Teaching is considered the noblest of all professions since all professionals, highly skilled or merely trained, underwent education with a teacher. What profession can be more gratifying and satisfying then than that of being a teacher?
Miss Virginia Cu of Bacolod City has spent most of the years of her life educating children and tirelessly guiding them to improve the quality of their lives. This noble calling required her to be “married” to her profession unaware that she had neglected to save some precious time for herself… to the extent of unknowingly abandoning the prime of her youth.
Having subscribed and fully embraced Confucius’ teaching, “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life…,” Miss Cu neither counted the hours nor the years she has enjoyably splurged inside the four corners of the classroom…after having been satisfied and felt rewarded watching her students develop and flourish as competent individuals ready to combat life’s battles.
Spanning a lifetime dedication to her profession aptly armed with a broad range of academic practice and classroom experiences, Miss Cu must have been born with the proverbial Socratic school of thought. Her learning patterns and teaching goals weren’t merely intentionally set for the acquisition of knowledge by the young minds but having targeted adults, as well.
True enough, Miss Cu has devotedly spent her glorious years raising, developing, and leading young minds toward a dignified and virtuous life. Her primary focus on imparting facts and data were geared toward the development of their social skills, cultural norms, and spiritual being aside from molding their mental and physical faculties.
With her sophisticated air of congeniality, enormous sense of humor, an electrifying personality, being an effectual communicator, a good listener with a munificent heart, it isn’t surprising that the seasoned educator has a solid student fan-base and a pleasurable relationship with her peers.
The most beloved faculty staff of St. John’s Institute has had effectually survived the perils of embracing such exigent profession while simultaneously enjoying the life-long process of co-existence with her students.
Being an Aries-born (actually she just turned 70 last April 9) Miss Cu’s keen intuition and indefatigable stamina are distinctive traits of her charm and wit in becoming the most adorable and revered faculty member in the campus. Her insatiable appetite to passionately practice what she was best known for more than enabled her to excel in the field she has loved doing for years that eventually fulfilled her goals with much candor. Her self-imposed advocacy to educate children went far beyond with limitless possibilities capably supported by her unbounded motivational techniques
And to celebrate not only the very essence of her seven decades of existence but also the paramount contributions she has had accorded copious minds in her numerous years of teaching, her most devout students from St. John’s Institute (Hua Ming) collaboratively organized a Broadway-themed birth anniversary bash for her at the posh Gallery Hall of the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing, Queens last Saturday, April 8, 2017, the eve of her actual birthday.
Ably put in order by John Lim, Terry Brown, Karen Chu, Angela Golez, and Jimbo Yap, the most anticipated social gathering started promptly with appetizing hors d’ oeuvres that segued to an opulently prepared lunch buffet.
The celebrator’s spur-of-the-moment speech (she hates tedious moments and dead air) while having lunch vividly chronicled remarkable occurrences that transpired during her scores of years in the classroom.
Fashionably garbed in a traditional red silk floor-length cheongsam with a tiny tiara to complete her celebrated look, she fondly brought to mind those fond memories and amusing anecdotes she had had with her former students and co-teachers, as well. Amid her prolific reminiscences everyone attentively paid attention to every detail and fine facts of her stories…eagerly awaited for the inevitable punchline she’s been consistently eminent for.
At her current stage of mellowness it was quite amazing how the amiable septuagenarian still remembers her former students by heart: their innate traits, subjects where they excelled, and even their places of origin although occasionally experiencing lapses due to merging episodes and juggled side anecdotes which she would quickly save herself from ignominy with a potent reason: “Well, that’s part of being 70…!” which was met with boisterous laughter and thundering applause.
Then the most-awaited underscore of the event opened…the Broadway musical that showcased Miss Cu’s early life and her conscientious journey as a teacher based from the original script and direction of John Lim.
The entire production was, to say the least, ambitious…but every participant exerted his paramount skill to come up with a convincing portrayal despite short of practice hours due to a constrained time frame.
With a choral assemblage which acted as narrator and musical provider and chosen ones that tackled divergent characters related to Miss Cu, the latter would intermittently stand to interfere or maybe correct some portions of the songs or characterization that failed to meet her discerning standard and impeccable preference to which the director (John Lim) would constantly escort her back to her seat with an imposing order: “Ma’am, you’re only part of the audience. Please remain seated and watch…!” And that innocently uttered remark solicited elicit laughter.
As expected, the show lasted more than an hour for how could one write an abridged biography of someone who has spent her entire life doing what she did best and still loving it?
It was a fun affair – nostalgic and reflective but pleasurable sans superficiality – and made even more worth treasuring with the affectionate support of Miss Cu’s co-teachers Mildred Martinez, Linda Tanjuan, Nida Tamidles, Wi Suan, Jimmy Rivera, and Chit Ross…all similarly retired.
Incidentally, aside from the numerous recognitions and awards she has accumulated throughout her teaching years, Miss Virgie Cu was honored as a Retired Pedagogue just recently during PACCAL’s celebration of International Women’s History Month at the Ramada Hotel in Newark, New Jersey for her unparalleled dedication to her profession and being a quintessential exponent of a true blooded educator.
As they say, a teacher affects eternity…he can never tell where his influence stops for a teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, touches a heart, inspires hope, ignites the imagination while limitlessly enduring all challenges and perils with only one heartwarming reward: To see her students succeed in life!
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