Written by: Lara F. Razo, Grade 10 Rizal “What do you want to be in the future?” “Successful.” A typical answer to a typical question. They have both been heard and said so many times, yet they never seem [...]
Grades 9 and 10 students attended the career orientation conducted by Ms. Joyce Cudale, Marketing Directress and Ms. Geneveve Ledesma, Administrative Assistant of Southville Foreign University on September 29, 2011, 11:00 A.M. to 12 N.N. at the TPS Multi-Purpose Building. [...]
Dina D. De Torres
Ms. Dina is the TPS Finance Officer, the person in charge of monitoring and controlling the coming in and going out of school finances. It is her goal to safeguard the school finances by careful recording, a role to which she gives her best.
There is one definite word that describes her best – strong. Acquaintances say she is small but terrible. Still others say she‟s a tiger lady. All these terms point to her strength of character that shows in all aspects of her life- in school, in the office and at home.
True enough, behind the slim, frail frame is a woman of strong convictions. She deals with clients in a direct business-like manner, speaking in a mild but assertive voice, and projecting sincerity in whatever she says.
But the woman who holds the purse strings is also a wife and a mother, and she performs her varied functions according to her personality.
As a mother, she is a disciplinarian. Although she is living away from her kids, she maintains control and shapes their character by imposing clear, specific rules. She says, “Early in their childhood, I have impressed upon them the necessity of using time wisely. I have taught them to set time for every activity: for studies, for work and for recreation. I encourage them to give their best, but I am also willing to accept what they are and what they have. I monitor their performance in school and I am well informed of their scores in quizzes and exams.” Her children knows her well and they dare not break her rules. Yes, even these children are convinced she is strong.
As a wife, she can be both dominant and submissive. She is dominant enough to assert herself when she knows she is right, but submissive enough to seek the approval of her husband before making decisions.
She prides herself in having a strong self control and being focused. She declares, “The future of my children is my top priority. Having enjoyed my single days I have no regrets for things I failed to achieve. My physical and emotional needs have all been met before I settled. I bought the things my heart desired and joined activities I enjoyed. There is therefore nothing to hold me back from giving my best to my family.” Tough, right?
But she confesses. “There is more to me than guts. As the saying goes, if you need a friend, I can be there for you; if you want an enemy, I can also be. I also have a soft heart for those who are in need. If it is in my hands to meet your urgent need, I am willing to help.” And she reveals a secret- She has a passion for elegant undies. she admits, “It feels good to be elegant underneath. I feel confident when I am in my fine lingeries.”
Asked how she would picture herself in her retirement years, she answers, “I imagine myself as a fulfilled mother whose kids have grown to be good professionals, staying with my husband and enjoying our grandchildren.”
on life’s pleasures and purposes
How did you come to know her? Maybe you were a classmate of hers in high school or college, a fellow parent in her children’s school, one of her former students, a church mate, a coworker, an acquaintance in Dubai, and a neighbor in the Philippines. It does not matter how you were able to connect with her. I am sure you are as glad as the others for knowing her.
“I always mention about our faithfulness to God whenever I am asked about my family,” was her reply when I ask her to describe her family. “It is in Rachel, my one and only daughter where I see a lot of myself,” she added. Ms. Dulce can talk endlessly about her two grandchildren (Chichi and Chito). She is a proud “lola” to both of them and she hopes to have more grandchildren soon. She hopes to spend more years with them. “I sometimes feel that I was not able to spend more time with my children when they were younger,” she narrated. “Mas na enjoy ko pa sana sila,” she reminisced.
Ms. Dulce’s typical day starts early. “I am an early riser,” she asserted. When asked about her daily prayer time, “I pray when I am all ready for work,” she replied. She disclosed that her weekends are more hectic. She cooks breakfast for so many people. She personally prepares this for her family and for those who come early to attend church service. “We have choir practice before the service, so some people really come early.”
Interested in her likes and hobbies? For one, Ma’am Dulce is a food lover. The list is long, from adobo to sinigang and lechon. “I love to cook but I am not a “butingting” person in the house. I prefer the quick fix way.” She expects honesty from people abhors backstabbers. She declares that she is very appreciative even of small things. Being a coach potato makes her enjoy leisure time. “Admittedly, I doze off after ten minutes.” “It is a good thing that we can now record and watch again later.” One of her favorite channels is the food channel, a reflection of her fondness for food and cooking. When asked about the three material things that she would like to have in the future, Ms. Dulce enthusiastically answered – a state of the art kitchen, a luxurious bathroom and dental implant. The last one, she said, although as expensive as the first two, is the one that she prefers to have.
When asked about TPS, she warmly answered, “I pray for everyone in the school, especially for those who were with us since we started.” She added that she tries to maintain a people oriented management style. “I treat people equally whether you are a nanny or a driver,” she stated. She reiterated the words of Ms. Boots Anson Roa in her talk at the 1st Philippine Film Festival in Dubai. “They are the same people you will meet on your way down so better treat them well on your way up.”
As a teacher she is delighted when former students still remember her as their Chemistry teacher. “More than that, I am blessed when they tell me how
grateful they are for having been lead closer to Jesus.” leading them closer to Jesus.” She hopes to encourage people not only to save on material things and money but more importantly to invest on “spiritual things”. “It is the real wealth that we should all store,” she stressed. Ma’am Dulce, serious as she may sound, also has a funny, lighter side. “I love to sing and dance. It is my therapy for stress.”
What about other hopes for the future? I capped the interview with this question – how do you see yourself ten years from now? “I see myself in the Philippines, running my own school,” she ended cheerfully.
Dr. Rosalinda D. Miranda
One of the significant factors by which any organization- including an educational institution- could stand on a solid ground is the deep commitment given by the people who are in it. A school is only as strong as the depth of character of the people who comprise it. The Philippine School-Dubai is so blessed to have one in the person of its dynamic Guidance Counselor, Dr. Rosalinda D. Miranda.
She has been with TPS for almost three years and has been a significant contributor in making the school reach its present stature as the biggest and fastest-growing Filipino school in UAE. She is not just an ordinary employee with a high level of commitment. She possesses the necessary skills required to become an effective guidance counselor. But more than anything else, what really makes her effective as a counselor is her gentleness and kindness in dealing with children and parents. Her friendly aura exudes that charisma which gives erring children in school the feeling of security to air out their problems as if they are talking to their own mother.
She admits that being a guidance counselor is such a hard task that requires not just the human intellect but a great deal of wisdom that can only come from above. As she puts it, “Counseling is an emotionally, mentally and physically draining task. I cannot do the task if I will simply rely on my own strength and wisdom.”
When asked how she prepares herself for her daily routine in the school, she happily said,”I make sure that I always start the day by seeking God‟s guidance through prayer; I greatly believe that in order for me to give proper guidance and counseling to children who are entrusted to my care, I should be guided by the Greatest Counselor of all, none other than our God Almighty.”
She epitomizes a true guidance counselor – loving and caring. More than the advice she could give, she has a natural ability to empathize with children and parents whom she encounters in every counseling session, giving them the assurance that she understands what they are going through. Only few have been given this gift.
To her colleagues, she is a friend and a sister. She is known by many simply as “Ma’am Linda” for she urges people to refrain from addressing her as Doctor. Such is a manifestation of her humble heart..
Her aspiration as the school guidance counselor is to be an instrument in making the school hold fast to its mission of being a leader not only in academic excellence but also in values formation. And so, she emphasizes the integration of values in all the activities and programs of the school and lives such values in her daily life. Like salt to food, she prevents the spoilage of character. Hardworking and dedicated, she is a picture of commitment in action.
Normita D. Mayuga
Ms. Norie is the direct link between the school and the TPS Chairman. Her main function is to observe how things are going on in the school and report her observations to the chairman.
She is a self-made woman who had strength of character, flexibility and guts as stepping stones to higher positions. Before she worked with TPS, she had different jobs in managing people. She worked as a supervisor in a multinational company for more than 20 years, then as a manager in one of the leading life insurance companies. She became a branch manager of a financing institution in the Philippines and then a manager in an interior design company in Dubai for five years.
Her long years of working with people of diverse nationalities and cultures gave her the ability to discern the good from the bad, the sincere from the fake worker. Wherever she worked, she always promoted the dignity of the Filipino.
Asked about her leadership style, she declares that she is both strict and gentle. She expects 100% compliance and yet she supports people so that they will be happy and productive in their work. She believes that human resource, or the person, is the best asset of a company and as such should be taken care of . She advocates the provision of a good work atmosphere, sharing profits and giving incentives.
Ms. Norie is a conservative woman who cherishes the Filipino values of self-discipline and respect for elders and authorities. She expects workers to maintain a high sense of professionalism, to be firm in decision making , to take pride and confidence in what they have, and to support and love each others. She says, “I hate gossip, envy, opportunism and division in the work-place. I regret that progress in technology and economy has caused a decline in moral values, particularly among Filipinos. I pay close attention to details related to image building such as handling relationships and observing proper decorum.”
Jonathan H. Esguerra, Vice Principal
Mr. Jo supports the principal in matters related to academics, information dissemination, student performance, faculty development and curriculum implementation design and implementation. He is in-charge of the research aspects, and in following up department orders and policies.
Speaking on leadership, he opines, “I like the principal‟s democratic way of leading the school. She makes the good of the school a corporate responsibility, and the participative decision making makes the system move on…”
Asked about his vision for the school, he shares, “Five years from now, I hope to see the school on its permanent site, with marked improvement in facilities such as school library and speech laboratory, and a higher student performance. I hope for improvement in student discipline, which stems from a change in their value system from a no-care attitude to a more intense focus on their studies and the environment, and a greater respect for authority. I would also like to see an improvement in relationships among teachers, between teachers and administration, and between teachers and students. This is possible only if there is a change in the way we think. I hope we can have much time for introspection, for reflection, to hold activities which are more of spiritual in nature, such as recollections… Most of the activities we have are more of intellectual and academic…”
He elaborates, “For a steady progress, there must be close monitoring, and each individual assigned must have a sense of belonging with the group. I propose renewal of the spirit. I believe that renewal of the heart is the first and basic step, because everything a man does stems from his beliefs
He feels that students need to be more in touch with themselves first and eventually with those around them. To the teachers, he says, “Keep up the good work!”
Mr. Jo attributes our initial success to our ability both as individuals
and as a group. “As individuals, “he says, “each member has a unique way of carrying out his functions for positive effects. As a group, our collective efforts are seen by the parents as a motivating factor… They see the improvement in our facilities, and our achievements in academics are visible signs of our commitment to excellence.”
Jocelyn M. Sollano, Principal on being a motherly manager
How would you describe your mother as a worker? Have you ever experienced having your mother as a co worker? Although in a slightly different way, I can say that I have a mother around in my workplace. As in any relationship, there are gains and rebuffs. Join me as I explore this interesting person and her relationship with her colleagues.
Our principal takes pride in saying that she was able to raise her children well single-handedly. “I have achieved a certain level of self actualization when my children graduated from college.” Now that they are all grown-ups, she misses having children in the house. What she misses about her children is compensated by her grandchildren. “I enjoy every minute of my apostolate,” she added. “With regards to my children, I see a portion of me in each of them,” she beamed. According to her, Jay, 38, the eldest is considerate and kindhearted. I see the jolly, friendly person with a childlike outlook in life in Jena, 20, the youngest. Joyce, 26, the second, is both the picture of the kind of mother that I am as well as the kind of mother that I hope to be. She is dedicated and hands on. Jet, 27, the second, possesses much of my qualities, both attractive and not so adorable. He is hardheaded yet determined, persistent, articulate and strong willed,” she enthused.
Ma‟am Jo is a hearty eater and a good cook. She likes seafood in particular. As a family, they have some food adventures, too. She recalled to me how they used to go to a 24 hour fast food chain or tapsihan on late nights, enjoying the simple food amidst anecdotes and family chat. She admires people with enduring patience. Ma’am Jo has a simple but practical approach in life as a person and as a professional. “Those on the front lines should possess people skills,” she stressed. As a manager, she encourages participation. I try to address and respond to situations at hand,” she declared. She added that this is done by complementing the weaknesses with the strengths of each person. She believes that a good leader knows how to train his people and prepare them for future leadership roles. She makes it a point to emphasize that teaching is not a merely a job. This is where her “motherly role” comes in. “I treat the teachers as my children and expect that they will accord me with the same respect that they would give their mother.” When asked to elaborate a little, she cited some simple day to day situations such as the difference between asking permission and giving information or knowing your duties and responsibilities and being responsible for your actions. Being a mother to them, she added also means that there would be giving of some motherly correction or reminders once in a while when needed.
With these, she may sound strict but on the contrary, she is a jolly person. She would rather be referred to as fun loving than serious and unapproachable. She enjoys dancing and is always willing to showcase her dancing skills if given a chance. and is unafraid to dance. She prefers it more than singing although there is no problem asking her to sing. Her therapy for stress includes eating, watching CSI, Criminal Minds and Grey‟s Anatomy, and music. You should see how gracefully she dances. She is a low maintenance machine, an early riser who requires long sleeping hours on weekend. “It guarantees energy and strength to last for the week,” she quipped.
When asked about the perks of the so called Dubai life, this was her response. “I am now 7/10 when it comes to being “techy‟”. She used to be comfortable with just a calculator and the low end cellular phone for a gadget. She is now adept with the tablet, more comfortable in dealing with e mail and computer generated forms. She enjoys the comfortable life and the attractive view of a city that never sleeps from her room.
It is a fact that she started as a teacher in TPS. She narrates that rising from the ranks has its down-side, too. She said that there are occasional struggles when it comes to maintaining the relationship that she was able to establish with her fellow pioneers and at the same time performing her new role as the principal. Knowing how a teacher feels and would feel in a given situation enables her to address the issue appropriately. Her skills in ministerial leadership are also helpful. She admits having heavier responsibilities back when she was still a principal in the Philippines. As the principal, she is thankful and satisfied with the amount of freedom given to her in exercising her role. “I always consult Ms. Letty, especially on the Dubai aspect of things and she he lets me use my own style when it comes to my area of responsibility,” she continued.
In the future, she would like to have a rest house in Tagaytay. In addition, she dreams of having a long life and to reside in Australia with her children and grandchildren. She specified though that she will retire in the Philippines.
The interview ended with the advice that she would like to give to children and parents like her. “Love, nurture and take care of your children. Be hands on from age 5 to 16. By then you have established them in the necessary areas.” For the children, she would like to emphasize obedience to parents. “You will never go wrong if you obey your parents.”
Leticia M. Maniaul, Managing Directress on “perfection with a heart”
Ms. Letty’s passion for work and management style were honed by two decades of UAE experience. It all started with a dream to provide a better life for her family. Now she proudly says that she is contented with her life. Contented and blessed, she is grateful for the chance of becoming an instrument to improve the lives of family members by providing support and guidance. Her folks and family members back home are proud of her. She is also thankful for the “bearable” problems that came her way. As a beauty queen puts it, there were no “major, major” challenges.
Ms. Letty values honesty a lot. You can count on her 101% support if she sees that you are sincere and will really hate you when she finds out that you lie. She admires people who are straightforward; in other words, say what you mean and mean what you say. She does not prefer any particular food but will choose the color yellow. (Did you know that yellow symbolizes a mind for business?) Talking of business, she hopes to put up more branches of The Philippine School soon.
A typical weekend in Ms. Letty’s life is spent doing the laundry, cooking and long hours in front of the television. She feels closer to home when glued on the boob tube watching “kapamilya” shows. She also enjoys cooking sumptuous meals.
The school’s big boss would rather be described as a serious person. She claims of a management style that calls for perfection but at the same time boasts of a big heart. She encourages people to be serious at work and be sensitive about protecting the good image of the school. “Fear should not be the motivation,” she added. “It should be love…genuine love.” The pillars of TPS have invested a lot of hard work and love in putting this up. There is no way that she will allow anyone to destroy the good name that The Philippine School – Dubai has created. She believes in respecting one’s position and allowing people to exercise their full authority when given a particular task. This is her idea of empowerment. “We all have our strengths and weaknesses as an employee. Simple things such as boosting someone’s morale by uttering encouraging words, letting the person know that you trust him or her could do wonders,” she quipped.
The job of a managing directress may really sound tough and stressful but no worries; she has a therapy for it. Would you like to guess? Well, the first criterion if you want to invite her to visit a new place is a shop, a mall where her eyes could feast on shoes and bags and other items. She won’t get tired of it. As a matter of fact, it energizes her all the more. You might wonder how someone so earnest can indulge in a shopping spree. This advice that she has for OFW’s really struck me – “Learn to save for the future.” “It sounds difficult to do, ma’am,” was my reply. “You can do it; but you have to start and you need to have the willingness to do it,” was her encouragement. She added that an OFW should already see some fruits of his hard work after five years. She further advised about having a goal and sticking to it no matter what happens. The result may be delayed but one has to persevere and continue working hard to achieve them.
In the workplace, it is also important to check if you are still happy. “It is useless to stay if you are no longer happy with your work.” She believes that when a door closes, more windows and bigger doors will be opened to you. You only have to give it your 100% all the time. This is how Ms. Letty loves; she gives all, without reservation.
After the advice, I inquired about her resolution for 2012. Diet and exercise was her answer. Retirement for Ma’am Letty is an afternoon of relaxation with her loved ones having a casual chat over a cup of coffee under the shade of a mango tree.
From our lesson in World History, we have heard about The First Triumvirate. It is an alliance between three very powerful Roman Senators – Julius Caesar, Crassus and Pompey. With their powers combined, they yielded massive influence in politics. The success of their alliance won them this title. In American history, the Triumvirate refers to Washington, Jefferson and Madison whose leadership helped shaped America. The Macmillan dictionary refers to it as a group of three powerful people, in charge of something. A triumvirate can be likened to a marine officers consisting of the master or captain, chief mate, second mate or officer of the watch. They are in charge of the operations – each job complements the other; all are vital to ensure a smooth flow.
The Philippine School – Dubai has its own version of a triumvirate; not in the political sense but in terms of being in charge; of complementing functions that lead to a smooth flow of operations. With them on the maneuver lead, TPS continues to soar. I am thankful for this opportunity to introduce their “other side” – that which is known only to a few. At the end of an afternoon of a PEP talk with them, the future of TPS became even clearer to me. They are God’s gift to TPS.
Thank you, UAE…
… for giving me the freedom of religion- to worship God in my unique ways. It is a great comfort that as I leave my country and enter your gates, I am not forced to leave behind the things closest to my heart- the communion with god in ways I have held precious.
… for giving my husband a job with a pay high enough for our family to enjoy the finer things in life – an aesthetically satisfying home, good food and music.
… for the perpetually fine weather of sunshine and peaceful skies. Do you know UAE that I am thrilled to gaze the big orange sun hanging in your skies? And although I rarely see your stars, the multicolored lights of your temples and towers are wonder enough.
… for your gentleness to women, ensuring my comfort and safety When I travel.you reserve for me the front seats in your buses, the first priority in your long lines- in the bus stations, in the offices.
… for your predictable systems that make me feel secure and safe. When I ride the bus, I know that it will stop only at the designated stations and stops, and that the driver will not cut the trip. When I ride the taxi, I am confident that the meters will be honest.
… for your wide, green parks where I can sit in quiet and seek comfort from the pressures of city life and where I can enjoy the companionship of friends.
… for your beaches of clear waters and fine sand, for your lofty black mountains where I may contemplate the grandeur of my Creator.
… for the world-class food in your markets- the luscious, colorful apples, avocados and grapes; the sweet, crunchy, creamy nuts; and the soft boneless pink salmon. They are some of the main reasons eating becomes a pleasure…
… for achieving the impossible. I see the man-made lagoons and lakes right beside your concrete roads, the sail-shaped tower on reclaimed area… you turned the waters into land, and the land into waters and the desert into a green lush, and I can‟t help but remember with awe the creativity of the God who made the things you attempted to copy.
… for the freedom of assembly, for the chance to be with my people who remind me of my identity . Together, we celebrate our uniqueness as we express ourselves and trace our roots in your scenic spots.
Most of all thank you for giving me TPS, where I can practice my beliefs, my culture, my skills and abilities and everything that is me, with the assurance that I am using them to serve and therefore glorify my god.
Thank you, UAE, for making me enjoy life to the fullest!
Darkness hovers around me
Flaming arrows keep coming to me
My arms are wounded
My feet are bruised
My heart is bleeding
Yet still rejoicing
Sufferings and afflictions no longer scare me
Unlike how they used to be
For without the pain they caused me
Without the sorrow they brought me
I wouldn’t know the real me
When adversity knocks on my door today
No longer do I fret ,I welcome it gladly
Through the dark years
It finally dawned to me
That life isn’t that easy
Struggles and problems there will always be
But like valiant warriors never should we flee
When trials come our way