As many readers that have been visiting my blog for any time now will know, I have been taking Bisaya (Cebuano) lessons online for around two years now. You might be thinking that I should be pretty proficient at it by now. Well, I agree that would be the case if it wasn’t such a stop and go affair for me.

That’s what I want to write a little about today. First the incredible patience of my teacher (maestra, magtutudlo) and second the nature of my lessons and what the have become to me.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I take lessons online via Skype with my teacher, Bebe Metillo, who lives in Davao. I have only had a couple of lessons in person, so by far the bulk of my learning has been through the internet. It works well most of the time, but there are technical issues (brownouts for instance) that must be dealt with. Then there are life commitments from both of us that also cause interruptions.

I’ve stopped a few times, and Bebe has always been more than understanding. She has held my spot for me, and that is no small deal, as she is incredibly busy. She not only teaches privately but also at some Academies. There have also, especially lately, been instances of personal issues that cause the lessons to either be cancelled or steer off kilter.

Anki Bisaya Phrasebook Flashcards

That brings me to the second point. Bebe has become much more than a language teacher to me. She has become a counselor in regards to the cultural differences that I encounter. Helping to explain any things that I have a hard time understating. Even more than that, she has become a true friend.

Since my visit to Samal Island and Davao last October, many of lessons have taken on more of a counseling/discussion nature than a language lesson. I’ll not go into all the reasons for that, but I can not begin to explain how grateful I am to have a person like Bebe to confide in, and to truly learn more about the area that I hope to retire in. I feel that I’ve learned many lessons, that I may have eventually learned while living there, that will really serve me well in the future. More importantly, I feel I have a real friend in Davao, and that means a great deal to me.

Daghang salamat para kang Bebe.