Monday, June 14, 2021

Well-loved mentors


The teaching profession is considered a vocation because it takes dedication, determination and total devotion to do the job. Imparting and sharing knowledge with others is not an easy task. Three beloved mentors talk about their journey as educators.

Dr. Milagros Castillo Espina, Ph. D., has been a teacher for almost six decades. It was in 1964 when she first taught at the high school department of Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos. As the school progressed and became a university, she rose up the ladder and in time became the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of San Jose-Recoletos.

Innovative and imaginative, Madam Mila introduced interactive activities in her classes. She said, “My classroom teaching was accentuated with stage theater and musicales relevant to literature, language and cross cultural dimensions... I am an educator with a song in my heart.”

When asked about what she found most satisfying as a teacher, she shared that it “is seeing students graduate, succeed, and have productive, professional careers, raising their own families here and abroad.” She also happily disclosed that she was able “to nurture“ scholarships for her students through linkages with foundations and civic groups.

Though long retired as dean, Dr. Espina still handles doctoral classes in English language and literature at the USJ-R Graduate School. Other involvements that keep her busy are her school, Speechcom International, and activities in civic clubs.


Mrs. Ramona Lacsamana Aliño spent 30 years teaching at the Colegio Dela Inmaculada Concepcion. She was the gracious and well-loved mentor to young ladies who eagerly listened to her discourse on Social Sciences and Personality Development. Madam Monette also taught Speech and coached the girls in public speaking and in the performance arts especially for the annual school plays and mission fairs.

What she considered unforgettable experiences during her teaching career were “touring students to interact with other students in other schools, charitable acts, traveling and evaluating other schools with Paascu (Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities).” She finds fulfillment in seeing her former students become active civic leaders and successful individuals.

After retirement from CIC, Madam Monette helped run a charitable foundation for some years. Nowadays, she is taking it easy and spending enjoyable days with family and close friends.


Twenty-eight years and counting—that is the teaching record of Dr. Mattie Matondo Baguia, Ph. D. who is a non-resident faculty of the graduate school of the University of the Visayas. She used to work for the provincial government but is now retired and can therefore spend more time teaching. Yes, Madam Mattie says that teaching is her passion.

A gratifying experience as a teacher that has stood out in her mind was “watching the presentation of Talk Show or Role Play by the students wherein they shared their learnings and impressions about the subjects I handled.” As for the most satisfying part of being in the teaching profession she believes it is “the fact that students who are now senior officials in various public or private agencies, recognize you as their influencer and inspiration while pursuing their terminal degree.”


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