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  • Writer's pictureKara Nodima Cawas

‘A teacher with a heart’ - The story of an educator from Lubuagan

Another ‘kailyan’ was revered and tagged as ‘a-teacher-with-a-heart’ by thousands of netizens in the social media posts of Philippine Star and Lakbay Kalinga Facebook page, after having shown an exemplary feat driven by her passion to help her pupils.

She was applauded for giving high-priced freebies and treats when distributing the modules of her Grade 2 Pupils. Most of the commentators even felt a little bit jealous saying, “sana all”- a tagalog expression that means they want something to also happen to them.

The grade school teacher with a heart is 38-year-old Michelle Gup-ay Somera, also known by her pupils as “Ma’am Itchel”. She is married, has two beautiful kids, and is also a part-time online seller who is currently living in Dangoy, Lubuagan, Kalinga. She has been teaching since 2006 and at the moment she is now educating 15 Grade II pupils at Dangoy Elementary School.

Recently, as an act of love and care for her pupils, she gave imported chocolates, soaps, and eco bottles as a way of motivating them and to also put a smile on the parents’ faces when they are about to receive or pick up the modules.

“Nu mapmapan kami ag-reach out ma-asiyanak nak ti sitwasyon da. Ibaga dagituy parents nu daduma nga ‘Ay apo met daytuy nga module nga kastuy’…puro negative feedbacks from the parents sunga nu umay da agisem da a makakita,” she said.

Teacher Itchel said that the young kids kept her inspired, so she wanted to continuously encourage them to learn more despite the difficulties of using a modular set-up in educating during the pandemic.

“Online seller nak ti chocolates ken sabon galing Dubai isu nga nu ada malako’ak wennu nu inya man ti maganansiyak ket i-share ko met. Ken diay Tupperware bottles diay ading ko, gamin dealer isu nga in-lako na met ti discounted price kanyak piman,” Somera said.

She disclosed that the first freebie she gave also started from an umbrella. She narrated that there was this parent that got wet due to the rain just to pick up the modules of his child. The parent can’t afford to buy an umbrella for himself, so what Somera did after that encounter was the distribution of their modules with free umbrellas, clothes, and eco-bottles.

She has been giving freebies quarterly since the modular set-up begun in the school calendar. Her efforts came from the heart and all from her own pocket.

With this being said, she plans to donate light bulbs for the next distribution of module.

She said, “Ag-reach out kami gamin house-to-house to check if there’s a problem with the modules, adda asideg tapos ada dagidiay mapagpagna ti manu nga steps ngem anusan uray nu marabiyanak nga kadwak diay anak ko, (ket) makitak nga diay daduma maymaysa nga bulb usar da tapos nakapsut pay.”

When asked about how she felt about the good comments she’s been receiving, Somera said that she was flattered and wished that what she have started can be extended.

Meanwhile, she revealed that there are people who messaged her that want to donate school supplies for the next quarter and their municipal police force also lend their helping hands in case of any repairs at the school.


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