Rhodora Misiano NapudMiagao, IloiloCatch the Rainbow
God's gift of life happened on Thanksgiving Day nearly 75 years ago. It was a "miracle" to my parents, Arsenio and Salvadora, who lost their eldest child precisely nine months before I was born.
My parents were both educators who shared their love for reading with my two younger siblings and me and encouraged us to discuss and write our thoughts and discoveries about life. Our father challenged us, "My best child should be a teacher."Inspired by his words, I enrolled in one of the best teacher training institutions in the Philippines, my parents' Alma Mater, the Iloilo Normal School, or West Visayas State College (now a University). In my senior year, I was chosen the editor-in-chief of the college publication and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education, Cum Laude. In that same year, I topped the Competitive Examination for Teachers in the whole Province of Iloilo. I was given the top priority in hiring government elementary grades teachers in the Division of Iloilo.
I started my career at age 19, teaching Grade 1 in the Miagao Elementary School. The following year I was transferred to the intermediate grades to help manage the school paper. I was tapped to join the Division Training Team and traveled to all districts in Iloilo, conducting training sessions for Grade 1 teachers.Soon after I was sent on a BPS-PNC Study Grant at the Philippine Normal College (now a University), I graduated from the same university with a Master of Arts in Education degree.Upon my return to my station, I was involved in Self-Learning Kits (SLK) module writing for the Department's In-School, Off-School Approach Program. At the same time, I wrote declamation pieces for contestants in the Annual Literary-Musical Contests.
My promotion to each rung of the administrative and supervisory ladder began. I was promoted to Head Teacher (2 years), Principal I (2 years), Principal II (5 years), and District Supervisor (14 years). I took the tough Management Aptitude Test Battery (MAT-B) conducted by the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) and ranked third among the passers in the whole country. Passing the MAT-B (now the CES-WE) is a prerequisite in taking the EMT or Superintendent's Examination, which I took and passed. I was installed as OIC-ASDS of the newly created Division of Passi City. On September 22, 2003, my appointment as a full-fledged ASDS was signed by PGMA. As ASDS of the Division of Antique, I traveled to the different regions in the country in connection with DepEd projects and to attend seminars and conferences, notably the Third Elementary Education Program (TEEP) and the Text2Teach Program of the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization – Innovations in Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH).After 45 years of service, I retired from the Department of Education. But my love affair with teaching did not end with my retirement. I taught catechism for 5 years to Grade Six Special Science Classes and Management of the School Systems to graduate school students. In 2013 I was invited by our town mayor to be the municipal consultant in education.
The book "Catch the Rainbow" is an inspirational memoir of my 45-year service with the Department of Education. It is a multi-colored collection of real-life stories gleaned from my own experiences as a teacher and an educational leader. The book contains five interesting chapters that capsulize my professional journey. The first story sparkles with enthusiasm and suspense as I vividly describe my first year as a Grade 1 teacher working with innocent and curious angels who unwittingly challenged me with my well-prepared lesson to go out of the box and redirect the course of their learning to end up with a song and the story of Creation.As a young teacher, I committed errors and did things impulsively. Driven by my desire to focus on learning, I forgot that children have other needs, e.g., physical and psychological other than mental development. By realizing and accepting my mistakes, I resolved to avoid similar blunders in the future for better performance.
The third chapter describes my travels. Though most were smooth and exhilarating, I experienced turbulence and earthquakes. But with the Lord as my Guide, I never strayed off course but landed safely and unscathed to our destination.
A teacher's crowning glory is an abundant harvest of persons she has touched and whose lives she has enriched. From among thousands who lead quality lives, I have chosen those who, despite poverty, disability, and other roadblocks, have emerged victorious in their goal towards quality life and have walked extra miles in their advocacy to reach out to others in need. These life stories are shared in the chapter "Harvest Time." The last chapter is an addendum of thanks to people who have shared their lives to shape me as I am now. It concludes with a prayer song of thanksgiving to the Giver of Life.
This book, which spans almost three generations of teachers, will be a great read to teachers of all ages – neophytes, and seniors.For neophytes, to have a glimpse of a teacher's life some years back and maybe find some nuggets of wisdom they may adopt; for the retirees, to reminisce the moments that have brought them joy and fulfilment; for parents and former pupils and students, to recall and appreciate the noble mission of teachers and thank God for the gift of persons. However, as I read the comments on my stories I have posted on FB, I was amazed and delighted at the reactions of my readers – teachers and non-teachers, friends and strangers alike who found reading my stories, "so uplifting and edifying"; for "being transported in time and being an eyewitness to the unfolding of events." This book is a good read for everyone, regardless of calling, age, gender, or nationality. Something to relax in, ponder upon, and relish with a cup of coffee or tea, or a goblet of choice wine.
There are many books around – memoirs included – which have lain on the shelves, gathering dust. This book should not catch dust but be picked up and read. It is designed to share, inspire, and treasure. Like gourmet food, it is not just an ordinary steak or salad, but it has a distinctly unique flavor that lingers in the memory. The book begins with my first year of teaching. My lesson plan was about an experiment from which, through questioning, I could lead my pupils to draw a simple conclusion. Suddenly a little girl popped a question. The question was interesting; I could not ignore it. I decided to take a detour and told my class the story of Creation and shared an action song to them. Not the usual practice for a teacher determined to pursue the objective for the day, isn't it? But I believe in incidental learnings; in addition, the lesson was enriched with a story and the song that had become their favorite. The lesson for the day was not lost; since I took it up the next day.
Some of the stories in the book happened more than 50 years ago, but I can vividly describe them, some to the nearest details. What is strange – I can "paint" my pupils' faces, but I don't recognize most of them as adults now. There are some recent experiences I don't remember anymore. Some remarked, "Ah, selective amnesia!" I retorted, "yea, and I have selective memory, too."These stories of long ago slipped out of my mind, but when I planned to write this book, they just "mushroomed" into my consciousness as if a guiding Hand had led them to me. This is a rare book, and they are not just ordinary stories. Someone has dipped His Fingers into my mind and filled my pen with these beautiful stories of the past to share in the present to "ink my legacy" for the future.
The seed of my dream book had been sown years ago when I was still a young girl obsessed with catching the rainbow. My father shared the story of how it was God's assurance of hope, and to catch it, I must be an instrument of hope. It did not sprout, even in the elementary grades when I wrote my first poem. I was editor-in-chief of both our high school and college publications and wrote poems and essays in high school and college. Still, my dream of writing a book did not thrive. As a teacher, I wrote declamation pieces and messages for my superiors and colleagues; but that was all. Once a friend suggested that I compile these messages and pieces, so I bought a folder and inserted them. In my later years of service, my secretary and I were recalling our travel adventures, and she suggested: "Ma'am, why don't you write a book about these rollercoaster rides?" "Yea," I agree. "We'll name it, Calibre 45." For several years, she kept asking me, "How's "Calibre"?" I kept answering, "Soon!" But the "soon" did not come sooner until… The COVID lockdown made me turn to Facebook. I was introduced to Ms. Ayo Gutierrez and GMGA Publishing! A wide road stretched out for me, and a friendly door opened. I saw in Ms. Ayo an angel to lead me to the fulfillment of my dream. I enrolled in the Aesop Batch: Here, at last, I was given explicit directions. I followed each step of the way. The seed planted in my childhood began to flourish. I was inspired to finish my book! The memories came rolling back like a film! But there were setbacks. There were instances when I could not write because my vision was blurred. I had difficulties with the encoding. I am IT illiterate, but my niece and nephew were around to help me. At times when I felt helpless, I could feel someone somewhere prodding me to keep going. I am now at the last stages of my book writing. I hope and pray that it will be a book that will enrich my readers' lives.
I hope that by reading this book: 1. My readers will get insights into a teacher's mind and heart and appreciate how much sacrifice and dedication the teacher has done to help a child become what they are today. 2. The young teacher realizes that teaching is development not only of the mind but also of the whole person. 3. To the young teacher, impart knowledge and see the significance of these learnings in the lives of those they teach. 4. For teachers not to feel discouraged or frustrated when they meet difficulties or commit errors but to resolve to improve themselves.
In a nutshell, readers love to read stories for entertainment and as nourishment for the soul.My vision for my book carries a mission. There is a saying, "the pen is mightier than a sword." I see this book travel the world through people's hearts and cause ripples of faith, hope, and love with God's grace.I have several projects in mind that I like to see realized, but I cannot disclose yet because they need time, research, and further discernment.
"Catch the Rainbow" will be available in the market soon. Don't miss out on its launch. What a precious gift it will be to yourself and your loved ones this Christmas or any time of the year!