Even in captivity, teacher Cathy’s thoughts are with her pupils Print
Friday, 14 March 2014 12:59

A person’s greatness is measured in times of great distress.

This is how Cathy Mae B. Casipong, a 23-year old public elementary school teacher, can be described after she expressed her worries not for her own safety but, instead, for her little pupils in Sibuctu Island, Barangay Limaong, in the east coast.

Cathy was released by kidnappers last March 11, in the nearby town of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay after almost three months in captivity.

In a press briefing at the City Hall, Teacher Cathy tearfully narrated how worried she was, foremost, for her pupils whom she has devoted her love and efforts.

“I was thinking who will be teaching them in every day that I’m not with them because I know how interested those kids to learn. They would often come to me and say they don’t have pencils and papers, and I would tell them not to worry, I will bring some next time for them to write. They would come early everyday to school to learn even if they have not eaten anything that is why it’s so painful for me that they kidnapped me,” Cathy cried.

Cathy, on board a banca with two other teachers, was kidnapped on December 18 last year while on their way to buy gifts for the children for their Family Day party, a celebration that never realized.

“I apologize for the botched Family Day celebration for the kids. I have not forgotten my promise to them. I told the kids, tomorrow is our party and I want all of us to be happy since it’s my first time to celebrate it with you,” she recounted.

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, clearly moved by Teacher Cathy, said: “The kidnappers did not only kidnap Teacher Cathy, but they also robbed the children and their family of a celebration that would have made them happy”.

She also urged all barangay officials and residents in the city to help in protecting the teachers assigned in their areas.

“Our teachers are our heroes. They sacrifice having an education in order to teach our pupils, particularly in the far-flung barangays. We ask the barangays to commit themselves, together with the parents, in protecting our teachers who bring about the education of our children. They only have their hearts set to teach our children so that they will have a bright future,” Climaco-Salazar said.

Joel Marcos of the Department of Education-Zamboanga City said they will be transferring Cathy to a school nearer to her residence to help her recover from the trauma.