Our teachers are like our second parents—they shape our minds and help us recognize our talents. Many of them become our life mentors, guiding us in reaching our goals and becoming the best people we can be.
For Virgita Diaz, a teacher at Kiblat Elementary School in Sarangani Province, her duty as a teacher goes beyond the four walls of the classroom. Early this year, a photo of Teacher Virgita and her daughter buying togas for the former’s students set social media abuzz, garnering thousands of likes and positive comments.
My Pope reached out to the teacher to learn more about the inspiring story behind the viral photo.
Why did you buy togas for your students?
The graduation was only four days away and 18 of my students still had no togas. Bilang pangalawang magulang, masakit sa pakiramdam ko na baka hindi sila maka-attend ng graduation dahil wala silang toga. So I decided to go to the city to buy their togas. I did not tell them that I will be providing them with those; I left the school late to go to the city center.
The togas you bought cost you P7,600. Were you worried that your salary might not be enough for your personal expenses?
Honestly, I thought of that. But for me, it doesn’t matter if I spent most of my salary on them as long as I fulfilled the role of being a second mother to my students, and that they were able to feel that someone else loves them aside from their families. Masaya ako na makita ang mga students ko na masaya sa araw ng graduation kasi isang beses lang sila ga-graduate. They have been waiting for that moment for seven years since kinder.
How did your students react when they received the togas? What did you feel when you saw their reactions?
Masayang-masaya sila! Ang iba umiyak dahil hindi nila akalain na makakasuot sila ng toga especially iyong mga walang magulang. Some of them are living with their grandparents. I was really happy to see my students dressed in their togas. I also saw that their parents are happy because I was able to help them.
What are three important lessons you impart to your students that will help them later in life?
Text by Yen Cantiga.