Henry Brooks Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. But we can tell where it begins.”
As for Teacher Myrna Arcilla of the St. Gerard Community Learning Center located at the CPES Building of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, it all began when she volunteered to teach religion at the Parcel Community Learning Center outside the university. At that time, she was taking up Marketing in PUP yet possessed the innate passion for teaching.
Knowing poverty first hand, Arcilla values education more than anything else. While studying, she juggled her time working in a textile company. Even without her family’s consent to continue her studies, she was able to graduate in 1984 and became the breadwinner of the family.
Former PUP President Nemesio Prudente envisioned helping the children of Parcel; he adopted the learning center inside the University.
When the center became part of the university and was named PUP Community Learning Center, Arcilla became a regular member of the teaching staff. She took up Kinder Education in Philippine Normal University and attended relevant seminars on Childhood Education.
Teacher Myrna devotes all her life teaching poor kids in Sta. Mesa. (Danny Pata)
Teacher Myrna devotes all her life teaching
poor kids in Sta. Mesa. (Photo by Danny Pata)
The Center during those days paid P15 -20 per student; making the teacher’s salary more of a fruit of love and devotion rather than a source of income. But amidst it all, Arcilla could not turn her back from her passion. She stretched her capabilities to sustain daily living by giving lectures and livelihood education to parents of the children she was teaching.
Over the years, the PUP Learning Center became known as St. Gerard Community Learning Center, which is still housed in the university campus.
Armed with her goal to enrich minds of the young with good conduct and love for God, Arcilla remains true to her vocation. Having devoted her whole life to teaching, she finds it not only a proffesion, but a reason for existence.
Her selfless devotion to teach the young the much-needed knowledge in order to survive life gives her fullfilment.
Arcilla is a teacher in the real sense of the word