Maritess Mendoza: The Ever-Sacrificing Teacher

This 2010 Fun Fearless Female Awardee sacrificed a well-paying teaching job to educate out-of-school youth. She tells Cosmo why she did it.

Being a teacher is hard. It's hard enough in private schools that pay well. It's hard in public schools that don't pay that well. But it's even harder to pack up your things, move back to your province, and become a teacher without a set classroom, who travels from place to place, in the hope of educating those who don't have the opportunity to go to a school.

That is what Maritess Mendoza does. She teaches out-of-school youths, victims of rape and abuse, and any adults who want to learn but never had the chance. She gave up a job at a montessori to do it, but her life of sacrifice has been worth it. "Maliliit na bagay 'yung nakakapuno sa kabuuan," she explains, and this is her contribution to a better future.


What made you decide to become a teacher?


Simula po bata ako, pinangarap ko na siya. Unang-una, dito ko po nakikita na kahit mahirap ka--'di ba 'pag teacher po, nakakapagbahagi ka? 'Yung education 'di ba, kino-consider siya as yaman? So feeling ko po, kahit unti-unti, mayroon akong naiko-contribute sa bawat kabataan. Maliit na bagay 'yung nakakapuno sa kabuuan.


As a teacher, what have you been able to contribute to society?

Unang-una po, 'yung values. Kumbaga, alam naman po natin na halos lahat ng teacher nag-va-values formation sa kabataan, kaya lang ang kaibahan lang po siguro na masasabi ko is, 'yung direct contact talaga sa lahat-lahat ng mga kliyenteng hina-handle namin.


What are the difficulties you faced and how did you overcome them?

Sa buhay ko? Andami-dami ko pong pagsubok na pinagdaanan, mapa-personal man o trabaho. Unahin po natin ang personal. Talagang simula po nang nag-aral kami, halos naghugas ako ng bote 'pag weekends para maipang-baon lang. Hanggang sa lahat ng pintuan napuntahan namin ng nanay ko, makakuha lang kami ng pang-baon para sa sunod na araw.

Sa trabaho naman po, andaming mga nagne-negatibo kasi mahirap ang buhay namin. Sinasabi nila na mas kailangan ko ang trabaho na may magandang suweldo, hindi 'yung mas marami pa 'yung gastos, kasi siyempre kailangan mo magpunta sa iba't-ibang barangay, 'yung pamasahe, napakamahal. Pero lahat po na 'yon, tiningnan ko, hindi [bilang] isang pagsubok kundi lahat po 'yon positibo na may patutunguhang maganda at may magbe-benefit na magiging mabuti rin naman.


What is your advice to girls who want to help?

Continue reading below ↓

Kahit simpleng tao po tayo, may kakayahan po tayo na suminag at magbigay ng liwanag sa kapwa natin.


What makes you fun and fearless?

Lahat ng bagay, never akong natatakot, wala akong takot kasi nandiyan naman si God, gumagabay sa akin. Alam ko lahat ng takot na pwede kong maramdaman, alam ko lahat 'yun, aalisin Niya.

Sorry, no results were found for