Mrs. Eunice B. Ma
Her endearing smile stems from a life lived in constant surrender to the Lord.
Mrs. Eunice Beley-Ma, Values Education teacher at the Elementary Department, takes the brokenness of her own love story to point others to God’s unfailing love.
She considers her profession a mission to help students reach their full potential. Years into this task, she discovered that when kids don’t do well in school, it is often caused by problems at home. The feeling of being unloved is crippling, and Eunice knows it very well. Because of this, she has resolved to take on a ministry to help those who struggle in this way.
Her story begins in the town of Plaridel in Misamis Occidental where her father served as a local pastor of the United Church for Christ in the Philippines fellowship. In this small agricultural town, Eunice grew up witnessing the abundance of God’s grace as church members unceasingly gifted their household with produce from their harvests.
When she turned 11, the whole family migrated to Iligan city as her father discerned he was being “called” to a new place. It was there that Eunice completed her elementary, high school and college education.
Initially though, she entertained thoughts of going to Dumaguete City for college to pursue studies at Silliman University’s Divinity School. Financial considerations, however, compelled her to choose a more practical path. A scholarship for a three-year program at the Mindanao State University–Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), which covered her full tuition fees plus stipend, convinced her to pursue college in her hometown.
In 1976, Eunice earned her diploma in Industrial Electronics Technology. That same year, she was offered a job at the National Steel Corporation in Iligan City. There, she would meet a charming young bachelor named Celso Ma, an Electrical Engineer.
After office hours, Eunice and Celso would often share the same long walk from the plant to the highway. A few months into this routine, friendship swiftly turned into romance.
The two finally tied the knot in 1978. That same year, Eunice resigned from work, following their mutual decision that it was best for her to stay home and care for the kids. They were blessed with four children: Kim Karl, Kenen Roy, Kira Katrina and Kristina Rachelle.
That a marriage fails is less than ideal. But it seems as though all things come to an end under heaven. While pregnant with their youngest child, their marriage was shaken to its very core. This caused them to part ways.
And where do broken hearts go? For Eunice, it was in Dumaguete City where she sought refuge and healing.
She left Iligan City in 1986 with her three kids and a fourth one still in her womb. This bold move came with much prayer. And so it seemed, she shares, that it was well with God that she raise her kids in Dumaguete for she had found a home in the Salem’s residence at the Silliman Park and had her three children accepted at Silliman University that very day she arrived in Dumaguete. This,to her, was proof enough of a decision well-made. These were exactly the two signs that she prayed to God for, for her to get an affirmation of her decision: to find a home for them and have her children be accepted into the University.
Two years into her stay in Dumaguete, Eunice saw it beneficial for her and the kids that she pursue a career in teaching. This was immediately followed by her decision to enroll at the College of Education in Silliman where she took up Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education major in Reading.
The next few years proved to be a difficult task for Eunice as she was to raise four children on her own while juggling her own requirements for school. But she endured, earning her degree in education in 1993.
She shares that when people find out about this chapter in her life, she is often asked how she managed to do it. Without hesitation, she always gives due credit to God’s sovereign grace and mercy.
Immediately after graduation, Eunice applied for a teaching post in the University. But there was no available position that year. To keep herself productive, Eunice volunteered at the Elementary Department. She would do errands for teachers and help out at the school canteen.
In 1994, a faculty who was handling Reading and Character Education at the Elementary Department retired. This paved the way for Eunice to be considered for the vacated position.
Some 20 years later, three of her children are now engineers in various fields and her youngest daughter now a medical doctor. “To God be all glory,” she says.
Describe yourself in three words.
What is your motto in life?
Always do and give your best.
What makes you laugh?
What makes you cry?
Parents who are neglectful of their children and government officials who waste the opportunity to improve this country.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
I sleep early so that I can work on things during the first few hours of the day, like around 1AM or 2am. This is my favorite time because that’s when it’s most peaceful and quiet; so I get more things done.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Sunday, because it’s church day
What do you love doing when not working?
Read books, watch movies, or listen to music.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
What makes you blush?
If you were an actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I am sincere and loyal.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
“Shatong” and “sungka”
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Being able to do what I love to do.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
How I raised my kids
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“Great is Thy Faithfulness”
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I thank God for a new day.
What’s your idea of a family?
Family means no one is left behind.