I have a story to tell...it goes like this...
I attended the reception dinner for Singapore President R.S. Nathan at the Shangrila Hotel Makati. I wanted to have a picture with the president so I could show it off to my friends but I did not have an access to him so I just decided to enjoy myself with the food. Just before I could take half the food in my plate, my singaporean husband asked me to come with him to meet Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon, with whom he had a chat already.
I introduced myself to him as one of his friendstermates & one of the first batch of scholars in Olongapo City Science High School. The project was his brain child as mayor of Olongapo City (way back in 1984), and it initially aimed to produce students who could pass the UP Entrance Examination since our curriculum was patterned after the highly esteemed Philippine Science High School. (True enough, many of us passed the exam including me, but did not enter UP)
I could still remember how he would encourage us to strive hard to be the best in our every endeavour, even to be the best "basurero" or professional. I & my classmates used to call him "daddy" of course, behind his back. He was the one who would personally look for sponsors of every single student in the Science High. We would use the money refunded to us in the middle of the school year for educational trips in different cities & provinces in Luzon.
He was delighted to meet me & we had a chat about Olongapo City, the Science High, about the computerized election, and about how being an Olongapeno helped me cope easily with the demanding & disciplined culture of the Singaporeans. (Thanks to our Mayor Dick Gordon who instilled discipline, duty, dignity & determination to us!) I had some photo sessions with the good hearted senator before I took my dinner quietly. After refreshing myself in the rest room, I was about to enter the dinner hall with my friend Jonna Tay when one man stopped us from walking & asked us to go to the side to give way to the presidential entourage coming out of the dinner hall.
I squeezed & stucked myself to the wall waiting for the President and the Senator to pass by. But to my surprise, Sen. Gordon called me from afar! "Jane!Jane! Come here!", I couldnt believe what I was hearing, nevertheless I walked towards the Senator who introduced me to the President as the one he was telling him about. I was dumbfounded, I could only say "Hi Sir!" as the President shooked hands with me and cameras started to flash. After answering the President's question about what I teach in the university, I quietly walked away only to hear the best words that would change my outlook forever - "I'm proud of you!", coming from the Senator himself.
Nobody has ever told me that! Not even my parents nor my husband! (although I know they might have said it to me quietly at one point in time) All I know is that I'm a simple university instructor who earns the lowest salary given to a professional and I could be the only person there who do not give away calling cards. Those words sent me back to the dinner hall flying in elation. At last! somebody is proud of me...