when i arrived in manila from my studies overseas, i was shocked to discover that some of my mentors, relatives, colleagues, friends and even students passed on. i reckon, my mom was very careful not to keep me posted about these. perhaps, she knew that news about certain people passing on may affect the progress of my dissertation writing.
robin is a professor of art education at the u.p. college of education. he also served as college secretary for more than a decade. robin and i sat in many college and university committees involving student affairs. robin also required many students from his college to take my classes in philippine literature in english, creative writing: nonfiction, creative writing: poetry, literature of japan, introduction to creative writing, literature, society and the individual, and asian emporiums: networks of culture and trade in southeast asia. he was close particularly to seňor teodoro maranan, the college secretary of the u.p. college of arts and letters.
on the other hand, joven taught film at the u.p. college of mass communication. we shared many friends from the philippine film industry, especially leo abaya (producton designer), joji alonso antonio (producer), jeffrey jeturian (director), armando lao (screenwriter), ellen ongkeko marfil (director). he is also close to theater and literary luminaries like liza magtoto (playwright) and jovita zarate (poet).
other than these connections, i think robin and joven became my friends because we taught nearly the same set of students every semester. through them, i confirmed the importance of connecting to every student in class. not too many teachers are encouraging to students these days, robin and joven would say. eventually, i realized that i should always allow my students to work on their strengths, and to overcome their weaknesses.
as teachers, robin and joven insisted that students work best within a positive learning environment. now that they are gone, i will do my best to continue their mission by spreading the good message around.
benitez hall (u.p. college of education)