By Maria Monica L Borja
I grew up in a family of teachers. My Lola used to teach in Xavier University in the early 70s while my great-grandmother used to be a district supervisor so as the deceased parents of my Father. Considering the pattern, I chose to make a difference and took up Development Communication with my desire to learn writing.
Little did I know, that as much as I want to get rid of being involved in a world tackling education, I was called to be assigned in an NGO that aims to promote quality education which is Coalition for Better Education (CBE).
It was on a sunny Monday I could still recall my first encounter with CBE. A man in his signature look of plain v-neck cotton white shirt, tattered jeans and a pair of rubber shoes came before the doorstep and opened the door. His name is Kuya Roel. The walls were alternatively covered in blue and green paint. There were four small sections of offices across from each other. Each of the tables were positively painted in yellow hues and they got logo who’s captivating to the eye.
From here, a man in his mid-30s in his ‘anting-anting’ and black leather slip-ons called for an interview, He is Sir Ency, the executive assistant. I can hear the small palpitations as I walk through the door of the board room from where he instructed us to go to. “Why did you choose CBE?” he asked monotonously. I was left in trance shock for a second, composed my thoughts and answered tactfully, “Kay mas kailangan ko diri, Sir” I said stuttering but with courage. The wind chime bell made a tiny sound as a woman in her mid-30s whose hair bathe in brown dye dressed in her polo white shirt, pearl stud earrings and crisscrossed sandals made her way to the biometrics. She is Ma’am Chellow, the Project Specialist. Silence took over when a woman in her early 50s carrying with her a 5-liter alkaline water. She was casual, but smartly dressed in ¾ cotton sleeves, denim skirt and her Cinderella-sized sneakers came rushing to the board room. I felt a wave of anxiety hit me. She is Ma’am Luchi, The Executive Director.
In the midst of the intimidating encounter, dealing with the staff of CBE taught me to establish relationship. My experience with CBE Staff allowed me to see that finding a family is not that hard. CBE helped me overcome separation anxiety. My hearts catches a smile every time I get to see a bag of bread for it may just mean nothing to anyone, but for me, it’s what makes CBE a family as this is time that gives everyone an opportunity to talk and get to know each other in-depth.
Apart from family, CBE has loaded me with hope. For some reasons, I believe being assigned to CBE is a call for me to be passionate in everything I do. In an event where I got to meet the CBE Board of Trustees and Medal of Excellence Awardees that there is still hope for the country. We can never change the fact we all go through teachers before getting to our desired professions. Having been given the chance to witness and document testimonies of education graduates is a privilege for me to show our country that there is still a way out of poverty and there are people who are willing to be catalyst of change. Hence change, doesn’t happen in just a snap. It takes time and willingness of a person to attain it.
It is inevitable to commit a mistake, but it is a choice to correct one. My life as an intern placed me in circumstances I was unaware. It took me a while figuring it out until answers came right to me. I treat it as a blessing in disguise nonetheless as from here, CBE opened myself that learning is an unending process and that I will have to have stand up to gained the courage and admit one.
Given the trials I surpassed, I’d like to reiterate my answer as to why I chose CBE, for it is I, who need it the most. With pure honesty, I can say, that CBE did not only shape me academically, but shaped me through my workplace etiquette. Thus, I believe being in CBE is a call for me to learn, be educated and be equipped in dealing with life’s lemons.
Thank you, CBE!