Teaching is a noble profession. Hearts, minds and character are formed by teachers. Next to my parents, I owe a lot of who I am now to some of the best teachers I have had. They have not just taught their subject matter well but in encounters outside the classroom, they have shared their thoughts with me. Much of what I do now is inspired by their words.
To this day, we find inspiring stories of teachers who brave dangers, walk several kilometers each day, wade through rivers, and climb steep mountains just to get to their schools where children are eager to learn.
It is but fitting that we find ways to pay tribute to our unsung heroes who often stay unnamed. Nine years ago, a small group of PLDT executives met over coffee to discuss an advocacy for teachers that would become a catalyst for change in the lives of teachers. Gabay Guro was born and became the CSR arm under the PLDT-Smart Foundation. It continues to thrive on the spirit of volunteerism from its PLDT and Smart executives.
|PLDT Gabay Guro executive volunteers Gary Dujali and Chaye Cabal-Revilla|
|PLDT Gabay Guro executive volunteer Chaye Cabal-Revilla tells us about the 9th TeacherFest tribute|
Gabay Guro is a holistic approach anchored on the now famous Gabay Guro pillars: Scholarships, Training, Housing and Educational Facilities, Livelihood Programs, Broadbanding and Computerization, and Teachers’ Tribute.
In its nine years of existence, Gabay Guro has done the following for each of its pillars:
Scholarships – Gabay Guro has over 1,100 scholars in various state colleges and universities nationwide. There are over 300 LET passers, 496 active scholars as of August, 2016 and a projected 167 graduates in 2017. Gabay Guro also celebrates the fact that 137 scholars graduated with honors – 112 cum laudes and 25 magna cum laudes.
Training – Gabay Guro has partnered with local government units (LGUs) to further teacher education. The foundation has conducted training for over 16,000 teachers so far. Today, it runs eight training programs for teachers around the country, namely: Teacher’s Treasure Chest; English Proficiency Training; Computer Literacy; Emotional Intelligence; Teacher’s Armor; Leadership Training; IT Sustainability and Literacy; and Unleashing Creativity in Teaching. At the same time, Gabay Guro answers to the needs of the times by doing grassroots anti-drugs training in schools.
Housing and Educational Facilities – Gabay Guro has constructed classrooms in the provinces, mostly those that have been hit by debilitating calamities. Over 40 classrooms have been built and donated already in Cebu, Bohol, Leyte and Capiz.
Livelihood Programs – These are incorporated in the prizes given at the Teachers’ Tribute (see below)
Broadbanding and Computerization – All partner-schools are recipients of either computers/laptop or internet connections from PLDT or Smart.
Teachers’ Tribute – This is the annual highlight of Gabay Guro, held at the MOA Arena. This year, the Teachers’ Tribute will be on Sept. 25, 2016. Big name celebrities are donating their time for free to participate. Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, Gary Valenciano, Pops Fernandez, James Reid, Nadine Lustre, Lea Salonga, and Sharon Cuneta are just some of them.
|Jonalyn Viray, one of the performing celebrities at the Gabay Guro Teachers’ Tribute|
On this one day, the teachers from all over the country get to let down their hair and meet the celebrities as well as be treated to a whole day of entertainment and fantastic raffle prizes that include house and lot and vehicle showcases as well as livelihood opportunities. These amazing prizes for the teachers are possible through several sponsors of the event like Perry’s Group of Companies (for the house and lot), Foton (for the Gratour Van), Intel, Devant, Motorlandia (for the Honda and Suzuki motorcycles), Ropali, Penshoppe, National Bookstore, Enchanted Kingdom, Splash, Tempra, Flanax, Bonamine, Vivalyte, Mundipharma, Gardenia, Bic, Art Attack, Microsoft, Smart Bro, Ultera, Talk N Text, and 51 Talk.
This event is FOR TEACHERS ONLY and admission is FREE! Details about the Gabay Guro Teachers’ Tribute are on the following sites:
Facebook Page: www.facebook/GabayGuro