Mrs. Mary Ann Orbeta
This caramel skinned beauty whose body is silent to the fact that she enjoys eating (a lot) and is a mother to four boys, was born and raised where Jose Rizal was exiled. In the historic city of Dapitan, Grade 2 teacher Mrs. Mary Ann Orbeta of the Elementary Department relished a happy childhood bursting with traditional Filipino outdoor games.
Her favorite then was a game of Chinese Garter, one that requires flexibility, balance and coordination, with the objective of successfully jumping over a garter that is gradually held higher. She also remembers playing “patintero” with neighborhood kids on roads less traveled by vehicles in the area.
Academically, Mary Ann was a consistent honor student throughout her elementary and high school years. In choosing which school she would like to go to for college, she opted to study in Silliman University because of its proximity to home and reputation for quality education.
She packed her bags and took the first boat for Dumaguete City in 1991. Mary Ann, who remained undecided as to which course to pursue, enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program on a whim. After her encounter with the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors, she shifted to Bachelor of Science in Psychology the following year.
On her third year in the course, Mary Ann broke off a longtime relationship with her high school sweetheart when he decided to leave Silliman to study in Cebu. Brokenhearted, she shifted her focus to being actively involved in a socio-civic student organization, the Philippine Junior Jaycees. There, she met Jason Orbeta, who was a junior Mechanical Engineering student at the time.
Friendship quickly progressed to romance and Mary Ann, was once again in love, this time for keeps.
Upon her graduation in 1995, she decided to return to her home-city where she indulged her desire to teach by taking up her second course, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, at Rizal Memorial Institute. She earned her education degree in 1999. That same year, she took the Licensure Exam for Teachers and passed.
Jason, who had followed her to Dapitan after his graduation, worked at the Local Government Unit in Dipolog City to remain close to Mary Ann. In 2000, they finally tied the knot. Their marriage has been blessed with four sons. They are: MJ Simon (Grade 7), Josiah Immanuel (Grade 5), Jay Benedict (Grade 3), and Ryland Benjamin (2 years old).
In 2001, Mary Ann was accepted to teach at Taguilon Elementary School. She stayed there for almost two years before her requested transfer to a nearer school in Dapitan City Experimental Elementary School. She taught there for three more years. During this time, Mary Ann was also completing her Master in Arts in Education (non-thesis) at St. Vincent College in Dipolog.
She finished her graduate studies in 2004, and was promoted to District Guidance Coordinator of the Central District of Dapitan that same year. In 2007, they decided to move to her husband’s birth place, Dumaguete.
Mary Ann applied for a teaching position in Batinguel Elementary School, and stayed there from January to June of 2007. She then requested to be transferred to City Central Elementary School because of their plans to move into her in-laws’ house in Perdices Street. Unfortunately, the house caught fire but providentially, before they went ahead with the transfer.
A year after teaching in City Central, with prodding from an aunt-in-law who was a retired teacher from Silliman, she applied for a teaching position in the University and was accepted in June 2008. Mary Ann’s many years of experience teaching in public schools made her adjustment fairly easy. On top of this, she also shared that the Elementary Department’s atmosphere was also very welcoming.
She now teaches English and the Mother-tongue to her Grade 2 pupils. Mary Ann shares her mission quite simply: “I want them to be independent readers. This is especially challenging in a time and age where we have to compete against gadgets.”
Describe yourself in three words.
Simple. Loving. Generous.
What is your motto in life?
Put God first before anything else.
What makes you laugh?
What makes you cry?
Still my children, and sometimes work, especially when my students don’t perform well
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
Evenings – because it’s the time of day that I am not rushed. I enjoy taking my time, especially when I eat. I like eating slowly because it allows me to savor the food and feel truly satisfied once I finish my meal. Also, evenings are the only time of day when we are all complete as a family during weekdays because my husband works night shifts.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Sunday – because it’s family day and a day with the Lord.
What do you love doing when not working?
I enjoy cooking and reading.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
As a student, I enjoyed hanging out at the open field beside the gymnasium.
What makes you blush?
If you were an actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I eat a lot.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
Chinese garter and “patintero”
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
A day without work and deadlines
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I am a sincere friend who is willing to help.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
I can’t think of one at the top of my head, but one of my favorite songs is “Through the Years”.
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Pray and read my daily devotion
What’s your idea of a family?
A family is group of people who’s always there for each other.