Reunite, Reconnect, Rediscover

Reunite, Reconnect, Rediscover

Set to visit Bali, Indonesia for the first time, Manila-based marketing manager Chester Cabrera was totally clueless on how to make the most out of his trip. More than tips from travel blogs, Chester needed someone to guide him around the island since doing a solo flight in an unfamiliar place isn’t an easy task.

Fortunately, a good samaritan and kababayan was kind enough to accompany him in his tour. Being a resident of Bali for 10 years, Mr. Geruel Rivadeneira was exactly the person Chester needed. He arranged Chester’s itinerary, private rides and also served as his Bahasa-English translator during the trip.

Touring the island

Touring the island

Mr. Rivadeneira isn’t just another person Chester knew.  He was his English teacher at the University of the Philippines Rural High School in 2001. Thirteen years since they last saw each other, Chester finds himself in a one-of-a-kind field trip with his former teacher.

The “Field Trip”

Aside from seeing Tanah Lot, a famous Balinese temple by the sea, club-hopping at Legian Road, and shopping at  Beachwalk Mall, Chester got more from his trip than what he had expected.

PHOTO CREDIT: Chester Cabrera

Life experience beyond Bali

For Chester, the trip was more than discovering an unfamiliar place. It was an opportunity to get to know Mr. Rivadeneira all over again.

Because of the limited time they shared in U.P. Rural High School, Chester didn’t have the chance to get to know his former teacher well. Through the experience, Chester saw another side of his former teacher who currently heads the English Department of Cambridge International Fellowship Center in Bali.

PHOTO CREDIT: Chester Cabrera

Reunited after 13 years

A positive, go-getter who goes beyond his comfort zone to experience life to the fullest, Mr. Rivadeneira is definitely an inspiration to his former student.

Mr. Geruel Rivadeneira hosting a school event.

Mr. Geruel Rivadeneira hosting a school event

“ Aside from teaching, he gets to do things beyond his comfort zone like travelling and cycling. That’s something I want to do to in the future, to go beyond my comfort zone,” says Chester.


Conquering the field

Meanwhile, the Bali trip with his former student made Mr. Rivadeneira realize “that we all are a great possibility”.

Chester during his recent visit to Japan

Chester during his recent visit to Japan

“The lesson is that we all are a great possibility. Chester showed that given where he is now. Who would have ever thought that that simple sweet-smiling boy would be a Marketing Manager in a well-known beverage company, travelling here and there, and driving a car of his own here and there I must say as well?”

On Bonding with a Former Teacher/Student

Needless to say, both Chester and Mr. Rivadeneira recommend bonding with a former teacher or student.

“You see bonding with former students allows us to see a great transformation, a close look at the success we helped to achieve. The most beautiful aspect of it is that we will notice that we have moved from that of a student-teacher relationship to more of being friends.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Geruel Rivadeneira

Dining at a local favourite

As for Chester, the bonding experience allowed him to show gratitude to one of the people who helped him become the person he is now.

The State of Filipino Teachers

Mr. Rivadeneira is among the thousands of Filipino teachers who opted to teach abroad for a number of reasons. Although working in the Philippines is more fun since they can serve their own countrymen while surrounded by their loved ones, many chose to seek greener pasture because they are not well compensated in the country.

“All teachers desire to teach excellently but resources are too limited. I think the Filipino teachers need a very good compensation package. They work very hard. I am impressed that many schools especially DepEd schools are having regular professional development seminars for teachers, ” Mr. Rivadeneira explained.


Public school teachers in the Philippines

Chester couldn’t agree more with his former teacher.

“ Even if they are happy with what they do, they still need good compensation and benefits. I personally saw the struggles of my aunt who served as a public school teacher when she was still alive. We need to reward them for all the hard work that they do since they help shape the future generation. ” he said.

Showing Appreciation

In the Philippines, PLDT Smart- Foundation and PLDT Managers Club launched a program which aims to honor and support teachers through teacher’s training, scholarship grants, housing programs, and teacher’s tribute.

Dubbed as PLDT Gabay Guro, the program recently released a TV advocacy dedicated to teachers.

The message of the touching advertisement seemed to have hit home for Chester.

“Just like the message of the ad, we should take time to thank our teachers because they are part of who we are now. Sila ang ating mga pangalawang magulang at dapat lang na pahalagahan at pasalamatan naten sila.”

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