Teachers board exam topnotchers from Mindanao recently expressed strong support for government’s one-year extension of martial law in their region for the sake of improving peace and order conditions, they expressed this view at the non-partisan Pandesal Forum brunch with media at Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City. The Mindanao-born teachers board topnotchers included the first legally-blind and Muslim teachers board exam topnotcher Abdulaziz Hajimin Dapilin of Lamitan, Basilan province; Darlene Z. Mula of General Santos City; Anielyn D. Ladica of General Santos City; Gerald Ryan O. Reburcio of General Santos City.
The topnotchers were accompanied to the Pandesal Forum by their review school’s owner and Quezon City Chamber of Commerce & Industry past president Dr. Carl Balita, who said these talented and idealistic young people overcame poverty and other hardships to attain their goals.
Declining good job offers in Metro Manila, Abdulaziz Hajimin Dapilin said at the Pandesal Forum with media that he plans to fly back to his native Basilan province in order to work there in helping improve education for special children or disabled kids, because he said he had difficulties in schooling because he was given no such education tailored for special kids. He lost total eyesight at age 9 and had to struggle to cope with academic studies. Dapilin said that extension of martial law is alright, as long as there are no abuses and as long as better security can be given their region. He appealed to media to present a more balanced picture of Mindanao region, that their place is not all about wars and conflicts, that there are many beautiful and peaceful places such as Basilan province and his hometown Lamitan. Dr. Carl Balita complained that during the teacher board exam, the examiners took away Dapilin’s talking calculator which a blind student like him needed, so there war no way for him to accurately figure out some complex math questions during the board exam but still he came out a topnotcher.
Nurse board exam topnotcher Maria Cecilia Campos from Lorma College in La Union province is another inspiring story presented at the non-partisan Pandesal Forum of Kamuning Bakery Café, because her father Maximino Campos is an ordinary carpenter and her mother Ernalin Campos is a housewife. Her parents couldn’t afford to send her to school, so it was her aunt Victoria Duculan who helped pay for her education. Maria Cecilia Campos said her inspiration to study hard and diligently is her family, their love and support for her despite their poverty. She said she shares the other topnotchers’ high hopes for a better future for their families and a better Philippine economy in 2018.