Mr. Prime Paul C. Cepeda
It was in teaching that he found purpose.
But years ago, when he was in college, he never thought of being in a classroom, in front of Grade 7 students in Silliman, teaching social studies. Instead, Mr. Prime Paul C. Cepeda wanted to be a lawyer. After all, his father graduated from law school, and Prime himself finished Political Science in 2007, in preparation for the road to becoming Atty. Cepeda. But all would change after he was invited to teach as a substitute at the Silliman University High School.
Prime did take up law. But being in his twenties during that time, he was clueless about what kind of path he would take in law school. “I had this ambition of being a lawyer, but it was not full-blown and I wasn’t really into it,” Paul shares.
“Naa gyud to’y time nga gimingaw ko’g tudlo, gimingaw ko’g classroom, gimingaw ko’g mga estudyante,” he recalls. It eventually dawned on him that there are some things that aren’t meant for him, including being a lawyer.
He returned to teaching in 2011, taking Education units at the same time. In 2013, Prime passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers.
Why teach social studies? “I’m a history geek and I love social studies very much,” he shares, recalling how he was good at memorizing almost all the capitals of the world when he was in elementary school. And it is in teaching that he finds a way to share his passion of social studies to others.
Prime was born on November 30, sharing the same birthday with Philippine hero Andres Bonifacio, a figure he would later teach about in the classroom. However, he believes that sharing mere facts, such as Bonifacio’s birthday isn’t enough when teaching social studies.
“As a teacher, I want to connect these facts and information into their lives, so it has a greater impact, such as the appreciation of freedom that our heroes fought for many years ago,” Prime explains.
He maintains that he has no regrets in being a teacher. Despite his peers leaving for greener pastures in bigger cities in the Philippines and abroad, he has never considered leaving Silliman or Dumaguete for better opportunities. Prime explains that he has found his purpose here, and he considers teaching in Silliman as a way of giving back to the University he owes his education to—from Early Childhood to College.
Prime is the youngest of two siblings. His older sister, Ellaine, is currently pursuing the dream of being a lawyer in his place. He is also the proud son of Isidro Cepeda, a former regional executive of a government agency, and Asst. Prof. Merlinda Cepeda, who teaches at the University’s Social Work Department.
He has also found inspiration in Ms Bea Mara Zamora, a colleague of his who teaches English at Silliman’s Junior High School Department.
Describe yourself in three words.
Patient. Thinker. Dreamer.
What is your motto in life?
“The only easy day was yesterday.”
What makes you laugh?
My mom and her antics. My girlfriend jokes a lot, too.
What makes you cry?
War movies and documentaries about civil wars.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
At night, because I’m a nocturnal person.
What is your favorite day of the week and why?
What do you love doing when you’re not working?
Being at home, reading a book, making coffee concoctions.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
The High School Lounge.
If you were an actor, who would you be?
Vin Diesel. I like his being cool, calm, and collected in the midst of chaos.
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I’m a football fan. I love Juventus! I wake up at 3-4 AM to watch live football.
What was your favorite game growing up?
Tayukok and dakpanay.
What is the first thing you do after waking up in the morning?
I pray, I check my e-mail and my Twitter account.
What is your idea of a family?
It is where unconditional love and harmony rules over differences.
At this point in your life, what for you is your life’s mission?
I want to give back to my University, and I want to aim for the best. I’ve had enough of being mediocre.
How would you like to be remembered as a teacher?
A teacher who opened the eyes of hisstudents to the real world.