Born to a school principal dad and a home economics teacher mom, Leticia Fernandez Desamito had everything she needed most of her life.
She studied chemical engineering at the University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City in the Philippines and completed the degree at the Mapua Institute of Technology also located in the Philippines.
She was ecstatic after receiving her first paycheck at the La Salette College in Isabela, Philippines. The school inspired her to become a full-time teacher. But after four years, she moved back to her hometown and worked at the Pozorrubio High School (now Benigno V. Aldana National High School), her alma mater.
Then, she spent most of her career teaching in a university but when it was time for her to retire, Madam Desamito (as her students love to call her) asked for an extension because she truly loved to teach.
When she was finally forced to retire from the university, Madam Desamito felt heartbroken because she still has a passion to teach the youth despite her age. Thankfully, one of her nephews found her a place to teach: at the Mary Help of Christians Boarding School where she offered her teaching skills without discussing the pay rate.
According to Madam Desamito, “When I got in, all I wanted was to teach and not to earn money. I have been earning money all my life. Maybe it was time to give back.”
She never got tired of teaching even if she had been doing it most of her life. For her, the joy of watching young minds grow is far more fulfilling than anything in the world.
And even after school hours, her students visit her at home for some tutorial sessions! What a dedicated teacher!
Retirement Age in the Philippines
The retirement age differs across locations and the company you are working for but the standard age is 65. Early retirement is possible at 60 and there are even sectors like the military that offer retirement to workers aged 56 years old or after a specific length of service, including as early as 20 years in service!
There had been moves to lower the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 55 but these had been dismissed for lack of merit.