After hours with the University’s unsung heroes

Behind every harmonious community stands those who work to maintain its cleanliness, order, and security.

Sparkly clean buildings and well-protected areas—all made possible by the people who work hard every day to make sure the spaces on campus remain student-friendly. From cleaning public spaces to checking each bag for security measures, the workers from different offices in the University tirelessly and efficiently work to maintain the safety and cleanliness of the Lasallian community.

Nevertheless, their hard work is never in vain. The LaSallian sits down with housekeeper Federick Aurelius Macapas and security officer Consolito Bautista as they paint the readers a picture of their daily lives as Lasallian personnel through their words of wisdom and experiences. The publication now puts the spotlight on these diligent workers to celebrate and honor the toil of the University’s unsung heroes.

Putting in the work

For Macapas, his duties as a housekeeper at the University begin with attending a daily work briefing with his co-workers at 2 pm before going their separate ways to work in their respective areas. According to him, housekeepers are only allowed to clean in their designated buildings. He shares, “‘Di po kami pwedeng umalis sa building [kung] saan kami naka-assign.” This, however, does not apply to situations that require more manpower in other areas, such as during events. Staying as late as 11 pm to clean the rooms, janitors like Macapas make sure that the venues and classrooms are spotless and tidy to be of use the next day.

(We only stay in the area where our supervisor assigned us. We are not allowed to leave the building where we are assigned.)

On the other hand, Bautista starts his day as early as 6 am, with his shift ending at 6 pm. He says that the good thing about his daytime schedule is that it permits him to be an instrument in implementing school policies. “Karamihan sa mga estudyante ay pumapasok sa araw. Ganoon din [ang] mga aktibidades [na] halos lahat [ay] ginaganap sa araw,” he shares. Hence why, according to Bautista, experience is important for him as a security officer so he can lead well within his jurisdiction.

(Most of the students go to school during the day. The activities are mostly done during the day as well.)

Even when faced with tiring work schedules, both Macapas and Bautista admit that they love working for the Lasallian community, especially because of the friendly environment. “Mababait po [‘yung] mga students, staff, [and] faculty,” Macapas remarks, “Mababait din naman po [‘yung]  mga katrabaho namin pati po mga security, plumbing, [at mga] hardinero, lahat po.” 

(The students, staff, and faculty are all nice. Our co-workers, such as the security, plumbing, and gardeners, are all nice too.)

Bautista resonates with the sentiment, sharing that the community motivates him to work hard despite the physically demanding task. He comments, “Masarap magtrabaho lalo na [kapag] ang iyong kapaligiran at komunidad ay mapayapa, wala kang kagalit, [at] ginagalang ka ng iyong kasamahan.” Additionally, he says that their supervisors run the University well, showing care and compassion for their workers. “Pinapangalagaan nila ang kanilang [mga] empleyado kasama na kaming mga External Services Personnel (ESP).” 

(It’s nice to work in an environment and community that is peaceful, with no bad blood, and the people you work with respect you. They cherish their employers, including us, ESP.)

But above all, both kuyas agree that sincere thank yous, respectful smiles, and genuine compliments from everyone make their jobs more fulfilling and motivating. 

At the expense of time

Despite the large smiles these personnel greet the community with, the distresses and inconveniences they endure on the job are difficult to bench. As their work calls for all-around attention to sanitation and security, their hours do not necessarily subscribe to a strict nine-to-five practice. 

Their earnest efforts to provide quality service come at the expense of disturbed body clocks. For security personnel, their shifts cycle half the clock. As for the housekeepers of the campus, they frequent a nine-hour shift. Macapas shares that as his time slot nears burning the midnight oil, it has taken a toll on his sleeping patterns. Sometimes, we can’t sleep properly—like insomnia,Macapas imparts in Filipino. Security Officer Bautista, whose shift starts at sunrise and ends at sunset, shares a similar sentiment, saying: “Kailangan [namin] gumising ng madaling araw para pumasok [kaya] nakakaantok na pagdating ng hapon.”

(We wake up early in the morning to get to work, so we get drowsy by the afternoon.)

Though the campus personnel may at times lack sufficient rest, they are still expected to deliver quality service. On top of the responsibility of ensuring wellbeing and protection, they also carry the anxiety of possible accidents throughout the day. According to Bautista, through the 10 years he has served the Lasallian community, the security officer’s least favorite memories from the school include every time he encountered an injured student or “anumang pangyayari na nangangailangan ng medical attention.” 

(Any instance that required medical attention.)

A shared mission

While the job descriptions of the University’s personnel entail promises to ensure cleanliness and safety, the responsibility to attain both do not rest in their hands alone. Both Macapas and Bautista want to remind the Lasallian community about the importance of participation. Macapas highlights the practice of Cleaning as You Go (CLAYGO), emphasizing the communal responsibility to maintain the cleanliness of the campus. As for Bautista, he encourages the community to be vigilant of any irregularities they may observe and to keep their office informed to avoid any unwanted outcomes. At the end of the day, the goal is to establish clear and comfortable communication and collaboration within the community.

As they clear the classrooms and secure the gates every evening, they carry the great responsibility of ensuring that the University lives to warmly welcome its members back the next day. These victors often live in the shadows of the comforts Lasallians enjoy within the campus; it is only fitting that salutations be given to the ates and kuyas who not only welcome incomers with a smile in the morning, but also tend to the messes made after the lights of the St. La Salle Hall have already dimmed at night.

Samantha Ubiadas

By Samantha Ubiadas

Kazandra Vargas

By Kazandra Vargas

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