I am the second child of the seven children of Eleuterio E. San Jose and Florencia A. Abarientos. I grew up in Gainza, Camarines Sur, the smallest among the 35 municipalities of Camarines Sur.
My father is a farmer who finished first year High School at Camarines Sur National High School, and my mother is a housekeeper who finished Grade 5 at Gainza Central School. She only studied for four years in elementary because of acceleration.
The more or less one hectare riceland that we used to tll in Gainza is not ours. It was owned by the Oliva Family of Naga City. So we give share to the landowner for every harvest. After we finished planting in Gainza, in time for summer vacation, we moved to a nearby Barangay in Manggayawan, Canaman for planting again a more or less one hectare riceland owned by the Prados of Camaligan, Camarines Sur.
For a number of weeks, my father together with my mother, my younger brother who could already help in the field, and I went to that farm using a manually driven banca to till the soil and plant that rice field. My eldest sister was the one left to manage the house and to take care of my younger brother and sisters. We all helped together in the farm so with household work. My father plows the soil preparing it ready for planting, while we help in pulling the weeds. When the soil is ready we plant the rice together. After accomplishing all the farm works in Manggayawan, we went back to Gainza. My father visits the farm once a week to monitor the progress of the plants and to put some pesticides if necessary, and so with the farm at Gainza.
To augment our income for the daily needs of the family, we resorted to do contracts of planting other fields for a fee. My father, my mother and three of us older children who could already help in the work, all together go to the fields of other farmers to plant rice.
During harvest season, we were back in the fields for the work related to harvesting. We even do harvesting from other fields to increase our income. We were given a share of 1/6th to 1/7th out of our work outputs.
When planting season is over in time for waiting for the plants to grow and bear the grains, we shifts to handicraft work. We made buri mats and baskets, then sell it to fund our daily needs. In the case of my elder sister and myself, during our studies in high school in the UNC, it was a consistent agreement with our parents to make and finish one mat everyday after going home from school so that we could have money to pay for school expenses the next day. After finishing the mat, it is the only time that we can study and prepare our assignments in school.
One mat is sold at P1.10 to P1.20. We share this amount everyday for our fare, the gulay for our lunch, and “baduya” or “linubac” for our snacks during recess in the morning which we bought outside of UNC Gate #2. During Saturdays and Sundays, we have a quota to make five mats, the sale proceeds of which were gathered and saved by my mother to pay our monthly tuition fees. Being a valedictorian in Grade 6, I was afforded free tuition for one year by UNC. However, it was not maintained because I was pre-occupied with work to earn for a living and cost of education.
Everyday, when we go to school, we beat the first trip available early as 6:00 o’clock in the morning. By that time we should already be ready to catch up with the lone jeepney to ferry passengers. The five-kilometer road from Gainza to Naga was a rough road. During rainy days, or when one of the bridges is being subjected to repair, there is no available jeepney, so we resorted to ride in a motorized big banca via the Bicol River to reach Naga. Also in times when there were no jeepneys nor motorized big banca because of some unavoidable circumstances of the owners, we walk the five-kilometer road in the morning from Gainza to Naga and in the afternoon from Naga to Gainza passing the PNR Bridge or the Mabolo bridge. If we wanted to cut short the walk, we stop at One Barangay, Dahilig, Gainza after three-kilometer walk, proceeded to the river bank to walk for another one kilometer, then cross the Bicol River via small banca where the opposite bank is Camaligan, Camarines Sur. Upon reaching Camaligan, we can then ride available vehicles such as jeepneys and caretelas. To save fare, we often rode the caretelas because it was cheaper by 5 centavos.
These were the usual ways how we survived and able to earn education until our high school days, and even in college days of my other younger brothers and sisters. Thank God, all of us seven children have finished a degree, the majority engaged as self-supporting students to finish studies. We are now in our respective fields of employment.
For my college days, I worked as a receptionist at the Guballa Clinic, with an agreement with Dr. Guballa to work during daytime and study at nighttime. It is located just 50 meters away from the main gate of the UNC. I stayed in that place where the building is designed as a clinic in the first floor, and as a residence at the second floor. At daytime, I do all the related works in the clinic including the utility works, plus all other related household works. After clinic hours, I was given the opportunity to attend classes and went back to the house and clinic as my home. My stay in that house is free and I am afforded three meals a day. I was given a monthly salary just enough to pay my tuition for the semester. My mother gave me P10.00 every semester for me to buy something I need in my studies such as ballpens, pencils, paper and candies when I am hungry.
After finishing college, I had the opportunity to be employed in an appliance center (Fabian & Sons), then at the Naga City Government. I started working at the City Treasurer’s Office as a casual employee in 1978, then was able to get a permanent position of Accounting Clerk. I was already very happy with my salary of P8.00 per day when I was a casual employee, more so when I got the permanent position of Accounting Clerk, got married, and bear children. But as days went by, I realized that there should be a career development for me to avoid what happened to other employees employing and retiring in the same position. I decided to strive more not only in work performance, but tried hard to earn the CPA title in 1986. By doing consistently good and remarkable performance in the disposition of my office functions and responsibilities, I had been appointed by the late Mayor Jesse M. Robredo in April, 2002 to head the Accounting Department of the City of Naga.
In June of 2013, I was very lucky to be hired as a Professor at the UNC to teach Accounting Subjects in the College of Business and Accountancy until I filed a resignation effective November 2017 because of my ailing husband which need personal attention. Aside from the enjoyment I had in my teaching career, it also helped me a lot to augment my expenses in the education of my two children who took the course of Doctor of Medicine.
The Mayor of Naga, being elected two times with 4-year term as Auditor of CITYNET, an organization of cities in Asia Pacific, sent me as his representative to audit the Fiscal Accounts of the organization. I was sent on 2012 and 2013 in Japan, 2014 and 2016 in Seoul, Korea, and lately, in November 2017 for the reporting functions in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Coupled with my busy schedules, I thank God, that I am able to attend my civic functions, to wit:
|Jemael SJ. Tabinas||May 27, 1983||Civil Engineer|
|Jesus SJ. Tabinas Jr.||January 31, 1985||Software Programmer|
|Anne Dacyl SJ. Tabinas||July 26, 1988||RN; Doctor of Medicine|
|Carl SJ. Tabinas||March 20, 1991||Certified Public Accountant|
|Johne Cedric SJ. Tabinas||June 4, 1993||RN; 4th Yr. Student of Doctor of Medicine|
Come May 1 of this year, I am 62 years old completing my 40 years of service in the City Government of Naga. All these I owe from the Almighty, from my parents, brothers and sisters from the UNC Education, from my Accounting Staff, from the people that gave me trust and confidence for holding the delicate position in government, and from my loving family.
PACIENCIA “Ching” SAN JOSE-TABINAS, CPA, MPA
City Government Department Head I
Naga City Government
January 6, 2018