The teachers I remember most are, invariably, my English and Literature teachers. I remember Ms. Amelita Ros from my single year at the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion on Gorordo Street in Cebu. No one was ever sleepy in her class, whether it be discussing gerunds or Gerontion.
After that I had Mrs. Rebecca Montaño for two years at the St. Theresa’s College – High School Department down on Mango Avenue. Madame Montaño had the gumption to pit sophomores (us) against seniors (really big girls) during the Forensics Club debate. We got creamed, of course, but the general impression she gave us was that we held our own quite well.
I remember both teachers as being the ones of whom the students were most afraid, and heaven help you if you were in their homeroom class. But for some reason, I was never afraid of either of them. In fact I wanted to be in their homeroom class, because being so meant I got first dibs on the stories or books to be discussed. Madame Montaño got us to read Collen McCullough’s The Thornbirds by implying that after we’d read it we’d never look at any Pope in the same way again.
I don’t know where they are now. They could be in heaven teaching English to a bunch of new angel recruits after all this time. I miss them now because there are precious few who are following in their footsteps, and even fewer who can fit into their shoes.