‘It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’: Globe, DepEd’s TAYO NAMAN! Webinar Validates Educators’ Grief Amid Pandemic

(Upper boxes) from L-R: April Boongaling - Teacher II, Eusebio High SchoolErnesto Ylasco - Senior Education, Program Specialist, DepEd Pasig City Joey Atayde, MS, R-DMT- Registered Dance/Movement Therapist


(Lower boxes) from L-R: Dr. Victor Javeña - Chief, School Governance and Operations Division, DepEd Pasig City Karen Villanueva - Public Schools District Supervisor, DepEd Pasig City Demosthenes Soriano - School DRRM Coordinator, Rizal High School


“It’s okay not to be okay” along with the insight that feelings including grief are valid, are some of the key takeaways from the third episode of TAYO Naman! (Tulong, Alaga, Yakap at Oras para sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyon), a webinar series by Globe and the Department of Education (DepEd). 


“Sa panahon ng pandemya, grief is real. It is a collective feeling. We all experience grief differently. It is okay. Iyong pinagdadaanan talaga natin ay hindi madali, so no need to judge yourself or judge others for how they feel,” shared Joey Atayde, Dance/Movement Therapist and Assistant Clinical Director for Expressive Arts at MAGIS Creative Spaces and the webinar’s guest speaker. She reminded those who were tuned in that it is okay to feel sad and angry and to grieve during loss. What needs focus, according to Atayde, is how to deal with these feelings and how to create something beautiful out of these negative emotions. 


However, Atayde also pointed out that grief is not only associated with the death of someone we love or treasure. Grief may also be felt by anyone who has lost something important. The feeling of losing the ‘old life’ (the pre-pandemic life), may also be a cause of grief that could lead to exhaustion and frustration. The loss of routine and structure, or the loss of that fine line separating work from family time in a work-from-home scenario may also cause grief for some. For educators, the abrupt transition to online or remote learning may also add to possible reasons for grief. 


The session also covered the stages of grief, more commonly known as the Kübler-Ross model or D.A.B.D.A—Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Despite reaching the stage of acceptance, Atayde noted that the feeling of sadness and grief may not entirely go away but the pain will become bearable and manageable. “Be kind to yourself and let yourself go through the process. As we acknowledge our feelings, as we acknowledge that we are grieving, we also need to transform this,” she said, pointing out that grief is an energy that must be released in ways that we can control.


Aside from helping participants understand the feeling of grief, the session also suggested coping mechanisms that one may use to control it such as creating a routine or structure, engaging in the expressive arts, asking for help, and when supporting others - empathizing and validating feelings. “The feeling of invalidation [sometimes] results in isolation,” Atayde said. 


The talk was followed by a panel discussion led by April Boongaling, Teacher II from Eusebio High School, with guests from Pasig City, the DepEd division that hosted the event. Panelists were Ernesto Ylasco, Senior DepEd Education Program Specialist; Karen Villanueva, DepEd Public Schools District Supervisor; Demosthenes Soriano, School DRRM Coordinator from Rizal High School; and Dr. Victor M. Javena, DepEd Chief of School Governance and Operations Division.


The panelists shared key takeaways from the session, which vary from #Selfcare, learning to listen, and understanding that there is anger and grief because of love. “There is no such thing as right and wrong feeling. It’s what we do with these feelings that matter,” Atayde said. 


TAYO Naman! is an online Mental Health and Psychosocial Support program designed to help teachers, non-teaching personnel, and parents learn about self-care, wellness, and resiliency.


The 14-part webinar series is led by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services (DepEd-DRRMS) and the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development (BHROD) Employee Welfare Division in collaboration with Globe’s Global Filipino Teachers Series on Psychosocial Support Services, Philippine Mental Health Association, Magis Creative Spaces, and Unilab Foundation.


The next episode on June 11 will be about “Understanding and Managing Common Mental Disorders and other Psychological Concerns,” to be spearheaded by the DepEd Zamboanga del Norte Division.


The webinars will be held every Friday until August 20 from 8:30 to 10:00 am and streamed live on DepED Philippines, Deped DRRMS, and  Globe Bridgecom


Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UN SGD No. 3 on good health and well-being and UN SDG No. 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The company is also committed to helping realize the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles. 


To learn more about how to create a #GlobeofGood, visit www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html


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