Finding Meaning

Why do I teach? It is the meaning of my life.- Sir Pagsi

 Kapararakan. Rootword: “para” or for in English.

Ano nga ba ang kapararakan ng buhay? Buhay mo? Buhay ko?

Tuwing ikalawang Sabado ng buwan, mern kaming required gathering. This month, pinilit ko talagang makapunta dahil si Sir Pagsi ang speaker hindi dahil “Teaching as a Vocation” ang topic.

Onofre Pagsanghan ang buong pangalan nya. Nakilala sya bilang Sir Pagsi dahil sa isang Amerikanong pari na hindi mabigkas ang apelyido nya noong kabataan nya pa. Sa ngayon, siya ay 87 years old na. nasa ika-63 taong ng pagtuturo sa Ateneo De Manila High School Department. Section A lang talaga ang tinuturuan nya. Hindi matawaran ang kanyang galing sa pagtuturo ng Filipino at English. May tungkod na sya pag naglalakad, ngunit matikas pa din ang tindig sa entablado at buung-buo pa din ang boses. Tila may powers ang kanyang pagsasalita, you can’t help but stop and pay attention to every word he says.


Why do I teach? It is the meaning of my life.- Sir Pagsi

Makes me ask myself again and again.

          Why do I teach?

          I love what I do but I can’t say YET that it is the meaning of my life.

          Why do I teach?

          Because I signed up for it. And when we signed up for something, we make sure to deliver what is expected of us.

          What do I live for?

Every day, I wake up, prepare my baon, cook breakfast, take a bath, go to school, teach kids, check papers, compute grades, get my salary, spend that hard-earned money, pay rent, work hard, get tired, sleep and the cycle goes on and on.

          Which of these actions do I live for?

The first word that comes to my mind is the verb “teach”. I sit here and try to find meaning in my life, while the kids are busy, drawing those animals on the board, a boy crying because his girl classmate pushed him. I sit and try to find meaning in my life while I look at these kids. I think right now, the meaning of life right at this moment—teaching.

          I try to teach kids to be observant of themselves and their surroundings, to look for patterns, comparison, similarities and differences. I teach them to become aware of what they do.

          Every “Cher, hindi ko kaya!” is answered by “Sinubukan mo na ba?”

          I find the meaning of my life whenever I see them try. I find fulfillment when I hear them say “Ang dali lang pala!” Later on, I will feel that I did a good job when they can already work in groups. That would mean, even without me, they can learn from each other. They would take care of each other.

          In a specific class, I find joy whenever they can identify letters and utter the sounds of each. I find joy whenever they can sit still and not fight with each other. Eventually, I could say, I had fulfilled my meaning if by the end of the year, they will be independent readers.

          I had willingly set aside my personal desires of travelling during weekends, spending for shoes, food and others. I am so grateful that my family understands my current situation. They haven’t asked for anything nor expect anything. I am grateful that my older brother, younger brother and sister have jobs and can provide for the family as I live the present meaning of my life.

          Will this present meaning of my life become the life-long meaning?

          I can’t tell yet.

I keep this passage as a reminder:

Philippians 4:6-7King James Version (KJV)
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Let me live today.
          Let me fulfill my meaning.


Reflection ko to about the last Saturday sesh. Inisip ko, ipapasa ko sana sa Youngblood, pero sabi ko, wag na lang. Dito na lang sa blog ko. Saka na lang yung sa iba. Karirin ko muna tong blog ko. LOL 


  1. Now that I am thinking of shifting from the world of software development to a more, um how should I put this, socially relevant and meaningful field, I find this entry quite encouraging. Especially regarding the small part of finances. I am always wary that shifting might financially hurt me especially that I'm the panganay and both my brother and sister are still in school. I hope I find the courage to follow my passion and to get direction.

    1. Hmmm... How could I say this? My take on working for more socially relevant, meaningful field..... It's may not be that financially-rewarding job we all ought for, but it in that field, we can find priceless moments that we can never experience if we lock ourselves in the confines of our offices. It provides interactions and unveils emotions and touches our human souls--- all sorts of experiences that will eventually make you stronger, grateful for what you got and wiser along the way.

      I hope you find the courage. Pray. It helps in wonderful ways. Ask for signs :) :)

  2. My take on FSOQ's comment, when you are in a place where you truly feel that you were destined for that job or in that working place, or whatever, then it becomes relevant and meaningful. There's no such thing as a field more meaningful than the others. Except for the government offices which are often given to scumbags, douchebags, and assholes.

    Anyway, the thing is, if you are convinced that you're supposed to be somewhere else then you should go, before adulthood and other financial commitments get a foothold of you. By then, it's gonna be too late. wag kang gagaya sakin. Walang bayag. Ngayon, I'm slaving in a job. Yes, i got promoted, higher salary. Pero eto ako- walang lovelife, virgin pa rin, daming bayarin, at kung makapagbagkasyon, parang once in a lifetime. I'm not happy with my job. Happy na rin ako sa mga naging kaibigan ko sa trabaho. Or maybe it's my attitude.

    Anyway, going to Cher Kat... Totoo, teaching is not a profession. it is a calling. Lagi ko na rin din naman nauulit dito sa blog mo at naikukwento ang lola ko. She was a public school teacher. I remember when i was in grade school, matatapos na noon ako ng homework ko. Pero si mommy (my lola) hindi pa rin tapos sa mga binabasa niya at sa lesson plans niya. Minsan hihintayin ko siya matapos. magsusulat na lang ako o magbabasa sa lamesa habang sulat siya ng sulat sa LP niya. Usually midnight na siya natatapos.

    Minsan isinama niya ako sa school kung saan siya nagtuturo. 50 students. 50!!!!! Medyo mataray si mommy pero madaming natuto sa kanya.

    At the time, a teacher's salary was worth my spit. This is the 90's. Pero matiyaga si mommy. Hindi naman siya naghirap sa pagpapa-aral sa mga anak. She lived her life well.

    Last October nung umuwi ako sa Pilipinas, dun ko na realize halos buong bayan namin dumaan sa kanyang classroom. Tricycle drivers, tindera, doctor, dentista, farmers, engineers, lahat nakakaalala sa kanya. May isang farmer nga na dumaan minsan sa bahay. He had to discuss some farming business with my lola. After business talks, wala nang ginawa yung dalawa kundi mag trip sa memory lane. Tanda pa nung lalaki yung mga kantang itinuro ng lola ko. That was quite a sweet scene, a former teacher and a former student.

    Cher kat, hindi mo man kita ngayon, in the future, i believe you have a fruitful life that's waiting for you.

  3. awww this is inspiring. :)
    go teacherrrrr! :)

    ay i-push mo na sa young blood para mas maraming makabasa. hehe

  4. Waah lemme think , nakasulat na tlga sa pink na hello kitty na talaan n ikaw ay magiging teacher hihi


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