Tonight was about giving in to a gentle, persistent voice that said, "Start here; start now."
Reluctant at first, I approached our help and asked her, "Ate, gusto niyo bang matuto magbasa?"
Being the shy type, she just smiled and looked away. But then she whispered, "Kung okay lang sayo, nakakahiya naman."
"Hala, bakit naman nakakahiya?"
"Kasi ang tanda-tanda ko na."
Ate is around 10 years older than me. Small and quiet, but hard-working and committed, she is a woman with potential just waiting to be discovered.
After assurance that it will never be too late to learn something new, she hesitantly sat on the chair as we began our first lesson.
We turned the jungle I (affectionately) call my room into a mini classroom. We took a purple chair for her to sit on, while my bed had to make do for a teacher's desk. I handed her a pen and 50-paged Liza Soberano notebook, but she reminded me that she didn't know how to write that much, either.
We started with our ABCs. And then went on to numbers, colors, and animals; from one book to another. We practiced writing capital letters (and their smaller counterparts, too).
And finally, we called it a night.
"Ate, kaya pa?"
"Oo naman. Nag-eenjoy ako matuto eh."
"Bukas ulit ah?"
"Oo. Bukas ulit. Salamat, Teacher."
Education must be made accessible to everyone. It is unfair that some people are born with less opportunities than others; however, let us remind each other that we can do something about this--
we can change the game.
Let us start from here.
Let us start now.