PLDT-Smart’s Gabay Guro Students Graduate with Flying Colors

Published October 5, 2020, 7:30 PM

by Edgard Hilario

Gabay Guro, the flagship teacher education program of the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF), recently celebrated the graduation of its 34 scholars through Accelerated 2020. The event feted the 34 scholars and future educators, with three graduating with magna cum laude honors, and four with cum laude honors.  

Since 2007, Gabay Guro’s Scholarship Program has supported over a thousand students nationwide.    

“This graduation of Gabay Guro scholars gives us hope and affirms our belief that all our efforts, our sacrifices for this advocacy, are worthwhile and noble, and good,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V Pangilinan. “We have 34 Gabay Guro scholars who have overcome the odds and limitations of a world in pandemic. We have 34 Gabay Guro scholars who persevered and are on their way to becoming educators. We have 34 Gabay Guro graduates who will one day take on the responsibility of upgrading the quality of education that is available for our children and youth,” Pangilinan added. 

The number of Gabay Guro scholar-graduates declined in 2020 due to changes in the academic calendar and the unprecedented health crisis. 

“Gabay Guro champions quality education and learning for all. It also enables dreams and supports many great aspirations. Our scholars are the heart of Gabay Guro and are greatness personified. We are privileged to be a part of their story – a chapter of their hopes and dreams. We are your wings and we are proud to see you all fly high,” said PLDT Senior Vice President and Gabay Guro Chairperson Chaye Cabal-Revilla.  

Pursuing dreams and soaring high   

Kimberly Villanueva Luceño and Ira Jean Signabon Saga-oc are two of this year’s 34 Gabay Guro scholar-graduates.   

Hailing from Lubo, Sogod in Cebu, 23-year-old Luceño graduated as a Magna Cum Laude from Cebu Technological University-Main Campus where she earned her Bachelor of Secondary Education degree, majoring in Home Economics and Technology.    

Luceño is second among the four children of Marivic, a housewife, and Diomedes Luceño, a construction worker. According to Luceño, she has dreamt of becoming a teacher since her elementary days. She expressed her gratitude to the PLDT-Smart Foundation and Gabay Guro for the educational assistance provided through their program.    

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Saga-oc is from Ligayan, Balantoy, Balbalan in Kalinga. Saga-oc graduated as a Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education from St. Louis College of Bulanao. Saga-oc is second among four siblings. Her parents are both farmers, toiling the fields every day to provide food for the family and support the education of their children.  

According to Saga-oc, she has always envisioned herself as a teacher and dreamt of having that career as a permanent part of her life. By studying diligently and working hard, she hopes to uplift and support her family. With her parents as her greatest love and inspiration, she aims to provide a comfortable life for them. It is through the PLDT-Smart Foundation and Gabay Guro that she is now taking the steps towards this new dream.    

Pivoting to the new normal of teaching   

“When our educational system is transforming and many of us are treading unfamiliar waters, the perseverance and commitment of our scholars to finish their studies amid the pandemic already tells us so much of the character of these 34 graduates, and bodes well of how they will soon fare as full-fledged teachers,” PLDT Vice President for Carrier Settlements & Business and Gabay Guro Scholarship Program Head Melanie Manuel said.  

“Gabay Guro has been pivoting to deal with the new normal. We are one with our scholar-graduates and teachers in facing the challenges head-on. We believe that our scholar-graduates are up to the task, and we trust that they will continue staying true to their path. They will be bringing us into the future, as our teachers of the new normal, and we are very excited to experience the wonderful, magnificent results of their work,” said PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther Santos.    

For 13 years, Gabay Guro’s Scholarship Program has over 2,000 scholarship grants in various state colleges and universities nationwide. Out of its total number of 1,047 graduates, 325 graduated with honors. While the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) are postponed for this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our scholarship program has proudly produced 840 LET passers as of 2019.    

Gabay Guro is spearheaded by the PSF and PLDT Managers Club, Inc. The 13-year-old program empowers teachers across the country though initiatives in seven key pillars. This includes scholarships, teachers’ trainings, classroom donations, livelihood programs, connectivity & computerization, teachers’ tribute and digital innovations.   Last October 3, Gabay Guro held its first-ever virtual Grand Gathering. Teachers from across the country registered through the Gabay Guro App. For more details about PSF’s Gabay Guro program, please visit gabayguro.com. For updates, please follow, like and share Gabay Guro on facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube. 

 
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