Our stint as teacher at the Guinarona Barangay High School (now the Guinarona National High School) began after our near-death experience in 1975. Perhaps out of patriotism or paying a debt of gratitude to our hometown did we graciously accept the position. We handled physics, chemistry, trigonometry, geometry, and elementary and advanced algebra. Our principal was Luisa V. Camulte and our fellow teachers included Apolonia Bacal, Gorgonia Tuplano, Jose Caile, Sr., Pacita Tibe, and a Mr. Juanico.
The school was founded in 1969 through the unstinting efforts of Jose B. Raquel, the father of Guinarona. To maintain it, there was a subsidy from the Municipality of Dagami, with the rest of the budget coming from fund raisers and tuition fees. Of course, our pay was a pittance and was always late in coming. Most of the time, we defray the cost of teaching paraphernalia, such as chalk and laboratory materials. It was a tiring exercise, but at the same time exhilarating and self-satisfying, especially with the motivated students that we had.
Despite the poor conditions, we rose to the occasion. We always ruled the the division level of the Science Fair and Quiz, and automatically represented the Leyte division at the Eastern Visayas Regional Science Fair and Quiz. We always locked horns with the Burauen Comprehesive High School for supremacy in the division level, but we always outsmarted them. Not out of spite, but more of a teasing, our students were always taunting the Burauen contingent for their lone entry, “The Uses of Tanglad (Lemon Grass).” Against theirs, our projects were, “Wine from Libas and Guava Leaves,” “Utilization of Anthracite Coal Found at Daguitan River,” “Utilization of Abaca Wastes” and the “Pascal Triangle.”
Finally, we got our time in 1977 when we won the Eastern Visayas Regional Science Fair and Quiz for our entry, “The Effect of Electro-Magnetic Field on the Behavior of Local Wine, Animal Blood, Coconut Milk and other Fluids,” which represented the region in the 1977 National Science Fair and Quiz held at San Pablo City, Laguna. That placed Guinarona Barangay High School on the national map of science fair achievers, in league with the Philippine Science High School.
That was then. And that was our legacy. Until the corporate world snatched us.