A Lady of Radiance

FEU Advocate
June 17, 2016 21:34

Standing out amidst an expectant crowd is something she has mastered. As she walks along the corridor, she turns heads and harvests a couple of hi’s and hello’s. But more than stealing hearts, when she enters the room, it’s a different story - she shapes minds; she educates the youth.

With her almond-shaped eyes and long brown hair that falls perfectly on her lower back, Professor Shirley Esteban Olivo is indeed a beauty. She managed to charm mobs of netizens, and now the whole world is wondering who she is.

How she wound up with two professions on her palm is still vivid in Olivo’s memory. She recalled it was her mother who prepared the trail to her first career. Since she was young, it was her mother’s dream to have a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the family. But it was not her parent’s choice alone that drove her, it was her own will to tread this path that made her pursue it.

“From there on, na-plant na siya sa akin (it was planted on my mind already) and honestly, wala naman talaga akong ibang gustong maging path (there was no other path I wanted to pursue),” she expressed.

The universe seemed to be conspiring with her since then as everything perfectly fell into place. She chased after this ambition and her dreams reached its most-awaited harvest. She finished Bachelor of Science in Accountancy in the Green and Gold lair and courageously wandered her way into the real world.

Her first auditing firm was a big leap for her, and just like how each ‘first job chronicle’ would go, she ran through rough patches along the way.

Inisip ko na lang na (I kept on thinking that) I’m doing that to be a better accountant,” she recalled during those days.

But like a route one has never imagined to take, Olivo found herself running towards something she never planned. Her choosing to be an Accounting professor at Far Eastern University (FEU) was a big U-turn for this lady. And it must have been fate working again as the universe conspired for this Tamaraw to return to her real home.

“Ma’am Buen, a good friend of mine asked me to teach and honestly, I really really love to teach. ’Yung ginawa kong reviewer (Those reviewers I made), I was imagining, habang inaaral ko siya (while I was studying them), I was imagining na nire-relay ko siya sa students (I was imagining that I’m relaying it to students),” she confessed.

Being a professor gave her excitement and at the same time, fulfillment. Every single day, she would fill the board with pieces of knowledge and untie each lesson to aspiring accountants, serving as an instrument for them to reach their dreams.

“She assures that every student will learn every time. She's considerate in a way that her students deserve. She's a great person. During our qualifying exam, she keeps on encouraging us that we can do it. She's really a package! She once told me, ‘Papasa ka (You will pass) not because of luck. But because nag-aral at nagdasal ka (you studied and you prayed),’” Jan Lyka de Castro, one of her former students, happily shared.

Olivo had the ability to charm, but more than that, she had the power to change and motivate young people. And her sphere of influence expanded even more as she was put under the spotlight.

Her story maneuvered towards another route she never saw coming. This stunning professor became the talk of the town when her photos circulated in social media sites, which put Olivo in a state of shock. Netizens were blown away with this good-looking accountant-turned-professor.

“Actually, I don’t have an explanation kung ano ‘yung nangyari (what happened.) Nagulat na rin ako, (I was surprised as well). So may photoshoot, nag-upload ‘yung make-up artist ko. And then ‘yung isa kong student, grinab niya ‘yun. Actually, wala pang mga watermarks ‘yun eh. Hindi naman namin in-intend na bakit kailangang ganoon ‘yung mangyari (So there is this photoshoot, my make-up artist uploaded the photos. And then, one of my students grabbed it. Actually, there were no watermarks yet. We did not intend why that should happen),” Olivo admitted.

The whole Far Eastern University (FEU) community have saturated her page with waves of praises but most especially of heart-melting pieces of gratitude, which made her heart stir in deep joy.

“I’m not taking advantage of my students. Actually ‘yung feelings ko noong nag-viral siya (Actually my feelings when it went viral), mixed emotions. The first one is, I’m really proud, ‘di dahil sa kumalat siya, I’m really proud sa comments ng students ko, (not because it went viral, but I’m really proud because of the comments of my students),” she shared.

It is true, fame is glamorous but it can bring a load of inconvenience, especially for a respected professor.

Nakakatakot siya. (It is scary.) You know why? Kasi (Because) as professors, our job is not to feel like celebrities. You are a professor who works 24 hours, seven days a week, isang mali mo lang dyan, ang laking impact nyan sa career niya (just one mistake, it could cause a big impact on your career),” she confessed.

Being enveloped in a thick cloud of pressure can be demanding for Olivo but more than anything else, being dragged to this status only allows her to impact more students with her teaching.

“I really appreciate it on how students see me as inspiration, as motivation kasi actually, that’s my advocacy if I get your attention, I will use that to inspire you, to motivate you,” she remarked.

Truly, Olivo has her heart planted deeply in her profession and as a faculty member, nothing is more rewarding that seeing genuine displays of appreciation from the whole Tamaraw community.

“Thank you for them, for recognizing na ‘yun pala, na may nakaka-recognize rin pala sa amin, na may nakaka-appreciate rin pala sa professors na magagaling (Thank you to them, for recognizing us, that there are people who can appreciate great professors),” she remarked.

Now as she stands before the eyes of a larger crowd, her face gleams with joy and a seal of hope, knowing that this time, she will be able to inspire more people in a whole new different light.

- Alyssa Ferelli F. Abario