LIFE CHANGES

By Michelle Joy Padayhag |August 04,2018 - 10:02 PM

FIRST DAY. Erwin V. Macua, a former security guard of St. Theresa’s College (STC) who graduated Cum Laude from the same school last year, stands before the Grade 2 pupils of STC on Aug. 1, 2018, now as their teacher.

CONCLUSION

‘Sir Macua’ goes to class’

Macua still finds it difficult to believe what has happened in his life.

Aside from having a new job, he now has a television commercial for a popular coffee brand.

He still has to get used to all the attention, he said.

One time, he went to Carbon Public Market when some people recognized him as the man in the commercial and asked for a photo opportunity.

“Mura ko og mauwaw. Pero pasalamat ko kay nakita nila among kaagi nga mo serve as an inspiration sa ilaha labi na sa mga bata (I was shy but thankful that people are able to see the things I went through which serve as inspiration especially for children),“ said Macua.

At home, his wife Irenea, now jokingly calls him “sir.”

“Sir Macua, andam na imong pamahaw (Sir Macua, your breakfast is ready),” recounted Macua as he laughingly remembered how his wife would call him.

His family is proud of his achievement. Macua has three children — John Vincent,18; John Clifford, 17; and Chenise May, 2.

“If sauna ang mabutang sa akong mga anak if naay fill-upan og form sa occupation sa ila papa kay security guard, karon kay teacher na (When before my children would write security guard on forms asking their father’s occupation, now they would put teacher),” he said, smiling.

Before he became a teacher, Macua worked as a security guard for more than 20 years.

Even if he already accomplished his dream, Macua said his relationship with his former colleagues remains the same.

Some of the school’s security guards address him now as “sir” while others still call him “pare.”

Macua’s last day as a security guard was last June 21.

Since he would miss the working environment that he had gotten used to for more than two decades, Macua took lunch at the guardhouse with his colleagues last Tuesday.

“As a homeroom adviser, didto ko sa room maniudto kay didto man sad ang uban nga bata mag-kaon kay basin mo kalit og gawas bitaw. Naay uban kuhaon man sa parents ang estudyante (As a homeroom adviser, I would eat lunch in the room since some kids would also eat there and they might suddenly go out. There are others though who get picked up by their parents),“ he said.

He encouraged his former colleagues to complete their studies telling them that it was never too late to also realize their dreams.

PAYBACK TIME

Macua came from a family of farmers in Trinidad, Bohol.

He graduated valedictorian, both in elementary and high school, at public schools in his hometown.

Macua wanted to study Civil Engineering but could not afford to pursue a college education.

He decided to leave his hometown and tried his luck in Cebu City.

He found work in STC as a security guard where he learned of the school’s scholarship program for financially challenged students.

He applied for the program which allowed him to study at daytime and work during the night.

Today, Macua believes that the reason he achieved his dreams, rather late, at 39 years old was to inspire other people.

He wants to give back to his community by holding free tutorials every Saturday and Sunday in Barangay Kalunasan where he lives.

“I want to educate people about values and other subjects where I can help. I have been planning this but I am still adjusting to my new work,” he said in Cebuano.

Macua also wants to help live-in couples get married since living in has become a trend among young people these days.

“Ganahan ko mo serve sa community. Ganahan ko mubalik sa Ginoo siguro pasalamat sa grasya nga gihatag sa akoa. Sa edad nako karon, wala ko mag-expect na ing-ani na makalampos ko sa akong pangandoy (I want to serve the community. I want to give back to God as a way of thanking Him for all the graces I have received. At my age, I did not expect to reach my dreams),” he said.

MAN OF INTEGRITY

Sr. Maria Cora P. Sastre, the school’s directress describes Macua as responsible, trustworthy, hardworking, and a man of principle.

“He is somebody who is always willing to go an extra mile,” Sr. Cora told CDN.

“He is really good and kind-hearted man,” she added.

Aside from being a family man, she also sees Macua as a man full of gratitude.

One time, Sr. Cora was surprised when Macua approached her saying: “Sister, dako kaayo ko og utang kabubut-on sa STC. Sister, pwede man ko mag-apply og maintenance, sister (Sister, I really owe a lot to STC. I can apply as a maintenance staff at the school.)

She then told Macua, “Erwin, ayaw sad tawon pag-ing ana dong oy. Barugi na imong kurso.” (Erwin, don’t say that. Practice your profession.)

It was then that Macua applied to become one of the newly-hired employees of the STC grade school department.

The school prioritizes its own graduates to fill-up vacant job positions.

“Our school gives a chance to these people who have no means but are looking forward to a better future,” said Sr. Cora adding that the teachers and staff treat all their students equally.

“Without any discrimination, we treat them the same,” she said.

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