PILOSOPO HERDY: A VOICE OF EXPERIENCE AND WISDOM
by Nestor Corrales
(from Sirmata, the official student publication of Mariano Marcos State University)
HERDY YUMUL WALKS AND TALKS as if he was born to teach. Yet Yumul’s journey to becoming a teacher was not a breeze.
“It is a product of a long soul-searching”, he confesses. Yumul’s first job was with an international bank, a job which, he says, was good-paying but bored him to death. As a means of coping with this boredom, Yumul began writing articles which he contributed to national dailies.
Some years ago, Yumul wrote “Who wants to be a Filipino?”, a controversial essay which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and was widely circulated in the Internet. Although the essay was critical of then President Joseph Estrada, Jamby Madrigal, then a presidential adviser, was impressed with Yumul’s writing prowess. Madrigal asked her Malacañang staff to find Yumul and recruit him for a job in the palace.
When Madrigal ran for senator, Yumul was the national youth coordinator of her campaign. This Laoagueño was also involved with development work as Director for Youth Development of the Kakampi Foundation, Inc. On the side, he wrote scripts for radio and television shows. He also did copywriting for corporate and showbiz clients.
In 2007, Yumul decided to leave his career in Manila and teach here in MMSU. He says he wanted to be closer to his family and serve his province. He details his reasons for coming home in Provincial Bliss, an article he wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Last semester, he hosted some of his former colleagues who came to Ilocos for a vacation. This included his former superiors in Trinity University of Asia and Colegio de San Juan de Letran Manila where Yumul had previously taught.
“I was surprised that they were as interested to visit MMSU as they wished to see Pagudpud and other tourist spots here,” shares a beaming Yumul, who led his colleagues on a walking tour around the campus. “With all of MMSU’s achievements, they said it was difficult to believe that the institution had existed for only thirty years.”
If there is one area where Yumul wishes to be able to contribute, he says it is in the area of Iluko Studies. He explains that even before he came to MMSU, he was already a fan of Dr. Ernesto Ma. Cadiz.
When he is not writing or reading, Yumul goes bicycling. He writes in one of his articles: “More than just a physical exercise, bicycling is something very spiritual for me. The slow, steady cadence of a bike is like a two-wheeled, human-powered sojourn to utopia. When I am on my bike, I feel so at peace with myself and with the world. I also feel most free when I am pushing the pedal, in stark contrast to my enslavement in front of a computer when I am writing for hours.” True enough. Yumul could be seen going around the campus with his good old bicycle.
Yumul competed in international debate tournaments held in Athens and Singapore. He also pioneered debate organizations in Trinity and Letran.
“Had I not gone into teaching, I would have worked full-time as a journalist,” says Yumul, who is editor of Sabangan, the publication of the Social Sciences Department of CAS, and a weekly columnist of The Ilocos Times.
“I am naturally curious, adventurous, brave, and opinionated,” he adds.
In general, Yumul, who teaches Philosophy and Sociology, believes that MMSU students are as competitive as their Manila counterparts. “They are very well-motivated”, he says. He also feels blessed being able to work with colleagues with brilliant minds and cheerful dispositions.
The 28-year old academic says he agrees with Neil Cruz, a pillar of Philippine Gay Literature, that more than a string of degrees, what one really needs to be a teacher is motherly instinct. The most challenging part in being a teacher, he says, is in looking for what is best in each student. He affirms his belief that there is greatness in each one and it is the duty of every mentor to bring that out.
A Philosophy and Human Resource Development graduate from San Beda and MA Sociology candidate in the University of the Philippines Diliman, Yumul laments that many schools have become what he calls “pimping stations”. By this, he refers to schools which design programs so their graduates can work abroad. “Schools should inspire students to serve their countrymen, especially the poor and marginalized,” he asserts.
“I wish I could teach and write until I fade into the sunset,” Yumul intimates. He speaks of his yearning to live and grow in the academe, where knowledge thrives, where the ideal is pursued, and where young people are taught how not to commit same mistakes our fathers did. Yumul says he is thrilled to attend retirement programs to honor teachers who have offered all their lives inspiring young minds.
“I give credit to my family and to God who has always been faithful to me despite my unfaithfulness,” Yumul concludes.
The young life of Herdy Yumul is indeed a true source of inspiration.
Another link about herdy: