Rev. Trecita Sala Reambonanza
Deprived of Childhood Yet Positive About Life
HARD WORK and DETERMINATION are the qualities she continues to fully embrace. The same qualities had helped her get through all the difficult struggles in her life. The same qualities guided her to finish school, find a job and provide for her family.
She grew up in a small house built on land her family never owned. Her parents were farm-tenants whom she recalls spent most days tilling land and more often figuring in an argument with each other than nurturing their home. But these circumstances kept her unfazed; she instead took on the responsibility of caring for her family, especially her younger siblings.
“My father used to tell me often that ang babaye para ra sa duyan. To get through elementary and high school, I worked in the farms of our neighbors, mangguna o managgot tuba, especially during examination time. I was only paid P6 — not enough to cover my exam fees which cost P10.”
That experience, while to most deprived her of her childhood and left her with no time for play, taught her independence at a very young age. As the eldest child, she had to do the household chores and was in charge of feeding and putting her siblings to sleep.
What she went through was a difficult struggle and a huge sacrifice. But that journey led her to who she is right now: a preacher, a teacher and a single mother to three adopted kids.
Rev. Trecita Sala Reambonanza, more known as “Tessie” to close friends and “Trecy” to her colleagues, is a Christian Life Values Education (CLVE) teacher at the High School Department of the School of Basic Education. She joined Silliman in 1999, right after completing her second degree: Bachelor of Science in Education at what was known then as San Nicholas College (now St. Paul’s University). She obtained her first degree, Bachelor of Theology, from the Southern Christian College in Mindsayap, and, later, with the help of her church conference in Surigao, pursued and completed Master in Divinity at Silliman in 1985.
Apart from teaching CLVE subjects in the University for 13 years, Trecy also holds special projects as the High School Department community outreach program coordinator.
Even with sad memories of her childhood home, Trecy still believes in a family and has in fact adopted three kids. “A family need not be composed of biological parents and children, but a group of people who are living together, fostering love, care and respect and having that mutual commitment to work for the good and welfare of each member,” she said.
On her adopted children, she shared: “God has also given me the opportunity to be a mother to a number of individuals. They may not be my own, but growing these kids, I make sure I am there for them to provide guidance and support.”
Let’s get to know Trecy more outside the four walls of her classroom.
Describe yourself in three words.
Sincere. Determined. Hardworking.
What is your mantra in life?
Take care of life and life will take care of you.
What makes you laugh/cry?
Wholesome kind of jokes and the realization of honest mistakes make me laugh. I seldom cry, but when I do, it’s usually when I empathize with someone’s misery or grief.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
I like weekends because it is when I can enjoy gardening and other stuff without the pressure of time. No rush.
What do you love doing when not working?
I organize things at home, take care of my plants, read books or sing some notes.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
I’m sorry, but hanging-out isn’t in my vocabulary.
What makes you blush?
Honest and sincere appreciation of my accomplishments.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
I’m not particular with any of them, but I appreciate most the roles Ai-Ai de las Alas plays in her movies. She’s funny and very motherly.
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I learned to be independent at a very young age, thinking and living life on my own. I haven’t experienced being enrolled by my parents ever since I started going to school, nor being brought and fetched to/from school. Growing up, I went to school all by myself, walking for hours from our house in the barrio to the school in town. I worked just to get by in high school and took on all the responsibilities of being independent. But I never felt alone or lonely. God has provided me with people and families that helped me get through my difficult journey in life. God has also given me the opportunity to be a mother to a number of individuals. They may not be my own, but growing these kids, I make sure I am there for them to provide guidance and support.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
Tago-tagoan or hide-and-seek. Although, I was given limited time to enjoy these games because being the eldest daughter, I was tasked to do most of the chores at home, apart from taking care of my other younger siblings.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
A relaxing day for me would be one spent with nature, a day when I could enjoy communing with the Creator and His beautiful creation.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
Perhaps, how I managed to cope with a life that is full of struggles: the eldest among the six children of farm-tenant parents whose father didn’t believe in education as one of the basic needs of his children; a daughter of a battered-wife mother who played as a “referee” during my parent’s violent quarrels and fights. Or how I managed to feed and take care of my siblings during those times when my parents were away for a farming job, and even our series of “running away” episodes to spare our lives from my father’s wrath. My father used to tell me often that ang babaye para ra sa duyan (women’s role is just to rock cradles). To get through elementary and high school, I worked in the farms of our neighbors, mangguna o managgot tuba, especially during examination time. I was only paid P6 — not enough to cover my exam fees which cost P10.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
Was and always will be “Lord, I Offer My Life To You!”
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I always start my day with a prayer.
What’s your idea of a family?
A family for me need not be composed of biological parents and children. But a group of people, who are living together, fostering love, care and respect and having that mutual commitment to work for the good and welfare for each member.