This grade school teacher is Masbate’s best influencer 2
With the help of sponsors, Anas Elementary School teacher Ronnie Valladores was able to raise funds to buy school uniforms for his students.

VIRAL: Teacher’s good deeds have built a classroom, inspired poor students to keep going to school

Masbate educator Ronnie Valladores Jr. knows what it’s like to be an underprivileged student. Now he’s using his social media influence to make his students’ school lives better
RHIA GRANA | Sep 09 2023

As a young student, Ronnie Valladores, a native of Masbate, would trek to school without a single penny in his pocket. The third among four children, he was the son of a former media man whose salary can only afford the family’s basic needs.

Noong elementary ako, wala akong baon e,” he tells ANCX. “Yung mga kaklase ko laging meron, tapos yung teacher namin nagtitinda. Nagke-crave ako dati. Gusto kong kumain pero wala akong pambili.”

Ronnie Villadores
Valladores gave away school supplies, shoes, and bags to students of Anas Elementary School, courtesy of generous sponsors. 

Now a teacher himself, Valladores sees reflections of his younger self in some of his students at Anas Elementary School. Anas, being the second farthest barangay from Masbate City, has its share of challenges, with many families relying on seasonal livelihoods such as fishing and farming.

“Masasabi kong maraming mahirap dito kasi maraming 4Ps [Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program] beneficiaries dito. Mahirap ang pangingisda at pagsasaka lalo na kung panahon ng bagyo,” says Valladores. “Hindi permanent ang income. Mababa dito ang employment rate.”

Ronnie Villadores
Valladores set up a classroom pantry in case his students get hungry. 

Seeing the plight of his pupils, the concerned teacher decided to do little acts of kindness. One boy, he recalled, would often miss his class due to the distance he had to travel and lack of money for food. To encourage him to come to school regularly, the teacher once secretly placed a Fudgee Bar and a juice drink in the boy's bag. When the kid discovered the treats, he started crying because of happiness. 

“Ngayong naging teacher ako, bakit hindi ko gawan ng paraan na hindi na kailangang bumili ng estudyante [ng pagkain]?” he thought to himself. “Maghahanap na lang ako ng mga external donors, stakeholders na tutulong sa aking advocacy.”

Valladores captured the heartwarming Fudgee Bar moment on video and shared it on Facebook reels. “Mahal kong mga estudyante,” said the caption, “Ayokong madalas kayong absent. Nagmamahal, Sir Ronnie.” 

Ronnie Villadores
Valladores has started a feeding program for his 38 students. 

The post went viral, drawing the attention of kind-hearted netizens who encouraged the teacher to continue his efforts. “Yung mga followers ang nag-udyok sa akin na ipagpatuloy ito at mag-isip ng kahit anong project, susuportahan daw ako nila,” Valladores tells ANCX.

There was a time he treated the kids to a Jollibee meal. Many of the children in his class hardly get to experience dining at the fast food chain due to its far location—it’s about an hour away by land, or 30 minutes by boat—while others are just too poor to even afford a simple fastfood meal. So what Valladores decided to do was treat his pupils to spaghetti and Chickenjoy, thanks to the help of a generous sponsor. 

Ronnie Villadores
Worn-out armchairs have been replaced with new ones. 

The Jollibee Facebook reel went viral too, allowing the teacher to earn extra money, which he used to buy the students’ school needs such as bags and school supplies. Inspired by his videos, more netizens reached out to Valladores, asking how they can support his projects. This was how the 31-year-old educator was able to improve his classroom—buy plastic arm chairs, for one (“yung mga upuan kasi, hindi na madaan sa pukpok,” he says)—and got donations to buy the school needs of children in other grade levels.

Through sponsorships, the Masbateño started a feeding program for 38 children under his class and even built a makeshift classroom for a co-teacher. “Kaya ko naisipang magpatayo ng classroom kasi yung isa naming co-teacher, sa stage na nagkaklase,” he says. Then when a generous sponsor from overseas asked how she can help, he suggested maybe they can build another classroom . “Kung afford natin, magpagawa tayo ng makeshift na classroom,” he recalls telling the Bicolano donor, who welcomed the idea.

Ronnie Villadores
The makeshift classroom during its construction phase. Valladores says it will be ready for use by September 11. 

A DepEd engineer designed the construction plan and costing for the much-needed classroom. Through the P300,000 donation, the classroom was built and is set to be ready for use by September 11.

“Palagi akong nagpopost, mina-manifest ko,” he tells us, smiling. “Nagugulat na lang ako, may nagri-reach out sa spam messages [at nagsasabing], ‘I really like your post. Ano ang maitutulong ko?’ Ang ginagawa ko naman, hindi ako direktang nanghihingi. Tinatanong ko ang donor kung ano ang kaya niyang maitulong.”

In his videos, he refers to his viewers as “katuwa.” “Sa intro ko kasi, palagi kong sinasabi, ‘May batang matutuwa.’ At minsang napunta ako sa city, may nakakilala sa akin [at tinawag ako], ‘Uy katuwa.’ Viewers ang nagbigay ng call sign, kaya sinakyan ko ang gusto ng viewers.” Meanwhile he calls his valued donors “katuwang.”

Valladores says seeing the improvements in their school and the initiatives of other teachers in their community inspire him to continue his work. “Next year, sigurado akong meron pa ring ganito. Hindi na ito titigil,” he assures.

We asked about his personal wish: “Siguro ang pinaka-dream ko na lang ay pumasok [ang mga estudyante ko] araw-araw at magsilbing inspirasyon [ang mga ginagawa kong ito para] sa kanila.”