I would like to express my condolences to the Gabertan family. Mr. Gabertan was my high school history and economics teacher. It’s no exaggeration to say – he made a difference in my life and made me a better person.
In 1983, during my senior year at Notre Dame of Manila, he picked me to be a member of the debating team. I don’t know why. I wasn’t that smart and there were many others worthier who could have done a much better job. But he chose me. I accepted and we prepared for months for THE big debate that was to highlight History Week at school.
The topic was very obscure – “Resolved: Japan be re-armed”. I don’t know why he chose it. For one, Japan’s rearmament was not that popular even then and it was difficult to do the research. Perhaps he wanted us to really work harder at it, and we did – during that long arduous stretch, he thought me how to do the research, be prepared, organize my thoughts, turn them into words, and speak with confidence in front of large groups of people. Skills, I still use to this day.
I remember my teacher, Mr Gabertan, with so much fondness. Gabby we called him, a word play of sorts, Gabby Conception was popular during that time. I love you sir, thank you for changing my life.
Nick David, NDM ’83
PS. I found a school paper interview with Mr Gabertan attached. It just shows how good a teacher he is – during that time, the faculty was being sued by the school for libel and yet they still went about doing their jobs.