VIRAL: Teacher-applicant on a wheelchair

Published March 9, 2021, 5:30 PM

by Noel Pabalate

The story of Edwin Garin and his father, which went viral in 2019, continues

Photos from Zaldy Ordiales Bueno’s Facebook

Age and disability are not hindrances in attaining goals. And wheelchair-bound 50-year-old teacher-applicant Edwin Garin from Atimonan, Quezon is proving it. With support from his 75-year-old father, who’s doing his best to help him around on his wheelchair, Edwin is determined not just to reach his dreams but also to help his parents.

A recent Facebook viral post by Zaldy Ordiales Bueno, a Department of Education (DepEd) teacher in Gumaca, Quezon who accommodates teacher-applicants, shared his conversation with Edwin and how he was so inspiring.

Mag a-alas singko na…Akala ko wala ng teacher-applicant na magpapa evaluate ng papel.Pumasok si kuyang…

Posted by Zaldy Ordiales Bueno on Monday, March 1, 2021

Edwin says he got delayed with his studies because he had an accident, which left him on a wheelchair. Fortunately, in 2014, he participated in an alternative learning system (ALS), where he eventually graduated a year later.

Nag-college po ako, sir, para matupad ang pangarap ko. Nag-education po ako at nakapasa sa [Licensure Exam for Teachers] noong 2019. Kaya sumusubok po akong mag-apply para makatulong sa magulang (I went to college to fulfill my dreams. I took education and passed the LET in 2019. I’m applying to be a teacher to help my parents),” Garin said.

Surprised and moved to tears by Edwin’s story and his willingness to help his family, Zaldy asked where his parents are. Also with tears in his eyes, the teacher-applicant pointed to his father, who according to Zaldy looked tired from assisting his son and had eyes that seemed to be begging for help so his son could land a job.

“Siya po ang tatay ko. Anim na taon na po niya akong itinutulak sa wheelchair mula ng mag college ako hanggang um-exam ng LET hanggang ngayong nag-a-apply na ako (He is my father. He’s been pushing my wheelchair for six years, since when I was in college until when I took the LET and up to now that I’m applying for a job),” Edwin says.

A recipient of the 2019 Happiest Pinoy award from a pawnshop company, Edwin admits that he and Zaldy both burst in tears recounted his story. They talked more about life than the contents of Edwin’s documents for application.

Touched by the father and son’s determination, the DepEd teacher makes an appeal in his post: “Sakaling may punungguro na naghahanap ng ENGLISH TEACHER, pls consider Mr Edwin Garin of Atimonan. Maaring hindi siya kaseng energetic ng mga gurong walang kapansanan, pero sigurado ako, higit sa aralin ang kaya niyang ikintal sa isip ng mag-aaral (If there’s a principal who’s looking for an ENGLISH TEACHER, please consider Mr Edwin Garin of Atimonan. He might not be as energetic as other abled teachers, but I’m sure he can impart more than the subject’s lessons to his students’ minds).”

Hindi lang noun at verb ang kailangan. Mas higit nilang kailangan matutunan, kung paanong lumaban sa hamon ng buhay. Maraming kabataan ang mahahamon at mamumulat dahil sa kanyang angking determinasyon (Students don’t only need to learn nouns and verbs, but most importantly, they need to learn how to fight life’s challenges. Because of his unique determination, many students will be challenged and enlightened by Edwin),” Zaldy continues in his post.

Zaldy hopes that the teacher-applicant will get hired soon. “Because it’s not only Edwin’s efforts that will pay off but also the tireless efforts of his father to push his wheelchair.”

The father and son tandem already went viral in 2019 when Edwin took his licensure exam. In a 2019 Facebook post by Sheila Mae Estrañero Glor, the very supportive father, other than bringing his son to the exam venue, was seen patiently waiting the whole day for his son.