Without any warning signs, the rain fell in torrents. My thoughts went up in prayers. “Dear God, please bring the plane from Cebu safely to Del Carmen.” This is one of the hazards of the trade. Our hearts keep uppity- uppity- hop because one is never certain about travelling as scheduled. The airport here is so small and without sophisticated navigation equipment. Mayor Coro used to say that the airport manager is used to going out of the airport, put his hand over his forehead to see if the plane is landing.
I hardly saw any car or jeepney in Del Carmen. It is such a sleepy town. There are perhaps 6 vendors in the town market selling fish and one grocery masquerading as a hypermarket. Even the teachers, principals and supervisors are lethargic with little energy. Yesterday morning, the ice breaker failed to elicit excitement from them. They didn’t want to leave the space where they stood and had no energy to go around the room. We had to adjust the schedule of activities and went right away to puzzle making. By around 11:00 A.M, we had a turnaround. They were already sharing their thoughts and laughing. They said that it was traditional for teachers not to be asked to speak their minds out. And this the same practice that they are passing on to their students.
The principals are so used to “what is”. For example, parents would like everything to be free. But we told them not to give up. Values and practices can change. We just need to start and be persistent.
Doc Estoy observed that it only takes one mayor to wake up a sleeping community and breathe life into it. This is just what Mayor Coro has done. Dropout rate is zero and NAT scores of children have climbed to 83 percent. Donors are plenty. Yesterday, San Miguel Corporation donated 350 thousand for livelihood projects.
When we went to see the teachers’ workshopping with Genesis Camarista and Edwin, they were all raising their hands. Mayor Coro said that they have become children once more. “If only they can make their students behave like excited children.”
The Mayor has discovered the secret of what will keep communities, including Synergeia going:” Feeling, thinking and loving like children.”
Milwida M. Guevara