TEARS-STRICKEN face in front of the mirror, chest contracting due to her muffled cries, and lips that refused to release discouraging words. Then, she straightened her back, wiped her tears away, and reflected a huge smile on the mirror. That’s who she was back then. She is Ron May Baticos, a 22-year old teacher from Hua Siong College of Iloilo-Ledesco.
Every morning she walks around the school with bubbly energy and students would wave hello to her and feel her radiating positive aura. Then, they would listen to her lessons for the whole day. Little do they know about the difficulties she encountered before becoming a licensed professional teacher.
Ron May was born in a “chaotic” family as she would describe it. They lived in poverty as both of her parents are jobless and are constantly fighting. She is the eldest of 11 children and for that, she felt the pressure of succeeding in life as so much depends on her.
She emotionally shared, “I would have been happier if we were just poor but happy. But that’s not our case. During those times, I considered myself very unlucky.”
In her younger years, she thought of her life as a “curse” but quickly regretted that when she realized that she isn’t the only one suffering. She realized that everybody has their own struggles to face and that despite it all, she is still blessed. She persevered and found ways to help their situation even a little. When she finished high school, she got a scholarship and studied Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Major in English.
She dreamed of taking up nursing or any medical course but she said that Education is more affordable. Ron May also said that she felt so envious seeing other students wearing a while uniform but she learned to accept the fact that she’s blessed enough to take up Education as a course in college and she fell in love with it over time.
During her four years as a college student, there were times when she had to find ways to financially provide for herself. Surrounded by family members and friends who encouraged her to keep on going despite how difficult her life is, she persevered to do better.
What she also considered the saddest part is a lot of people discouraged her. Despite her efforts, there were a lot who said that she should just stop her studies. Some even criticized her academic performance despite how well she’s doing. Nevertheless, she never failed to be headstrong. She just laughed and called them “Bashers”.
Then, the moment came. The moment she herself didn’t expect.
Growing up in a community where houses are pressed against each other with no spaces to spare, a family where poverty was ever present and fights were loud between parents, and ten younger brothers and sisters who depend on a little glimmer of hope in the future found in her shoulders, yes, despite it all, she graduated as Magna Cum Laude.
Now that she’s a teacher, she couldn’t contain the sense of fulfilment the job gives her. She said, “It feels so great to see myself change from a student to a teacher. Teaching gave me an opportunity to impart my experiences and knowledge to others. It also heightened my ability to help my family especially financially.”
As a teacher, it is her turn to see students who remind her of herself—exhausted from all adversities but never giving up. She advised, “Focus on what you could do and do your best to excel. Dont let the difficulties you have limit you from soaring high. Always take note that you are greater than the challenges and difficulties you have. Life is tough but you are tougher. Just rest in case you feel tired, pause but never stop. Stay committed to your dreams.”
Bright face in the mirror, chest pounding because of the beat of her glorious heart, and lips that stretch up for a smile. That’s who she is now. The impoverished little girl turned into a Magna Cum Laude and a hardworking teacher. /PN