Filipinos around the world, celebrate August as the National Language Month since 1997, known in Filipino as Buwan ng Wika. Previously, this lasted only a week and was known as Linggo ng Wika. The celebration coincides with the month of birth of President Manuel L. Quezon, regarded as the "Ama ng Wikang Pambansa" (Father of the National Language).
For another offering for Buwan ng Wika, The Australian Filipina's is featuring two dedicated teachers who have been sharing the passion for our national language and whose work has ensured that 'Filipino' as a HSC exam subject continues on. We also had in a previous article featuring Erlinda Gillies her sharing of information on the process and hard work involved in this important initiative.
These two teachers have been teaching Filipino in the Saturday School of Community Languages (SSCL) at Bankstown Girls High School since 2000. They are Mrs Albina (Bing) Battung and Mrs Nerissa Revesz. We are pleased for our readers to get a personal insight on these two tireless teachers through their sharing below.
ABOUT ALBINA (BING) BATTUNG
I am the youngest of seven children of Hermogenes Garcia and Gliceria San Diego from Marikina, Rizal.
I graduated from Far Eastern University with a degree in Education, major in Home Economics. I taught in Marikina High School, Don Mariano Marcos High School. I married and have four children to Roiland Battung from Quezon City and Cagayan Valley.
We arrived in Australia in 1993 with three children and became citizens after 2 years. We then had another baby in 1995 which presented challenges for me and my husband to start our new life here in Australia. To help my husband out, I worked as a process worker then as a kitchen hand in hospital.
I started full time teaching at Sir Joseph Banks High School in Revesby and Saturday School of Community Languages in Bankstown in year 2000. At the moment I am teaching Technology, Food Technology, Textile Technology, Hospitality and Filipino in my day school (mind you teaching Filipino to some other cultures). I am honoured to work with BOSTES now NESA as Writer and Examiner for HSC Examinations.
I enjoy teaching Filipino every Saturday, because I feel very respected and welcomed by our Filipino students. They listen to advice and sermons like they are your own children.
I considered to be my biggest achievement to be having raised four caring children who has never given us problems. I am also a grandma to two. I will be accomplished in life if I see all my children have fulfilled their dream family life and also to be able to see all my grandchildren from each and one of them.
For me, "success" is being happy and fulfilled with whatever you have.
ABOUT NERISSA REVESZ
I am originally from Kananga Leyte, though I was born in Manila but my dad took us back to Leyte when I was 4 years old as he came from Leyte.
I am the eldest of 9 siblings of six girls and three boys. My dad was a professional boxer and my mum was a singer.
I graduated from Divine Word University of Tacloban City completing a degree of Bachelor of Science in Biology and after graduation I was hired to teach Science, Biology and Chemistry in one of the Christian Private Schools in Kananga Leyte.
In March 1988 I got married to an Australian and by April of 1988 I migrated to Australia.
I started teaching in Australia in 1993 teaching Science and Biology up to the present. I was hired to teach Year 11 Filipino in 2000 but before then, I never heard of SSCL before. However I was a committee member of writing the Filipino Syllabus and that must be the reason why I was hired to teach Filipino although my major is Biology.
Albina and I are the only accredited teachers to teach the Filipino Language and our school is the only school of Filipino Language endorsed by the NSW Department of Education and Culture.
Personally, I feel marrying John, my husband is my greatest achievement.
I enjoy teaching Filipino, the atmosphere is more relaxed as compared to my day school (Fairvale High School) where I have 30 students in each class. I am teaching Years 7 -10 Science, and Year11 -12 Biology.
"Success" is when I see my students succeed in their studies especially if I have Band 6's in Biology and in my Filipino class in their HSC examinations.
CONTACT DETAILS OF SSCL
Let us do our bit to promote and help Filipino to remain as a HSC exam subject. If you know of a family who have children who would be interested in learning Filipino and have it credited for their HSC, the contact details are below.