Once a teacher, always a teacher.
This saying proves true for retired school principal Demetria Gonzales of DMCI Homes’ Arista Place who at 75 still plays an active role in overseeing the welfare of the mid-rise condominium community in Barangay Sto. Niño, Parañaque City.
Being away from the teaching profession for over a decade has not stopped Gonzales from making a difference in the society.
In Arista Place, she has directed her passion for teaching into instilling discipline in the community as part of the housekeeping and gardening advisory council in collaboration with the Property Management Office (PMO).
“I’m fond of housekeeping and gardening. I really love the environment here. The ambience is really good,” she said.
Gonzales and her group act as the guardians of cleanliness in the community and so far, she likes what she is seeing.
“We discuss everything when we meet with the help of the PMO. We also assign a unit owner to monitor the garbage disposal. We have been monitoring garbage disposal to ensure good health for the whole community,” she related.
Believing that the teaching profession should not end even after retirement, Gonzales has learned to find a new “classroom” in her community and continue to practice her beloved profession.
“I’m really a devoted teacher in my younger years. I was a master teacher for 45 years before I became a principal. I don’t want my students to learn nothing from me,” the former principal of Sto. Niño Elementary School stressed.
Since moving into their two-bedroom unit in March 2016, Gonzales has been an active member of the community even leading her fellow residents in the DMCI Homes’ annual inter-property holiday decor competition called “Festival of Lights” that year.
“We had to stay awake all night to prepare our decorations using recycled materials but it was fun,” Gonzales shared.
These simple pleasures make retirement life an enjoyable experience according to Gonzales which is why she is thankful to have chosen Arista Place when she and her husband, Raul, decided to buy a condominium unit in 2014.
“It’s a good investment. We feel secure and the people here are very approachable. We’re all friends here,” she said. “Apart from that, everything is accessible here. Malls, schools, hotels. Living here really suits our lifestyle as retirees.”