Derek Ramsay and Anne Curtis extend support to teachers in Tacloban

IMAGE Glen P. Sibonga

Bagamat sila'y naimbitahan sa Tacloban upang magbigay pag-asa sa mga gurong nasalanta ng bagyo, pakiramdam nina Derek Ramsay at Anne Curtis na sila ang mas na-inspire ng mga gurong tinutulungan nila. "With these teachers, and the struggles that they went through in the past few months, you know it’s nice to see that they haven’t given up. And that’s a good way to bounce back from a calamity, just to be positive," wika ni Derek.


Nagkasamang muli sina Derek Ramsay at Anne Curtis sa PLDT Gabay Guro event na "Pahalipay Ha Leyte," na ginanap sa Leyte Normal University sa Tacloban City noong Pebrero 9.

Isa ang PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) writer na ito sa piling press people na isinama ng PLDT-Smart Foundation para mag-cover sa naturang event, kunsaan naging co-host si Derek ng isang segment ng programa at variety show na inihanda para sa mga Taclobanon.

Si Anne naman ay kinanta ang dalawa sa paborito niyang mga kanta—ang "Firework" ni Katy Perry at "Alone" ng bandang Heart.

Kabilang din sa celebrities at performers sina Ate Gay, Michael Pangilinan, Prima Diva Billy, Ate Redj, Dax Martin, Joel Olivera, at ang Juan Direction hunks ng TV5.

Ang Gabay Guro ang education arm at flagship project ng PLDT Smart-Foundation na tumutulong sa mga guro sa Pilipinas.

Pinamumunuan ito ni 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee Chaye Cabal-Revilla, at suportado ni PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan.

Nagpapasalamat nga si Chaye sa lahat ng celebrities na kasama nila, lalo na kina Derek at Anne, dahil napasaya ng mga ito ang mga teacher na kabilang din sa mga naging biktima ng bagyong Yolanda noong Nobyembre 2013.

“They’re very kind and I appreciate them for their effort in taking time to be here, like Derek Ramsay. Talaga, he has always been supportive of Gabay Guro ever since in 2009.

"So, every time talaga he makes it a point to come because he also loves the teachers.

“Si Anne naman the first time she joined us was when we had our grand gathering at MOA Arena in October of last year, then when we asked her to come here sa Tacloban, she said it’s okay.

"Basta pag free sila, pwede po silang pumunta. And for Anne and Derek to give happiness to our teachers that’s really something, di ba?”

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Bukod sa Pahalipay Ha Leyte event, nagsagawa rin ang Gabay Guro ng inauguration ng walong disaster proof classrooms na ipinagawa nila—apat sa Pawing Elementary School sa Palo, Leyte; dalawa sa Dr. AP Banez School sa Tacloban City: at dalawa sa Manlurip Elementary School sa San Jose, Tacloban.

Tanging si Derek na lang ang nakasama sa naturang inauguration.

CONSISTENT SUPPORTER. Sa mga celebrity supporters at volunteers ng Gabay Guro, si Derek ang pinaka-consistent sa lahat na every year ay hindi nawawala sa mga events at activities.

Ani Derek, “Since the beginning I’ve seen it grow from where it was being held in, iyong parang plaza sa MOA (Mall of Asia Music Hall), then it goes to the stadium.

"In the past two years, I think it was held in the MOA Arena, and the numbers keep getting bigger and bigger every year. Yeah, I’m here from the beginning and I promise them that I will always be there every year to help and support.”

Malaki raw ang utang na loob ni Derek sa kanyang mga naging guro noon kaya ibinabalik lang niya ito sa pamamagitan ng pagpapasaya sa mga guro ngayon.

“Besides my parents, the reason why I’m me is because of my teachers. I’ve had a good set of teachers to help mold me, guide me in the right direction.

"I’m very fortunate to have great parents, a great family, but I have to give credit to my teachers. My teachers directed me into bettering myself, not just as a student but also as a person.

"I have to be very thankful to my parents for putting me in a good school. So, when my dad told me about this [Gabay Guro], and my dad works with PLDT, he said, ‘You know, there is a teacher’s day going on organized by Ms. Chaye Cabal-Revilla and I’m being invited, so can I tag you along?’ So, sumama ako and ever since then I’ve been coming every year.”

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DREAMS OF BECOMING A PRE-SCHOOL TEACHER. Ito naman ang ikalawang Gabay Guro event na nadaluhan ni Anne.

“This is actually the second time I’ve done the Gabay Guro event and it’s actually quite an honor to give honor to our mga Sirs and Ma'ams, to make them happy naman kasi, di ba, after what they went through, especially in an area like Tacloban.

"Talagang they’re survivors, talagang they get back to work right away para maipagpatuloy nila iyong mga pag-aaral ng mga bata. So, we have to commend them naman and give back to them.

“And that’s what I’m all about also, kasi syempre my chosen charity is also classrooms. I put up classrooms in San Antonio Elementary School in Roxas [Quezon City].

"Itong Gabay Guro it’s connected to what I want to give back to, so when PLDT and Smart contacted me for this, without a doubt talagang go for it.

"This is my second time, yung first was yung grand gathering and that was so much fun, talagang they’re also game. So, hopefully I was able to make them smile and laugh and sing also, same here.”

Malapit din sa puso ni Anne ang mga guro dahil inamin nga niya na pangarap niyang maging pre-school teacher.

“Grabe iyong saludo ko talaga sa kanila because that’s my dream, e, to become a pre-school teacher one day.

"Actually, I started mid-last year, the school year last year to take up Early Education in an open university in Australia. I was able to survive the first sem, as in I have to do a presentation and learn how to do the Power Point.

"But then, the research kasi, and then there was Showtime and other projects, it’s hard talaga especially with a course that’s so consuming of your time.”

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Kaya pansamantala muna ulit huminto si Anne sa pag-aaral dahil nga sa kanyang busy schedule lalo na’t ginagawa na niya ang bagong teleseryeng pagbibidahan niya sa ABS-CBN, ang Dyesebel.

Pero pangako raw ni Anne sa sarili niya na babalikan niya ulit ang pag-aaral at tatapusin ito.

HEART FOR TACLOBAN. Para kay Derek, espesyal ang Gabay Guro event na ito dahil isinagawa ito sa Tacloban, na noong Nobyembre lang ay labis na sinalanta ng bagyong Yolanda.

Isa rin si Derek sa mga celebrity na nag-effort para makapagbigay ng tulong at donasyon sa mga biktima at survivors.

“Well, the thing that’s special about this is that let us not forget that they [the teachers] are victims also. But they’re still driven to inspire the youth, to teach the youth, to help them, pero tinamaan din sila, that’s just that.

"So, when I got a call na can I come over and help inspire the teachers over here, I said, ‘Yeah, sure.’

“Honestly, I don’t work on Sundays. But this isn’t work for me, this is something that I’d like to do and be a part of. And like I said, I’ve been with Gabay Guro for four years now, so I’m really close to them and I really like to give back.

"With these teachers, and the struggles that they went through in the past few months, you know it’s nice to see that they haven’t given up. And that’s a good way to bounce back from a calamity, just to be positive.

"And, you know, the next batch of kids that will gonna come through, they’re gonna have teachers who are willing to teach them and head them in the right direction.”

Ayon kay Derek, hindi ito ang first time na makapunta siya sa Tacloban.

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“I’ve been to Tacloban before the storm happened. But now parang you can’t recognize it at all.”

Sa pagbabalik nga ni Derek sa Tacloban ilang buwan pagkatapos ng trahedya, nandoon pa rin daw ang lungkot sa nakita niyang pagkawasak ng mga bahay.

Pero nakita niya rin na pinipilit ng mga taga-Tacloban na kayanin at harapin ang mga problema.

“When I landed here today, when you saw the damage, that’s when you’re like it’s worst than you thought it was. Like coming here, may nakita kaming nakahubad na… the lady was naked.

"Sabi after the storm may mga nabaliw daw talaga. And you could see na hindi siya yung parang taong grasa. Yung kita mo na it’s been a while na ganun. Parang it’s a lot to take in.

“Pero when I saw people smiling, that’s when I said, ‘Hey, I have to tweet.’ It’s hard taking in everything that you see, but it’s so nice to see it.

"I saw people smiling, I saw kids playing. The church was full so the people were praying. Tama iyong thinking na kung anong lahi iyong number one on the list who keeps bouncing back from such a calamity, I’ll say Filipinos top it.”

Hindi naman maipagkakailang isa si Anne sa mapagkawanggawang celebrities na tumutulong tuwing may nangyayaring kalamidad.

Pagkatapos nga ng pananalanta ng bagyong Yolanda sa Tacloban at iba pang lugar sa Visayas ay nagsagawa ng garage sale si Anne at lahat ng kinita rito na umabot sa P370,000 ay ibinigay niya sa survivors.

Maging ang P105,000 na halaga ng nabiling painting niya sa It’s Showtime sa pamamagitan ng auction ay ibinigay niya sa Yolanda survivors.

Ano ang feeling ni Anne na nasa Tacloban siya at malapit sa mga taong nabigyan niya ng tulong?

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“It’s a great feeling. You know, when we’re flying over, when we arrived just this morning, I can’t help but be sad because you can see there are still some areas struggling. So, ang bigat kaagad ng feeling.

"But when we’re on our way to the venue, you see people nagbi-build [ng houses], so parang there is hope pa rin.

"I was looking at some schools and nakita ko iyong signs na since January 6 they’re back to school na pala. So, kahit na yung ibang schools hindi pa nakaka-recover fully.

"You know, it’s hard for teachers to go through that na parang they’re going through their own personal struggles but they have to show and commit, di ba, to these students. So, nakakatuwa na I’m given the chance to come all the way here para to give back naman to them.”


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