A teacher named Lilia Diaz, 70 years old, who is also known as the mother of Culion in Palawan, choose to serve her community with less income than leaving them uneducated to pursue luxurious life.

After teaching in Jesuit-run St Ignatius Academy which is now Loyola College of Culion for 35 years, Diaz retired from his teaching in 2004. She has no idea, however, that her teaching career would be harder.

Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) in 2003 was created a group in a former Culion's leper colony. BEC took Tagbanuas, Palawan's indigenous people, for education. Diaz's profession turn into a vocation.


Diaz recalled that Tagbanuas told her that they were like jailed during election. They were literally took out of their place and place them in one area where they were voting one by one. That time they were hungry for education.

BEC asked Diaz if she was willing to teach Tagbanua people to be literates in reading, writing, and more. Without any doubt, Diaz took the project.

Diaz said on an interview that one of the main reasons why she said yes to the project of teaching the Tagbanuas was she believes in what the Lord said, "whatever you do to your brethren, you do unto me", which she had learned on training with Jesuits.

Diaz added that her life in Culion teaching is difficult, that poverty was the most challenge to face. But she said that lack of money will never be the reason enought for her to leave teaching.

To help her earn enough for her daily needs, she would sell rice cakes/snacks on weekends.

She also recalled, in a report, how people talked about her like insulting her. Some of her neighbors were saying it's hard to be a Loyola teacher because you need to sell rice cakes/snacks to survive her daily living.

But even having a hard physical work and poverty, Diaz said that having the chance to teach Tagbanuas made her think of how blessed she was. An experience to treasure forever.

Diaz said that she was so blessed that it made her moved to tears for she was once a child of a leper yet God gave her the opportunity to attain education.

She added that teaching will be her forever's choice, a passion that she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

She wanted to share the gift of education. Besides having a hard living, some people did not receive a chance to study.

Tagbanuas need to have an education pushed her to embrace and love them.

Diaz's journey is one of the best things relating to being honest. After getting an education, she can live a richer life out of town but she never choose to leave her community. She stayed and serve her fellow people.

source: YouTube Video
 
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