Together is better

Published February 14, 2021, 9:34 AM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Teachers Alfan and Guada Fabio believe that anything is possible as long as they have each other

In many instances, having someone beside you – especially a loved one – is more than enough to give you strength to face the challenges ahead. 

(Photo from Alfan and Guada Fabio)

Such is the case for teachers Alfan and Guada Fabio from Sarangani Province. Both are currently assigned at the Tagaytay Integrated School located in Alabel under the Department of Education (DepEd). 

Alfan, 39, holds a Teacher II position and teaches Mathematics, Agriculture, Earth and Life Science, and Practical Research 1. Guada, 40, has a Teacher I position and teaches Mathematics for Grades 7, 8, and 9, and Kindergarten. 

He has been teaching for four years while she has been in service for two years now.

Alfan finished his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering degree at Mindanao State University. Guada completed her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree at the Rizal Memorial Colleges. 

The teacher couple first met when they at both attended an Inter-Church Crusade in Surallah, South Cotabato. A common friend introduced them to each other. 

“When I first saw Guada I thought she was much younger than me,” Alfan recalled. However, it turned out that she was a year older than him. “It made me more interested in her and I thought we would be the best match. Since that day, hindi na siya nawala sa aking isipan (I have always been thinking about her),” he added. 

While it was probably love at first sight for Alfan, it was not the case for Guada. 

“When I was introduced to Alfan, I was not attracted to him because I was more interested in his companion during that time,” Guada admitted. 

However, things have worked out between them eventually. They have been married for nine years now. 

(Photo from Alfan and Guada Fabio)

The couple chose to work together in the same school. Alfan was hired first as a Senior High Teacher (SHS) and was assigned to a Last Mile school where he needed to stay for a week. 

This, Guada said, was the “reason we decided that I should apply at the same school so we could be together.” Last Mile schools are those located in geographically isolated and disadvantaged and conflict-affected areas (GIDCA), according to DepEd. 

Since they share a common field, Alfan said that it is hard not to talk about teaching even when they are off duty. “We need to share our different experiences and learn from each other,” he added. 

However, Guada said that they make sure to “talk about our future plans, future investments and travel goals” during spare time. 

With the changes in the educational landscape, both recognize the need to work on their teaching styles. Guada, for instance, focuses on localizing and simplifying lessons to “make it more understandable” for the learners that they teach. 

Both of them also try to ensure that “we don’t compromise the quality in delivering the essential competencies.” 

As the demands of their jobs occupy their everyday lives, the Fabio couple try to make the best of what they have. “Since we only have limited time to spend our personal life with, we see to it that we have quality time together,” Alfan said. 

While there might be some minor disadvantages in marrying a fellow teacher, Guada said that she will still marry a person who has the same profession as hers “because we have the same passion and we can easily relate to each other.”