The Voice that Scares Also Gets Scared
When she speaks from another building, there’s no mistaking you’ll recognize her voice. Whether you loved her as a professor or dreaded her because you weren’t in your proper uniform, your Enderun experience wouldn’t be complete without her. Here are 7 truths behind ‘the voice’ that we also know as Ms. Marissa Felix (and yes, that is her first name).
1. She’s been teaching for more than 20 years. “If you don’t know what to do for the next few years upon graduating from college, the least you can do is teach for two years.” This advice from her high school teacher, Ms. Mary Ann Tantoco, was what she followed in the year 1994. Since then, she taught at Woodrose and De La Salle Canlubang, did private tutoring, and learned about Enderun in 2005 through her good friend and former professor in the school, Mr. Jun Talegon.
“He goes, ‘Wait, the positions are still full, but send me your CV.’ Every Christmas, I’m not joking, I would send him a CV, then in 2008 he called me up.” She still treasures being interviewed by Dean Lorraine Villanueva and laughs while recalling having Chefs Thomas Wenger and Andreas Gillar in her demo panel. And the room where it all happened was in HA 201.
But looking back, Ms. Felix shares how she believes her love for teaching stemmed from her habit of making tests in grade school for her younger sister. She also said her decision to take education as a college course surprised her parents.
2. She is a fan of anime, comics, cartoons, and of course, Star Trek. If you were her freshman baby you probably know how much she loves Sci-Fi. “As a kid my parents were into Star Wars. I was fortunate to start watching really good anime in the 1980s. Flight of Dragons, different types of anime, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke. I was just really fortunate to come across all these amazing cartoons.”
And if students would come up with a club to celebrate these interests, she says, “Oh, I would love to be invited.”
3. She loves Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Guy Gavriel Kay, Frank Herbert, and all the greats. Aside from science fiction, Ms. Felix also loves delving into the world of fantasy novels. Her favorite is Herbert’s ‘Dune.’ “Why? Because in reading you can disappear off to new lands. You can just disappear into a whole new world. Literally.”
4. She’s been a judge for the revered Palanca Awards. Did you also know that Ms. Felix goes beyond the bounds of reading? She shares, “I’ve been a Palanca judge 4 times. The last I did was like 2 years ago. I usually judge the short story in English category for children.”
5. She’s a matchmaker. Just like in Fernando de Rojas’ tragicomedy, Ms. Felix sets people up on dates, too, and thinks of herself as a Celestina in Spanish. Three couples have walked down the aisle because of her. She is also crazy in love with her niece and two nephews.
6. She has many involvements inside and outside of Enderun. Ms. Felix is also part of Zonta, a worldwide organization that fights for the rights of women. In Enderun, she started the Golden Z Club, a sociocivic student organization that is a local chapter of the Zonta Club of Alabang. “Part of being a Zontian is you have to preserve and expand the ideals of Zonta. The main goal of Zonta is to help empowered women to empower others. Since most of our students are empowered, then it seems to be a natural conclusion to help others be empowered.”
She considers her students her babies, and aside from teaching in college, their family also owns a preschool in San Pedro, Laguna that she has been managing since the year 2000. “Teaching college and preschool students are the same for me. Of course, when they’re older, they’re more responsive to you. When they’re younger, you have to tune yourself to their moods. But I just show them that I’m sincere and that I’ll be there for them. When you show them you’re honest, you get a very honest response.”
7. Their family also owns a historic house in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. She narrates, “It’s an old house around 200 years old. Vigan itself is a historical place. My ancestors were one of the first Chinese families that settled there in Vigan.”
On top of all these, Ms. Felix is a self-confessed extrovert and child at heart. She admits, “I still have a lot of things to learn, I make a lot of mistakes. I’m a human being like everyone else. I still sometimes make thoughtless decisions. The voice also gets scared.”
If there is anything she would like to tell her beloved babies, she wishes to remind them that life is one big adventure. “As Mary Poppins would say, ‘Oh, I’ll stay until the wind changes.’ It can be from any direction. The wind can represent our personal beliefs or changes you have to undergo in life. You just have to grow with the change because if you don’t, you stagnate as a person. And don’t be afraid to try something new. Go on a new adventure. If opportunities are there, make the most of these opportunities. Don’t lose the zest for learning.”
For more faculty features, visit https://ink.enderuncolleges.com/campus-community/faculty/