MY SWEET SUCCESS
Liza M. Manuben
“For those who trust in the Lord, every tear has an equal grace.”
“When you turn your worry into worship, God will turn your battles into blessings.”
“Slow progress is better than no progress. Stay positive and don’t give up.”
Teaching is not my dream. I don't have a passion for instructing and dealing with different people. I'm content with myself, I’m at home when I'm alone. I enjoy my company and am hurt if people don't listen to me.
In my first year of teaching as a catechist, I almost quit because I really don't understand people, especially my grade 5 and grade 6 students. They're unruly, talkative and hard to please. They're all my problems so I prayed to God to give me the gift to understand them and the wisdom to speak to their hearts so that they will hear my message clearly. So, I thought, if I be given a chance to study again, I'd want to study people’s attitudes, so I'd understand them, how they think and why they behave that way.
Jon was courting me then, and I'd always share my sadness with him in teaching. I'd like to understand my students so I know how to deal with them. So, Jon told me to take a Psychology course and introduced me to his school, Eulogio "Amang" Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, EARIST. It was then that I longed to study Psychology.
After several years, he became my boyfriend, we got engaged and planned to settle down. We both resigned from the ministry and got married in my province, Capiz last 2004. We planned to live and grow our own family there but after a while, we returned to Manila. We agreed that while waiting for a child of our own, I'll continue my studies.
I took a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Psychology at EARIST. I was so excited to study again but I was a little disappointed at first because one of the student assistants learned that I'm not a fresh graduate, and she almost rejected my application. Then one of the new professors said to her: “The more she will be given priority because she knows how important education is, and they usually succeed the more because they don't want to lose the chance again." Because of his words, I was given the chance to apply. I was also able to pass the entrance exam and interview. Thank you, Lord! His words echoed in my ears and kept them in my heart “they will succeed the most." I am very excited to learn again and determined to finish.
In 2006, I and Jon agreed to re-enter the CFAM ministry. But this time, we had different passions for teaching. We were more passionate and committed. I supported Jon in his advocacy for the little ones, feeding and visiting the street people and sharing with them the Word of God. While he was busy with his passion for the poor, I was also busy with my studies.
After several years, I encountered real challenges such as schedules, because both schooling and teaching require full attention. Plus, the fact that I was tasked to prepare my students for their first communion. Then “unannounced observation” came, and I was not able to teach the whole lesson as I had expected to. As a result, I got a very low grade. I was devastated, I felt so sorry for myself and I said I'm not really for a teaching profession. So, I planned to resign the following year but after several months I was enlightened. I challenged myself that with or without observation, I need to be always ready.
Another challenge I encountered was tiredness. My body was too weak but my mind was still willing to pursue. I asked God for the strength to continue and help me to achieve my dream. I almost gave up due to this exhaustion but Jon comforted me every time I encountered this feeling.
I had plenty of struggles and perseverance every day, and all of those were addressed because Jon was with me and God helped me. When graduation came, my heart was full of joy seeing myself marching on stage to receive my diploma.
After I graduated from college, because the baby that we were waiting for did not come yet, we decided to continue my studies for my master’s degree.
Years have gone by until I reached the verge of my studies. I was torn between priorities and it was so hard. I took the comprehensive exam. It was difficult, I felt mentally and physically drained. But I was full of hope, I entrust to Him the result and thank God I passed! I can now proceed to write a thesis. I have to write my own book. I have to do it alone, unlike in college, it's done by a group but this time I have to be on my own. This was another heavy task for me. I proposed a hundred titles before I was approved. It took me so long to formulate questionnaires. There were months or even a year when I stopped my research.
Jon’s parish priest knew that I had a gift for playing a keyboard so, he asked me if I can be the music coordinator in their parish. As a sign of obedience, I accepted his invitation. We were able to gather youth for their fiesta activities and theatro for Senaculo. The youth in Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage abound and we also formed youth catechists and choir groups. It was very tiring but fulfilling.
I shared this with Sir Leo and he advised me to focus on my parish which is Binondo Church, the Minor Basilica and the National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz. So, I did.
It was then that my parish priest, Fr. Andy Ortega Lim appointed me to be the Parish Youth Coordinator. I started from scratch but was successful in doing my role as youth coordinator. The Youth became alive again in the church. A new theatro and band arise which we called Katekista Band. Inspired by what we were doing, our youth formed the Franciscan Catechists Band singing our own song compositions. My two students whom I invited last 2015 actually became CFAM catechists now.
Pouring all my time, talent and treasure to fill the gaps in our parish made me almost forget my thesis. I was again exhausted but elated.
My thesis adviser noticed my silence. He did the follow-ups, and there I got back on track again. I went to different libraries to continue my research. Finally, through his help, I was able to come up with my questionnaire. I process its validation to the different expert professors and deans. My thesis is entitled: Professional Burnout and Emotional Intelligence of Faculty in District III City of Manila: Basis for School Faculty Wellness Program. I went through the process of research.
With all my might, I collected everything, interpreted, finalized, and defended my thesis to the panel. With a little revision, my book was bound and distributed to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), The National Library, Philippine Normal University (PNU) library, and EARIST library.
Finally, last July 2020, I completed my Master of Arts in Industrial Psychology course. My heart is full of joy. He never failed me. To God be the Glory and Honor Forever.