by Jule Vincent Jaraula & Girlie Joy Gumapon
Words. As small as a speck of dust, yet as powerful as the universe, words seem to define how we see ourselves, and how we see the world, and since August is celebrated by Filipinos as “Buwan ng Wika” or the “Month of the Philippine Language”, we took the occasion to a different level: cherishing the tiny yet impactful presence of language and words in our daily lives. We dug deep into the awardees’ stories, and we got to know more about them and their stories that have to do with words, and, the wealth of the month of August, holidays. Before we indulge into their stories, let’s get to know who the August 2020 awardees are.
Starting with the biggest group of the entire Envizion tutor pool, from Group General, we have April Grace Tupac, Tanya Besinga, and Stephanie “Nana” Gerodico. From the charm of the young learners, Group Ripple, we have Crystel Ann Perpetua, and Diego “Dee” Tiñaco. Lastly, from the long-standing Group Asteria, we have Mel Mar Baylin.
First of all, we checked in on them as to how they are doing, especially now in the work-from-home arrangement, so we got curious how they are dealing with it.
April: “I miss hanging out with my friends and visiting my family. At first I was very troubled and I missed them terribly and I can’t fully cope with the new normal, but everyone is dealing with the same circumstance.”
Jeez! We feel you, April. We feel you.
In dealing with this feeling of longingness, we found one common denominator that helps our awardees get through it: social media!
Crystel: “I communicate with my loved ones and friends through social media, such as Messenger and Instagram.”
Tanya: “I usually communicate with them (siblings and best friend) through various social apps. (Thank you, technology!)”
Dee: “I also love lurking on my friends’ videos and photos to the extent that I even check the profiles of those who were tagged and those who leave comments. (smirk)”
Nana: “As for my family, we live in my Aunt’s boarding house so there is no problem when I want to see my cousins, niece and nephews. We basically live in the same house together so we have the usual pizza night whenever it’s someone’s payday.”
Let our response be, “Sana all!”
Well, with the current restrictions and limitations in our city, and in our region, we were also wondering how they spent the most favorite days of every Envizion tutor: long weekends! Um..who doesn’t love August for its long weekends?
Mel Mar: “It was great. I spent my long weekends in August being with my siblings at home. I utilized those long weekends bonding with them.”
Nana: “August was fun, we were able to go to the beach during one of the long weekends.”
As for April, and Dee, they low-key unleashed their inner “plantito/plantita” by taking care of their adorable plants. We’re wondering what kinds of plants they are nursing. To all earthlings out there, perhaps, shoot them a message for some insights and tips.
Crystel: “I spent the holiday working overtime since I don’t have elsewhere to go, and I don’t want to go out as much as possible.”
Well, this girl, like all the other hardworking Envizion tutors, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. — Oof, let’s talk about the Hall of Fame later!
Tanya: “Watching movies, sleeping/waking up longer than usual and just simply doing nothing.”
Tanya is a mood. Ahh, long weekend vibes.
Well, speaking of doing nothing, and staying home, we also asked the awardees what words they miss hearing, with the quarantine continuously going on.
Dee: “Toot. Please try again.”
Well, guess what? That’s the voice of our biometrics! Can you still hear it inside your head?
April: “I miss hearing my friends ask “Where are you going to eat?”, even though most of the time we always end up eating in the pantry.”
Tanya and Nana shared a similar answer that some, if not many, of us can relate: “Laag ta!” (Let’s hang out!) They just miss the spontaneity of their friends, and we also sure do.
Melmar: “I just missed those times when somebody tells me to go and do some activities somewhere we can immediately go with no worries and fears, no restrictions and health protocols to follow.”
Well, on a serious note, to say that this pandemic has been “tough” to all of us is an understatement. The words our awardees miss may just be simple words, but little do we know that these words already impacted us in ways we can’t really imagine. Things might be tough, but amid this pandemic, our spirits must be tougher. So, what mantras do our awardees say or chant when things get rough?
April: “It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem.”
Crystel: “You can do this!”
Tanya: “Laban lang!”
Mel Mar: “Do not be afraid. God is with you.”
Dee: “Unleash the beast!”
Nana: “It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.”
We can definitely learn a thing or two from their mantras. So, we challenge you to recall and tap into your mantra, because we’re hoping that mantra of yours will help boost your spirit, especially in this trying time. We’re rooting for everyone. Share your mantra with us in the comments below.
To wrap up, we lastly asked awardees how their awards are helping them teach the English language to their students. Here are their parting pieces of wisdom:
Nana: “With the awards that I received, I bought myself skincare products to help me look more presentable to my students. I battled an acne war during the start of the quarantine and it brought my self confidence to its lowest. The prizes helped me buy stuff and I am now more confident when I face my students.”
Mel Mar: “Receiving the award constantly reminds me of why I am a tutor. For me, it is not just a job, but a vocation. It is a calling where it gives purpose and meaning to my existence.”
April: “I believe this will help me become a more confident and effective ESL tutor. I will be sure to continue facilitating lessons that will live up to the ENVIZION standards.”
Dee: “Bellowing the award in the canyon of victory echoes one’s achievement reminding us to always put our best foot forward. With our morale being lifted, we get inspired to give our best to teach our young learners – explore, experiment, and adopt different FUN-filled teaching styles.”
That’s about it for four of our awardees. We thank them for sharing their stories and wisdom with us. Now, as promised, we will be talking about the Hall of Fame. We will be talking about making history!
Hall of Fame
Crystal Ann Perpetua
Prior to June of this year, Envizion used to bestow different monthly awards, namely Rookie Tutor, Most Improved Tutor, Lesson Satisfaction Survey (LSS) Award, and the highly coveted Most Valuable Tutor. However, ever since our Envizion CEO, Shunsuke Mizushima, formally announced “permanent work-from-home arrangement”, our awards also shifted, hence the three awards (Group Asteria Award, Group General Award, and Group Ripple Award) were created to adapt to the different types of lessons that Envizion offers. With this, we’re thrilled to celebrate two women who made history by being the first one to make it to the Hall of Fame in this WFH set-up: Tanya Besinga (from Group General), and Crystel Perpetua (from Group Ripple).
Since they just made history, the Envizion Community proudly congratulates them, and we’re delighted to welcome them to the Hall of Fame! But, how are they feeling, by the way? How do they feel about this milestone?
Crystel: “I honestly did not expect to be one of the Hall of Fame awardees because I was just doing and enjoying my job. However, this award gives me more motivation and dedication towards my work. It is such an honor to be given this award. I am grateful to Envizion Philippines, Inc. for appreciating and acknowledging its employees’ hard work and effort.”
Tanya: “I feel extremely grateful and appreciated to be given such recognition. Working in Envizion for the past year, may it be working from the office or at home, has always been a bliss. I try my best to always give a “More than Tsada” experience in everything that I do here, and I am humbled that all of my efforts are valued.”
Spoken like true Envizion stars! Well, some of the biggest stars actually make it to the Hall of Fame in Hollywood, but what if Envizion do have an actual Hall of Fame? How do these ladies want to be described?
Tanya: “Honestly, I wouldn’t put any description there (maybe just a smiley emoticon or a period just to make people laugh or intrigued). I wouldn’t really know what to say if people would ask me to describe myself because I feel that people, in general, are more than those few words that they will put together.”
Crystel: “I would love to be described as someone dedicated and passionate about everything that I do. I would also like to be described as goal-driven, and a person who takes every challenge and overcomes them.”
Well, we’d have to say, these women are warriors! Like true warriors of a tribe, they’ve done all the fight in their lessons. Now, it’s time to bestow their parting words of wisdom and encouragement to the ones who continue to fight in bettering the lives of our students through English.
Crystel: “Always give your best, and you will see the results after.”
Tanya: “You have what it takes.”
Cherishing Words and Making History
August 2020 has been indeed eventful. From the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, to the many lessons we conducted, from the celebration of Buwan ng Wika in the country, to the long weekends, from the commemoration and celebration of the national and local holidays, to the women who made it to the Hall of Fame, August didn’t really seem to cease. As we close this chapter of August, may we be reminded of the power of words. They may seem simple, redundant, or mundane, but they are actually part of our daily lives, and part of who we truly are. We are what we eat, but we are also what we speak, and we are also what we listen to. May we all be reminded to always cherish words, as we try to embed and imprint them in our memories and in our lives forever, making history in being better versions of ourselves.