After bustling days of preparation, weekends-spent-in-school, I was chuffed upon seeing our DepEd Secretary, Bro. Armin A. Luistro as he walked going to the Bro. Armin Luistro Park in Kalipay Central School, North 3 District of the Division of Gingoog City. I was amazed with his presence in our school thinking that I am only watching him on the framed picture above my chalkboard.
What a wonderful and delightful feeling having a face-to-face interaction with the nonetheless highest-in-rank official in the education sector. A sense of surprise with awe and amazement facing this man who valued the Indigenous Peoples at most was felt.
As he was asked to give a message, he thanked all the Higaonon Tribal Leaders emphasizing that these people were the real VIP’s and his “bosses”. He was grateful for they did not forget the “treasures” whom he referred to the culture of which these leaders did not forget to share to the youngsters. He also was glad upon seeing the Higaonon IP scholars who danced Higaonon dances. He was happy because according to him “hindi ninyo ikinahihiya ang inyong kultura at ang pagiging Higaonon ninyo”. He added that the dancers danced with pride and self-confidence.
I was still in “shock” with his presence as he continued to talk in front of us. As he continued speaking, he thanked all Higaonon people for they are the first among the Indigenous Peoples’ communities who localized the curriculum depicting indigenous culture and tradition on stories used in the classroom. He was more than thankful and happy with these accomplishments.
The entire visit of the secretary was ecstatic. The people, the ambiance, the food and everything just enraptured everyone. Bro. Armin was such ablissful secretary. /Razel Joy O. Agaon (Kalipay CS)
A Son, A Higanon, A Scholar, A Teacher:
A Raymund Mandahinog Story
Raised in a far-flung place, from a simple family is an obedient son who clutched to a BIG dream-become a teacher someday, named Raymund Mandahinog.
‘Raymund’, ‘mund’ as what his close friends call him is a higaonon. Both his parents are higaonons in Gingoog. Living with his parents who embraced truly the culture of Higaonon is a great influence to his life.
When he was still in elementary, he went to Eureka Integrated School and graduated as Valedictorian. After four years, he then graduated his secondary years in the same school with flying colors. Then after, his challenges have started.
He was emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally but not financially ready to go to college. His BIG dream on becoming a teacher someday is still on his mind. However, to ring that up is also a BIG problem.
He strongly faced those challenges he met. He became a scholar of many sponsors. These kind people gathered together to help him until he finished his course in Bachelor in Elementary Education in Gingoog Institute Christian College as Cum Laude.
Raymund was directly hired by secretary Luistro during his visit in Kalipay last February 3, 2016. “By the virtue and power vested upon me, as the secretary of Education, I directly hire you as a permanent teacher who will be assigned in the farthest school” said secretary Luistro.
Raymund considered secretary Luistro’s visit a heaven-scent. He was overwhelmed and fortunate to be appointed as a permanent teacher in the DepEd. He further promised to do his duties and responsibilities as a teachers without forgetting the culture and values acquired being a Higaonon./Razel Joy O. Agaon (Kalipay CS)