Tagle very intelligent but humble, says teacher
|Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle attends a prayer at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi|
MANILA, Philippines -- Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was a consistent honor student in elementary and high school, yet he remained very humble and down-to-earth, one of his high school teachers said.
In an interview with radio dzMM Wednesday, religion teacher Odelia Cruz said she has yet to come across a student as bright as the young Tagle.
"Very intelligent ang batang 'yan. Sa loob ng 40 years na pagtuturo ko, wala pa akong nakitang bata na kasing-intelihente ng batang 'yan," Cruz said.
"Pag nagtanong ka sa kanya ng question, alam na alam na niya agad... Aral 'yan ng aral," she added.
Cruz, who was Tagle's religion teacher in his freshman and sophomore years at St. Andrew's School in Parañaque City, said she was "amazed" at the wisdom Tagle showed at an early age.
"Elementary pa ho siya, kilala ko na 'yang batang 'yan kasi consistent na valedictorian 'yan ng aming school from elementary to high school," she said.
But despite being well-known for consistently topping his classes, Tagle remained very humble, loving and obedient to his teachers.
Cruz said: "Ang bait-bait ng batang 'yan...obedient, walang ka-ere ere tapos punung-puno siya ng humility... He is very well-respected kasi nakikita sa kanyang katauhan kung sino talaga itong batang ito."
Playful but prayerful
Just like any other boy, Tagle was also playful. "He was just an ordinary boy...nakikipaglaro siya, nakikipaglokohan sa mga bata, mga kaklase niya," Cruz recalled.
But what set him apart from all other students his age was his devotion.
Cruz said Tagle never failed to make a visit to The Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew before going to class and before going home.
She also recalled that while the young Tagle never expressed any intentions of becoming a priest someday, his connection with God was always evident.
"There is something in this boy na...'yung puso niya parang nakikita mo na sincere siya."
"Parang Christ never leaves him. Christ is always with him. Christ really loves him so much and he loves Christ so much," Cruz said.
Tagle was described as a "much discussed" cardinal during the secrecy oath-taking of cardinals at the Sistine Chapel before their papal conclave started in the Vatican on Tuesday.
Tagle is a darkhorse among the papabili, according to Western media covering the conclave that will decide who will be the Catholic Church's next leader.