Ms. Alana Leilani C. Narciso
Like any other Christian, Ms Alana Leilani C. Narciso, draws insights from this biblical verse: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
Her own life is a testament to how God shapes what lies ahead for one and all according to His own design.
Alana took up Bachelor of Arts major in English, convinced that it was a good preparatory undergraduate for law school. It was in this program where her heart grew fonder of literature — what she describes as “wonderful but a bit weird”. She was exposed to, and eventually developed a bias towards, the works of great poets and writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The guidance of mentors, among them Dr. Cesar Ruiz Aquino, Dr. Andrea Soluta and Dr. Seres Pioquinto, cultivated what she confirms is a genuine love of literary arts.
In hindsight, how the program molded her came handy when trials came her way. Two years into law school, after obtaining her undergraduate degree in English from Silliman in 2003, Alana's father became ill. This caused a financial problem to her family. She was then faced with no choice but to abandon her plan of becoming a lawyer. It was not hard for Alana to accept the reality that they were in, but she felt for her brother who was still pursuing his undergraduate studies at that time.
To help make ends meet, Alana worked as a college instructor at a school in Dumaguete from the time she left law school until 2008. Sensing some stability, and still yearning for professional development, she applied into the Graduate Teaching Fellowship program of Silliman. She was accepted, and later found herself completing her master's degree in Literary Studies and at the same time handling English and literature classes.
When she finished her master's, Alana was invited to join the faculty of the Department of English and Literature as a full-time instructor.
Alana engages her students on a different level of critical thinking, challenging them to relate their readings with issues that are real to them. While she holds her own interpretation, she allows them to express their own views and justify the perspective through which they develop them. And this affords Alana a wider space within which she is able to evaluate her students, assist them out of a difficulty and avoid doing what she dreads the most: writing a failing mark.
She admits that while the thought of teaching excites her, the process of checking papers takes much more effort. There's no escape from it though. Alana has learned to embrace how the experience in itself offers a glimpse into certain inhibitions of students. This provides her an idea of how to further stimulate them to be more comfortable in articulating their thoughts in English.
At age of 30, Alana enjoys being a mother and a housewife. She considers her daughter Alessandra Gail her source of joy and her husband Giovanni as among those who inspire her to strive harder.
“If my child grows to be a decent person, affectionate and generous then that’s what I can call achievement,” says Alana of how she would describe herself as a mother.
She looks forward to one day seeing her daughter play the piano — what she regrets not giving too much attention to when she was still younger. While she continues to hold on to the dream of learning to play the piano in order for her to serve her home church, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Tanjay City, Alana delights in the involvement of her daughter in the children's choir at the Silliman University Church.
Every day presents a new opportunity to Alana to see life beyond what she had gone through. And whenever she trips or comes in close contact with yet another difficulty, she reminds herself: “Reflect Christ in your teaching every day”.
Let's get to know Alana more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Impulsive. Big-hearted. Feisty.
What is your mantra in life?
“Give it all to the Lord.”
What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry due to my frustrations and laugh about my daughter’s farting habit.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Fridays as there will be no work the next day.
What do you love doing when not working?
Reading and watching TV.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
English Department, Cafeteria Sky Room and SU Church vicinity.
What makes you blush?
I don’t blush.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself?
My shoes always break in half. And I once bought a lot of clothes which I ended up not wearing.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
A cool day spent near the beach reading a book while lying down.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
Get to know me better first.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“The Love I Found in You” and “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Pray and thank the Lord for another day.
What’s your idea of a family?
Family is your refuge, shelter, a loving place with loving arms. This is also the place where you get to be honest and not be ashamed about anything.
(NOTE: “Colleague of the Week'” serves as a window into the life of the faculty and staff members of Silliman University. It seeks to showcase colleagues from different departments and units, and present them as “the” faces that form part of the foundation of Silliman. Featured weekly are faculty and staff who have committed themselves to providing members of the Silliman community a campus experience that cultivates competence, character and faith within one and all. We get to know them as people who like any of us also have their fair share of challenges, successes, and an inspiring story to tell. Not all of them may be popular, but not a single one of them lives a life without hope and meaning to share.)