From November 4 to 11, our humble school LifeCollege embarked on an EduTours and Learning Trip in Manila, Pampanga, Laguna, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. The journey allowed me to see things in a different light.

1. “Be kind to people. They make you,” my English teacher once said when I was in high school.

I understood what she meant, but I never really grasped its full meaning. I guess I always fall short of putting what’s inside my head into something tangible.

The EduTour made me realize that a community is important and that leadership is largely a business with people.

While the trip was ongoing, I honestly felt a little anxiety of which group to join. I am not really the all-around kind of guy, so I was restless about wanting to connect with the smaller cliques inside our big circle. This made me realize that I still need to learn to become comfortable around people and to break in easily. This made me realize that there are people I needed to get to know personally, especially my colleagues.

There was truth when a teacher said, “I had a chance to bond with other teachers, who just appear as faces to me before.” I know I miss an opportunity here, but this is one area of leadership that I needed to outgrow. I have to be more inclusive rather than exclusive.

Being surrounded with fun-loving and funny people made me feel like why am I not like the most of them. But what I lack as being personable, I compensate with two other things: I am better in one-on-one conversations and in coming up with platforms or activities where I can help elevate the people around me.

2. While we are having a briefing at Bright Woods School, I heard T. Joyce said something about Ms. Ana, the school’s founder. She said the school started with her worried about where to send her child. So, she put up her own school. Since she finished Food Technology at UP Diliman, she needed to take Master’s in Education at the Ateneo.

This supports what the principal and the Singaporean owner of Saviour Christian Academy said, “We never stop educating (and learning).” Principal Barnette Tamayen is encouraged to finish her dissertation, while Administrator May Shah is taking up her master’s in Manila.

I was envious because I can’t do what I have ever wanted in my life. Just YET. Last June 2011, I got accepted at the University of the Philippines Open University. I took a Diploma in Language and Literacy Education leading to a master’s degree. I wasn’t able to continue it during the second semester because of the hectic schedule for GCC.

I felt bad, but both school reminded me to bounce back and dream again. I was close to giving that up because of my present work, but God reminded that there is a season and time for everything. There is a season and time to pursuing post-graduate education.

Now that my plans to impact lives through the education sector is sealed, I can no longer give up finishing both masters and PhD. I must take it either in Ateneo or a through a scholarship in Australia or Singapore by 2013 or 2014. I will just wait for God’s time. I will pray in the mean time.

Finishing those degrees is an important way to step up into the ladder of school leadership. Like how T. Ana did it, I believe her Ateneo education made her leap bounds away from the norm. The EduTours showed me exactly that kind of excellence to bring here in the province and my desire to become an inspirational leader could propel that.

3. I saw how God has changed me to become sensitive towards others. The very narcissistic, egoistic, and intuitive me now became more manageable. Through the travels that I have experienced ever since I got here in LifeCollege, I become more and more rooted to my cultural heritage. I don’t imagine myself leaving the country for good anymore. I just want to travel, explore, and inspire other people’s lives. I also become more aware of the message that God wanted me to tell. From the moment I stepped in this place, I knew my life was changed forever.

Be personable. Be a better team player to become a leader. Go to Ateneo. Then, continue serving the people in this place. Never be afraid of taking risk and daring to accomplish feat. These are the very thing that this EduTour taught me, all in the name of creating maximum impact and enhancing legacy to the lives of the school children that God will bring to us.

Kairos moment here I come.

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