Batangas public school principal proves that true service can happen outside a classroom’s walls

  BY Ayala Foundation       February 03, 2020       CENTEX, CENTEX BATANGAS, Taal Eruption 2020, centex

Bauan, Batangas

On regular days, Movita Cruzat takes her role as an educator seriously.

Ma’am Movy oversees the operations of CENTEX Batangas, considered one of the top public elementary schools in the Province of Batangas. Together with some of the best teachers in the province, Ma’am Movy makes sure that their students receive the hallmarks of a CENTEX education—a holistic blend of academics, values, and after-hours arts and music training.

CENTEX Batangas teachers together with Principal Movy Cruzat (foreground, right) take a quick photo break at the relief operations in San Luis, Batangas.

CENTEX Batangas, located in Bauan, Batangas, is where some of the province’s brightest children, who come from economically disadvantaged families, are educated. CENTEX Batangas has been recognized as a the best performing elementary school in the province at the 2019 Gawad Balisong Award of the Department of Education Batangas. In the same awards ceremony, Ma’am Movy was given the Outstanding Elementary Principal.

However, January 2020 threw a curveball at the province of Batangas. Taal Volcano, considered one of the most active volcanoes in the country, disrupted the lives of many Batangueños as it showed signs of imminent explosive eruption. Many families and communities, especially those within the 17-km danger zone, had to be evacuated. Many of them are now staying in government facilities, including public schools, which have been designated as evacuation sites. As a result, classes have been suspended in many schools.

CENTEX Batangas teachers prepare relief items for families affected by the Taal eruption.

CENTEX Batangas stands outside the 14-km and 17-km danger zones of the volcano, but the threat of an explosive eruption remains deeply felt in communities across the province. While there is no assurance as to when things will return to normal, Batangueños, especially those who are in relatively safer positions, have taken it upon themselves to serve their fellow Batangueños.

Among those who have been actively serving displaced Batangueños are Ma’am Movy and the teachers of CENTEX Batangas.

Together with Ayala Foundation, which has been actively supporting CENTEX Batangas for over 20 years, Ma’am Movy and her fellow CENTEX teachers have been tirelessly participating in relief operations for affected communities.

Ma’am Movy and the CENTEX teachers served as local coordinators for the relief operations organized by Ayala Foundation and GMA Kapuso Foundation last January 16. Together, the team served hundreds of families evacuated from the towns of Taal, Lemery, and Agoncillo. They provided food, water, and hygiene kits for families staying at Bauan Central School, West Bauan Elementary School, Manghinao Uno Elementary School, Alagao Elementary School, and Inicbulan Elementary School.

Once again they joined relief operations organized in cooperation with Ayala Foundation, AC Motors, and the Provincial Government of Batangas on January 20, serving families who were displaced from their homes in six towns in Batangas. These towns were Mataas na Kahoy, Santa Teresita, Alitagtag, Padre Garcia, San Jose, and San Luis.

Asked where she and her fellow teachers draw their energy to help volunteer in relief operations, Ma’am Movy said: Being a CENTEX teacher reminds me the spirit of ‘Maging Magiting.’ Whenever I go out to serve, I always tell God in prayer, ‘I will take care of your people, please take care of me and my family.’ And that is my own meaning of Maging Magiting—having courage and faith to serve others.”

Truly, Batangas lives up to its reputation as a province of heroes—“Batangas Magiting.”