It’s been almost a year since I first met Bebe Metillo. I was introduced to Bebe by a reader of this column too, a young lady named Shannon. I had mentioned in a column last year that I was looking for a good language teacher, because I wanted to learn to speak Bisaya. Shannon contacted me, and put me in touch with Bebe, and I have been studying Bisaya with Bebe ever since.
To me, though, Bebe is much more than a language teacher. I told Bebe the other day that I actually think of her as family, pretty much, I consider her as a sister. Bebe teaches me a lot more than just how to speak a language, too. I feel that my time with Bebe is a time when I learn a lot about Philippine culture in addition to language. I consider the learning of culture to be even more important than the language part of it, although I feel that both are indispensible.
The other day, Feyma and I took Bebe with us on a little road trip that we took for the day. It really was a nice opportunity to spend some non-study time with Bebe and get to know her even better than I already did. We had really a nice day, enjoyed a wonderful lunch, and just some quiet time on the beach talking about all kinds of different topics together.
In the time that I have lived in the Philippines, this is the third time that I have attempted to learn to speak Bisaya. On each of the first two attempts, I only studied for a couple of months, and for one reason or another, the lessons came to an end. I learned a little bit, some words, etc., but I never learned as much as I have this time. I have now been studying with Bebe for about 10 1/2 months, and in another 6 months or so, I will have completed the language course. In addition to this being the longest amount of time I have studied with a single teacher, this is also the first time that I have felt that I made a deep personal connection with my teacher. And, I’m so happy that I made this connection with Bebe, because she means a lot to me.
When I was talking with Bebe the other day, I told her than in many ways, it makes me sad to think that after another 6 months I will be finished with the course, because it will mean that I will also miss my weekly meetings with her. She told me that she has some students who, even after completing the full course, continue getting together with her each week for companionship and also for more advanced language learning. At this point, I think that I will continue to do that myself too.
For anybody living in the Davao area, if you are interested in learning the local langauge, I would highly recommend Bebe. Don’t consider this a commercial or advertisement, because it is not. I get nothing for recommending her, except for the satisfaction of helping her make a living, and knowing that the people that I refer will get a quality service as well.
I would really like to extend my deep appreciation to Bebe, and wish her continued success in what she does.