AGENT OF CHANGE: “It was an honor that you were our teacher”
LOS BAŃOS, LAGUNA (29 June 2020) It was October 2018 when I last chatted with Maam Lourdes. After high school, we reconnected through Facebook in 2012. We talked about her work, my work. Her advocacies and her busy consultancy schedule. She updated me about her three sons and her apos. She asked me about my two brothers- Buen and Wilord- also both her former high school students. She said she was also busy writing. From time to time, she sent me prayers and noteworthy quotes, or tagged me with her photos. She still remained our Maam Lourdes, quite inquisitive yet genuinely concern.
In this world they say, there are few good and amazing people. I believed Maam Lourdes was one of them. She was a good educator/ mentor. She gave importance to molding the characters of her students- letting them practice critical thinking, to be intuitive, to always seek the root of all causes, to dig deeper into our society's current events and to continually find the answers to the “hows and whys” around us.
Maam Lourdes G. De la Torre was my former High school Social Studies and Aralin Panlipunan teacher, my 2nd year II-Peace Adviser/UNESCO Adviser.
She was a positive stimulus to our then young minds, always encouraging us to be reflective in thought because for all we knew, “everything is connected to everything else”.
As we sat there during high school and attended her classes, she let us set our minds and perceptions free on random things through simple words, basic actions and sensible insights. She gradually inculcated in us the importance of our local heritage and baptized us the spirit of nationalism.
Beyond the lesson plans and activity workbooks, she allowed us to attend symposia, forums, exhibits and theatre productions, exposing us to great minds, iconic luminaries, community milestones and local scenarios within our society.
She was the first person from whom I heard the phrase, “Gender Sensitivity and Equality”. Even after we have parted ways and as I already went to college, then to work, her woven thread of influence in me made my anchor of personal beliefs, advocacies and principles stronger.
Maam Lourdes, thank you for the lessons you taught us. It was a great honor for us that you were our high school teacher.
Lastly, I will borrow the words of Joey Ayala from his Song, “ Walang Hanggang Paalam”: “ Di ba tayoy narito upang maging Malaya at upang palayain ang iba; Akoy walang hinihiling Ika’y Tila ganoon din, Sadyay palayain ang isat-isa...di malupig ang pag-asa.”
Maam Lourdes, you let us free our minds to think and act according to what is right. You have encouraged us to use our convictions as we went along with life. Thank you also for your concern and your hope in us that we can make a difference in this world. Thank you for believing in us. Your life indeed was a worthwhile one-- touching us in so many ways.
The author, now based in Los Bańos, Laguna, works in the food service industry. “AGENT OF CHANGE” is a collection of tributes for the late Dr. Lourdes G. Dela Torre, who was an educator, researcher, community worker, Bukidnon News columnist, DXDB radio co-anchor, family woman, church worker, and among many other roles. She passed away on May 21, 2020.
In photo: Dr. Lourdes G. dela Torre joins an episode of the Piniyalan radio program in DXDB 594, a joint project between the radio station and BukidnonNews.Net