By: Aliana Rebecah G. Ruelos

Miss Jocelyn C. Lañas, an assistant professor in the Institute of Nursing (IN) and one of the Ten Outstanding Faculty of the Year (TOFY) in Far Eastern University (FEU), is more than a teacher well-loved by her students.

Lañas started working as a teacher in FEU in 2004. Her passion doesn’t just teach – like a prism, her light separates and radiates onto different fields. She currently holds two Philippine records in ultra-distance running and she’s the first and only female record holder in the longest distance run North Coast 200-mile Ultramarathon and West to East Coast 280-KM Ultramarathon. She claims running is an addiction.

Apart from running marathons, Lañas also plays instruments and climbs mountains. She spoke fondly of how she always teaches classes – such as drumming and martial arts in alternative classes during the Foundation Week of FEU every January.

Miss Lañas never cared about injuries as long as she accomplished her goals. She mentioned being injured while crossing the finish line in some of the marathons but for her, pain is temporary.

She declares, “I wasn’t meant to spend my entire life on Facebook. God never gave me 24 hours just to sit in front of Netflix and waste my time. There must be something more significant inside.”

Jogging Through Classrooms

“I teach them in a way they can discover themselves”

Academics may be the highest priority of a student, but self-discovery is something essential for humans. Miss Lañas sees to it that she not only teach her students the usual book terms, but more importantly, ways to help them discover themselves as a person. She doesn’t box her students in but opens the gates for them to pursue greatness.

In her teaching style, Miss Lañas takes into account what her students have learned and their feelings. “I always start with where they are and then plan where they need to go.”
Knowing who her students are also important to Miss Lañas. Miss Lañas expressed her desire in producing nurses that love the profession as much as she does.

The Running-buddy

Despite being a graduate of University of the Philipines (UP) Manila, Miss Lañas does not deny her unwavering love for FEU. When asked why she chose to work in FEU, her eyes sparkled when she said “The three core values of FEU capture the characteristics of a leader and of a globally competitive nurse. My own core values are compatible with those of the school. If you think about it, I’m from UP but why didn’t I teach there? It’s because I love FEU more.”

To The Finish Line?

On her award, Ms. Lañas says “I was surprised because I was not really expecting any awards to begin with. I have been doing my lectures for more than 10 years already.

And I always look forward to going to the classroom every day without expecting anything. I have fun with my work and am very happy to share everything with my students because I want them to appreciate their work in nursing in the same manner I appreciate it.”

An Eternal Flame

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”, words by Mahatma Gandhi that Miss Lañas repeated for aspiring teachers like her. She believed that students will not care what you say; they’ll care about what you are as a whole.

“Wala yan sa tinuturo mo, sa award mo, sa degree mo, sa yaman mo – wala yan dun. Kumbaga , kahit hindi ka magsalita, tumayo ka diyan, are you the change you wanted to see to make a better country? Kung anong pagbabago yung gusto mong Makita- ikaw dapat yun. Sayo magsimula. Iraradiate mo yan sa buong generation ng tinuturuan mo. Yun ang pinakamahalaga e’.

So if you don’t love your work, it will show. Kaya ako, mahal na mahal ko ang trabaho ko. Mahal na mahal ko ang nursing. Mahal na mahal ko ang FEU. Mahal na mahal ko ang pagtuturo.”

(It’s not about what you teach, your awards, your degree, your wealth- it’s not in there. Even if you don’t speak, just stand up in front of your students – are you the change you wanted to see to make a better country? Whatever change you want to see, it should start with you first. Radiate that change among the generation you teach. That’s the most important thing. So if you don’t love your work, it will show. And I love my work, I love nursing, I love FEU, and I love teaching.”)

She observes that work becomes greedy when you love and enjoy it, describing how work invaded every corner of her life. This love for work can never be depicted as a candle flickering in the night. It’s more than that. It’s like wildfire that swallows whatever it touches – an inextinguishable flame. And greatness, like wildfire, spreads in whatever path you put your heart into.