Pinoy Teacher’s Story: Finding the Ideal School

Ring! Ring! Ring!

That was the sound of a new journey coming to my consciousness, deafening me with so much edginess and excitement. Truthfully, I thought it was one of the random Thai callers wherein I usually say Thank you before I hang up. However, it wasn’t. It was in a dulcet, modulated, a matter-of-fact tone. It was by the name of Mr. John Benliro.

Read: Pinoy Teacher’s Story: Journey to Prateepsasana Islamic School

The Interview and Teaching Demonstration

The moment a word came out from his mouth, I grasped that it was the job interview I’ve been waiting. Thanks to my dear friend who notified me about the job post and, upon reading what was in store for new hires, I emailed it right away.

I sounded tremulous and wobbly yet I didn’t let it bring me down. Who would not be agitated with the choice of words, accent, delivery and an excellent English of the interviewer? I bet you will too if you were in my shoes.

Accommodation + 3 meals + Visa + Work Permit + Roundtrip Plane Ticket to the Philippines + Insurance + Salary! These were the reasons why I was hoping that I’d be able to nail this interview. Little did I know, I still have to do a teaching demonstration which heightened my anxiety, worries, etc. The interesting part was Mr. Benliro had to give me the topic. I took the challenge and prepared to the best of my ability. And, I kept on reminding myself why I chose to be a teacher.

During the teaching demonstration on Skype, my emotions lessened when I had finally seen Mr. Benliro. With his approachable aura, it helped me to turn on the ‘Tikas Pahinga’ mode. It was not tensed, not lax either. It was a moment where you can be the teacher just exactly you are. Then, another set of interview followed afterward.

Read: Pinoy Teacher’s Story: Believing in myself more

The moment of truth

Days passed with my head filled with only one question – “Nadawat kaya ko? (Was I hired?). The moment of truth came. Mr. Benliro called on Skype, informing me with these and those. However, the highlight was a melody to my ears, swaying me up in the air. “Tanggap ka na”, a blunt statement by the latter, that made me the most blissful being on Earth.

Another surprise was the revelation about my employer. I looked him up on Google and the information I got were jaw-dropping. I just got hired by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, a Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party in Thailand, and a nominee of the Royal Thai Government and endorsed by ASEAN Leaders as ASEAN Secretary-General for year 2008-2012. Yes, you read it right.

This blessing is not just entirely for me. This is for all Pinoys working hard in Thailand. With one heart, one goal, let us continue to make not just our Mamas proud, but the whole nation as well.

PS: Mr. John Patrick Benliro, a fellow Filipino, was requested by former ASEAN secretary-general Dr. Surin Pitsuwan to help look for Filipino teachers for his school in Nakon Si Thammarat. This happened when Dr. Surin visited the project “English for All” in Phitsanulok, where Mr. Benliro and Dr. Warong Dechgitvigrom, a former Member of Parliament, initiated the project 3 years ago.

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Kay Cueva
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