Beauty is not only in the face but also in the soul. Whatever happens, the beauty in the soul makes a woman endearingly unforgettable.
Indeed, such unforgettable woman exudes the boundless beauty of a mother’s nurturing despite her malady… and that makes her beauty ever lives on. With that, she lives her life and she leads other lives meaningfully.
Her Unwavering And Persevering Spirit: Her Turning Point
Becoming a successful public servant is a long story to tell. She was already married when she pursued her college education. She did not allow her being married and her family’s meager income to get in the way of finishing a degree. Used to hardships and sacrifices since childhood, she continued carrying her basketful of goodies vending house to house from Malbasag to the neighboring barangays – Can-adieng, Camp Downes, Bantigue and even as far as Ipil.
Her unwavering and persevering attitude and outlook in life gave her a BRIGHTER TURNING POINT. She finished her college education from the Western Leyte College. After graduation, she worked at Western Leyte College where her first teaching career was tested.
Then and there she enjoyed teaching a lot. Her former students could recall how STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL AND IMPRESSIVELY SMART she was as a teacher!
The Calling To Serve More
After more than ten years of teaching at the Western Leyte College, she felt the calling to serve a wider scope of learners. This is primarily the reason why she moved to public school in the year 1990. The Lord had better and greater plans for her too. From her new teaching career as a secondary public school teacher, no one had ever imagined what was really in store for her.
NEW POSSIBILITIES, GREATER OPPORTUNITIES
Her decision to serve the public school brought her to NEW POSSIBILITIES and GREATER OPPORTUNITIES. It was God’s most gracious favor that she accepted the challenge of becoming a school head in Dolores National High School formerly known as Valencia NHS – Dolores Annex. She herself could not believe that there was something BETTER, something BRIGHTER and BIGGER than what was expected of her.
A Leader With A Vision
She became the PILLAR to the newly opened secondary schools in Ormoc City during her time for it was she who initiated the creation of 5 secondary schools, namely, Dolores National High School, Liloan National High School, Pedro G. Baῆez National High School, Julian Gantuangco National High School and the transfer of Margen National High School formerly known as Merida Vocational Annex from Leyte Division to Ormoc City Division. She took the risks of opening these schools in order to realize the advocacy of the education department to bring education closer to the learners especially in far flung barangays.
Those secondary schools are the living testimony of her visionary leadership. That means that she has the vision in her heart which was once deeply captured by Cupid’s leading. When she became a leader, however, her only heart was gradually captured by her vision TO LEAD AND TO BUILD.
As school principal to several secondary schools, teachers in said schools most nearly share the same remarks and observations of her leadership. They said that she possesses a GO-GETTER SPIRIT. That means that she would work things done without waiting for others to do the things for her. But most of the time, she would fully count on the teachers’ involvement in every opportunity that calls for working together. Teachers also said that no other school principal could match her motherly style of leadership and concern. To all teachers, she was kind enough and sympathetic without breaking the rules in the workplace.
Her Golden Years: More Challenges To Carry On
If we could only choose to create life in the fullness of its enjoyment, we should not allow our golden years to be troubled by pain, by heartbreak, and by grief. But accepting the fact that we can’t get away from these, they become normal part of life. However, when one is afflicted by breast cancer it’s hard to believe, it’s hard to accept. When cancer strikes, life then will have the most unbearable pain, the most awful heartbreak and the most agonizing grief. So, this has been experienced by our special woman.
Battle With The Big C
She never knew that she would meet her agony – her breast cancer. After all what she had achieved, she could not believe that the next part of her life was a bigger challenge to carry on. She was already in Ipil National High School then. She wanted to perform the way she ever did before but she could not. Her health has given her the tremendous limitations to have new opportunities and to bring her potentials to the full. The only beautiful thing was that she was determined to undergo chemotherapy knowing that the Lord was just giving her a new challenge in order to open new opportunities for her.
She was inspired by King David, in Psalm 34:18 when the king said “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” With these inspired words, she, along with her loved ones, kept on praying fervently for the success of her chemotherapy.
Endless Story of Love and Healing
After each chemo session, she would report to Ipil National High School. That was almost two years before she was promoted to English Supervisor position. Teachers who knew very well of her depressing health were so much concerned of her as she kept on responding to serve – monitoring teachers’ performances. She didn’t stop coming to school, nor sleep in her job. More often than not, she conducted regular faculty and PTA meetings although she could hardly speak during those times. Seeing her worsening health, the teachers were in dismal moods, yet hopeful of her recovery as they fully supported her and earnestly sought out for the Lord for her healing.
The Wind Beneath Her Wings: Her Gradual Bouncing Back
There, in Ipil, she was truly a mother who kept on making things done for the teachers with whom she said “the wind beneath her wings.” That’s why when there were times that she couldn’t cope with the demands of her work she could comfortably get back the needed strength and inspiration from her DepEd family – from the teachers, from her colleagues, and from her close friends. At present, this makes up the beauty of her soul, the beauty of nurturing relationships.
Love and Sacrifice Beyond Measure
She once said that “love grows when all things fail.” Now, despite the cloudy horizon of her health, the beauty of such growing love continues to glow from within. She is giving back the love to whomever it is due through her humble services. Everybody can testify that she works hard enough without complaining of her malady. She knew that apart from her UNCOMPLAINING HUSBAND, and ever loving family members, everybody in the DepEd has given the sacrifices for her without measure. For her, each sacrifice is A COMFORT, A PROMISE that preserves life. She always directs her thoughts in Psalm 119:50, “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”
Her Pain, Her Gain
From such beauty-filled love, no malady has ever taken her away from work. Her enduring fortitude speaks so humbly. That enduring virtue makes her even more inspiring. From her, everybody will surely understand that her pain is her gain. It’s because she remains a good leader, a good mentor, a good follower, a good friend, and above all, a good mother to all. For all we know, her love will never go. In her messages, she would always say, “For as long as the rivers go to the sea, my love for you will never end.” To her, we also respond with the power of love’s infinity.
Let us be inspired of The Woman of Resilience Ma’am Nelia Aparis Mancera.
By: VAN G. GASPANG – MT I, Ipil NHS, Ormoc City Division