Lessons and Love: What happens when teachers marry teachers?

Published February 14, 2021, 1:04 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Sure, office romance is not necessarily extraordinary. 

In fact, it happens – a lot.

(Photo from Alfan and Guada Fabio/ MANILA BULLETIN)

But in a school setting – with all the lesson plans and everything else that one has to finish – finding love, and keeping it, might be a bit challenging.

In this Valentine’s Day feature, three teacher couples from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao – all belonging to public schools under the Department of Education (DepEd) – will share the pros and cons of being in such relationship, how they manage to cope with the challenges, and why marrying fellow teachers is best for them.  

Mr. and Mrs. Rodelio and Hilda Bugay are from Balanga, Bataan. He’s been teaching for 23 years and is currently assigned to Puerto Rivas Elementary School. She is Master Teacher II at Cupang Elementary School and has been been teaching for 25 years. Both are Mathematics teachers. 

Mr. and Mrs. Rollie and Annabelle Corazon Meniano are from Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental. He is a Head Teacher III assigned to Jagna Elementary School and she is a School Principal I at the Cawitan Elementary School. Both are currently busy managing their schools as School Heads. They have been in service for 16 and 29 years, respectively. 

(Photo from Rollie and Anabelle Meniano/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Mr. and Mrs. Alfan and Guada Fabio are from Alabel, Sarangani Province. Both are currently assigned to the Tagaytay Integrated School. Alfan is Teacher II and Guada is a Teacher 1. He has been teaching for four years and she has been in service for two years now. He teaches mathematics, agriculture, science, and practical research while she handles mathematics classes for Grades 7, 8, and 9, and Kindergarten. 

(Photo from Rodelio and Hilda Bugay/ MANILA BULLETIN)

What are the advantages of marrying a person with the same profession? 

Hilda, 48 and Rodelio, 54: “One can easily understand his or her work. You can count on each others potentials, ideas, and knowledge – you can ask each other. You have someone to talk when you have problems with your work, with your pupils and parents. The income is stable.” 

Rollie, 50 and Anabelle, 53: “When a person is married to someone with the same profession, there is not a lot to adjust especially in schedules, routines, and all. Our personal and professional lives go together.” 

Alfan, 39 and Guada, 40: “The advantages would be we share the same sentiments, we easily understand each other’s situation at we’re almost always together since we have the same workplace.” 

How about the disadvantages?

Fabio couple: “One of the disadvantages, maybe, is that because you are always together, you will not miss each other so much.” 

Meniano couple: “We think there is no disadvantage in marrying a person with the same profession.” 

Bugay couple: “When we go home, we will always have our laptops or phones on until midnight because we have many things to do like talking to parents and students. Sometimes it feels like we’re in a ‘war’ – no one wants to lose. We have lots of instructional materials, we even have a bodega filled with school supplies at the back of our house.” 

Do you have house or school rules’? Like things you should and should not do when you’re at home or in school and vice versa

Meniano couple: “We do not really really have specific house or school rules related to our work. Our house is an extension of our workplace.” 

Bugay couple: “None. We have no home or school rules. We just try to do what it right. It’s very difficult for us to separate the personal life and professional life since we’re always together. We just help each other at work, we do brainstorming. On weekends, we go out, we talk about a lot of things. Sunday is Lord’s Day and family day for us.” 

Fabio couple: “As much as possible we don’t bring our work at home and don’t bring up marital problems when we’re at work. When we are in school we treat each other professionally, support each other and express same level of care and love – on and off the campus.” 

Given another chance, would you still choose to marry a fellow teacher? 

Hilda: “Yes, because as teaching is a gift from God. Some other people are very intelligent, some are good in speaking, some are good in marketing but teaching is a very special gift that will not be taken [away] and I know deep in my heart that my husband is also a gift from God.” 

Anabelle: “I would choose to marry a fellow teacher because a husband who has the same work as mine can understand my work situation.” 

Guada: “Yes, because we have the same passion and we can easily relate to each other.”