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My Teacher My Hero

(A Tribute to the Late Dr. Marjorie A. Caipang in celebration of the World Teachers’ Day 2010)

By: Dr. Raul F. Muyong

SIPCMy teacher Ma’am Marjorie would not be able to read this article anymore because she passed away last May 2009. But I believe that those who have been mentored by her when she was still alive would be able to reflect deeply how Ma’am Marjorie made a great difference in their life.

What can I say about Ma’am Marjorie? She was an extra-ordinary woman: a mother, a teacher, a guidance counselor, a psychologist, a lecturer, a researcher, a statistician, a supervisor and a role model
I got to know Ma’am Caipang since 1982 when I took the qualifying examination for the Ayala Foundation, Inc. Scholarship grant for Two-Year Trade Technical Education course. As a guidance counselor in-charge of the scholarship program, she was our contact person. At the start, I really admired this woman for her sincerity in helping us with regard to our scholarship grant. She was really a mother to me and I was so impressed of her character and personality.
Dr. Marjorie A. Caipang was the person whom I will never forget in my whole life. She was part of what I am now. If it were not for her giving me the last slot of the Study Now Pay Later (SNPL) Program, I was not able to proceed to third year in College and to finish my BSIE course. She had really done a lot for me. She had changed my life. Every time I have a problem, she was the first person whom I consulted for guidance. Ma’am Caipang was really proud of me and I am also proud to have her as my second mother. Every time we were in seminars and conferences, she would proudly introduce me to her friends as one of her   “mga mabuot nga anak”. She kept on encouraging me to finish my Masteral and Doctoral degrees to prepare myself for the opportunities to come.

Dr. Marjorie Arandela Caipang was a remarkable public servant. She served as teacher, guidance counselor, professor and Vice – President for Academic Affairs for almost 41 years. But it was not the number of years of public service that made her remarkable. It was how she lived, everyday, for 60 years, which made her so. Also, as a public servant, she embraced her profession even in her personal relationship with all her children, co-workers and students. She did not only teach us about school, but most importantly, she taught us about life.
Ma’am Marjorie loved her work so much. She had the passion for teaching. For her, teaching was not only a profession but also a mission. That was why, every time we had a seminar in Manila or any part of the country, she has returned back to Iloilo immediately after the seminar because she wanted to meet her class.
Ma’am Caipang always emphasized to all of us how precious time is. For her, time is really gold. Whenever there was an activity, she saw to it that the program started on time.  Every time we were together in seminars or conventions, she served as a walking clock. She would text me at 4:00 in the morning and after an hour, she would text again, telling me that she was now at the lobby waiting. With her, I was never late in any of the activities conducted.

Ma’am Caipang was not only a brilliant woman; she was a good listener. Many of us remembered hours sitting in her office, asking her advice on work and personal matters, things big or small. This is the reason why; I never missed a moment visiting her every time I was at the main campus. She really listened to our concerns and offered advice freely.

Ma’am Marjorie was compassionate. She came to our homes in time of death in our families. She visited and sent flowers and sent inspiring text messages to our families and in moments we were sick and when we had problems.

We, her students are indeed fortunate to have Dr. Majorie A. Caipang as our teacher and co-worker. She was really an asset to the institution where she had been working. Her brilliance, her listening attitude, her honesty, her compassion, her love for work, her loyalty and her being a mother will be greatly missed by all of us. I am sure; we learned a lot from the virtues lived by Dr. Caipang. Indeed, she was a role model. For her, “Examples is not the main thing in influencing others; it is the only thing.”

Dr. Marjorie Arandela Caipang will surely be missed by all of us. What consoles us now is the knowledge that she is back again to her Heavenly Father’s embrace to enjoy the same love she so generously gave and showed to the world through her life.

Ma’am Marjorie, thank you for making a great difference in our life. We salute you, not with guns but with our hearts.  You are our hero!