IT WAS a hard decision for her to make. Maricris Pena left the school she teaches but treasures the moments she had with the faculty and students of Children of Fatima School Incorporated (CFSI).
"Nasanay na ko dito...inisip ko na dati na itigil yung pagtuturo at mag-work sa office," the 29-year-old teacher said.
Her Grade 9 advisory pupils were saddened as they knew their adviser will move to Paris, France. She explained to them that as a private school educator her family's financial needs may not be easily met since she is a mother of two in Dela Paz, San Simon.
Her children are Kisha, a three-year-old short-haired girl with a barbie doll, and Kyle, a one-year-old boy. She was with them and her husband as they left by plane in the night of November 22.
Her husband was promoted in his work, turning him the officer-in-charge in Motor Star, yet it is not enough for their family's growing children and Pena's ultimate dream - to have a house.
Asked about her dream for her daughter, she said will not dictate her child's career and Kisha can freely choose her profession or be a teacher as well but more importantly she said that she must finish her studies.
A Bulacan State University graduate, Pena, made a choice of leaving her work since many times she tried to knock the door of passing the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) in different schools. She did not take the recent LET to enter a public school because taking another LET will make no difference in her life and simply waiting for the result is hard on her part in suiting her financial needs.
Eventually, she prayed and waited for signs in going outside the country and she felt it right. The first sign were the passports that were immediately given after a week. The next was the gift she happily received on teacher's day - a bag with Paris' Eiffel tower designs.
Pena had doubts her capacity to do new work but her dream and the love for her children is stronger that it led her to readying herself as a caretaker of an American child of a family.
With this, the 9th graders will be spending time in their Christmas party with a new adviser but before Pena left, they celebrated their teacher's voyage in San Matias Ningnangan for lunch last November 17, 2017.
This is what Pena would miss: the gatherings in occasions that are truly felt and particularly, Christmas and the culture in the Philippines.
"Doon trabaho ng trabaho, parang di mararamdaman yung Christmas," Pena said. "Sabi nga sa akin nung hipag ko e mag-relax at magpa-picture muna sa Eiffel Tower muna daw at sa susunod na mga araw na muna daw ako magtrabaho."
Also, she needed to work as she promised to pay the debts from her relatives. Pena added that she will work one month abroad and she will seek for another job in France through posted vacancies on bulletin boards and with the help of her supportive family.
With this, a decade and a lifetime is the span of time she may be living with her family in Paris to pursue her dreams. She will not forget to glance back at her homeland. (Arderl John Manabat, CEU-Bulacan intern)