighty for all the blessings that HE has showered upon my life and my family. My career has brought me to different divisions and regions of Mindanao. I have touched the lives of school children, high school and college students, teachers, school heads, supervisors, school division superintendents and other personnel and officials of the Department of Education. At first I did not intend to work in the Department of Education but I was led to where I am now. I always believe that there must be reasons why GOD allowed me to pass the Superintendent Examination in 1988. There must be reasons why HE led me and allowed me to serve in different divisions and regions. There must be reasons why He allowed me to be a DepED Schools Division Superintendent and Regional Director. I strongly believe that I was destined for a purpose.”

Early Achievements

Benigno was born in Samal Island, now the Island Garden City of Samal on May 9, 1949 to AnastacioTamparongDalogdog and Eugenia ObenzaSaad. She is the eldest in the brood of four with siblings Elizabeth, Francisco and Julieta.
Her prowess in Mathematics was already evident when she was still very young and was assigned to tend the family store since she can add and subtract sans calculator.

She graduated on top of the Grade VI class consisting of three sections at Penaplata Central ES, IGACOS in 1963.

As a valedictorian, she became an academic scholar in high school at the University of Mindanao/UM Penaplata Jr. College. She was in fourth year high school when her parents decided to move to Bukidnon to seek greener pasture.

She finished high school in three years time and with parents who always took into consideration their access to education, she continued her studies at the University of Mindanao, Davao City where she got a Bachelor of Science in Education, major in Mathematics and minor in General Science in 1969

She first taught at Bukidnon Provincial High School, now Bukidnon NHS in 1969, after she placed second in the competitive examination for teacher-applicants.

She chose to teach at the mother high school where she was destined to meet Mr. Ignacio Flores Benigno with whom she got married on January 3, 1970. Their union was blessed with three kids. The eldest is John Omar who married Katherine Hinampas and they have a two year old baby girl, Johanna Kate. The second son is Samuel James Benignowho married Marisel Seno and are residing in New Brunswick, Canada. Samuel James and Marisel have three children; Maiah Sam, 12 years, Glorietta Marie 10 years and John James 6 years old . The youngest daughter who is also residing in Canada is Miss Laarni Pearl Benigno.

She also taught at Central Mindanao University, High School Department of the University in 1974 together with her husband, who was also teaching in the Elementary Department. They both decided to go back teaching at the Bukidnon National High School a year after. After teaching there for three years, she again transferred to Bukidnon State College in 1977 as an Instructor. She was made to teach Mathematics in the laboratory school of the Secondary Department.

After earning her Masters degree in School Health Education she was made to teach some courses in the College Department and Statistics in the Graduate School.

In 1980, she was given a scholarship under the Faculty Development Program of Bukidnon State College at Centro Escolar University. She said she was able to do this because of a strong family support.

Her sacrifices paid off because in 1984 she earned the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education at Centro Escolar University. The output of her dissertation was a book in Basic Mathematics for College Students which REX Bookstore took interest in having it published.
Another book which she wrote is “Mathematics Made Easy”, a condensed book about basic concepts in Mathematics and is used as reference and or review material in Mathematics.

After finishing her doctoral degree she was promoted as Professor and was tasked to open a Mathematics Education Program in the Graduate School. She was designated as its Program Director while also serving as the Associate Dean of the School of Education.

Turning Point in Her Career

During her stay in the College, she was given the opportunity to undergo a six-month post-doctoral studies at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia in 1988, a program managed by the Philippine American Educational Foundation and funded by USAID, her first international travel. Since then, she had travelled to these countries mostly on official purposes: Australia, Brunei, Israel, Singapore, Canada, Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia
Also in 1988, she took and passed the Superintendent Examination and in 1992, that is, four years later, she rejoined the Department of Education.

In 1994, she earned the Career Executive Service Eligibility and the following year, she was appointed by the President of Philippines as Career Executive Service Officer VI.

In 1998, she became a full-fledged Schools Division Superintendent. Her career in DepED brought her to different provinces in Region 10 and regions in Mindanao. Her first assignment was in the Division of Misamis Occidental then to Camiguin and back to Bukidnon.

She was promoted as Assistant Regional Director in year 2000. In 2004, she was reappointed as Schools Division Superintendent of Bukidnon. This time she was home for five years.

In 2009, she again joined the Office of the Directorate as Officer In Charge of the Office of the Regional Director in DepED, Caraga until her brief transfer to DepED Region 10 in July 2012. After serving Region 10 as full-fledged regional director for three months she was transferred and served DepED Region 11, her home region, until her retirement on May 9, 2014, her 65th birthday.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 01, 2014.

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