"Changing the lives of those who changed ours."
One of my all-time favorite books is Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom because it generally reminded me of my own favorite teachers who did not just showed up in class with a lesson plan, but with a purpose. I cannot imagine school life without the powerful encouragement of my inspiring teachers, and I remembered every sir, ma'am, and miss of my grade school to college years who believed that the little signs I showed in those early phases have a potential.
Last October 5, Sunday, was a fun commemorative moment for thousands of teachers in the country as PLDT Gabay Guro (2G), a teacher advocacy group of the PLDT Smart Foundation (PSF) and PLDT Managers' Club Inc (MCI), organized the biggest tribute for National Teachers' Month at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Prizes galore! Upon entering the venue, I saw a glimpse of the many major prizes they gave away during the event, including a tricycle from Honda Philippines Inc. and a motorcycle from PR Savings Bank.
An amazing project to empower our educators, Gabay Guro has been supporting teachers for SEVEN YEARS now, aligned through the following pillars:
- Teachers’ Training (Emotional Intelligence, IT Literacy and Sustainability);
- Housing and Educational Facilities;
- Livelihood Programs;
- Broadbanding and Computerization of Schools;
- And the Teachers’ Tribute (Grand Gathering)
When I entered the venue just a little past 2pm, the Arena was already filled up with our energetic teachers, enjoying the song and dance performances, starting off with classic OPM band Side A:
They sang Tuloy Parin Ako, nakaka-senti!
Over 20,000 teachers from different parts of the country attended this FREE throwback concert / party!
Eruption of It's Showtime gave away prizes to those willing to give a sample:
Surprises for everyone! Network giants gave away 500 Smart and 500 Sun Retailer Phone Kits and Sims:
It was also the first time I saw the newest ad by Smart-Sun-Talk and Text, featuring the country's biggest stars like Anne Curtis, Jadine, and Marian Rivera:
As mentioned earlier, the Gabay Guro Grand Gathering's line-up was exciting and sobrang star-studded!
Here are some of the surprise performances that afternoon:
UP Pep Squad:
The Voice Kids, Jodi Santa Maria:
The forever-young Alice Dixson in a dance number:
A video greeting for all the teachers from Aljur Abrenica, Christian Bautista, Mark Bautista, Heart Evangelista, Dennis Trillo, and Tom Rodriguez:
Ever Bilena gave some of our hardworking teachers a makeover that they deserve:
Noel Cabangon, who sang Kanlungan while they showed a touching video of the thousands of lives that changed through the years because of this teacher program:
Beauty Queens armed with their quotable quotes on teachers and education:
Vocal showdown! Rachel Alejandro, Manilyn Reynes, Jessa Zaragoza, and Dingdong Avanzado:
The amazing Iya Villania did an aerial dance and stunts:
Sam Milby, swooned when he sang The Script's Man Who Can't Be Move. :p
And of course, Asia's Songbird Ms. Regine Velasquez:
- So far, 2G has awarded around 1,000 scholarship grants to aspiring teachers.
- It has enabled more than 300 scholars to graduate from its 40 partner schools nationwide.
- Five of the 2G scholars have continued their quest for higher learning and received Master’s Degree scholarships from the Philippine Women’s University.
- In June this year, 2G and PLDT Hong Kong launched a scholarship program for Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) children and dependents.
- They also sponsored 110 OFW teacher-candidates in their review and venue fees for the Licensure Examination for teachers.
- 2G and its partners have also donated some 28 classrooms to various public schools in the country, especially those that are located in the calamity-ravaged areas (Bohol and Leyte).
Other than the phones and tricycles given away earlier, other raffle prizes include laptops from PLDT HOME Bro, laptop and tablet in-one from Microsoft, electric fan with oven toaster package from Fujidenzo, gift packs from various sponsors, myPad3 from myPhone, Cignal prepaid kits, quad core polaroid platinum tablets from PLDT HOME Telpad, Samsung tab 7...
Ogie Alcasid and Mikael Daez announced the raffle winners of a trip for two to Hongkong, P50,000 cash, and P100,000 cash:
Winners of the house and lot from Camella Homes, a brand new Haima car from Laus Group of Companies, an APE Piaggo three-wing van from Auto Italia:
PLDT HOME group head Ariel Fermin and Department of Education Assistant Secretary Toni Umali also gave away 10 PLDT KaAsenso Cyberya Internet Café setups. It was my first time to hear about this interesting KaAsenso project, which I'd like to talk about more because of how beneficial this is to schools filled with information seekers. Will post a separate blog entry about this next time!
Cheers to the PLDT Gabay Guro Heads:
Other than the huge prizes and grand performances from our idol local celebrities, Gabay Guro to me is a symbol of hope for our teachers who were driven solely by passion to create a better country by starting off with influencing the future generations. As a moderator and instructor for just over a year, I look up to teachers more than ever because it takes dedication and patience to be in their position. Kudos to groups like PSF and MCI for honoring our teachers through an empowering event like this.