by Nestor Corrales

(from Sirmata, the official student publication of Mariano Marcos State University)

Yumul with his brother Henry during an Independence Day celebration in laoag City.  His sende of nationalism can be gtraced back from his childhood.
Yumul with his brother Henry during an Independence Day celebration in laoag City. His sense of nationalism can be traced back from his childhood.
The San Beda student leader shares a moment with Senator Angara
The San Beda student leader shares a moment with Senator Angara
Taken during the World Universities Debate Championship in Athens, Greece
Taken during the World Universities Debate Championship in Athens, Greece
Herdy's family together with Senator Jamby Madrigal, then Laoag City Mayor Roger Farinas, and Vice Mayor Eddie Domingo
Herdy’s family together with Senator Jamby Madrigal, then Laoag City Mayor Roger Fariñas, and Vice Mayor Eddie Domingo
Herdy's family together with Senator Jamby Madrigal, then Laoag City Mayor Roger Farinas, and Vice Mayor Eddie Domingo
Herdy’s family together with Senator Jamby Madrigal, then Laoag City Mayor Roger Farinas, and Vice Mayor Eddie Domingo
As a community organizer in Metro Manila.  His advocacies centered on women and children's rights.
As a community organizer in Metro Manila, his advocacies centered on women and children’s rights.
With his winning trainees in Trinity University of Asia
With his winning debate trainees in Trinity University of Asia.  Also in photo are Ateneo de Manila professor Alona Guevarra (extreme right), whom Yumul considers as his best bud, and Dennis Guevarra (2nd from right), Alona’s hubby and Yumul’s department chair in Trinity.
Together with his mentor and idol, E. San Juan, Jr.--arguably the greatest Filipino iconoclast today
Together with his mentor and idol, E. San Juan, Jr.–arguably the greatest Filipino iconoclast today
Yumul conferring with Senator Rodolfo Biazon
Letran Debate Society’s founding adviser confers with Senator Rodolfo Biazon
Yumul finds bicycling as spiritual to him
He finds bicycling “a very spiritual activity”.
MMSU students, says Yumul, are "as competitive as their Manila counterparts".
MMSU students, says Yumul, are “as competitive as their Manila counterparts”.

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:


63 thoughts on “Feature”

  1. Kudos to you Sir Herdy!!!! Hope you continue to inspire the young ones in Ilocos.

    And you love cycling…you should come to Holland.

  2. Because Holland is the land of the bicycles not just windmills. Oh yes, I do cycle, when the weather permits. Even my 4 years old son cycles. And my 10 months old daughter has a bicycle seat on my bicycle, so she could join us.

    1. Baby has a seat on your bicycle? Wow! Really amazing place. No wonder Joma is having the time of his life there.. hehe, joke

  3. Korek ka jan, herdy. He really is having the time of his life. No job but is able to survive. Thanks to the tax payer’s money…lol. Oo, children here learns to bike at the age of 2. And from that age, every 2-3 years ng magpalit ng bike. Hayaan mo, kuhanan ko ng pics iyong mga naka-park na bicycle sa Train Station namin. Ang dami…super.

    1. Sige nga po pls, send mo yung pics ha. I sympathize with communists, but we should concede that the revolution is lost.

  4. Yes, you are right. Know why the dutch government is not sending him home inspite of the fact that he doesn’t have an official paper? Because of the threath to his life…

  5. awww..who is that cute little patriotic kid?did he grew up to be a patriotic ,handsome ,curious,adventurous,brave and opinionated young man who is unfaithful to his faithful family? by the way love that shirt in the picture with sen.biazon. why do you say you are unfaithful?

  6. can i borrow it sometime? that makes 2 already i will borrow. will it fit me though.you are so skinny now compared to the one in the red jacket when you were an advocate to the women and childrens rights. i have to lose at least 10 lbs. otherwise i wll be called” pulis na masiba…he he he.

    1. hahaha… it will fit you, tita. “Pulis na masiba” has a big beer belly. I don’t think you have one.

    1. Yes, beer belly. Tha’t’s why a police chief once ordered his men to trim down to 34-down waist line so the police’s image could be improved.

  7. thank you for the offer.the burdens are just petty stuff .nothing i cannot handle. after all i am your guardian angel!

  8. Looking for what is best in each student and there is greatness in each one and it is the duty of every mentor to bring that out.

    I must say, Mr. Yumul lives by this principle.
    just one more thing Sir, how about cultivating one’s Nationalism? In line with finding one’s self purpose in this world.

    1. Hello Eaglepower. Nice to hear from you. Am turning a new leaf in my life today, and I feel relieved that somebody has not only not forgotten, but has also internalized insights made in class over half a decade past.

      The key is in striking a balance between selfhood and citizenship. To tell you honestly, I have nothing against nurses leaving now. In this age, the nation has become borderless. You can be a good Filipino while in a foreign land in the same manner that you can be a terrible human being in your native land.

      My views on this matter have become more mature over time.

  9. eaglepower..i am also an rn and when i left the philippines in 1971 to work for a german hospital it was an easy decision for me as i was single and carefree.i did my 3 year “tour of duty”there and i met my husband who is from the USA and had been married for 38 years now.had it not been for my sense of adventure( it was not for the money)i would still be there in the philippines and probably gotten married to my filipino boyfriend(there is nothing wrong about that) but it would seem that there is no advancement for me there.i have worked in a psych unit for 30 years here and was able to retire at 62 and i can say that i live comfortably.no regrets leaving the philippines because i have served the german people and the american people and before that the filipino people. and i am pleased that sir herdy’s views are now different.he is really turning a new leaf today.HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR HERDY.

  10. i told you i like you more today than yesterday,but not as much as tomorrow. your perception about nurses leaving has changed. you turned it up a notch !!!!sir herdy you never cease to amaze me!!!

  11. Nice reading articles of Pinoys who did well abroad and still maintain being Pinoy! Tita Lita, I also worked abroad, in Saudi Arabia, for over 7 years. But returned to settle down with my Ilokana girlfriend. I love Pinas, the only country I got, though I wished I could have left for good in USA or wherever, especially these trying times of Tita Glo. At least, I have gotten back the same profession that I love- telecoms, wherein I work for the improvement of our country’s needs especially in our province.

  12. asiong…nice to hear about you settling in the province.i vacation here quite often and stay 3 or 4 months at a time.last year i came 2 times and this year 3 times.but since my mom and dad passed away i will not come here as often. i had been in batac since august and will go back after november 8.i will miss batac but my husband needs me.he calls daily telling me he wants me home soon.i am glad you are doing something you love..nice talking with you.

  13. Hey,

    You seem to have accomplished a lot already. Good for you. Just quick question though, you seem to believe in God based on your last paragraph but you support gays.

    Maybe you can explain more on that one.

    Congratulations, hope you could inspire more youth.


    1. Hello, first you have to explain why you think it is incompatible to believe in God and support gays as well.

  14. Well, first of all, you may seem to know a different kind of homosexual than the “stereotype” homosexual this society is aware of. I believe that for gays in the Philippines to get respected the way gays in other countries are, like here in the US, they have to show some sort of respectable image. Look around you and tell me the majority of gays that are open to the public. Ask someone who is not biased and let them describe a gay in our society and you know how they see gays. It is probably true that there are a lot of respectable gays out there but they are the closet queens as they are normally called. But whose fault is it? So it is hard to just simply blame it to society that they do not accept/respect gays that much because unfortunately the gays that are willing to accept their sexuality are the ones that cut hairs and clean fingernails. I am not saying that what they do are bad but those are the type of gays that this society is readily available to look at. Those gays that walk in the street with short shorts and walk like penguins. I am sorry but gays themselves put this image in minds. I honestly believe that not even these stereotype gays even respect themselves and you want the society to show some respect if they themselves do not show that? Not until respectable gays, that is willing to come out, outnumber these stereotypes that this society respect their sexuality.

    Second, you mentioned about being a homosexual is not a sin but the acts of it is. Well I guess a criminal is not a criminal until he does something criminal isn’t it? Define to me a homosexual. Is it a male by his physical nature but he feels like he/she is a woman so he/she is in love with the same sex? Loving is not the problem but wanting to go to bed with the same sex is the problem since Sodom and Gomorrah in the bible tells us that right? You graduated in NCC and went to seminary at some point so you should know that. Tell me the acts of homosexuality that is a sin.

    I am not picking up a fight or anything but I just want make some clarification I guess since it seems to me that there is a little bit of inconsistency. I might be wrong and please enlighten me. I am your friend and forever will be. That is why I am not telling you my name yet since you may not like me anymore as friend. 🙂

    You do not have to accept this post in your blog so that nobody will be able to read but certainly a reply would be appreciated.

    Thanks and God bless you. I wanted to teach in MMSU but my intellectual capability I guess was not good enough in my alma mater. Is Bella Gonzales still there in Sociology Dept? Say hi to her.


  15. Oh by the way, how come I got the picture of a baby in my post? I did not put that in there? Whose baby is it?

    He/She is healthy though that is good.

    1. FriendFromHS, it’s not your baby? I wonder how it became your avatar. It’s the first time it happened.

      Thank you for the lengthy comment you sent which I am yet to respond to. I would like to bid my time writing my reply because I want to give justice to your concerns which are valid and sincere.

      Yes, Bella Ramos is still in our department. She is my kumare. How do you know her?

  16. sir yumul is such a nice friend and a teacher as well. i like his unstrechable principles which i thought many students are already contaminated like i do.

  17. hello good day!

    I was able to look at your great legacies and was amazed… can you give me tips to have a space in the society too? hehehehe! kidding aside, the accomplishments i had seen really are the results of hard work aren’t they huh?

  18. your humble…
    yeah i considered that a legacy…
    because it is nice to know that a native ilocano paved way for us to be known not only in our country but also worldwide. And that makes me feel proud… what really lies in the blood and veins of ILOCANOS is excellence and honor.

    Agree? or am I too exaggerating? LOL…

  19. It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

  20. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  21. Dear Mr. Riknakem, I actually do not typically annotate concerning weblogs along the lines of this however in this circumstance and in keeping by way of the remarks above I might take this opportunity to talk about simply how much I enjoyed your write-up. Certainly informative and also well written – many thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  22. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who categorically knows what they’re talking about on the internet. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it appreciable. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  23. i know herdy could be more popular but he prefers to be humble and always keep a low profile..one of the many qualities i like in him

  24. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s