Asst. Prof. Mathilda Limbaga-Erojo
She denied her heart what it beat for and decided to take up another course. But the sound of musical instruments and the voices emanating from the Guy Hall, once the home of the College of Performing and Visual Arts (COPVA), were too luring to resist.
Asst. Prof. Mathilda L. Erojo now teaches music at COPVA. She thought she'd easily run away from what she grew up exposed to, thus ventured into Psychology in her first semester of first year in college. But she realized music was her passion. She then decided to shift, and later found herself on the stage receiving her degree of Bachelor of Music major in Music Education.
“I cannot let go of music. It’s a part of me,” says Mathilda who in her kindergarten years was already the accompanist whenever her class was requested to sing.
She has been exposed to music at an early age. At age three, she was already taught how to master the ukulele. Two years later, she started conquering the piano. And in her fifth and sixth grade, she was earning money from teaching her classmates how to play the piano.
Nobody thought Mathilda could also sing solo until she was in college. She was used to being a backup singer, especially during the annual Valentine Songwriting Competition in the University. But some twist of fate opened up an opportunity for her. During one recording for a music entry, the singer assigned todo the vocals did not show up. Mathilda was then left with no choice; she stood in and performed.
After Mathilda graduated in college, she grabbed the offer to work in Silliman as a music teacher for primary levels at the Elementary Department of the School of Basic Education. And as she was teaching at the Department, she also handled special lessons at the then School of Music and Fine Arts (now COPVA).
Some years later, she moved to COPVA as member of the faculty, upon the invitation of current COPVA Dean Dr. Elizabeth Susan Vista-Suarez. Now Mathilda teaches Music and manages major classes.
Opportunities for graduate studies opened for Mathilda when she was already with COPVA. She first took up Ethnomusicology as a major under Prof. Priscilla Magdamo-Abraham and Prof. Frank Ingles, but later shifted to Choral Conducting — what she completed in 2011.
Choral conducting is close to the heart of Mathilda. She was a member of the Silliman University Campus Choristers and had the chance to tour around the country and the United States with them in 1999 and 2001. She was second soprano, though preferred singing alto.
Mathilda also recalls being part of the Silliman University Marching Band. She was one of only eight members, and considers her memories with the Band among her most unforgettable.
Her love for the strings, particularly the guitar — the first instrument she learned playing — was rekindled when she joined Kwerdas, a rondalla group, becoming its first female member. It was a welcome development to her when she was recently invited to direct Silliman University's Orkestra Sin Arko, founded by maestro Michael Dadap.
Mathilda is grateful t God for the gift of an understanding husband, Ferdinand. They are blessed with a child, Mardie Gabriel, who at a young age already manifests his talent in acting and playing the drums.
After 18 years of mentoring students, “Mommy Maths”, as she is fondly called, is moved whenever she bumps into students who recall how she has touched their lives. She admits to still encountering students who are pasaway, but she always finds time to have an intimate conversation with them.
Let's get to know Mathilda more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Jolly. Chubby. Beautiful — according to my mom.
What is your mantra in life?
“Live life to the fullest and leave positive footprints.”
What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh when person who is known to be uptigh suddenly does a trick. I cry during weddings, especially that part when the bride is being given away by her parents to the groom.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Sundays and lunchtime — when I get to spend time with my family.
What do you love doing when not working?
Spend time with my family.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
What makes you blush?
When somebody praises me unexpectedly about the things I have done.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I don’t wear a dress.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
”Takyan,” “Shatong,” “Piko,” Snake and Ladders, “Patintero.”
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
At the beach with my family, together enjoying the sea breeze.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I’m not a very serious person. I’m funny and talkative, but if the need calls for some serious talks, I can be deep.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“She’s Always a Woman,” by Billy Joel
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Thanking God for another day then drink two glasses of water.
What’s your idea of a family?
Family is where you freely share your love, your life and all the honors you received. Family is home, family is where my heart belongs.