An Extraordinary Day at the Coronado Tidelands Park

On the 2nd of June 2012, I thought it was just an ordinary day; but it turned out to be one of the most spectacular day for the Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture (CTFLC) and especially for me.  As usual, I woke up in a June gloom day. The sun is still hiding behind the clouds as if it were tired just like the rest of us; we just ended our school year.  We arrived at Coronado Tidelands Park at about eleven in the morning. Gradually, the park was slowly filled up with people lugging their food and tents.  Gng. Dolly Balane and husband Alex arrived early to reserve a place for the Kapamilyang CTFLC picnic cum meeting.

Since it was already noon, we snacked on pancit and lumpia just to appease our growling belly while waiting for the rest to arrive. However, we never forgot to express our gratitude to God for the food and camaraderie. As the bell stroke twelve, we feasted on different kinds of sumptuous food.  As hosts, I brought crunchy lumpia, spicy siomai, and fruits such as juicy grapes, watermelon, and loquat, while  Grace Almazar served pancit and a tray of mouth-watering fruits, and Ate MRose Peralta and  Ate Filda Galvante brought their special adobo, among others.  Ate Susan Chrismen shared her pininyahang manok and  Kuya Ador and Ate Sally Idos prepared her rellenong bangus.  Everybody pitched in whatever they could contribute and it was an endless table of food and drinks! Most importantly, we shared this day with our families.  Spouses enjoyed the day being acquainted with the wonderful people we work with.  Children  and “mga apo” played with all their energy in the playground and ran on the green grass.

After indulging to a sumptuous feast, we transitioned into a more formal discussion – our meeting. We started greeting and singinging `Happy Birthday’ to Memet, Jackie Magat, Lita Candelaria (May) and to Rey Idos, Rizalyn Cruz, Linda Falaminiano, Juanita Nacu, Myrna Ablana, Dolly Balane, our June celebrants.  We talked about our successful participation in the Philippine Faire 2012 and Festivals of Festival Parade.  Additionally, Sally Idos, CTFLC President, asked us to support our Filipino Teachers who received “pink slips” by attending the School Site Council (SSC) meeting at Bell Middle School and Morse High School on June 4 and 5, respectively.  Then, CTFLC acknowledged the recognition I earned as DELAC “District English Learners Advisory Committee,   English Language and Development” (DELAC ELD)  Sweetwater Teacher of the Year 2012.”  When  Dr. Cristeta Dumaran introduced me in front of the group, I was caught off guard, although I was already aware of the celebration. Not used to this kind of accolade, I felt like as red as the bouquet of roses which they just handed to me.  It is my sincerest gratitude for celebrating with me and making me special. Indeed, this was the moment for me.

Finally, the fun and games started, which I secretly waited.  I vowed to myself that I would join the games even it meant embarrassing myself.  The adrenaline flowing through my veins, the encouraging shouts from the participants as well as the spectators, and the unabashed, boisterous laughter of everybody signaled the exhilarating fun. Fel Moscoso, a retired teacher from Sweetwater District, and Ador Idos, a retired teacher from San Diego Unified School District prepared and coordinated the games.  I joined the “Instant Actress” game, three-legged race, and Elastic Band relay game.  For me, everybody won the game because we had so much fun.

Indeed, this was an extraordinary day for everybody. We parted ways filled with happiness, with full tummy, and with the knowledge that we have each other throughout the coming years.  Our spirit is filled with the strength of comradeship, as we sincerely thank everyone for all the coordination, collaboration, assistance and support which truly made our day! – Farah Mendoza