My Lady teacher: Priscila Arcilla de Leon

I have known my fourth lady for a long time but we really didn’t have any intimate conversation, until I called her for the photo shoots.I am glad that I did this interview and with the previous ladies and 46 more to come. I am grateful for the time we have shared our thoughts for a lot of topics ,only ladies can relate (hopefully, men do relate too).


My lady teacher is Priscila Arcilla De leon, born January 16, 1955 in Tondo, Manila. Married to her long time college sweetheart, Delfin de Leon blessed with four children, Derrick, Dondee, Danica and Danielle. (Note: all names start with letter “D”). Graduated from Philippine Normal University with a degree of BSEE-HE (Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education major in Home Economics) 1972.

For how long you’ve been teaching?

I’ve been teaching since I graduated from university, got married in 1979, I continued teaching even when I came to Jeddah year 1984.

What school in Jeddah?

I started with IPSJ (international Philippine School of Jeddah) teaching from grade 1 to Grade 6. Currently, I am teaching PE (physical Education) for girls from grade 1-4 in Al Wadi International School (British Curriculum).

Would you described briefly what is the difference between a multicultural foreign school as against to Philippine school? (on teacher point of view)

From my experiences (this is only my opinion) its behavioral differences… more of attitude problem than academic differences. Filipino students are more polite, respectful and easy to manage.

How would you describe yourself as a teacher?

Disciplinarian! The first and foremost that I teach to my students is self-discipline.

What is your strength and weaknesses as a teacher?

Discipline is my strength and my weakness? I am easily distracted!

Well, I guess it’s also a practice at home. What about your children? Tell me more about them.

My two sons are already working, my daughter Danica recently graduated from Southville Int. School and Colleges with a degree of BS in Nursing. My youngest is in her 2nd year of BS in Tourism.

(At this point of interview, I felt she is getting emotional and overwhelmed by the facts).

It would be practically impossible for me to  describe her inner feelings as a parent of these children (adjectives…out of my mind) proud parents as they are, or should I say, a proud mom! She confided her difficulties while her husband was away working , She was left alone with her son, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy . On top of that, she still has to work to help augment their needs financially.

(Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious motor conditions that cause physical disability inhuman development, chiefly in the various areas of body movement.)

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about age three.

At the time of delivery, she was told , her baby did not cry and oxygen was given immediately. (I guess, there wasn’t enough oxygen to reached the brain).

When he was growing up, at three years old,she noticed, he can’t crawl or walk like any other child of his age, this prompted her to seek medical attention.

Did you stop working?

No, I didn’t, I have to help my husband, my son needs regular medical attention, and we practically stay more in the hospital than any other place. Then, we move to Jeddah, searched for another treatment. He had surgery in his leg so he can walk better. Continuous physical therapy was needed and done.Thanks God, he was alright. He grew up normally even played basketball.

As she continues to unlock her other sufferings (like many of us…financial, lack of extended family support, homesickness etc.) her tears rolls down, trying to control herself (and myself too) she gives me a smile and said, let’s move on to other aspect…Beauty”!

All right, tissue please! Whoa, what a moment, I admire her courage and perseverance.

“The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. “ ~Carrie Latet

Are there any beauty secrets that you can share? Any things that you can’t do without? What are the things that you love to shop and buy?

I don’t shop for myself, I think of my children first (mothers!)Oh well, SUNBLOCK 35SPF, even I am inside my home, we should protect our face from the lights in our house. I also use moisturizer every day under the sunblock cream. At night, I use egg white, so my skin feels tight and smooth.

It’s like egg white mask! There you go ladies, another secret unveiled!

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Acceptance and Faith: Carmelita Duya -Nalzaro

rib4.gif - 3.5 KFilipino Women are facing the higher risk of Breast Cancer in Southeast Asia.Some 6,360 breast cancer patients die each year in the country, making it the leading death among Filipino women (data from the Philippine Cancer Society as posted by Bulatlat)

What would you do if you are one of the women diagnosed with breast cancer? Would you want a treatment? or would you rather spend the money to travel around the  world and enjoy life from day to day basis?

Carmelita D.Nalzaro- 11 years breast cancer survivor stage 3

My third lovely lady is CARMELITA DUYA NALZARO,born March 10, 1958 in Baguio City, a graduate of ECE (Electronic and Communication Eng. 1985). Married to Engr. George Nalzaro blessed with 3 children (Jady,Christine and Gentry).

As i was putting make-up on her, I was in awe, I cant believe she is a cancer survivor! Her skin is so soft and clear, her persona is so gentle and yet I also felt her inner strength.Her happiness and peace in life is visible in her face.

Are you working?

Yes, for almost 11 years now. I am working as a Math teacher in IPSJ  ( International Philippines School of Jeddah)

How does it feel working out of your Engineering field?

I find it fulfilling, I love teaching more than being in my field.I took and passed the LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers) at the age of 47 years old.

What challenges do you face everyday in teaching?

" Teaching is my passion"

My challenge is for the student to love Math and not to hate the subject. I challenge myself to let the student understand the concept, to bring interest to the subject and get them focus.Teaching is my passion, I like the new challenge it brings everyday. For me, teaching is no longer my work, it becomes my playground of knowledge…a play I know that my students can participate,learn and at the same time enjoy.

Well said my lovely lady! Let’s talk about other challenges in your life, When and how your breast cancer was detected?

the discovery was accidental, George was doing massage of my arm, he was joking around… went a little bit further and suddenly he was surprised that there’s a hard mass ,we went directly to consult a physician and asked if she can do mammography. She was adamant that nothing was wrong and mammography was not needed. Months had passed and I noticed that it becoming more larger, we went to another doctor, mammography was done and I was diagnosed with carcinoma stage 3.

how did you and George took the news? What was your first reaction?

Why? why me?… we were advised to have another medical opinion, we went to another Doctor and Needle Biopsy was done. The first  diagnosis was confirmed: Invasive Carcinoma of the breast Stage III.

The Doctor was so plain and direct to the point,” You have cancer,we will remove it and you will survive” ! wow! this help me a lot because i did not see any worries in his face, that he was sure I will survive… God bless…I did survive!

How did you break the news to your family…to your children in particular?

Acceptance and Faith…George and I accepted the news knowing God will always be there for us, the children took it the same way and we all embraced the situation with open heart and mind.

Surgery,Chemotherapy (6 cycles) Radiotherapy (25 exposures) and a lot of prayers. I was bald … I was not bothered so i did not covered my head.

At that time, bald was in fashion, one lady taught that at my age      “nakikiuso pa rin ako” (at trend) she was apologetic when she knew I was under chemotherapy.

Other than your family, where do you get the inspiration?

Maritoni Fernandez said ” It’s like walking though fire…how do you get to the other side without burning your feet? You just have to take it one step at a time, and eventually, you’ll get through the flames.” She is an inspiration!

What is your  message to ladies who might be on same condition as you are?

for those women diagnosed with cancer specifically breast cancer wherein I’m a survivor for 11 years now, go back to your normal life after treatment but be sure to have a not less than 8- hours sleep daily, shy away from foods with high in fats and preservatives. Learn to relax to overcome stress. Always have a positive outlook in life and have a personal relationship with God.

Well, were not done yet..what about beauty secrets? what are the things that you cant do without?

spray net( hair spray) and toner! I do routine exercise such as Taebo, 30 minutes treadmill, lots of water

there you go Ladies, there’s life after cancer, there’s beauty beyond physical, there’s hope for everyone…have faith…Gods’ willing… We will all survive!

To answer the question: yes i would seek treatment, travel around the world and enjoy life!

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