- Dubbed the “Baby-faced Teacher of Bulacan,” Ian Manga is the definition of a fresh-faced teacher
- Having the mantra of : “Ignore them but also prove that you can do it, prove they are wrong,” he persevered to make his dreams a reality
- Currently, he handles Grade 2 and Kindergarten students, and feels like “an older brother” to his students
This Filipino teacher Ian Manga is the definition of a fresh-faced teacher. He works hard for his kindergarten and grade 2 pupils. And, more often than not, he gets mistaken for being a student himself because of his “baby-faced” appearance.
Dubbed the “Baby-faced Teacher of Bulacan,” he passed the licensure exam for teachers at 22 years old and soon began his career. He describes his teaching style as somewhat strict, but only when he needs to be.
“Nagiging seryoso [ako], nagiging seryoso din sila sa akin. Hati ‘yong pagiging strikto sa pagiging teacher. Teacher po ako. Hindi po kailangang always play kailangan may seryosohan din.”
[When I get serious, [my students] also get serious. There’s a balance between being serious and being a teacher. I’m a teacher. It’s not always about play, sometimes there has to be some seriousness too.]
According to Manga, he was a sickly child growing up, which he speculates what might have caused a delay in his growth.
In high school, Ian said he did not experience any signs of puberty unlike his classmates. “Pati ‘yong look ko din wala eh. Pati buhok ko wala eh — wala sa kilikili, wala sa bigote,” he said.
[Even the look, I didn’t have it. Not even hair on my armpits or my face.]
Growing up, he felt out of place and was often mistaken for his classmate’s younger brother or even their child. Strangers would also jeer at him and call him “little boy”.
Manga said that his mantra was: “Ignore them but also prove that you can do it, prove they are wrong.”
His hard work soon paid off and he is now teaching and living his dream of following his mother’s footsteps to become a teacher.
Herminia Delos Santos, the school administrator of Mater El-Roi School Inc. said they hired Manga because “he is fitted for the job and he loves the children.”
According to Melanie Gerolia, a fellow teacher at Mater-El-Roi School, Manga has a special connection with the children and never gets tired of playing with them.
“I feel like an older brother to my students as we always play,” Manga shared.
Also, in order to for him to look the part of a teacher, he also dresses in baggy clothes and stiff leather shoes.
“As a teacher, you need to serve as a model. You need to look the part despite being baby-faced.”