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The sky cried, too

12:02 AM September 04, 2016

It was one of the toughest decisions I had to make. And it was urgent. My answer was needed within a minute. So I listened to the inner voice and got the answer: my hesitant “yes.” I just closed my eyes and whispered to God that I knew it was His will.

5/15/14. I was told that I had been assigned to Kalabugao National High School. Of all places! Why, Lord? It’s not good to question God’s plan, but I felt the dismay creeping into my heart. No! But, YES! I accepted it. It’s a job nevertheless. Kalabugao—the road is “challenging,” and there’s no mobile or internet connection!

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5/29/14. I traveled to Kalabugao to give my notice of appointment to the principal. And I was greeted by steep and muddy roads and welcomed with heavy rain. I was so downhearted.

6/2/14. My first day as a public school teacher. I was lost for a moment. I’d taught for two years in a private school and here I was, “adapting” to a huge change. I was “slapped” with a “life-changing” career. Current position: newly-hired public school teacher assigned as a class adviser and school paper adviser, with no classroom.

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I mean, my first classroom with my advisory class, Grade 7-Faith, was our school stage. It was heart-wrenching to see my students soaking wet because the roof was leaking. When will this “rain” end? Plus, when it was windy, I had to hold our loose chalkboard. There was a time when it was raining real hard and all of us gathered in one corner of the stage waiting for the rain to stop. I can still remember seeing my children hugging themselves because it was so cold.

We survived the eight-month, happy-scary struggle because we finally had our own classroom alongside the other sections. Truly, our section name—Faith—said a lot about our virtue for the whole “staged journey.”

I also met different personalities—my fellow teachers. They made my life on the mountain colorful. They were both my mentors and friends.

It was a first year well-spent. (Side note: I experienced being thrown from the motorcycle when it crashed on the way to Kalabugao. Not once, but twice. In one day.)

6/1/15. Another start of a school year. I was still scared of the rocky roads. I still braved heavy rains and still wore my yellow raincoat. And I still marveled at the lush greenery around me. Whenever I missed home, I just looked at the sky and knew that my family was looking at it, too. Whenever I felt bad, I just wrote about what was wearing me down and moved on.

School year 2015-16 was good to me. I met new coteachers who were equally good and eventually became my friends. I also got the time to earn master’s units. And many more memories that are kept in my heart.

6/13/16. Another school year has begun. New trials to surpass. Old smiles to survive those. One day, we fell from the motorcycle again. I cried and cried because my beautiful foot was injured. I couldn’t stand, couldn’t move my left foot. I was scared. And we couldn’t go to the hospital because we’re in the middle of nowhere. It was raining when it happened. So we just went to the health center and I took a painkiller. I waited till the morning and cried in the middle of the night. We left my beloved mountain on a motorcycle. Imagine the horror that I felt. Thank God, it was all good. But I walked awkwardly for two weeks. Hehe.

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7/26/16. I got my reassignment order and felt mixed emotions. I was happy to know I’ve been reassigned to my alma mater and would not again miss family events. But I also felt lonely at leaving my students/children, at not seeing them every school day, at not hearing them say “Good morning/afternoon, Teacher Zy!” and compliment my dimple.

But life goes on. My two-years-and-two-months stay in Kalabugao National High School has been a roller-coaster ride. There were good and not-so-good times, but nothing I will ever regret.

7/29/16. I did my best to “memorize” Kalabugao. It’s difficult to make a trip back but, God willing, I will definitely hit the road and breathe the fresh air there again, and swim in the Kalabugao-Pulangui river. It was raining real hard when I left. And I cried real hard, too.

It’s not goodbye, Kalabugao. It’s see you again!

Zynara G. Sareno, 24, of Lantapan, Bukidnon, now teaches in Bugcaon National High School.

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TAGS: challenges, change, education, Sacrifice, teaching
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