Four teachers received honors as 2018 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos during the awarding ceremony held on Sept. 7 at the Metrobank Plaza Auditorium.
The teacher-awardees are: Mary Jane Ramo, Master Teacher II of Tonggo Elementary School (Tudela, Misamis Occidental); Alma Janagap, Ed.D., Master Teacher II of Pavia National High School (Pavia, Iloilo); Aimee Marie Gragasin, Ph.D., Special Science Teacher V, Philippine Science High School-Cagayan Valley Campus (Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya); and Carla Dimalanta, Ph.D., Professor X, University of the Philippines, Diliman (Quezon City).
Known as Misamis Occidental’s culture and environment heroine, Ramo focused her life’s work on the promotion of indigenous peoples’ education, and was dubbed as an “honorary Subanen” after her efforts brought back the locals’ self-worth and adoration for their native culture. She is also an advocate of environmental protection in her immediate community.
“Nothing compares to the happiness and fulfillment I feel every time I see young Subanen learners perform Subanen dances, wear their Subanen attire, and be proud of their own culture,” Ramo shared.
Janagap, Iloilo’s literacy crusader, chose to remain a classroom teacher instead of applying for administrative and supervisory positions. She fostered a culture of reading in the school, and held reading sessions for students struggling with regular academic load.
Her Reading Clinic, which she equipped with books and multimedia materials, served as her legacy, and was replicated by various schools in Iloilo.
“I will not trade being a teacher for anything else. Knowing that my students lead empowered lives anchored on moral values gives me real pride and joy,” she said.
Meanwhile, Gragasin is known as Nueva Vizcaya’s science education innovator. She pioneered the annual Summer Internship Program which gives junior students a preview of the research field, and exposes them to the realities and intricacies of science application in the country. She also devised a series of year-round educational sessions for her co-faculty members.
“I have started to propagate a culture of science in the school and the community. It would also mean so much to my family, sealing in a stamp to our legacy of being a family of teachers,” she said.
Finally, Dimalanta is the only female Exploration Geophysicist with a doctoral degree in the country. Her work delves in intensive information and education campaign, and promoting the appreciation of this highly technical branch of science. Her work on climate change and disaster risk reduction is integrated into UP’s General Education courses.
“I want to be remembered as someone who embodies the different roles a teacher has to play in today’s world: a mentor, a researcher, and a public servant,” the professor said.
The four teachers, together with three police officers and three soldiers, accepted their awards handed by Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, Associate Justice Noel Tijam, Metrobank Foundation Inc. President Aniceto Sobrepeña, Metrobank and Metrobank Foundation Inc. Chairman Arthur Ty, and Metrobank Foundation Inc. Trustee Sergio Cao.
The 10 awardees each received a cash prize of P1 million (net of tax), a gold medallion, a trophy, and the title “Metrobank Foundation Fellows in Public Service.”
Also present during the awarding ceremony were Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary for Planning and Field Operations Jesus Mateo, and Undersecretary for Legislative Liaison, External Partnerships, and School Sports Tonisito Umali.
“The triumph of our four awardees is the triumph of the 700,000 other teachers from all over the country who selflessly embrace the noble mission to nurture and raise holistically developed and lifelong learners,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
The four teacher-awardees will also be presented during the press conference on the National Teachers’ Month slated on September 11.