It’s graduation season in the Philippines and this teacher from Sultan Kudarat province is now viral after she took the event to the next level and created portraits for each of her students.
Teacher Mailyn E. Akoy created portraits of each of her 59 students at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College, a private school located in Tacurong City and shared them online Facebook late last month.
Fifty students graduated from Grade 12 with honors under the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) strand while the rest were from the accountancy, business, and management strand (ABM). Akoy taught entrepreneurship to the STEM students and ethics to the ABM pupils.
In a Facebook Messenger interview with Coconuts Manila, Akoy said she was the class advisor for the 50 STEM students. She learned that several of the students didn’t get high marks in the previous months, which disheartened them.
“It was painful on my part when they asked me why they failed [to get high marks]. Although I only taught them one subject, I did my best to come up with an idea on how I could reward them. I told them that whoever would finish with honors will get a gift from me,” she said in English and Filipino.
The teacher started drawing the portraits on Feb. 4.
“During my free time [at school], I’d be able to make one portrait. When there are no classes I can finish four to five portraits [in one day].”
She said what drove her to finish the drawings were the support of her parents and how her students reminded her of how she used to be: “I did what I could because I saw myself in them when I was still a student.”
The students were thrilled when they received the portraits. The nine other students also received the gift even if they didn’t graduate.
“They were surprised and their parents thanked me. Some students were jealous particularly those whom I didn’t teach. For some, it was the first time they have ever received a portrait.”
Akoy is not the only Filipino teacher who became famous for gifting her students with portraits. Roselyn Barcoma from Laguna created a portrait of each of her students and gave it to them as post- Christmas gifts in January and became a viral sensation because of what she did.
Netizens were no doubt happy that Akoy did this for her students. Harold Cabunoc said she did a good job.
Charles Nuezca thanked Akoy.
Janina Chio thanked Akoy and told her she loved her.
Commenting after Akoy posted an article which featured her and the students’ portraits, John Falguera wrote that she was his inspiration.
Good job, Ms. Akoy! And thank you for your service.
This article, LOOK: Teacher creates portraits of her graduating students, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!