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Based from the I-Witness documentary entitled, Maestrang Bulod reported by Jay Taruc,
I had the impression that teachers who are assigned to far-flung areas sacrifice a lot in order to
perform their duties and roles as providers of learnings to students. Along with the challenges
they face, they bravely counter these odds in order that children from remote areas may have
access to education. While these students, on the other hand, oblivious to any lack that their
education system may have, is seen to be courageous, too in going to school every day. An
immersion such as this by the reporter himself, will serve as an eye-opener to many of us within
the society cultured by education and for some, the lack of it to the reality of teaching, the risk
educators are taking and the vital role of teachers and education in the lives of these community.
It is heartbreaking to see how some teachers would leave their own homes and families
to attend to a worn-out classroom, rundown buildings, broken chairs and tables, a torn blackboard
and----apparently a bunch of hungry minds. These teachers would go about their day attending
to other people’s children, imparting what the outside of the confines of Cabugao community have
taught them while leaving their own children behind. Despite the obvious economic condition of
the inhabitants that seems to make matters worse for them, they manage to combat
homesickness by constantly reminding themselves of their sworn duty. As Teacher Rochelle puts
it, “Ang isang guro ay ang pangalawang nanay, ang classroom ang pangalawang bahay, ang
guro ang may responsibilidad para sa mga batang pumupunta doon”.
An unsurmountable socio-economic situation of the neighborhood is evident in each
child’s face. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that these children were just like any other children we
see, in the urban areas. They long for social interaction, self-assertion, and individuality. What
differs, though is their sense of responsibility which they must assume at a young age such as
attending to younger siblings, doing household chores or perform grown up jobs to help with the
family finances. Only a few had the chance to be closely monitored by their parents while others,
had left with the choice of taking what is available for them.
The Poverty Assessment by the World Bank in 2001, in the Philippines, evidently reflect
that the educational attainment of the head of the family, was “the single most important
contributor to the observed variation in household welfare.” However, according to the PSA’s
Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), it reveals that the education aspect had the lion’s share
to the overall distress at 36.5% and 36.9% in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The study showed that
6 out of 10 in 2016 and 5 out of 10 in 2017, were divested of basic education. If it is true that
education is the antidote for poverty, then how do these children from remote areas, like Cabugao
can have a complete access to it? The documentary film, evidently show that while there are
teachers who have the heart to continually reach out for them, the means to facilitate learning
which are barely available for both the educators and the learners is tremendously affecting the
pedagogical agenda of bridging the gap between economic and intellectual needs of each of
these future generation.
In conclusion, I resolve that while there are educators who are willing to partake in the
country’s struggle for economic freedom through education, the governing authorities should have
the initiative to support the cause. It doesn’t have to start from the national government, as it may
begin in the local arena. The local government must be sensitive enough to the needs of its
community. At some point, I was disappointed to witness how such community couldn’t get the
optimum assistance from the governing bodies which has the primary function of protecting the
rights of children and families to equitable living and livelihood. Secondly, I am still hopeful that
scenarios such as this will be given attention by the DepEd as its budget utilization rate has
dropped significantly in the last few years. More appropriations would have been funneled through
building better classrooms, purchasing supplies and in providing capital outlays which can
channel employment to its constituents at this time. What is most important in the undertaking, is
the teacher’s willingness to provide knowledge and learnings which this part of the Bicol region
can take advantage of. If this idea is continually being supported by stakeholders, indeed poverty-
stricken communities will be lessened across the country.

Other Sources:
GMA I-Witness Documentary by Jay Taruc, “Maestrang Bulod”
Montalvo, Jose Garcia, Education, poverty and development in the Philippines: From quantity to quality and beyond,