Changemakers Series: Dr. Tonio of Aral Pinoy

World Teachers’ Day aims to raise awareness regarding the importance of the role played by teachers all over the world. The importance of educating future generations is sometimes understated, which is why iVolunteer Philippines encourages everyone to show support to our educators not only on this World Teachers’ Day, but throughout the year. One way of doing that, we believe, is becoming a volunteer for nonprofits such as 2KK, The Storytelling Project, and Aral Pinoy; all of whom are looking to raise the level of education in the country in their own life-changing and innovative ways.

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure to meet some of the most hardworking volunteer teachers in the country, one of which is Dr. Antonio Levy S. Ingles, Jr., Ph.D. Dr. Tonio, as he’s known by his peers and the volunteering community, has been teaching theology courses since 1990. For twenty seven (27) long years, he has worked as Christian Living educator in Assumption College (AC) from 1991-1992, as a religion/theology instructor in Centro Escolar University (CEU) from 1992-1994, in Saint Paul College of Manila (SPCM) now a University from 1994-1997, and in De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) from 1997 to present. Through this, the breadth of his experiences has enriched his teaching life and eventually led him to the founding of Aral Pinoy.

What is Aral Pinoy?

Aral Pinoy started in 2006 and was officially registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 11, 2010. Since then it has been serving both the public and private school teachers by providing free trainings, seminars and workshops to improve teaching, to enhance students’ learning and to assure that the teachers themselves actually apply and practice what they have learned from these trainings.

Aside from helping teachers raise their skill level, the organization also helps by identifying schools that need assistance, especially those with insufficient instructional materials or equipment or having insufficient budget or funds, by partnering with private companies or corporations willing to share their resources to these schools. In 2007, with the help of Dr. Tonio’s colleagues and classmates in his Masteral Degree in Learning and Teaching (MaLT), teacher Rogelio dela Cruz and teacher Marissa Rodriguez, the three of them worked together to assist a group of teachers on how to facilitate and conduct an online learning. Through this dynamic team of teacher trainers for poor schools, Aral Pinoy was able to initially sustain its initiatives. 

Passion to teach and build connections

According to the Aral Pinoy founder, beyond being good at what they do, great educators also have a heart to teach and are enthusiastic, passionate and committed. Dr. Tonio references Parker Palmer’s thoughts on student-teacher connections, echoing that such teachers are those who have some sort of connective capacity; who connect themselves to their students, their students to each other and everyone to the subject being studied.

The professor also opens up that meeting exemplary colleagues in various fields have been an invaluable experience, which in turn helped him understand that in all settings and at all levels, good teachers tend to have more things in common with each other. He then zeroes in on teachers simply ‘having the heart to teach,’ which he believes is the key in their humble profession and the reason why some would even go out of their way to become a volunteer educator.

“Here are my two cents and unsolicited advice, regardless of the substantial differences among teachers in terms of teaching style, personality, teaching goals and ways of interaction with students, I have realized that it is the inherent sameness of good teachers that made them really good,” he explains. In what fuels him to volunteer, Dr. Tonio later adds, “I may not be the best, but I believe I am good at this and I believe I have a heart for it that is why I volunteer for Aral Pinoy.”

Celebrate World Teachers Day with us

Volunteering is one way to honor and experience the joy, struggle and fulfillment in teaching. But of course, we could also send appreciation directly to our mentors, friends and family through a variety of personal gestures and gifts. If volunteering, though, is something you’d want to try soon, just visit our website to learn how you can start sharing your interest or passion for teaching to a range of causes that promotes education and learning.

iVolunteer Philippines is the country’s most trusted volunteering platform that is made by volunteers for volunteers. Our website and social media channels are dedicated to helping nonprofits and volunteers find the perfect match, and in making sure that every Filipino who are looking to contribute will find a  home through us or our partners. We are a group of passionate individuals working towards one dream: Every Filipino volunteering towards nation building.


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