I retired in 1991 at the age of 48. I envied a fellow teacher who retired and who was younger than I was – Mrs. Nove Murillo.
I retired because I lost the verve or pep to teach. I pitied the children under me then. I got scared because I might hurt a child and that would mean no more retirement benefits.
I went to Baguio to be with my children who were then both in college – Jasper, taking up BS Medical Technology and Daisy Joy taking up BS Biology.
I did not attend the retirement program that the District of Vigan tendered for all of us retirees. My beloved “Badong” was the one who gave a response in my behalf. I would like to share it now with all of you. It was a moving message to me that I got teary eyed when I read it when I came home to visit him.
“Thank you for your warm applause, though I have a sneaking suspicion that it is not meant for me but for my wife.
Respected Guest of Honor, (I forgot who the guest of honor was/or I did not bother to ask), our dynamic District Supervisor, Mr. Eugenio F. del Castillo, Jr., my dear retirees, fellow teachers:
First of all, allow me to express my thanks to the association for tendering this wonderful program in honor of my wife and the three other retirees, Manang Iniang, Manang Sintang and Kumadre Trining.
I am very sorry that my wife is not around to witness this program. The truth is, she really wanted to come. But then, an underlying reason prevented her from doing so.
Really, I can’t blame my wife for opting not to come. It is because in an occasion like this, I am sure she could not help herself be filled with mixed feelings.
The feeling of happiness is there because she is now free as a bird, freed from the daily teaching chores; she has no more lessons to plan; she has no more overtime work correcting papers and computing grades. Moreover, she could devote more time to her family, a relationship which took a back seat when she was still in the service.
But then, this feeling of happiness is hollow in the sense that she is leaving this district, her friends and her school of which she was a part for twenty long years.
With that thought in mind, a feeling of sadness creeps in. And when there’s sadness in the heart, there’s a heavy weight on your shoulders, a catch swell in the breath, there is a big lump in the throat, words do not come out easy and before you could prevent it, tears had found a way out of your eyes.
Such is the irony of leaving, especially among friends and peers. And this is the compelling reason why my wife opted not to come. Twenty years ago she came into this district without fanfare and she wants to leave quietly and fade in the dark of the night. She has done her job and like the thousands of faceless teachers before her, she has to go and enjoy the fruits of her labor while still in the prime of her life.
But this much I can say – my wife spent the best years of her life in this district, especially Vigan Central School where she shared the joys, dreams, aspirations and friendship as well as the fears, pains, and disappointments that teaching has brought on her.
To her, these are the things that count the most which she will treasure for the rest of her life.
Once again, in behalf of my wife, thank you for giving this wonderful program and here’s wishing you all the best in the years to come.”