A Teacher’s Rough and Tough Journey to Teaching

How far will you go for your pupils? What sacrifices are you willing to do just to impart learning? Have you even asked yourself these questions since you entered the teaching profession?

Throughout their careers, teachers face countless struggles. These include health problems, issues with co-teachers, parents, and of course, financial problems. These are just common hardships and normally, teachers overcome them…with flying colors.

But what about those struggles we don’t see in a day-to-day basis? Issues that even the most ambitious politicians cannot solve. Problems that are caused either by human negligence or natural calamities.

Mrs. Grace Tura Antonio, a Master Teacher from Matangad ES, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, have seen all that. And she didn’t treat these problems as hindrances to her daily task of teaching the young minds. Let us hear her heart-warming story.

Teacher Grace was first appointed as Teacher 1 by the Department of Education on October 15, 2004. She served as a Grade 1 and 2 teacher since her appointment and was promoted as a Master Teacher 1 last January 2014. She has also been serving as the Teacher In-charge of their school for the last two years and seven months.

Aside from her profession, Teacher Grace is also a proud and full-blooded member Mandaya Tribe.

During rainy season, she often finds herself trapped in a battle against the waves of a raging river. She risks her own life in crossing the powerful stream of water just to reach their school where her pupils are waiting for her.

Teacher Grace Tura Antonio Juander Teacher

“The picture above shows how difficult to travel to our school especially during rainy days. Being an indigenous (IP), I am very determined and glad to render my services in our school despite the road problem because most of our pupils are also IP’s like me.

Bale sa ngayon po,sinimulan na pong gawin yong tulay sa isang ilog…yong sa isa po wala pa daw budget…tapos yong sa kalsada naman po, wala po talagang rehabilitasyon..minsan nga po eh kusa napo kaming teachers nagbibigay ng suhol sa mga taong tumutulong sa amin na may madadaanan yong motor namin…

Sobra po talaga ang risk sa daanan namin papuntang skul lalo na po kapag tag-ulan…”

Here’s a video clip of Mrs. Antonio’s breath-taking attempt in crossing the rampant river.

Mrs. Antonio’s inspiring story was also once featured by Mel Tiangco in a segment in GMA’s nightly news program 24 Oras in June 2013 where she and her co-teachers were shown traversing the rocky and risky roads of Mt. Diwata in the town of Monkayo, Compostela Valley. Here are the video clips of the said segment.


Teacher Grace also clarified that their school is situated at Sitio Matangad, Barangay Upper Ulip and not at Mt. Diwata or Diwalwal as opposed to the initial reports.

Mrs. Antonio has also implemented a successful reading program which prompted their governor in an effort to provide electricity to the said community.

“Share ko na rin po sir na nagkaroon po ng kuryente ang lugar na yan dahil din po sa reading program na ginawa ko at na-implement sa school namin…bale napansin po ng governor namin ang unique na program at ang magandang epekto nito sa kabataan….so ginawan nya kaagad ng paraan na magkaroon ng kuryente doon…”

Just like any of us, Teacher Grace has also a dream for her fellow Mandayas and the youth of her small community.

“Yon lang naman po sana ang dream ko, ang matulungan ang mga katribu ko na mapaganda ang daan at makapagtapos ng pag-aaral ang mga kabataan…”

A special thanks to Mrs. Grace Tura Antonio for sharing her remarkable teaching experiences.

If you have stories to tell, stories that may inspire others, and stories that are worth sharing, please feel free to send it to us via our “Contact Us” page or talk to us via email at juanderteacher@gmail.com. Thank you very much.

Teach, learn, inspire. Every Filipino teacher, is a Juander Teacher.

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