MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Education (DepEd) honored public school teachers Arlesito and Estella Arida whose crowning glory is their daughter, Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Ariella Arida.
DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro presented plaques to the Aridas couple on Tuesday in a simple ceremony for being "inspiring educators" who happened to raise a beauty queen.
"Parents like Arlesito and Estella, who took care of children both in school and in their home, are shining examples of what parents and teachers should be," Luistro said.
Luistro added that what makes the Aridas more commendable is their feat of balancing their parenting and teaching duties.
“Most of our teachers are parents, too. We recognize them for the difficult task of balancing those responsibilities and doing both of them well," he said.
Arlesito is a retired public school sports and physical education teacher who served for 44 years while Estella is a public school principal in Alaminos, Laguna.
"We never expected to be the parents of a Binibining Pilipinas winner. Simple lang ang pamilya namin. Makatapos lang ng pag-aaral ang aming mga anak ay tagumpay na para sa amin," the Arida matriarch said.
Ariella's sister, like her, graduated from public schools and finished studies at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
Estella, however, added that as parents, she and Arlesito did not encourage the 24-year-old Ariella to try her luck in pageants, believing it could affect her studies.
"Our position is for her to study first before taking other endeavors. We always reminded them, ‘Magtapos muna bago mag-boyfriend o kung ano man,'" she said.
Ariella, who took up Chemistry, was crowned winner of Binibining Pilipinas pageant last April and will be the country's representative at the prestigious Miss Universe competition in Moscow, Russia on November 9.