While we have many reasons to celebrate the coming of the new year with positive developments in our struggle both here in the US and back in the Philippines, we are deeply devastated by the loss of a very special colleague.
Loida Virina, who was one of the brave teachers who early on stood up against the tyranny and abuse of our placement agency, was in a car that was involved in a vehicular accident which claimed her life.
Indeed there is bigger force than all of us and when your time comes, it is your past actions and decisions that will be left for us in this world to remember you.
To the family of Loida, this blog would like to let you know that Loida lived an honorable life. To Loida's three children, we would like to tell you that your mother has proven to the world the kind of person she was. Though cut short, she lived a life that is an epitome of love, integrity and courage. She stood up for what is right during a time when most would rather sit on the fence and wait for others to step up. She was a brave soul and is willing to voice out an injustice despite the risks that others are afraid to face. She did these not only for herself and her family but for the greater good.
Loida took to heart her vocation as an educator. Not only did she taught us in words but, most importantly, in her actions as well. Loida died on the day we celebrated the birthday of Martin Luther King and in her own small way she has taught us by example the lessons of MLK - that we have to take action against oppression.
Loida, we will miss you. Loida, we salute you.
We call on our colleagues to help Loida's family in this time of grief. You can channel your contributions through the Filipino Educators Federation of Louisiana. For more info please visit their website at www.filipinoeducators.org.